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100. Accusative Plural. Stems in -ι and -υ which admit an accustaive singular in -ν often form the plural in -ῑς, -ῡς (for -ινς, -υνς): thus ὄϊς (Il. 11.245), ἀκοίτις (Od. 10.7), βοῦς ἤνις (Il. 6.94). So we should read πόλις (with Bekker) for πόλεις. Again we have

σῦς and σύ-ας
ἰχθῦς and ἰχθύ-ας (Od. 22. 334)
ὀφρῦς (Il. 16.740) and ὁφρό-ας (Od. 9.389)
νέκυς (Od. 24.417) and νέκυ-ας
βοῦς and βόας

Stems in -υ, genitive -εος, have only -εας in Homer: except πολῦς, read by Zenodotus in Il. 2.4, perhaps in other places (Il. 1.559, 13.734, 15.56, 20.313, 21.59, 131; Od. 3.262, 4.170), where the MSS. have πολέας or πολεῖς.

The MS. of Schοl. A in Il. 2. 4 gives πολεῖς as read by Zenodotus , but the context shows that the true reading of the scholium is πολὺς. But there is no trace of this form in any of the other places.

The personal pronouns have ἡμέας (once ἧμας), ὑμέας, σφέας (once σφᾰς encl., Il. 5.567), as well as ἄμμε, ὔμμε, σφέ. The forms in -ᾰς are later, the result of adding the common ending of the accusative plural: see on the accsative singular.

101. Genitive Plural. Stems in -ᾱ(η) and -ᾰ form the genitive plural in -ᾱων, less commonly -εων. The -εων is generally scanned -ε̅ω̅ν, and after a vowel is written -ῶν.

Σκαι-ῶν (cp. the genitive singular in -ᾱο, -εω).

The pronominal stems ἡμε-, ὑμε-, σφε- form ἡμείων and ἡμέων, ὑμείων and ὑμέων, σφείων σφέων (encl.) and σφῶν. These forms are plausibly explained by supposing that originally the genitive was in -ειο, as in the singular. Then *ἀμμεῖο, *ὑμμεῖο, vwere assiunilated to the genitive plural in -ων ; and σφείων followed the same analogy later (Brugmann, K. Z. xvi. 397).

102. Dative Plural. The two endings of the dative plural are -σι(ν) and -εσσι(ν). Many nouns in Homer form the case in both ways.

βου-σί and βό-εσσι (for βού-εσσι)
χερ-σί and χείρ-εσσι
ποσσί or ποσί (for ποδ-σί) and πόδ-εσσι
ἀνδρά-σι and ἄνδρ-εσσι
μνηστῆρ-σι and μνηστήρ-εσσι

The accent is often different, the forms in -ἐσσι being always proparoxytone. The ending -σι(ν) originally belongs to the locative plural (Sanskrit -su).

A final dental or -σ with -σι forms -σσι, and this σσ may be reduced to σ, as in ποσσί and ποσί, ἔπεσ-σι and ἔπεσι, δέπασ-σι and δέπασι. But -εσι for the ending -ἐσσι is very rare: χείρ-εσι, ἴν-εσι, αἴγ-εσι, οἴ-εσι, ἀνάκτ-εσι occur once each.

An ending -σσι (instead of -σι) occurs in a few stems in -υ (genitive -υος).

γένυ-σσι (Il. 11.416)
νέκυ-σσι (Od.)
πίτυ-σσι (Od.)

This is an extension of the type ἔπεσ-σι, etc.: cp. ἴρισσι (Il. 13.27) for ἴριδ-σι. Or possibly, as Brugmann suggests (G. G. p.62), these are forms in -ῡσι, -ῑσι, the vowel retaining its original quantity (cp. § 116.3 and 4).

Final ι or υ of the stem becomes ε in ἐπάλξε-σι, πολέ-σι (πολύ-ς), from the analogy of the other cases, as ἐπάλξε-ος, πολέ-ος. Similarly on the analogy of forms with -ἐσσι (as in ἔπεσσι) we have the rare forms πολ-έσσι (πολ-ύς), πελέκ-εσσι (πέλεκ-υς).

The ending -εσσι(ν) is itself the result of a similar analogγ. In ἔπεσσι, βέλεσσι, etc. the -ἐσσι was felt as characteristic of the case, and then combined with other stems; hence κύν-εσσι, σύ-εσσι, etc. Thus forms like ἐπέ-εσσι (for ἐπεσ-εσσι) really contain the suffix -εσ twice οver. (Bοpp, Vergl. Gr. § 292 of the first edition; Meyer, G. G. p. 355.)

Stems in -ο and -ᾱ(η) form the dative plural in -οισι(ν) and -ῃσι(ν) respectively, also in -οις and -αις or -ῃς. The latter forms are common in the existing text of Homer, but (as was pointed out by Gerland, K. Z. ix. 36, and again by Nauck, Mél. gr-rom. iii. 244) in the great majority of instances the loss of ι may be regarded as due to elision: e.g. for σοῖς ἑτάροισι we may write σοῖσʼ ἑτάροισι. The feminine -αις appears only in the forms

θεαῖς (Od. 5.119)
ἀκταῖς (Il. 12.284)
πάσαις (Od. 22.471).

Hence it is a question whether the forms in -οις, -αις are Homeric.

The endings -οισι, -ῃσι are those of the locative (Sanskrit -ēshu, -āsu). Originally -ησι was without ι (as in the adverbial Ἀθήνησι, θύρᾱσι). The endings -οις, -αις are probably not to be derived from -οισι, -ησι, but from the original instrumental of stems in -ο. This was in Sanskrit -āis, in Greek *-ωις, becoming -οις: and from this again by an easy analogy the corresponding feminine -αις was formed.

Note— It appears that the stems in -ā originally formed a locative plural in -ās (as well as -āsu and -āsi), hence Latin forās, aliās, devās (Inscr.). Hence it is possible that the few Homeric forms in -αις or -ῃσ’ represent this -ās (Brugmann, Grundr. ii. § 358, p.704).

The pronouns of the 1st and 2nd person use two forms.

  1. -ῑν in ἡμῖν (encl. ἥμιν) and ὑμῖν (encl. ὕμιν)
  2. -ῐ(ν) in ἄμμιν, ὔμμιίν, also ἧμῐν, ὗμῐν.

This is evidently the same suffix as in ἐμίν, τεΐν, ἑΐν, and the form -ῑν is presumably the older (for which -ῐν was perhaps adopted from the analogy of the dative in -σῐν).

The 3rd plural σφῐ(ν) is originally in all probability the instrumental plural of the stem σϝε- (for σϝ-φιν): cp. Latin sibi, for s-bi. If so, the other case forms σφέ, σφείων, σφί-σι as well as the corresponding Duals σφώ, etc. are the result of analogy.

Suggested Citation

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