Final -α

Book Nav

374. The metrical considerations which lead us to recognise -ῑ in the dative singular might be urged, though with less force, in favor of an original -dἄ as the ending of the neuter plural. We have

ll. 5.745 (= 8.389) ἐς δʼ ὄχεα φλόγεα ποσὶ βήσετο

Il. 8.556 φαίνετʼ ἀριπρεπέα, ὅτε κτλ.

Il. 11.678 (Od. 14.100) τόσα πώεα οἰῶν (ν. l. μήλων)

Il 20.255 πόλλʼ ἐτεά τε καὶ οὐκί

Il. 21.352 τὰ περὶ καλὰ ῥέεθρα

Il. 23.240 ἀριφραδέα δὲ τέτυκται

Il. 24.7 ὅποσα τολύπευσε

Od. 9.109 ἄσπαρτα καὶ ἀνήροτα

Od. 10.353 πορφύρεα καθύπερθʼ

Od. 12.396 ὀπταλέα τε καὶ ὠμά

Od. 14.343 ῥωγαλέα, τὰ καὶ αὐτός

Od. 23.225 ἀριφραδέα κατέλεξας

In the majority of these instances, however, the final α is preceded by the vowel ε, from which it was originally separated by a spirant (ὄχε-σ-α, πορφύρε-ι̯-α).

Il. 1.45 ἀμφηρεφέα τε φαρέτρην

Il 5.576 Πυλαιμένεα ἑλέτην

Il. 5.827 Ἄρηᾱ τό γε

Il. 14.329 Περσῆᾱ πάντων

Od. 1.40 ἐκ γὰρ Ὀρέσταο τίσις

As two successive vowels are often found to interchange their quantity (βασιλῆα, βασιλέᾱ), so perhaps, even when the first vowel retains its metrical value, there may be a slight transference of quantity, sufficient to allow the final vowel, when reinforced by the ictus, to count as a long syllable. Cp. § 375.3.

The scanning ἔᾱ (in ll. 4.321 εἰ τότε κοῦρος ἔα νῦν κτλ.; Cp. Il. 5.887, Od. 14.352) may be explained by transference of quantity, from ἦα.

Suggested Citation

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