Words with Initial ϝρ, etc.

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395. The metrical value of an initial ῥ which represents ϝρ differs in the several words. It has always the effect of a double consonant in

  • ῥήγνυμι
  • ῥίπτω
  • ῥάκος
  • ῥυ-[fn]In ῥυτός, etc.[/fn]
  • ῥη-[fn]In ῥητός, ῥητήρ[/fn]

and nearly always in ῥινός (except Od. 5.281), ῥίζα (Od. 9.390). But lengthening is optional in ῥέζω, ῥιγέω, ῥεῖα, thus we have ἔρρεξα and ἔρεξα (in 27 places); ἵπποι δὲ ῥέα (Il. 8.179), but ἔνθα κε ῥεῖα κτλ.; ἐρρίγησαν, but ὣς φάτο ῥίγησεν δὲ κτλ. As to ῥ- standing for an older σρ-, and the other letters (λ, μ, ν) which lengthen a preceding short vowel, see § 371.

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/words-initial-%CF%9D%CF%81-etc