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392. Α few words may be added here which in all probability had initial ϝ, though the traces of it in the meter are not supported by independent evidence.


The hiatus in three places indicates the loss of a consonant.

ἔθνος (perhaps akin to ἔθος, ἦθος)

Hiatus precedes in 12 places, and there is only one instance on the other side, viz.

Il. 11.724 τὰ δʼ ἐπέρρεον ἔθνεα πεζῶν

where ἐπέρρεε is better, see § 172.

ἐρύω, ἔρρω

Hiatus is found before ἐρύω to draw in 14 places (not counting those which are indecisive, such as ξίφος ὀξὺ ἐρυσσάμενος, or ἐπʼ ἠπείροιο ἔρυσσαν), and preceding short syllables are lengthened in 17 places. There are 17 instances against ϝ, one of the strongest being

Il. 1.141 νῆα μέλαιναν ἐρύσσομεν
             (= Od. 8.34, 16.348).

The verb ῥύομαι tο protect is unconnected with ἐρύω.

The verb ἔρρω (probably Lat. verro) shows hiatus in the phrase ἐνθάδε ἔρρων (Il. 8.239, 9.364); cp. ἀπό-ερσε, ἀπο-έρσειε.


The word occurs six times (counting the proper name Ἦνοψ), and except in one place (where it begins the line) always requires an initial consonant.


In the phrase ἐπὶ ἦρα φέρειν, referred to the root var meaning to chοοse or wish.


The only instance of this wοrd (Il. 23.126 μέγα ἠρίον) is in favor of initial ϝ.


An initial consonant is shown by hiatus in 23 places (ὁ δὲ ἵετο, οἴκαδε ἱεμένων, etc.), there are four adverse places, viz. Il. 18.501; Od. 2.327, 10.246, 14.142. It is not connected with ἵημι, but is to be referred to root νī, meaning to aim at, wish (L. Meyer, Bezz. Beitr. i. 301).


An initial consonant is indicated in about 50 places; the number of adverse instances is 14. The derivation of this important word is unknown.

Ἶρος, Ἶρις

These words may be connected with εἴρω to tell. If so, the ϝ of Ἶρις is to be traced in ὠκέα Ἶρις (19 times), ὣς ἔφατʼ, ὦρτο δὲ Ἶρις (three times), βάσκʼ ἴθι, Ἶρι κτλ.; that of Ἶρος, Od. 18.73 & 334 (but not always, see vv. 38, 56, 233).

Suggested Citation

D.B. Monro, A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7.