Case Endings

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93. Case Endings. These are given in the following table. The endings of the consonantal declension are in larger type: the two vowel declensions of nouns are numbered (1), (2), and the pronominal declension (3).

  Sing. Dual Plur.

(1) -ο-ς, Neut. -ο-ν

(2) -ᾱ(η), -ι̯ᾰ; -η-ς


-ε-ς, Neut -ᾰ



Acc. -ν, -ᾰ

(1) -ω

(2) -ᾱ

-ᾰς, Neut. -ᾰ

-ους(for -ο-νς)

-ᾱ-ς (-α-νς)



(1) -οιο, -οο, -ου

(2) -ης; -ᾱο, -εω

(3) -ειο, -εο, -ευ






-ᾱων, -εων

-ειων, -εων


(1) -ῳ (Loc. -οι)

(2) -ῃ (Loc. -αι?)

(3) -οι




-σι(ν), -εσσι(ν)

-οισι(ν), -οις

-ῃσι(ν), -ῃς

-ῑν , -ῐ(ν)


94. Stems ending in ι, υ, and σ are liable to lose the final letter before the case endings which begin with a vowel.

  1. Stems in -ηυ, -ευ: e.g. νηῦ-ς, genitive νη-ός (for νηϝ-ός), rarely νε-ός. The ε arises by shortening from η; so νέες, νεῶν, νέεσσι, νέας—all less common than the corresponding forms with η-, νῆες, νηῶν, νήεσσι, νῆας.

    The forms νηῦ-ς, νηυ-σί are irregular, since original ᾱυ before a consonant would appear in Greek as ᾰυ (cp. Ζεύς for original dyēus). Hence the true Greek form is preserved in the instrumental ναῦ-φιν (§ 104) and the compounds ναυσι-κλυτός, Ναυσι-κάα, etc. The η of νηῦ-ς and νηυ-σί is taken by analogy from the other cases.

    βασιλεύ-ς, genitive. βασιλῆ-ος (but dative plural βασιλεῦ-σι)
    Πηλεύ-ς, genitive Πηλῆ-ος and Πηλέ-ος

    In oblique cases of stems in -ευ the ε seems to be nearly confined to proper names.

    Τυδέος, Τυδέϊ, Τυδέα
    Ἀτρέος, Ἀτρέϊ
    Νηλέα, etc.

    On Ζεύς, βοῦς see § 106.2.

  2. Stems in -ι and -υ form the same cases in two ways

    (1) Retaining the stem vowel

    κόνι-ς, κόνι-ος
    Πάρι-ς, Πάρι-ος
    ἰλύς ,ἰλῦος
    ἰχθύ-ς ,ἰχθύ-ες
    σῦ-ς, συ-ός, συ-ί, σύ-ες

    It is probable that this form of declension was originally confined to monosyllables.

    (2) Inserting ε and dropping ι or υ.

    πόσι-ς, dative πόσε-ϊ
    ἄστυ, ἄστε-ος
    πῆχυ-ς, πήχε-ος
    πολύ-ς ,πολέ-ος

    Here the stem of the oblique cases ends in -ει, -ευ; henc genitive -εος for -ει-ος, -εϝ-ος, etc.

    πόλις forms several of its cases in three ways.

    (1) genitive πόλι-ος, dative πόλῑ (for πόλι-ι, § 99)
    plural nominative πόλι-ες, genitive πολί-ων, dative πολί-εσσι, accusative πόλι-ας and πόλῑς (§ 100).

    (2) genitive πόλεος (so Bekk. reads in Il. 2.811, Il. 21.567, with the scanning ˘ ¯; cp. πόλευς in Theognis), dative πόλει, πτόλεϊ (Il. 17.152, perhaps should be πτόλιι, cp. the Cyprian form πτολιyι).

    (3) genitive πόλη-ος, dative πόλη-ϊ
    plural nominative πόλη-ες, accusative πόλη-ας.

    The stem πολη- which furnishes the last of these three forms of inflection has been traced by Joh. Schmidt (K Z. xxvii. p. 287) to a primitive locative in -η (cp. Sanskrit agni, Loc. agnā), to which the ordinary locative -ῐ was suffixed. From this new locative πόλη-ϊ the other cases were then formed by analogy.

    The nouns in -ᾰ (from -ι̯ᾰ) answer to the original stems in ῑ, as ἰδυῖα, for ἰδυσ-ι̯α, Sanskrit vidush-ī.

    ἠΰ-ς or ἐΰ-ς good makes genitive ἐῆ-ος, perhaps by transference of quantity for ἠέ-ος. Other adjectives in -ύς form -έ-ος, -έ-ι, etc.

  3. Stems in -εσ, -ασ, -οσ drop the σ, as ἔπε-ος, κέρα-ος, αἰδό-ος.

95. Original ᾱ as the final vowel of the stem becomes η; except

  1. after ε, ει, ᾰ, as in θεά, and the proper names Ἑρμείας, Αἰνείας, Αὐγείας, Ναυσικάα, Ῥεία (Ar. on Il. 14. 203), Φειά (Il. 7.135, Od. 15.297), and
  2. in the genitive in -ᾱο and -ᾱων.

Other exceptions to the scheme given above will be best treated under the separate cases.

Suggested Citation

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