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26. The perfect participle was formed originally from the weak stem, but there are exceptions in Homer, due partly to the ϝ of the masculine and neuter suffix (-ϝώς, -υῖα, -ϝός), partly to the general tendency to adopt the form of the singular indicactive as the stem. Thus the Homeric perfect participle is intermediate between the primitive formation with the weak stem (as in Sanskrit), and the nearly uniform long stem of Attic. In particular–

  1. When the ending -ώς (-ότος) follows a vowel, one or both of the concurrent vowels may be long.

    μεμᾱ-ότε, μεμᾰ-ῶτε (both for μεμᾰ-ϝότε)
    κεκμη-ότας and κεκμη-ῶτα
    τεθνη-ότος, τεθνη-ῶτα, also τεθνεῶτι
    πεπτη-ότα and πεπτη-ῶτες (πτήσσω)
    πεπτεῶτα (πίπτω)

    Both vowels are short in ἑστᾰ-ότος.

    ω also appears in τετρῑγ-ῶτας (Il. 2.314), κεκληγ-ῶτας (Il. 16.430). For the latter there is a v. l. κεκλήγοντας (see § 27); and so perhaps we may read τετρίγοντας.

  2. When -ώς (-ότος) follows a consonant, the stem generally takes the long form, as in the singular indicative active.


    • ἀρηρ-ώς
    • μεμηκ-ώς
    • λεληκ-ώς
    • ἐοικ-ώς
    • πεποιθ-ώς
    • ἐοργ-ώς

    Except εἰδ-ώς (οἶδα), εἰκ-ώς or ἐϊκ-ώς (Il. 21.254), ἑᾱδ-ότα (ἁνδάνω, root σϝᾰδ-).

    As these exceptions show, the strong form is not original: thus εἰδώς is for ϝιδ-ϝώς, ἑᾱδότα for ἐσϝαδ-ϝότα. So we have μεμᾱώς (perhaps μεμαυώς), not μεμονώς. When ϝ was lost the original quantity of the syllable was preserved by lengthening the vowel: and in determining the new long vowel the analogy of the sing. ind. naturally had much influence.

  3. A long vowel appears in the feminine

    εἰδ-υῖα (Il. 17.4, elsewhere ἰδυῖα, Schol. Il. 20. 12)
    εἰοικ-υῖα [fn]The form ἑοικυῖα is found in καλὴ Κασσιέπεια θεοῖς δέμας ἐοκυῖα quoted by Athenaeus xiv. p. 632 as an instance of a line defective in quantity. It does not occur in the text of Homer but seems to be a variant for Il. 8. 305 καλὴ Καστιάνειρα δέμας ἐϊκυῖα θεῇσιν.[/fn] (Il. 18.418, elsewhere ἐϊκ-υῖα)
    τεθνη-υῖα, πεπληγ-υῖα
    τετρηχ-υῖα (as pluperfect: τετρήχ-ει)
    κεκληγ-υῖα (Hes. Op. 449)

    Later forms, ἀρηρ-υῖα (Hes. Th. 608), τεθηλυῖα (Hom. H. xlviii. 4).

    The form βεβῶσα (Od. 20.14) is an anomaly, apparently formed from the masculine βεβώς on the analogy of participles in -ούς, -οῦσα and -είς, -εῖσα.

  4. The κ of the indicative active (§ 22.9) appears in

    τετυχη-κ-ώς (Il. 17.748)
    δεδαη-κ-ότες (Od. 2.61)
    ἀδη-κ-ότες (Il. 10.98, 312, 399, 471; Od. 12.281)
    βεβρω-κ-ώς (Il. 22.94., Od. 22.403).

    These instances are hardly sufficient to prove that the form is Homeric, since we might read τετυχηώς, δεδαηότες, etc., (like κεχαρηώς, κεκοτηώς, etc.) A form βεβρωώς is supported by Attic βεβρῶτες (Soph. Ant. 1022). τεθνη-κ-ώς (for the Homeric τεθνη-ώς) is not earlier than Theognis. Similarly γεγον-ώς for γεγαώς first appears in H. Merc. 17.

  5. The form πεφυζ-ότες flying (only in Il. 20 and 21), seems to be formed from the noun φύζα, without the intervention of any tense stem. This account will apply also to

    κεκοπ-ώς (Il. 13.60), from κόπ-ος

    δεδουπ-ότος (Il. 23.679)
    having fallen with a thud[fn]The regular form would be δεδουπη-ώς, or rather perhaps ἐγδουπη-ώς, cp. ἐ-γδούπη-σαν.[/fn]

    ἀρη-μένος, in which the α of ἄρη is retained, against analogy.

    It is in favor of this view that many denominative verbs form the perfect participle without the corresponding indicative, as κεκοτη-ώς and the others given above (§ 22.9). That is to say, the participle is treated as a derivative adjective, which may be formed independently of the corresponding verb.

Suggested Citation

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