Order of Particles and Enclitic Pronouns

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365. The place of a particle in the Homeric sentence is generally determined by stricter rules than those which obtain in later Greek, and similar rules are found to govern the order of the enclitic pronouns and adverbs.

  1. The two enclitics περ and γε, when they belong to the first word in a clause, come before all other particles. Hence we have the sequences

    εἴ περ γάρ

    εἴ περ ἄν

    τοῦ περ δή

    πόθεόν γε μέν, etc.

    Exceptions are to be found in

    Il. 9.46 εἰς ὅ κέ περ Τροίην διαπέρσομεν
                (read perhaps εἰς ὅτε περ)

    Il. 7.387 εἴ κέ περ ὔμμι . . . γένοιτο

    Od. 3.321 ὅθεν τέ περ

    Il. 8.243 αὐτοὺς δή περ ἔασον

  2. μἐν and δέ, also τε in its use as a connecting word, come before other particles. Hence we have

    • οἱ δὲ δὴ
    • εἰ δέ κεν
    • ἐγὼ δὲ κὲ τοι
    • εἰ δʼ ἄν
    • οὐ μὲν γάρ
    • οὔτʼ ἄρα, etc.

    μέν may be placed later when it emphasizes a particular word, or part of a clause, especially in view of a following clause with δέ

    Il. 9.300 εἰ δέ τοι Ἀτρεΐδης μὲν ἀπήχθετο . . .
                  σὺ δʼ ἄλλους περ κτλ

    Od. 4.23, 11.385, 18.67, etc., and in such collocations as σοὶ δʼ ἦ τοι μὲν ἐγὼ κτλ., ἔνθʼ ἦ τοι τοὺς μὲν κτλ. Cp. also

    Od. 15.405 οὔ τι περιπληθὴς λίην τόσον, ἀλλʼ ἀγαθὴ μέν

    The form ὄφρʼ ἂν μέν κεν is probably corrupt, see § 362 ad fin.

    • οἱ δὲ δή
    • εἰ δέ κεν
    • ἐγὼ δέ κέ τοι
    • εἰ δʼ ἄν
    • οὐ μὲν γάρ
    • οὔτε κε
    • οὔτʼ ἄρα, etc.
  3. Of the remaining particles γάρ comes first.

    • ἦ γάρ κε
    • τίς γάρ κε
    • εἴ περ γάρ κε
    • τόφρα γὰρ ἄν
    • ὡς γάρ νύ τοι, etc.

    Among the other particles note the following sequences.

    • καί νύ κεν
    • ἐξ ἄρα δή
    • ὁππότε κεν δή
    • ἦ ῥά νυ
    • τίς τοί νυ

    But ἄρα is sometimes put later in the clause, as ὡς εἰπὼν κατʼ ἄρʼ ἕζετο.

    ll. 5.748 Ἥρη δὲ μάστιγι θοῶς ἐπιμαίετʼ ἄρʼ ἵππους

    τε in its generalizing use comes after other particles.

    • δέ τε
    • μέν τε
    • γάρ τε
    • ἀλλά τε
    • δʼ ἄρα τε
    • ὅς ῥά τε
    • οὔτʼ ἄρ τε
    • οὔ νύ τε
  4. The indefinite τις and the corresponding adverbs, που, πωs, πω, ποτε, etc., follow the particles. Hence we have

    • ὅτε κέν τις
    • αἴ κέν πως
    • ὅτʼ ἄν ποτε
    • ὅν ῥά τις
    • δή που
    • νύ που
    • ἦ πού τί σε, etc.

    But τε follοws τις (§ 332), as in καὶ γάρ τίς τε, ὅς τίς τε. And sometimes ὅς τις is treated as a single word, as in ὅν τινα μέν (Il. 2.188), ὅς τις δέ (Il. 15.743), ὅς τίς κε (Il. 10.44; Od. 3.355). Similarly we find εἴ ποτε in the combination εἴ ποτε δή, as well as the more regular εἰ δή ποτε.

    τις sometimes comes later, as

    Il. 4.300 ὄφρα καὶ οὐκ ἐθέλων τις κτλ.

    especially after a genitive which it governs.

    Il. 13.55 σφῶϊν δʼ ὧδε θεῶν τις κτλ.

    Cp. also

    Il. 22.494 τῶν δʼ ἐλεησάντων κοτύλην τις τυτθὸν ἐπέσχεν

    and Od. 21.374.

    So more as in

    ll. 4.410 τῷ μή μοι πατέρας ποθʼ ὁμοίῃ ἔνθεο τιμῇ

    Il. 6.99 οὐδʼ Ἀχιλῆά ποθʼ ὧδε κτλ.

    Il. 10.453, Od. 2.137. In these places ποτε seems to be attracted to an emphatic sword. Cp. ποu in Il. 12.272, ποθεν in Od. 18.376.

  5. The enclitic personal pronouns come after the particles and pronouns already mentioned.

    • οὔ ποτέ με
    • ἦ πῄ με
    • οὐδέ νύ πώ με
    • οὐ γάρ πώ ποτέ μοι
    • ἐγώ δέ κέ τοι
    • ἐπεὶ ἄρ κέ σε
    • ὁππότε κέν μιν
    • αἴ κέν πώς μιν
    • οὐ γάρ πώ σφιν
    • ἦ πού τίς σφιν, etc.

    Sometimes however an enclitic form follows the emphatic pronoun αὐτός.

    Il. 5.459 αὐτὰρ ἔπειτʼ αὐτῷ μοι ἐπέσσυτο

    Il. 22.346 αἲ γάρ πως αὐτόν με κτλ.

    Occasionally an enclitic is found out of its place at the end of a line which has the bucolic caesura.

    Il. 3.368 οὐδʼ ἔβαλόν μιν
                  (v. l. οὐδʼ ἐδάμασσα)

    Il. 5.104 εἰ ἐτεόν με

    Il. 7.79 ὄφρα πυρός με

    Il. 11.380 ὡς ὄφελόν τοι
                   (so with τις)

    Il. 4.315 ὡς ὄφελέν τις

    and without bucolic caesura

    Il. 17.736 ἐπὶ δὲ πτόλεμος τέτατό σφιν

  6. The negative particles οὐ and μή which regularly begin the clause, are often put later in order that some other word may be emphasized, and in that case the indefinite τις, ποτε, etc., follow οὐ or μή.

    μετάλλησάν γε μὲν οὔ τι
    (for οὐ μέν τι μετάλλησάν γε)

    κείνοισι δʼ ἂν οὔ τις
    (for οὐ δʼ ἄν τις κείνοισι)

    σὺ δὲ μή τι

    τὸ μὲν οὔ ποτε, etc.

    Similarly κεν and ἄν are attracted to the negation as in πληθὺν δʼ οὐκ ἂν ἐγώ (for οὐδʼ ἂν ἐγὼ πληθύν), and when the negative is repeated, as in οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐδέ κεν κτλ.

    Od. 15.321 δρηστοσύνῃ οὐκ ἄν μοι ἐρίσσειε βροτὸς ἄλλος

  7. The place of the enclitic is perhaps explained by the pause of the verse in

    Od. 15.118 ὅθʼ ἑὸς δόμος ἀμφεκάλυψε
                       κεῖσέ με νοστήσαντα

    Od. 14.245 αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα
                       Αἴγυπτόνδε με κτλ.

    (unless we read κεῖσʼ ἐμὲ, Aἴγυπτόνδʼ ἐμὲ, cp. Od. 16. 310) and so in

    Il. 1.205 ᾗς ὑπεροπλίῃσι τάχʼ ἄν ποτε θυμὸν ὀλέσσῃ

    Il. 1.256 ἄλλοι τε Τρῶες μέγα κεν κεχαροίατο θυμῷ

    Il. 5.362 Τυδεΐδης, ὃς νῦν γε καὶ ἂν Διὶ πατρὶ μάχοιτο

    Il. 22.108 ὣς ἐρέουσιν· ἐμοὶ δὲ τότʼ ἂν πολὺ κέρδιον εἴη

    Od. 1.217 ὡς δὴ ἐγώ γʼ ὄφελον μάκαρός νύ τευ ἔμμεναι υἱός.

    The second half of the line is treated as a fresh beginning of a sentence.

    Without assuming that the Homeric usage as to the place of particles and enclitics is invariable, we may point out that in several places where these rules are violated the text is doubtful on other grounds.

    Il. 3.173 ὡς ὄφελεν θάνατός μοι ἁδεῖν

    Read ὥς μʼ ὄφελεν θάνατος ϝαδέειν, for the elision μ(οι) cp. Il. 6.165 ὅς μʼ ἔθελεν φιλότητι μιγήμεναι (§ 376).

    Il. 6.289 ἔνθʼ ἔσαν οἱ πέπλοι κτλ.

    Read ἔνθα ϝʼ ἔσαν (see § 376). Similarly in

    Il. 20.282 κὰδ δʼ ἄχος οἱ χύτο

    Van Leeuwen reads κὰδ δέ ϝʼ ἄχος χύτο. In

    Od. 1.37 ἐπεὶ πρό οἱ εἴπομεν ἡμεῖς

    Bekker would omit πρό (Hom. Bl. ii. 21).

    Od. 2.327 ἐπεί νύ περ ἵεται αἰνῶς
                     (read νύ τε ϝίεται?)

    Od. 15. 436 ὅρκῳ πιστωθῆναι ἀπήμονά μʼ οἴκαδʼ ἀπάξειν
                        (Omit μʼ)

    Od. 11.218 ἀλλʼ αὕτη δίκη ἔστὶ βροτῶν, ὅτε κέν τε θάναωσιν

    with v. l. (in five MSS.) ὅτε τίς κε θάνῃσιν. Read ὅτε τίς τε θάνῃσιν (§ 289 ad fin.).

    Il. 20.77 τοῦ γάρ ῥα μάλιστά ἑ θυμὸς ἀνώγει

    so Aristarchus, but the other ancient reading was μάλιστά γε.

    Il. 21.576 εἴ περ γὰρ φθάμενός μιν ἢ οὐτάσῃ κτλ.

    for μιν the "city editions" had τις, but neither word is needed.

    Od. 7.261 (= 14.287) ἀλλʼ ὅτε δὴ ὄγδοόν μοι ἐπιπλόμενον ἔτος ἦλθεν

    Dind. reads ὀγδόατον, to avoid the unusual synizesis. Read ἀλλʼ ὅτε δή μʼ ὄγδωον: an earlier ὄγδωος (= Latin octāvus) is almost necessary to account for ὄγδοος (Brugmann, M. U. v. 37).

    Il. 5.273 εἰ τούταω κε λάβοιμεν κτλ.

    For κε (without meaning here) read γε.

    Il. 14.403 ἐπεὶ τέτραπτο πρὸς θύ οἱ

    The sense seems to require πρὸς ἰθύν in the direction of his aim, cp. πᾶσαν ἐπʼ ἰθύν for every aim, ἀνʼ ἰθύν straight onwards (ll. 21.303; Od. 8.377).

    Il. 24.53 νὴ . . . νεμεσσηθέωμέν οἱ ἡμεῖς

    Read -θήομεν, omitting οἱ.

    A less strict usage may be traced in the 10th book of the Iliad.

    Il. 1.44 ἥ τίς κεν

    Il. 1.242 εἷ μὲν δὴ ἕταρόν γε κελεύετέ μʼ αὐτὸν ἑλέσθαι

    Il. 1.280 νῦν αὖτε μάλιστά με φῖλαι,

    Il. 1.344 ἀλλʼ ἐῶμέν μιν

    Il. 1.453 οὐκέτʼ ἔπειτα σὺ πῆμά ποτʼ ἔσσεαι

    The subject, however, needs more detailed investigation.

Suggested Citation

D.B. Monro, A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/monro/order-particles-and-enclitic-pronouns