Rhythm without Beat: Prosodically Motivated Grammarisation in Homer

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1. The Unit of Homeric Discourse: Enjambment, Special Speech and Metrically Defined Grammatisation

1.0 Introduction

For the modern reader, the punctuation of a text furthers comprehension of its contents. In spoken language, the person speaking may use differences in intonation, tempo and articulatory prominence to further the audience’s comprehension of what is being said. Punctuation in printed texts mimics to a certain extent the purpose of such audible differences in spoken language. It may, however, not cover all the nuances these differences add in spoken language.

Understanding spoken language demands an ability to interpret what is being transmitted that is different from the ability to understand a printed text. Experienced readers are trained in self-structuring the soundless mental process of reading through recognition and processing of various means of punctuation. The punctuation of a printed text makes the text accessible to a reader. To a certain extent, however, the accessibility created through punctuation is in accordance with the editor’s interpretation of the text. This applies to current editions of the Iliad and the Odyssey as well. Choosing a different edition of the Homeric text might mean, on the level of wording and syntax, choosing and reading a different text. An editor may consider critical mass in the various emendations and lectiones in manuscripts sufficient reason for publishing a new text. Still, he will be forced either to follow or to make choices on the text’s division in visible units. In editions of the Iliad and the Odyssey, [1] the use of the full stop is prominent, in alternation with other punctuation devices like comma and colon (raised stop).

1.1 The Unit of Homeric Discourse

What is the unit of Homeric discourse and what is its relation to the metrical structure? In the following sections, I will examine existing descriptions of Homeric syntax. Attempts to describe Homeric syntax have always paid much attention to grammatisation over the verse end. Due to the formulaic, oral nature of Homeric composition, grammatisation over the verse end inevitably leads to remarks on verse-end enjambment, a phenomenon that has drawn much more attention in the dactylic hexameter than in other metrical shapes that have long lines. Therefore I will start by recapitulating important studies in this field by Parry, Kirk, Higbie and Clark. I will also present criticism on the shortcomings of the approach to enjambment. Clark, however, seems to draw conclusions that seem to contradict the premise of the Parryan approach, which sees the single hexameter as the basic unit of composition. The descriptions of Homeric syntax by Chantraine and Bakker equally deal with the relation between the structural norms of hexametric poetry and the compositional norms as evidenced by semantic phrasing. Falling in with Chantraine and Bakker, I will then discuss the concept of grammatical completeness beyond their descriptions. Important differences in descriptions of Homeric syntax depend on the importance granted to the metrical circumstances of the text and the structuring impulse from meter.

1.2 The Verse as the Unit of Homeric Discourse

The approach of enjambment as a special phenomenon in the Homeric epic [6] mirrors the importance that is granted to the single hexameter as the unit of Homeric discourse. Parry’s idea was that ‘the easiest formula for the oral poet to handle is that which is both a whole sentence and a whole verse’. [7] That such an approach stems from an implicit concept of syntax becomes clear from his remark that ‘the art of the oral poet is largely that of grouping together whole fixed verses’. [8] As Clark puts it: ‘the methods of composing oral poetry can be expected to produce a preponderance of lines consisting of one complete clause apiece’. [9] The Parryan focus on whole-line sentences has led to some commonly accepted conclusions. Parry writes:

The whole-line sentence is seen as the basis of oral composition and as the traditional, compositional unit that provides the oral singer with his necessary formulas. More recent enjambment studies, like Higbie’s and Clark’s, agree with this analysis and approach. In their own subsequent approach to enjambment in Homer, they follow Parry in considering enjambment at the verse end to be the result of the whole-line formula expanding ‘beyond the limits of a single hexameter’. When discussing enjambed lines with unenjambed doubles, Higbie says:

Clark agrees:

Their acceptance of verse end enjambment in Homer is based on two premises. First: that, ever since the first lines of Homeric narrative were composed, the verse end has always been the strongest prosodic boundary in the hexameter used. Second: that at a certain, early, stage in the development of the Iliad and the Odyssey as oral narratives, the verse end was the syntactical boundary of choice. It was seldom, or perhaps never, crossed to continue the syntactically coherent unit into the next verse. At that stage, most, if not all, lines were end-stopped and consisted of one single sentence.

Trading the “sentence” for the “clause”, as Parry suggested and scholars working on his legacy adopt, widened the scope. Understanding “whole-line formula” to mean both whole-line “sentence” and whole-line “clause”, increases the total number of whole-line formulas considerably. Parry already uses whole-line “clauses” as examples [13] of whole-line formulas: [14]

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος ἐξ ἔρον ἕντο

Odyssey 3.67

But when they had overcome their craving for drink and food

This exact line is used seven times in the Iliad, and fourteen times in the Odyssey. It indicates the end of the first part of the meal and signals the start of the second part, the conversation and entertainment. The frequency of the line in the Homeric narrative causes Parry to use it as an example of a formulaic expression, consisting of one “clause”, taking up exactly one verse. Higbie and Clark do the same when they refer to a ‘succession of eight whole lines’ as a ‘series of unenjambed verses’:

ὣς ἔφατ᾿ Ἀντίνοος τοῖσιν δ᾿ ἐπιήνδανε μῦθος
τοῖσι δὲ κήρυκες μὲν ὕδωρ ἐπὶ χεῖρας ἔχευαν
κοῦροι δὲ κρητῆρας ἐπεστέψαντο ποτοῖο
νώμησαν δ᾿ ἄρα πᾶσιν ἐπαρξάμενοι δεπάεσσιν
οἱ δ᾿ ἐπεὶ οὖν σπεῖσάν τ᾿ ἔπιόν θ᾿ ὅσον ἤθελε θυμός
τοῖς δὲ δολοφρονέων μετέφη πολύμητις Ὀδυσσεύς
κέκλυτέ μευ μνηστήρες ἀγακλειτῆς βασιλεῖης
ὄφρ᾿ εἴπω τά με θυμὸς ἐνὶ στήθεσσι κελεύει

Odyssey 21.269–276

Thus spoke Antinous, and for them it seemed like a good idea: | for them the heralds poured water over the hands | and servant boys filled the vessels to the rim with wine; | they handed them duely to all having started with the cups; | as for the others, when they had poured a libation and drunk as much as their heart desired, | resourceful Odysseus, hiding his real intentions, addressed them: | “Listen to me, suitors of the famous queen, | that I may utter what my heart in my chest commands me

Parry already suggests that the whole-line clause is more or less equal to the whole-line formula. This equation caused problems for later scholars. One of these problems is the “couplet”, verses that are grammatically or syntactically tied together. An example is the couplet of correlative formulas: [

ὄφρα μὲν ἠὼς ἦν καὶ ἀέζετο ἱερὸν ἧμαρ
τόφρα μάλ᾿ ἀμφοτέρων βέλε᾿ ἔπτετο πῖπτε δὲ λαός

Iliad 8.66–67

As long as it was morning, and the sacred day still increased, | so long the projectiles from both sides flew to and fro, and the men fell

The couplet occurs again at Iliad 11.84–85. The lines from the couplet make their appearance separately at Odyssey 9.56 and Iliad 16.778. Clark [
16] expects his readers to consider such correlative couplet formulas an addition to the list of whole-line formulas (both whole-line clauses and whole-line sentences or whole-sentence lines). He continues with presenting his readers with examples of longer passages consisting of “whole lines” or “unenjambed lines” (like Odyssey 21.269–276, cited above, and Iliad 8.143–152).

Higbie’s and Clark’s classifications of enjambment-types show to what extent the various types of enjambment are distinguished looking at the grammatical completeness at the enjambed verse end. In Higbie, we read:

This approach, and the resulting classification, has proven to be a useful tool for the study of Homeric verse making and the appreciation of Homeric poetics from a reader’s point of view. The notion of “expectation” counts as an equivalent of “grammatical need”. Hence Iliad 7.394–397 can be described as a sequence of “skewed clauses”: [

καὶ δὲ τόδ᾿ ἠνώγεον εἰπεῖν ἔπος αἴ κ᾿ ἐθέλητε
παύσασθαι πολέμοιο δυσηχέος εἰς ὅ κε νεκροὺς
κείομεν ὕστερον αὖτε μαχησόμεθ᾿ εἰς ὅ κε δαίμων
ἄμμε διακρίνηι δώηι δ᾿ ἑτέροισί γε νίκην

Iliad 7.394–397

And they ordered to utter the following proposal as well: perhaps you are willing | to refrain from noisy warfare until the moment we will have given the bodies | to the fire; later we will do battle again until the moment a god | will separate us, and give victory to one of the two parties

To date, Higbie’s classification of all the types of enjambment is the most elaborate; Clark uses it as his starting point. The development of Higbie’s system out of those by Kirk and Parry is best presented in a table:

Parry   Kirk   Higbie
 verse Unenjambed verse Unenjambed verse
Unperiodic enjambment
 Progressive enjambment Adding internal
 external enjambment
Necessary enjambment
 Periodic enjambment Clausal external
 enjambment Clausal internal
 enjambment Violent

Table 1: The development of the enjambment system.

When Higbie uses the word violent to label a specific type of enjambment, her labelling makes clear that different types of enjambment ought to be classified based on what it is exactly that they separate. Violent enjambment (enjambment indicated as e in the Greek text) separates words that belong to a single word group:

μήτε σύ γ᾿ Ἄρηα τό γε δείδιθι μήτέ τιν᾿ ἄλλονe
ἀθανάτων τοίη τοι ἐγὼν ἐπιτάρροθός εἰμι

Iliad 5.827–828

Do not fear Ares on that account, or any other | of the immortals; such a stimulus I am for you

Necessary enjambment separates words that need each other to form a grammatically complete clause; [
19] in other words, they belong necessarily to a single grammatical clause. The constituents of a coherent grammatical clause can be separated easily within the line. Such constituents consist of single words or word groups:

τίφθ᾿ οὕτως ἠθεῖε κορύσσεαι ἦ τιν᾿ ἑταίρωνe
ὀτρύνεις Τρώεσσιν ἐπίσκοπον

Iliad 10.37–38

Why are you donning your armour at this time, brother? Does it concern one of the comrades | you order to go to the Trojans as a scout

Clausal internal enjambment [
20] separates words that need each other to form a grammatically complete clause, just like necessary enjambment. The only difference is that clausal internal enjambment separates constituents that are tied together in a single grammatical clause by correlative adverbs:

               ἐπεὶ οὐδὲ μὲν οὐδὲ ἔοικεν
δῆμον ἐόντα παρὲξ ἀγορευέμεν οὔτ᾿ ἐνὶ βουλῆιe
οὔτέ ποτ᾿ ἐν πολέμωι σὸν δὲ κράτος αἰὲν ἀέξειν

Iliad 12.212–214

As it is absolutely unbecoming | that a man from the people opposes you, neither in the assembly, | nor ever on the battlefield; he is supposed to always make your power grow

Clausal external enjambment separates grammatical clauses, the first of which is accompanied by a constituent suggesting hierarchical syntactical organisation in combination with the subsequent line. This means that the first clause is a subordinate clause, or that the main clause in the enjambed line prepares for the subordinate clause, or another main clause, by means of a correlative adverb. Two clauses thus tied together need not immediately follow one another: there may be more subordinate clauses, parentheses and independent main clauses in between:

αὐτὰρ ὅτ᾿ ἂψ ἄρχοιτο καὶ ὀτρύνειαν ἀείδεινe
(Φαιήκων οἱ ἄριστοι ἐπεὶ τέρποντ᾿ ἐπέεσσινe)
ἂψ Ὀδυσεὺς κατὰ κρᾶτα καλυψάμενος γοάασκεν

Odyssey 8.90–92

But the moment he would start again, and they would encourage him to sing, | the best of the Phaecians, as they enjoy the stories, | Odysseus immediately hid his head under his cloak and mourned

Adding internal enjambment separates words belonging to a single grammatical clause, though the clause met all its grammatical requirements before the verse end. What follows the verse end can be left out without affecting the grammatical completeness of the preceding line:

τώ μοι Τηλέμαχος πάντων πολὺ φίλτατος ἐστινe
ἀνδρῶν οὐδέ τί μιν θάνατον τρομέεσθαι ἄνωγαe
ἔκ γε μνηστήρων θεόθεν δ᾿ οὐκ ἔστ᾿ ἀλέασθαι

Odyssey 16.445.447

That is why Telemachus to me is by far dearest of all | men, and I assure him that he need not fear death | as caused by the suitors; it is impossible to avoid when it comes from a god

Finally, adding external enjambment separates grammatical clauses that turn out to be hierarchically organised only after crossing the verse end: the “sentence” met all its grammatical requirements before the verse end of what turns out to be an enjambed clause. As in adding internal enjambment, what follows the verse end can be left out without affecting the grammatical completeness of the preceding line:

ὅππως δὴ μνηστῆρσιν ἀναιδέσι χεῖρας ἐφῆκεe
μοῦνος ἐών οἱ δ᾿ αἰὲν ἀολλέες ἔνδον ἔμιμνον

Odyssey 23.37–38

How then did he lay hands on the shameless suitors | as he was all alone, and they were always waiting inside all together

Higbie’s classification is based on a) observance of the verse end as an inevitable boundary, and b) the identification of the grammatically coherent unit with the metrical phrase.

Clark follows Higbie in not automatically allowing for emphasis on the first constituent of the Homeric hexameter following enjambment, not even if it is, grammatically, a mot-en-rejet. [21] In his 1997 publication, Clark uses the terminology enjambment as the acknowledgement that the verse end does not double as a syntactical boundary. His focus is not on grammatical completeness at verse end. He points at the frequency and ease with which Homeric composition is extended beyond the hexameter. In fact this extension takes place so often that a model can be reconstructed in accordance with which specific run-over words and verse-final “anticipations” provide the composer with formulaic material to continue his clause or sentence with. A runover or an anticipation (for example the verse-final constituent following position 8, the bucolic dieresis) is part of a formulaic verse: using the runover-word or the anticipation always extends the formulas used backwards or forwards towards the nearest verse end. A few examples from Clark 1997:

Runover-word: ὁ δ᾿ ἀνστήσει ὃν ἑταῖρον | Πάτροκλον τὸν δὲ κτενεῖ ἔγχεϊ φαίδιμος Ἕκτωρ (Iliad 15.64–65)

Runover-word: ὁ δ᾿ ὕστερος ὄρνυτο χαλκῶι | Πάτροκλος τοῦ δ᾿ οὐχ ἅλιον βέλος ἔκφυγε χειρός (Iliad 16.479–80)

Anticipation: δὴν δέ μιν ἀμφασίη ἐπέων λάβε τὼ δέ οἱ ὄσσε | δακρυόφι πλῆσθεν θαλερὴ δέ οἱ ἔσχετο φωνή (Iliad 17.695–96)

Anticipation: θρυλίχθη δὲ μέτωπον ἐπ᾿ ὀφρύσι τὼ δέ οἱ ὄσσε | δακρυόφι πλῆσθεν θαλερὴ δέ οἱ ἔσχετο φωνή (Iliad 23.396–97)

Just like the formulaic material that can be used to compose whole-line verses or parts thereof, the runovers and anticipations of Clark’s model provide formulaic material to compose beyond the boundaries—the metrical, but from a diachronical point of view the syntactical boundaries as well [
22] —of the individual hexameter. Runovers and anticipations function as semantic “hooks” to link formulas over the verse end.

1.3 Criticism: Grammatisation Despite the Verse End

Enjambment at verse and is a way out of the disparity between metrical structure and semantic phrasing in a system of whole-line formulas. Grammatical completeness at verse end defines the “strength” of the resulting enjambment. Grammar decides whether we hear violent enjambment due to the breaking up of a preposition group in hyperbaton, or necessary enjambment since ἐν serves as an adverb:

                    ἐν δ᾿ ἄρα κῆρυξ
χειρὶ σκῆπτρον ἔθηκε

Iliad 23.567–568

And the herald in | his hand put the staff / And within reach the herald, | into his hand, put the staff

Especially interesting are instances of violent enjambment that feature an attributive adjective at verse end. The undisputed examples are:

πολλῶν δ᾿ ἀγρομένων τῶι πείσεαι ὅς κεν ἀρίστην
βουλὴν βουλεύσηι

Iliad 9.74–75

When many come together in assembly, you will listen to the one who has the best | advice to offer

                    ὁ δ᾿ ὑπ᾿ ἀσπίδος εἵλετο καλὴν
ἀξίνην ἐύχαλκον

Iliad 13.611–612

But from under his shield he drew the beautiful | axe well-made in bronze

and around his temples the shining | helmet, taking hit after hit, gave a | terrible | row

All around the beautiful | sword fell in shatters

The Iliad, however, provides several other, similar examples from the point of view of Higbie’s system:

ἀλλ᾿ ἤτοι Τελαμωνιάδηι πολλοί τε καὶ ἐσθλοὶ
λαοὶ ἕπονθ᾿ ἕταροι

Iliad 13.709–710

But in the wake of Telamon’s son many and outstanding | soldiers followed as his brothers in arms

The water of the Styx, which is the strongest | and most terrible oath

                    τοὶ γὰρ ἄριστοι
μάρτυροι ἔσσονται καὶ ἐπίσκοποι

Iliad 22.254–255

For they will be the best | witnesses and supervisors

Who killed many and noble | sons of yours; surely your heart is made or iron

There are many more examples of enjambment resembling the few quoted above, which are not counted as instances of violent enjambment by Parry’s followers. In such cases the adjective is numerical or partitive/ablatival, like πᾶς, πολύς, ἄμφω, ἄλλος, ἄκρος, and θαμύς. The adjective may be used as a noun, judging solely from the line ending in enjambment. The adjective πᾶς for example, is used attributively in Iliad 1.78 but acts as a noun in Iliad 1.122:

ἦ γὰρ ὀίομαι ἄνδρα χολωσέμεν ὃς μέγα πάντων
Ἀργείων κρατέει καί οἱ πείθονται Ἀχαιοί

Iliad 1.78–79

For I think I will indeed incense the man who highly over all | the Greeks wields the sceptre, and whom the Greeks obey

Ἀτρείδη κύδιστε φιλοκτεανώτατε πάντων
πῶς τάρ τοι δώσουσι γέρας μεγάθυμοι Ἀχαιοί

Iliad 1.122–123

Most lofty son of Atreus, most materialistic of all; | how then are we, brave Greeks, supposed to give you this token of respect

Parry uses Iliad 1.78 when he explains the resulting enjambment. In his terminology, the transition from 78 to 79 is an example of “necessary” enjambment:

Parry’s estimate of this phenomenon’s frequency in Homer was based on a limited number of lines (Iliad 1.1–100, 5.1–100, 9.1–100, 13.1–100, 17.1–100, 21.1–100, Odyssey 1.1–100, 5.1–100, 9.1–100, 13.1–100, 17.1–100, 21.1–100). His focus on the whole-line formula led to the conclusion that an enjambed line ending in an attributively used adjective, is in fact an expansion of an original whole-line formula ending in an adjective used as a noun. That explains the preponderance of adjectives like πᾶς, πολύς and ἄλλος. Surely, Parry would not have objected to Higbie’s classification “violent” for Iliad 22.410–411:

               ὡς εἰ ἅπασα
Ἴλιος ὀφρυόεσσα πυρὶ σμύχοιτο κατ᾿ ἄκρης

Iliad 22.410–411

As if the whole | of hilly Troy were consumed by fire from its highest summit

The adjective ἅπασα has no “meaning” until it is joined with the noun Ἴλιος. Modern commentators struggle with the appropriate place of these examples in the enjambment-system. [
28] Rightly so, as the approach of these examples makes clear that, if Higbie’s classification of enjambment is used, lines with similar features receive different labels. A transition like Iliad 9.74–75 should be labelled “violent enjambment” in Higbie’s system:

πολλῶν δ᾿ ἀγρομένων τῶι πείσεαι ὅς κεν ἀρίστην
βουλὴν βουλεύσηι

Iliad 9.74–75

When many come together in assembly, you will listen to the one who has the best | advice to offer

The adjective ἀρίστην does not have a “meaning” until it is joined to its noun βουλὴν in the next line. What is more, the adjective has no understandable semantics at all unless it is joined to βουλὴν. The explanation for the origin of this type of enjambment still goes back to Parry’s. [
29] His suggestion to take a closer look at instances where the adjective was a numerical or partitive/ablatival one that might be used as a substantive, proved to be an incentive for his followers to try and limit the frequency of violent enjambment. It looks as if they try to go to great length to make sure that the compositional building block of the Homeric epic remains limited in size to the single hexameter: every type of run-over runs the risk of being labelled as some sort of aberration. It can be easily shown, however, that this approach is incorrect.

If Parry’s view were right, Homer would not only present his audience, as he does, with many lines ending in a form of πᾶς, πολύς, ἄμφω, ἄλλος, ἄκρος, or θαμύς. If such lines were the compositional units of his poetry, the natural way to expand on them would be by means of a subsequent, verse-initial noun that agrees with the adjective in “adding” enjambment. But such “adding” hardly ever happens, save for a rare example:

               κιχήσατο δ᾿ ἔνδοθι πολλὰς
ἀμφιπόλους τῆισιν δὲ γόον πάσηισιν ἐνῶρσεν

Iliad 6.498–499

And inside she found many | maid-servants, and for them all she evoked mourning

Lines ending in a form of πᾶς, πολύς, ἄμφω, ἄλλος, ἄκρος, or θαμύς, and with a clause that is grammatically complete at the end of the line, are very rare. Normally, if a line ends in a form of πᾶς, πολύς, ἄμφω, ἄλλος, ἄκρος, or θαμύς, and the subsequent line features a noun which agrees with the adjective, [
30] the verse-end enjambment is more than merely adding. In most instances, the enjambment is at least necessary:

                    οἱ δὲ δὴ ἄλλοι
Τρῶες καὶ Δαναοὶ σύναγον κρατερὴν ὑσμίνην

Iliad 16.763–764

And the other | Trojans and Greeks joined the fierce slaugther

               διὰ δ᾿ ἀμπερὲς ἄκρη
αἰχμὴ χαλκείη παρὰ νείατον ὦμον ἀνέσχε

Iliad 17.309–310

And right through the tip | of the bronze spear reappeared under his shoulder

The appearance of the noun as the verse-initial word is the result of out-of-line grammatisation. The difference between Iliad 16.657–8 κέκλετο δ᾿ ἄλλους || Τρῶας ‘and he called out to the other | Trojans’ and Iliad 19.262–3 οὔτε τευ ἄλλου || ἀλλ᾿ ‘nor of something else, | but’ is a difference in grammar not a coincidence due to appositional alignment of verses. Remarkable are the ease and the frequency with which the clause that enjambed the verse end continues with hyperbaton of the adjective and its awaited noun:

          μείζων τε καὶ ἀργαλεώτερος ἄλλος
πὰρ Διὸς ἀθανάτοισι χόλος

Iliad 15.121–122

Yet an even bigger and more painful | rage from Zeus towards the immortals

Several more examples, below, will make clear that Parry’s attempt to reduce the frequency of “unusually harsh” necessary enjambment (Kirk 1966 and Higbie 1990: violent enjambment) misleads his followers. I consider it very unlikely that these instances are ‘due to a chance interplay of formulas’ [
31] in Homer.

An extraordinary example of alleged violent enjambment is Iliad 16.104–105: the clause contains two adjectives (δεινήν and φαεινή) both separated from their nouns (καναχήν and πήληξ) by the verse end:

          δεινὴν δὲ περὶ κροτάφοισι φαεινὴ
πήληξ βαλλομένη καναχὴν ἔχε

Iliad 16.104–105

and around his temples the shining | helmet, taking hit after hit, gave a | terrible | row

This line has a feature in common with necessary enjambment: one of the essential elements of the clause, the verb, appears only after the enjambment. With only one exception, this is always the case when scholars quote examples of violent enjambment. The only exception is Iliad 13.611–612, where an essential element, other than the verb, is postponed till after the enjambment:

               ὁ δ᾿ ὑπ᾿ ἀσπίδος εἵλετο καλὴν
ἀξίνην ἐύχαλκον

Iliad 13.611–612

But from under his shield he drew the beautiful | axe well-made in bronze

The clause in line 611 has all the elements required for grammatical completeness except for the object. The object’s appearance—and only the object’s—is prepared for by the adjective: the audience will expect it to immediately follow καλὴν, even more so as grammar at the verse end of 611 does not require any other elements or words (in other words, as the enjambment is not merely “necessary”). If verse-end enjambment were to be taken for granted as the acknowledgement of run-over, a better name for this type of enjambment would be “noun-preparatory necessary enjambment”—both to distinguish it from the broader definition of violent enjambment as used by Higbie and others, and to bring it in agreement with the basic feature of enjambment again: the expectations of the audience.

For all the other examples of “unusually harsh” enjambment, the choice between labelling “noun-preparatory necessary enjambment”, “violent enjambment” and simply “necessary enjambment” would be a tough one. More new technical terms, solely expressing the audience’s expectations, would be desirable. At the same time, sufficient reason remains to question the distinction between various types of verse-end enjambment.

The metrical position that most obviously suffers from somewhat lessened importance as a grammatical boundary is the verse end: any poetic effect resulting from verse-end enjambment is not to be assumed automatically in Homer. “Noun-preparatory necessary enjambment” is actually the easiest way to do away with the automatism of poetically effective verse-end enjambment. Some examples, again with lines ending in πᾶς, πολύς, ἄμφω, ἄλλος, ἄκρος, and θαμύς, will illustrate this. Iliad 6.498 features what Kirk considers an “awkward enjambment”: [32]

               κιχήσατο δ᾿ ἔνδοθι πολλὰς
ἀμφιπόλους τῆισιν δὲ γόον πάσηισιν ἐνῶρσεν

Iliad 6.498–499

And inside she found many | maid-servants, and for them all she evoked mourning

Kirk points out that other verses ending in a form of πολύς are smoother, causing Higbie to label this type “violent”. Kirk wonders why an adverb like ἔνδοθι ‘inside’ has priority over the object-noun: the clause as it stands might have been grammatically completed within the metrical phrase. Verse 498 is grammatically complete (‘and inside she found many’) and might have been complete in meaning if Andromache was expecting only one type of women inside the house at this time. Was she? The question of course is not what Andromache might expect to find, but what the listening audience was expecting. There may have been a role for intonation here, but any role of intonation must be seen in the correct perspective.

Intonation belongs to the performer, but its use is the performer’s way to guide the audience’s expectations. Intonation, however, cannot be seen as unrelated to the structure of language. Any expectation that the performer creates using intonation is limited by the pattern of intonation within the units of Homeric discourse. Any remark with regard to the units of discourse is in a way a remark that takes some sort of independent intonation pattern for granted. The pattern of intonation is not necessarily the key to phrasing, but it surely is a side effect of phrasing. What expectations may the performer’s use of intonation have evoked in Iliad 6498–499? What does it learn us about the strength of enjambment? Intonation might have made the audience expect continuation of the clause, possibly a noun agreeing with ‘many’, but the actual noun could hardly have been a surprise. Here, “noun-preparatory enjambment” is not “strong”, nor “emphatic”: [33] there might have been noun-preparation, but there is no poetic effect to the enjambment. What is “awkward” about πολλὰς || ἀμφιπόλους (to use Kirk’s qualification) is that it resembles the continuation of a clause regardless of the metrical phrase: the way it is found in prose. There appears to be nothing special going on with the words preceding and following the verse end: Homer simply continues the clause into the next line. Trying to explain the reader’s disturbance in terms of enjambment here results in failure to explain what is “awkward” about it. Something similar happens whenever the choice of the verse-initial noun will not have been a surprise:

They got between the ships, and all around them stood the high | ships that had been drawn up first

In terms of giving emphasis or building up tension, such enjambment is no less than disappointing. The clause simply continues into the next line, despite the grammatical completeness at the straddled verse end. Another example is Iliad 13.797–799, where the Trojans are compared to a storm:

θεσπεσίωι δ᾿ ὁμάδωι ἁλὶ μίσγεται ἐν δέ τε πολλὰ
κύματα παφλάζοντα πολυφλοίσβοιο θαλάσσης
κυρτὰ φαληριόωντα πρὸ μέν τ᾿ ἄλλ᾿ αὐτὰρ ἐπ᾿ ἄλλα

Iliad 13.797–799

With deafening roar it mingles with the salt water, and in it many | splattering waves of the dashing sea, | curling with white caps, some in the front, others following

Line 798 supplies only one requirement for grammatical completeness, the subject. The predicate is missing, so ἐν is to be understood as ἔνεστι. [
35] The audience is waiting for the subject and expects the first word of line 798 to be it. Whether or not intonation suggested more to come, the first word, the subject κύματα, is not likely to be a surprise for the audience. Expectations will probably shift from the verse-initial word to the remainder of the line as the audience is eager to hear what will follow this rather dull location of the subject. Three of the four words in line 798 appear four times in epic together as a word group, not interrupted by other words. The fourth word, παφλάζοντα, is separating the word group this time, and happens to be a hapax legomenon in Homer. [36] “Enjambment” does not seem to disrupt the structure of the clause as a grammatical unit: the clause simply continues into the next line. Enjambment does not create special expectations involving the first word of line 798. There is nothing special about its first word. If intonation strengthens the phrasal structure of the developing clause, the audience’s attention will focus on the remainder of the line, though grammar only prepared them for the awaited noun. Is it a coincidence that the second word in this line is a hapax legomenon? Either way, there is no poetic device realised as a result of what Higbie labelled “violent enjambment”. Consider the following examples:

ἀντίοι ἵστανται καὶ ἀκοντίζουσι θαμειὰς
αἰχμὰς ἐκ χειρῶν

Iliad 12.44–45

They keep their opposite position, and they throw as a shower | the spears from their hands

               ἀκόντιζον δὲ θαμειὰς

Iliad 14.422–423

And they threw as a shower | their spears

The adjective θαμειάς remains meaningless until joined with the noun in the next line. The choice of the noun αἰχμάς is not a complete surprise for the audience. The addition, however, of the superfluous ἐκ χειρῶν in Iliad 12.44 would weaken any “emphatic” use of αἰχμάς. What the addition shows and underlines is that apparent “noun-preparatory necessary enjambment” is not a mot-en-rejet.

The missing noun may be accompanied by a relative clause:

καὶ τότε δὴ Μελέαγρον ἐύζωνος παράκοιτις
λίσσετ᾿ ὀδυρομένη καί οἱ κατέλεξεν ἅπαντα
κήδε᾿ ὅσ᾿ ἀνθρώποισι πέλει τῶν ἄστυ ἀλώηι

Iliad 9.590–592

At that moment then to Meleager his beautiful wife | voiced her plea in tears, and for him she listed all | the sorrows that occur to people whose citadel has been captured

Grammatically, line 591 λίσσετ᾿ ὀδυρομένη καί οἱ κατέλεξεν ἅπαντα is complete, but 592 continues with a verse-initial noun agreeing with ἅπαντα. The remainder of line 592 is expanding on the “sorrows”. Line 592 is an example of what Clark identifies as a “hook”, resulting in out-of line composition. The composition, however, is not just about continuing the developing clause: the continuation develops into a line that is not grammatically complete by itself, and depends grammatically on the preceding verse. Was it clear to the audience that there would be more to the clause than just the noun “sorrows” as soon as they heard [
37] it follow the ἅπαντα of line 591? Was the intended expansion already audible at the end of line 591? Looking at the examples cited we may safely assume that intonation at verse end in Iliad 14.422–423 was slightly different from that in Iliad 12.44–45. In the latter example, the addition ἐκ χειρῶν has little to do with the audience’s expectations: the audience is being prepared for the verse-initial noun (αἰχμάς), but they hear that the clause does not end with it. At the same time they come to know that the “addition” is not a grammatically required element. The same holds for Iliad 9.591. Could the audience hear that what would follow the verse-initial noun was merely an “addition” in Iliad 9.592?

A completely different (but, I hope, clarifying) situation is found in Iliad 12.51–52, a couplet of lines that is generally understood as being divided by violent enjambment: [38]

               μάλα δὲ χρεμέτιζον ἐπ᾿ ἄκρωι
χείλει ἐφεσταότες

Iliad 12.51–52

But they whinnied loudly on the rise, | while managing to keep standing on the rim

Opinions about this line, however, may vary. In Iliad 12.52, the actual meaning of the verse-initial noun is in accordance with the audience’s expectations: they already heard that Hector encourages his comrades to try and cross the τάφρος in line 50, but now his own horses do not dare to leap the gap. If this enjambment is to be considered “violent”, the translation should be ‘but they whinnied loudly, standing on the outermost, the outermost of the rim’. Parry could have used these lines as an example of “non-periodic enjambment” (Kirk 1966: “progressive”; Higbie 1990: “adding”) following a form of ἄκρος used as a substantive. The clause is grammatically complete at the end of line 51: ‘but they whinnied loudly on the outermost (, standing on the rim)’. [
39] But the clause is in fact not brought to completion. The word group ἐπ᾿ ἄκρωι χείλει ἐφεσταότες may well constitute a syntactical unit, predicate-centred around the verbal form ἐφεσταότες. Any effect of the use of the participle ἐφεσταότες on intonation [40] would already have been noticeable and audible from ἐπ᾿ ἄκρωι, that is, before the verse end of line 51. It is hard to think of verse-end crossing intonation as a coincidental result of appositional alignment of verses: alignment as we find it here is not appositional but rather due to the pre-existing possibility of verse-end crossing units. Thus the audience not only expects a noun to go with ἐπ᾿ ἄκρωι but something else as well. Grammatically, Iliad 12.44 and 12.51 both raise the same expectations concerning the first word of the subsequent line, but contrary to Iliad 12.44, Iliad 12.51 raises very different expectations melodiously. If enjambment prepares the audience for more to follow than just a verse-initial noun to agree with the adjective, it is inappropriate to try to classify it as “noun-preparatory necessary enjambment”. Intonation can be taken into account when determining “types” of enjambment when the types are judged in relation to phrasal structure. The content of the subsequent line must be judged by standards other than “grammatical requirement”.

In cases of what Higbie describes as “violent enjambment”, the enjambment is usually “necessary” as well, as shown above. Often the finite verb or another required verbal form is also postponed until after the enjambment. If at “violently enjambed” verse end the line ends with an adjective, the accompanying noun, as a rule, is verse-initial. Exceptions exist, especially in cases involving the adjectives πᾶς, πολύς, ἄμφω, ἄλλος, ἄκρος, and θαμύς. Thus, lines like Iliad 24.163–164 show what appears to be standard practise:

                    ἀμφὶ δὲ πολλὴ
κόπρος ἔην κεφαλῆι τε καὶ αὐχένι τοῖο γέροντος

Iliad 24.163–164

All around a lot | of dung was on the head and the neck of that old man

The adjective πολλή has no meaning until it is joined to the noun in the next line. Then the finite verb follows with κεφαλῆι τε καὶ αὐχένι τοῖο γέροντος added, though not necessary for grammatical completeness. Of course, this addition is an important piece of information: without it, the grammatically complete clause (‘all around there was a lot of dung’) would be pointless. Enjambment brings κόπρος in verse-initial position, but the attention of the audience is immediately drawn to what follows κόπρος: the finite verb. Something similar happens in other verses despite the fact that the first word following the enjambment is all but spectacular:

τούνεκα νῦν αὐτός τ᾿ ἀναχάζομαι ἠδὲ καὶ ἄλλους
Ἀρχείους ἐκέλευσα ἀλήμεναι ἐνθάδε πάντας

Iliad 5.822–823

That is why I yield now myself, and the other | Greeks I ordered to gather here, all of them

The choice of the noun (‘Greeks’) annuls, I think, any poetic effect of violent necessary enjambment. The effect of the non-violent necessary enjambment is smoothened by the choice of the finite verb (‘I ordered’): it immediately incites the audience to focus on what will follow the finite verb itself. In Iliad 15.80–81 the finite verb is postponed until the end of line 81:

ὡς δ᾿ ὅτ᾿ ἂν ἀίξηι νόος ἀνέρος ὅς τ᾿ ἐπὶ πολλὴν
γαῖαν ἐληλουθὼς φρεσὶ πευκαλίμηισι νοήσηι

Iliad 15.80–81

Like when a man’s thoughts leap quickly who over a large stretch | of land has travelled, and ponders in his agile mind:

The prepositional phrase ἐπὶ πολλὴν awaits its noun; intonation prepares the audience for the noun to be the next word. The audience does not know what noun to expect in this simile, but as soon as it hears γαῖαν its attention will again be drawn further. The audience’s attention focuses on a word—awaiting the finite verb—that will link the imagery of this clause with the central imagery of the simile proper: the νόος ἀνέρος. But the finite verb is postponed. First by the participle that concludes the phrase ὅς τ᾿ ἐπὶ πολλὴν γαῖαν ἐληλουθὼς. Then by the word group φρεσὶ πευκαλίμηισι that ends a line twice in the Iliad, but is ‘moved from the verse end’ [
41] here, as in Iliad 20.35. When the finite verb νοήσηι finally appears, the need for grammatical completeness might have prepared the audience for something following the “necessary” [42] enjambment. What follows is a unique quotation in Homer:

Iliad 15.82

To the ear, the demarcation in intonation resembles the audible pause of the colon (:) read aloud. There seems to be a connection between two successive cases of “enjambment” in two successive verses; in this instance an accumulation of the audience’s expectations resulting in a surprising continuation after the second “enjambed” verse end. The mere suggestion of such a connection is not plausible, and almost unexplainable, in a model for Homeric verse-making that is based on the assumption of the whole-line formula as the compositional unit, and the subsequent explanation of enjambment as ‘expanding beyond the hexameter’. It also runs counter to the idea ‘that the length of the enjambment can vary from a single syllable to a complete line’. [
45] In this case it develops into a second “enjambed” verse end and hence another subsequent line.

The verb the audience is waiting for is not always the finite verb. Consider Iliad 24.113–114, repeated with a few modifications at Iliad 24.134–135:

σκύζεσθαι οἱ εἰπὲ θεούς ἐμὲ δ᾿ ἔξοχα πάντων
ἀθανάτων κεχολῶσθαι

Iliad 24.113–114

Tell him that the gods are angry with him, and that I, most of all | immortals, am filled with rage

At first sight these lines seem to illustrate Parry’s idea that everything following the enjambment is “added”: line 113 is a complete clause (or rather, two complete clauses: ‘tell him that the gods are angry with him and, most of all, that I am’, understanding ἐμέ as the second accusative with the infinitive σκύζεσθαι). In Higbie’s system, this can hardly qualify as violent or necessary enjambment: the meaning of πάντων is clear thanks to θεούς in the same line, and the clause ἐμὲ δ᾿ ἔξοχα πάντων is readily understood as an equivalent of σκύζεσθαι οἱ εἰπὲ ἐμὲ ἔξοχα πάντων. But this description might be nowhere close to what the audience heard and expected based on line 113. If intonation prepared them for a noun agreeing with πάντων to be the first word of the next line and for something else to follow this noun, they might have been waiting for an infinitive to which ἐμέ is the subject-accusative. In other words, any preparatory effect of intonation makes the line end in “violent necessary enjambment”. As in previous examples, such “enjambment” is not likely to emphasise the first word of the next line: ἀθανάτων. The noun is by no means surprising or even meaningful. If enjambment is capable of protracting the tension felt by the audience, the word to receive emphasis is the infinitive κεχολῶσθαι, not the noun ἀθανάτων. Is it? The infinitive perfect κεχολῶσθαι does underline the appropriateness of ἔξοχα πάντων compared to the other gods’ σκύζεσθαι. But how much emphasis remains if Iliad 24.113–114 is compared to Iliad 16.657–658?

ἐς δίφρον δ᾿ ἀναβὰς φύγαδ᾿ ἔτραπε κέκλετο δ᾿ ἄλλους
Τρῶας φευγέμεναι

Iliad 16.657–658

He mounted his chariot and turned around to flee, and he called out to the other | Trojans to take to flight

Here, the clause κέκλετο δ᾿ ἄλλους is grammatically complete; the adjective at the end of the line does not need a noun; the verse-initial noun is not surprising, nor meaningful; intonation may have prepared the audience for a verse-initial noun and for something extra. But compared to Iliad 24.113–114, the infinitive in Iliad 16.658 is as superfluous and meaningless as the noun following the enjambment. Nonetheless, the infinitive and the noun are probably both required melodious elements: as intonation is related to phrasing, the crossing of the verse end by the phrase can hardly have been without some sort of verse-end crossing intonation pattern. Seen as an audible phenomenon that is related to the structure of language, intonation, rather than the grammatical completeness of Iliad 16.657, would be a reason to label any enjambment “violent necessary enjambment”. While connecting Iliad 16.657–658, “enjambment” does not contribute to the tension in the clause. It does not emphasise one of the elements of the clause following the verse end of 657. In fact, allowing a verse end “pause” between lines 657 and 658 while reciting would only unnecessarily disturb the audience’s perception and enjoyment of the clause, and practically annul the ‘running a word group over from one verse into another and thus dimming the rhythm of the end of the hexameter’. [
46] Similarly, a “pause” following line Iliad 24.113 is only effective in that it creates an awkward, disturbing break between two words and between two parts of a grammatically coherent clause.

As illustrated above, intonation is best considered a feature of spoken language that is not unrelated to the units of discourse. Intonation is thus a factor in the judgement that grammatical completeness of the line ending in enjambed verse end is not by itself decisive for identification of enjambment types. This becomes particularly clear in verses where the grammatical structure of the straddling clause at verse end leaves room for several options for continuation. In Iliad 14.35–36 emphasis (if any) in the description lies on the large number of ships and the hardly sufficient space on the beach to draw them all up:

τῶ ῥα προκρόσσας ἔρυσσαν καὶ πλῆσαν ἀπάσης
ἡιόνος στόμα μακρόν

Iliad 14.35–36

For that reason they drew them up like the theater’s rows, and they filled the entire | beach’s great mouth

The verb ἔρυσσαν indicates the soldiers’ action of drawing the ships onto dry land. Subsequently, the verb πλῆσαν indicates a soldiers’ action as well. [
47] Based on the grammatical completeness of line 35, the audience might understand the soldiers to have filled the ships with something “complete”. [48] I do not believe that the poet deliberately misleads his audience into thinking that the soldiers had filled the ships with something, as readers, taking one verse at a time, might understand at first. Instead, intonation must have prepared the listeners for more to follow in the next line than just the noun agreeing with ἀπάσης. It turns out that mentioning ἡιόνος only further postponed an object. Despite this unexpected twist of grammar, the object does not render a very special or unexpected idea; even less so, since the actual object (στόμα) has some semantic overlap with the noun in the verse-end straddling word group (ἀπάσης ἡιόνος), [49] which is not very special or unexpected either, in spite of “violent enjambment”.

I argue that interruption of a word group by the verse end only proves to be another way of connecting two verses, so that the clause may continue with as little interruption as possible. The verse end is not used as a poetic device here to obtain a certain effect that can not be achieved with the metrical or rhythmical opportunities available within the verse. The verse end is being ignored or muted to allow the clause to “run over” (rather: “continue”) into the next line. In Iliad 14.35–36 the breaking up of an adjective-noun word group is not an intentional creation of enjambment for a certain poetic effect. Nor is it a deliberate use of the verse-end enjambment to highlight the adjective or the noun. Rather it is the result of using the reduced emphasis on verse end as a metrical break to create a clause of the length desired by the poet: unhindered by the metrical boundary that is the verse end.

In the same way, the adjective φίλτατος explains to the audience why Hector takes Apollo’s advice when he is disguised as Phaenops:

Ἕκτορα δ᾿ ἐγγύθεν ίστάμενος ὤτρυνεν Ἀπόλλων
Φαίνοπι Ἀσιάδηι ἐναλίγκιος ὅς οἱ ἀπάντων
ξείνων φίλτατος ἔσκεν Ἀβυδόθι οἰκία ναίων

Iliad 17.582–584

Positioning himself close to Hector, Apollo encouraged him, | resembling Phaenops, Asius’s offspring, who for him of all | his friends was dearest, dwelling in a house in Abydus

Apollo carefully impersonates a very close friend of Hector to make sure that his encouragement will have the desired effect: the audience waits for the poet’s explanation of Apollo’s choice. That Phainops is actually a ξεῖνος is not the most important piece of information this clause has to offer. The fulfilment of the audience’s expectation for the verse-initial word cannot have been a surprise. As before, verse content must be taken into account. Compare Iliad 5.1–3, where Pallas Athena supplies Diomedes with extra strength:

ἔνθ᾿ αὖ Τυδείδηι Διομήδει Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη
δῶκε μένος καὶ θάρσος ἵν᾿ ἔκδηλος μετὰ πᾶσιν
Ἀργείοισι γένοιτο ἰδὲ κλέος ἐσθλὸν ἄροιτο

Iliad 5.1–3

Then, in turn, to Tydeus’s son Diomedes Pallas Athene | gave energy and courage, that he would be outstanding amid the other | Greeks, and gain noble honour for himself

True, Diomedes will enjoy the consequences of this extra strength throughout the book that is about to start, but the audience is not being prepared for what will follow, neither will they remember the enjambment in these lines as particularly significant once they have heard all Diomedes’s exploits in Iliad book 5. It is noteworthy, however, that the line ending in enjambment at verse end contains the non-formulaic μένος καὶ θάρσος and the Homeric hapax legomenon ἔκδηλος. Again, the “enjambment” seems to exert only a superficial influence on the words following it, but appears in combination with noteworthy phenomena preceding it in the same line. This is a fine example of the licence to compose “free-size” clauses overruling the “predominance of whole-sentence lines” thanks to metrical boundaries, an issue I will discuss in more detail in the final section of this chapter.

In cases of “violent necessary enjambment”, the noun agreeing with the verse-final adjective is not always verse-initial, thus resulting in hyperbaton. The verse-initial word may be the finite verb:

               ἥ οἱ ἀπάσας
ἔσχ᾿ ὀδύνας

Iliad 11.847–848

That | curbed | for him all | the pain

δῶκε δὲ Δηιπύλωι ἑτάρωι φίλωι ὅν περὶ πάσης
τῖεν ὁμηλικίης

Iliad 5.325–326

And gave them to his friend Deipylus, whom, more than the rest | of his peer-group, he valued

                    πὰρ δέ οἱ ἄλλοι
ναῖον Βοιωτοί μάλα πίονα δῆμον ἔχοντες

Iliad 5.709–710

And next to him the other | Boeotians lived occupying very fertile territory

                    οὐ γὰρ ἔτ᾿ ἄλλη
ἔσται θαλπωρή

Iliad 6.411–412

For not any other | hope will be left

Alternatively, the verse-initial word is one of the other remaining requirements of the grammatically complete clause:

οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐδ᾿ εὐρύς περ ἐὼν ἐδυνήσατο πάσας
αἰγιαλὸς νῆας χαδέειν

Iliad 14.33–34

For still, though it was wide, it could not for all, | that is the beach, for the ships provide enough space

The verse-initial word of 34 is another required element in the clause, in this case a very special one: αἰγιαλός stands in hyperbaton (εὐρύς περ ἐὼν … αἰγιαλὸς) due to the verse-end straddling word group (πάσας … νῆας) that stands in hyperbaton itself. There are only two other examples in Homer of verse end allowing a double hyperbaton. The first one is the already cited Iliad 16.104–105, but at least there one of the divided word groups was divided only by the verse end (φαεινὴ || πήληξ). The second one is Iliad 1.283–284:

                    ὃς μέγα πᾶσιν
ἕρκος Ἀχαιοῖσιν πέλεται πολέμοιο κακοῖο

Iliad 1.283–284

Who, strong, for all, | serves like a bulwark for the Greeks against disastrous war

It is tempting to understand μέγα as an adverb (‘highly’) here, as it is used elsewhere:

                    ὃς μέγα πάντων
Ἀργείων κρατέει καί οἱ πείθονται Ἀχαιοί

Iliad 1.78–79

Who highly over all | the Greeks wields the scepter, and whom the Greeks obey

On several, similar occasions the adverb is more closely attached to the verb. [
51] If Iliad 1.78–79 is seen as a fortuitous combination of formulas, the translation may be more like ‘who, high above all, rules over the Greeks, and whom the Greeks obey’. Such a translation is in accordance with a line-to-line approach as well. Still, neither Iliad 1.283 nor Iliad 1.78 will have left any doubt for the audience as to how μέγα was to be understood. For the poet and his audience, there must have been a significant difference in intonation at the end of the two verses. The latter prepares for the next line to continue the grammatical clause unhindered. The former includes the metrical break at verse end in the application of the hyperbaton. In other words, not only the audience was likely well aware of the grammatical function of μέγα as an adjective in Iliad 1.283 but the poet as well.

So, does the poet at least try to keep the words of a word group that is divided by verse end as closely together as possible? Does he only make an exception for the verse-initial position in order to keep it safe for another grammatical requirement? Does the poet aim to keep the words needed to express the grammatical requirements of the clause as closely together as possible when the clause straddles the verse end? Obviously not: the ease with which hyperbaton is used in the following examples of “violent necessary enjambment” demonstrates, I argue, Homer’s ability and freedom to compose a grammatically complete clause despite the verse end:

δὸς νῦν μοι φιλότητα καὶ ἵμερον ὧι τε σὺ πάντας
δαμνᾶι ἀθανάτους ἠδὲ θνητοὺς ἀνθρώπους

Iliad 14.198–199

Please give me the power of love now and that of longing, with which you bring all | under your control, immortals and mortal men alike

ἔνθα κ᾿ ἔτι μείζων τε καὶ ἀργαλεώτερος ἄλλος
πὰρ Διὸς ἀθανάτοισι χόλος καὶ μῆνις ἐτύχθη

Iliad 15.121–122

Then yet an even bigger and more painful | rage and wrath from Zeus would have befallen the immortals

ἀλλ᾿ ὥς τε στάθμη δόρυ νήιον ἐξιθύνει
τέκτονος ἐν παλάμηισι δαήμονος ὅς ῥά τε πάσης
εὖ εἰδῆι σοφίης ὑποθημοσύνηισιν Ἀθήνης

Iliad 15.410–412

But similar to the way the plummet straightens the ship’s timber | in the hands of a crafty carpenter who in all respects | masters his profession thanks to the teachings of Athene

γάστερα γάρ μιν τύψε παρ᾿ ὀμφαλόν ἐκ δ᾿ ἄρα πᾶσαι
χύντο χαμαὶ χολάδες

Iliad 21.180–181

For he hit him in the stomach close to the navel, and out all | the bowels came pouring on the ground

                    οὐδέ τι πολλὴ
γίνετ᾿ ἐπισσώτρων ἁρματροχιὴ κατόπισθεν

Iliad 23.504–505

And not much | was left of the wheels’ rut behind the chariot

εὗρε δ᾿ ἐνὶ σπῆι γλαφυρῶι Θέτιν ἀμφὶ δέ τ᾿ ἄλλαι
εἴαθ᾿ ὁμηγερέες ἅλιαι θεαί

Iliad 24.83–84

She found Thetis in a curved cave, and all around the other | sea-goddesses were sitting in an assembly

εὗρον δ᾿ εὐρύοπα Κρονίδην περὶ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἅπαντες
εἴαθ᾿ ὁμηγερέες μάκαρες θεοὶ αἰὲν ἐόντες

Iliad 24.98–99

They found thundering Zeus, and in his vicinity all other | ever-living, blessed gods were sitting in an assembly

Iliad 14.98–199, 24.83–84 and 24.98–99 have all the characteristics of “necessary” enjambment up until and including the first word following the enjambment. The rest of the line (‘immortals and mortal men alike’, ‘sea-goddesses … in an assembly’, ‘ever-living, blessed gods … in an assembly’), looks like an addition, from the point of view of grammatical completeness. Semantics and intonation surely run counter to such analysis. With the exception of Iliad 15.121–122, all examples allow hyperbaton in favour of another grammatical requirement (finite verb) to occupy verse-initial position. The hyperbaton allows other, grammatically non-necessary elements to be inserted in between as well (εὖ Iliad 15.412; χαμαί Iliad 21.181; ἐπισσώτρων Iliad 23.505; ὁμηγερέες ἅλιαι Iliad 24.84; ὁμηγερέες μάκαρες Iliad 24.99).

Hyperbaton involving “violent necessary enjambment” also arises from the position of the adjective in the line ending in enjambment at verse end. Iliad lines 1.283–284, 14.33–34 and 16.104–105 have been quoted before as examples:

                    ὃς μέγα πᾶσιν
ἕρκος Ἀχαιοῖσιν πέλεται πολέμοιο κακοῖο

Iliad 1.283–284

Who, strong, for all, | serves like a bulwark for the Greeks against disastrous war

οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐδ᾿ εὐρύς περ ἐὼν ἐδυνήσατο πάσας
αἰγιαλὸς νῆας χαδέειν

Iliad 14.33–34

For still, though it was wide, it could not for all, | that is the beach, for the ships provide enough space

      δεινὴν δὲ περὶ κροτάφοισι φαεινὴ
πήληξ βαλλομένη καναχὴν ἔχε

Iliad 16.104–105

and around his temples the shining | helmet, taking hit after hit, gave a | terrible | row

In Iliad 15.84–85 the adjective ὁμηγερέεσσι stands in hyperbaton with the agreeing noun, but is not the last word of the line, nor is the noun the first of the next:

ἵκετο δ᾿ αἰπὺν Ὄλυμπον ὁμηγερέεσσι δ᾿ ἐπῆλθεν
ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι Διὸς δόμωι

Iliad 15.84–85

She reached steep Mount Olympus, and found the gathered | immortal gods in the palace of Zeus

In his commentary on Iliad 13–16, Janko points out that the word group ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι is ‘transposed from the verse-end’, [
52] where it can be found 38 times. An explanation for this transposition will also shed light on the nature of the enjambment at the end of line 84. For now, it has to suffice that I point out that hyperbaton allows Homer to create a grammatically complete clause of the desired length without the verse end being a hindrance that forces the poet to complete the syntax of the clause within the boundaries of the single line. As noted before, the syntax of the line does not even have to be completed as soon as possible after the enjambment. Again, the strength of the verse end as a boundary—syntactical boundary this time—does not differ very much from boundaries that appear frequently within the line. What is more: Homer’s compositional technique is not simply ‘adding lines, one after another’. It may require preparation in the line ending in enjambed verse end before any “adding” takes place. Homer’s technique is rather one that allows for liberally using (combinations of) successive recurring metrical patterns to express a well-prepared and coherent thought. He does not have to fit his thoughts in with successive recurring metrical patterns like the single hexameter.

1.4 Chantraine: Units Shaped by Apposition and Autonomy

Within the verse, Homeric discourse seems to feature various units. The variety of discourse units is the result of varying levels of syntactical organisation. In many verses, the Homeric epic features a syntax that seems to reflect a high level of grammatical segmentation. Chantraine [55] describes Homeric syntax as characterised by apposition and autonomy. Apposition, because Homer’s utterance seems to take shape through constant adding: adding of subjects, attributes, epithets, and whole clauses. In his analysis of Homeric syntax, Chantraine uses the description “construction appositionelle”:

Un des traits qui commandent les procédés de la syntaxe homérique est la construction appositionelle […] Selon une structure héritée de l’indo-européen, chaque mot portrait en lui-même la marque du rôle qu’il jouait et les mots conservaient ainsi une grande autonomie. […] L’ordre des mots est libre et les termes de la proposition sont définis par des appositions qui se présentent sous des formes diverses et autonomes. […] L’autonomie de chaque terme a pour conséquence que l’aède peut, à l’occasion, perdre de vue le mot auquel il se réfère, d’où des libertés dans les règles d’accord, d’ où aussi l’intervention de groupes de mots qui ne se rattachent pas strictement à ce qui précède ou à ce qui suit.

This appositional character of Homeric syntax is evident from the paratactic organisation of the discourse. Devine and Stephens consider the ‘rather flat, as opposed to hierarchical, phrase structure’ [
56] of the Homeric epic as illustrative for the “nonconfigurationality” of ancient Greek, the fact that there is hardly any hierarchical phrase structure. Characteristics of nonconfigurationality [57] can indeed be found everywhere in the Iliad and the Odyssey. I will list eight of these characteristics, and illustrate each with one or more examples from the Homeric epic:

1. (grammatically) free word order:

τὸν δ᾿ αὖτ᾿ ὀτρηρὴ ταμίη πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν

Iliad 6.381

Then to him the bustling housekeeper spoke the following word:

3. dislocation of constituents and their replacement by clitic pronouns:

αὐτίκα δ᾿ Ἠὼς ἦλθεν ἐύθρονος ἥ μιν ἔγειρε
Ναυσικάαν εὔπεπλον

Odyssey 6.48–49

Immediately came Dawn on her beautiful throne, who woke her, | well-dressed Nausicaa

7. comitative adposition in stead of noun phrase coordination. Nouns can be coordinated to be the subject of a verbal form, together: ‘A and B walked to school’:

Βοιωτῶν μὲν Πηνέλεως καὶ Λήιτος ἦρχον

Iliad 2.494

Peneleus and Leitus commanded the Boeotians

In Homer, such noun phrase coordination has an alternative in comitative adposition: ‘A walked to school, and so did B’ / ‘A walked to school, and B with him’ / ‘A walked to school, ánd B’:

Βοιωτῶν μὲν Πηνέλεως καὶ Λήιτος ἦρχον
Ἀρκεσίλαός τε Προθοήνωρ τε Κλονίος τε

Iliad 2.494–495

Peneleus and Leitus commanded the Boeotians | and so did Arcesilaus, Prothoenor, and Clonius

ἦλθ᾿ ὁ γέρων Δολίος σὺν δ᾿ υἱεῖς τοῖο γέροντος

Odyssey 24.387

The old man Dolius came, and with him the sons of that old man

τῶν ἦρχ᾿ Ἀσκάλαφος καὶ Ἰάλμενος, υἷες Ἄρηος

Iliad 2.512

Ascalaphus commanded them, ánd Ialmenus, sons of Ares

1.5 Bakker: Units Shaped by Special Speech and Movement

The analysis of the syntactical structure of the Iliad and the Odyssey is based on the implicit assumption that the syntactical structure of classical Greek prose may serve as the starting point. In recent years, more objections have been made against this comparison of the Homeric epic with the syntax of classical Greek. Starting from Chantraine’s work in the field of Homeric syntax, Bakker, in a series of publications (Bakker 1990, 1997a, 1997b, 1999, 2005), discusses a large number of syntactical and stylistic issues in Homer, like enjambment, discourse markers and the sentence.

In applying the findings from linguistic research as Chafe’s to the Iliad and the Odyssey, Bakker shows that the Homeric epics have much in common with unplanned spoken language chunked into intonation units by discourse analysis. As an example, he presents Iliad 1.1–7 as chunked text (Bakker 1997b:291–292):

a     μῆνιν ἄειδε θεά
b     Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
c     οὐλομένην
d     ἣ μυρί᾿ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾿ ἔθηκε
e     πολλὰς δ᾿ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς
f     Ἄιδι προιαψεν
g     ήρώων
h     αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
i      οἰωνοῖσι τε πᾶσι
j     Διὸς δ᾿ ἐτελείετο βουλή
k     ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα
l     διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
m     Ἀτρείδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν
n     καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς

Iliad 1.1–7

a     Sing, Goddess, of the wrath
b     Of Achilles, son of Peleus
c     So destructive
d     It bestowed innumerable pains on the Greeks
e     Many excellent souls
f     It sent to the house of Hades
g     Of heroes
h     But their bodies it turned into loot for the dogs
i     And all birds
j     The will of Zeus gradually became fulfilled
k     From the very first moment
l     The two of them stood opposite one another in anger
m     Atreus’s son, the lord of men
n     And godlike Achilles

In Bakker’s analysis, the text of the first 7 lines of the Iliad is chunked ‘with the units into which the passage easily divides’. [
78] The resulting units correspond to Chafe’s intonation units according to the one new idea constraint. The syntax of Iliad 1.1–7 corresponds to the audible structure of the spurts: it resembles a checklist, in this case a “preview”. Bakker calls Iliad 1.1–7 ‘a series of island-like ideas’, [79] with “orientation” as main purpose. The checklist-structure can be found in many verses in the Iliad and the Odyssey, often in the shape [A – verbal form – B || addition to A || addition to B]. The apparent checklist-structure is further strengthened by the autonomous usage of words and word groups: words define their own role in discourse independent of “governance” by other words; intonation units can often be considered elliptic clauses. [80] Autonomy of words and word groups results in appositional style—as can be expected in unplanned spoken language. Bakker asserts, however, that the discourse of the Iliad and the Odyssey cannot be fully put on a par with spoken language in general. The use of formulas and the restrictions due to meter turn the spoken language of the Iliad and the Odyssey into “special speech” or “marked speech”. [81] The intonation units that Bakker identifies are identical to the metrical cola that Fränkel [82] identified as the structural units of the hexameter. Bakker thus puts the structural unit of meter on a par with the compositional unit of discourse. The metrical shape of the Homeric epic is to be considered as a presentation of intonation units, be it a stylised presentation. [83]

Bakker points out [85] that the localisation of the chunks of information fits the metrical patterns of cola between positions of frequently occurring word end. [86] In his view, there is a correspondence between the cognitive restraints on the intonation unit, and the size of phrases. In poetry, stylisation regularises the phrases, the metrical cola of the single hexameter:

That is why the units that Bakker mentions are “stylized into metrical properties”. [
88] The syntactical “segmentation” of the Homeric discourse can hence be clearly felt. The units that are strung together to represent Homeric syntax are still recognisable as individual intonation units; their shape responds to frequently used metrical patterns. [89] The stylisation of intonation units into metrical properties visualises Homeric discourse as the equivalent of metrical colometry:

ἀλλοῖός μοι ξεῖνε φάνης νέον ἠὲ πάροιθεν
ἄλλα δὲ εἵματ᾿ ἔχεις   καί τοι χρὼς οὐκέθ᾿ ὁμοῖος
ἦ μάλα τις θεός ἐσσι   τοὶ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσιν
ἀλλ᾿ ἵληθ᾿   ἵνα τοι κεχαρισμένα δώομεν ἱρὰ
ἠδὲ χρύσεα δῶρα τετυγμένα φείδεο δ᾿ ἡμέων
τὸν δ᾿ ἠμείβετ` ἔπειτα πολύτλας δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς
οὔ τίς τοι θεός εἰμι   τί μ᾿ ἀθανάτοισιν ἐίσκεις
ἀλλὰ πατὴρ τεός εἰμι   τοῦ εἵνεκα σὺ στεναχίζων
πάσχεις ἄλγεα πολλά   βίας ὑποδέγμενος ἀνδρῶν
ὣς ἄρα φωνήσας υἱὸν κύσε κὰδ δὲ παρειῶν
δάκρυον ἧκε χαμᾶζε   πάρος δ᾿ ἔχε νωλεμὲς αἰεί

Odyssey 16.181–191

As a totally different man to me, stranger, you appeared just now, compared to before: | you have different clothes, and your skin is not the same anymore; | you are a god for sure, who hold the wide heaven; | please come to our aid, that we may present you with pleasing offerings, | and golden gifts, carefully made; please, spare us! | And he replied to him then, much-enduring, godlike Odysseus: | I am not at all a god: why do you compare me to the immortals? | No, I am your father, because of whom you moan, | and suffer numerous pains, weighed down by men’s cruel treatment. | Having spoken thus, he embraced his son, and down from his cheeks | he shed tears to the ground; until this moment he constantly held them back

Bakker argues that metrical unities consist of a nucleus and one or more fillers. Fillers are (1) context neutral, (2) metrical variable, and (3) interchangeable. [91] Fillers facilitate the nucleus of a metrical unity to extend towards a metrical boundary, a position of frequent word end like the caesurae at position 3, 5, 7, 9, or the dieresis at position 8 or 12. The result is some level of grammatical governance and hence “grammatisation”. Between metrical boundaries within the verse or even the hemistich, metrical fillers allow the semantically more important constituents, often the verb, to occupy the position their metrical shape restricts them to. Bakker [92] demonstrates this compositional principle by means of the well-known smaller scale narrative pattern ‘A kills B’ in the Iliad. Such a pattern requires a killer, a victim, and a verb expressing the action of the killing (fillers are underlined):

Ἀστύαλον δ᾿ ἄρ᾿ ἔπεφνε μενεπτόλεμος Πολυποίτης
Πιδύτην δ᾿ Ὀδυσεὺς Περκώσιον ἐξενάριξεν
ἔγχει χαλκείωι Τεῦκρος δ᾿ Ἀρετάονα δῖον
Ἀντίλοχος δ᾿ Ἄβληρον ἐνήρατο δουρὶ φαεινῶι
Νεστορίδης Ἔλατον δὲ ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων

Iliad 6.29–33

So warlike Polypoetes killed Astyalus, | and Odysseus finished off Pidytus from Perkote | with his bronze spear, as did Teucer the shining Aretaon, | and Antilochus slew Ablerus with his shining spear, | son of Nestor, as did Agamemnon, lord of men, Elatus

All verses in the cluster Iliad 6.29–33 contain metrical fillers like the weapon, an epithet, or a patronymic/geonymic. The filler expressing the weapon itself contains another filler: the epithet χαλκείωι / φαεινῶι.

1.6 Units Defined by Composition: Semantic Phrases

1.6.1 Semantic phrases as the equivalent of the structural units of meter

In the vast scholarship on Homeric sentence-structure and verse-making, it has been argued at an early stage that the Homeric dactylic hexameter often seems to coincide with a grammatically complete whole. As Parry [97] wrote when comparing Greek and South Slavic heroic song:

But wherever that thought is the same we find it tending to be expressed in the like form of the whole verse which is also a whole sentence. There is nothing strange in this common tendency of the two poetries. […] the easiest formula for the poet to handle is that which is both a whole sentence and a whole formula. This is the only formula which is complete in itself both in rhythm and thought. It is only formulas of this kind which can be joined on to one another, and be joined together in any number to make a shorter or larger passage. […] Thus the art of the oral poet is largely that of grouping together whole fixed verses. […] In the measure that the idea to be expressed is a common one in the poetry, so is there need for the formula which is easily handled, and since the sentence-verse is most easily handled, the most common ideas will be cast into this form.

It did not take long for Parry to realise that usage of the word “sentence” is the cause of problems:

It is remarkable that Parry keeps trying to fit the sentence-structure into the pattern of whole hexametric lines. He allows for a grouping together of several sentence-verses into a stanza—a possibility for which evidence is considered insufficient nowadays. [
99] Parry notices that our sentence is not a very useful instrument when analysing the structure of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He looks for a different type of ending or completion for semantic phrases. Terminology like “sense” [100] may suggest that ending or completion. But a sense pause does not necessarily coincide with verse end, nor is every verse end a sense pause. [101] “Varying portions of time” may in fact straddle the verse end. Still, in Parry’s view, the chain of thoughts presented in the Homeric epic is cut up into “portions” that preferably occupy whole hexameters or parts thereof. For Parry and his followers, the sense of completeness at verse end is so strong in Homer’s lines that ‘the reader of the Iliad and the Odyssey soon comes to mark in them, as a part of a larger movement of the thought, the way in which the sense passes from verse to verse.’ [102] Parry 1929, Kirk 1966, Higbie 1990, and Clark 1997 judge the syntactical construction within the verses of the Iliad and the Odyssey by its alignment to the metrically repeating pattern built by these stichic verses. In other words, the force of the verse end as a prosodic boundary is seen as confirmation of its force as syntactical or sense boundary. Parry understands whole-line expressions as whole-line formulas, due to their frequency in the Homeric epic. Famous examples are the speech introductions, the vocative phrase cum interrogative clause, and combined clauses:

τὸν δ᾿ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων

Iliad 1.130

To him in reply spoke mighty Agamemnon

αἰνότατε Κρονίδη ποῖον τὸν μῦθον ἔειπες

Iliad 1.552

Most dread son of Cronus, what a word have you said

ὧς ἔφατ᾿ εὐχόμενος τοῦ δ᾿ ἔκλυε Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων

Iliad 1.43

Thus he spoke, and he heard him, Phoebus Apollo

Indeed sometimes these “whole-liners” construct larger passages (Iliad 8.145–152, Odyssey 21.269–276 [
103] ).

The precise definition of a “formula” (and its usefulness) is not the issue here: its relevance in relation to enjambment must be discussed elsewhere. The point to be made here is that, in Parry’s view, singers like Homer had a clear preference for “expressions” or “combinations of expressions”, that take up exactly one line and fill one hexameter. This assumption—though supported, at best, by less than half the verses [104] —has had far-reaching influence. Many scholars of oral poetry, both working on enjambment and other phenomena, tend to head for the same direction. [105] This means that a line like Iliad 1.73 should be considered an appropriate unit to facilitate composing for an oral poet:

ὅ σφιν ἐὺ φρονέων ἀγορήσατο καὶ μετέειπεν

Iliad 1.73

Acting in their best interests he started to speak and said:

As does a line featuring a vocative cum interrogative clause:

τίπτ᾿ αὖτ᾿ αἰγιόχοιο Διὸς τέκος εἰλήλουθας

Iliad 1.202

Why then, child of aegis-bearing Zeus, have you come?

Another very useful, though not strictly formulaic, line might then be:

Νέστωρ οἶος ἔριζεν ὁ γὰρ προγενέστερος ἦεν

Iliad 2.555

Nestor alone was his equal; for he was more advanced in years

In Iliad 1.202, the vocative gives the line a tripartite structure; Iliad 2.555 contains two complete clauses. [
106] Some of these lines are repeated within the Iliad, like Iliad 1.73, others (Iliad 2.555) are not. If a line contains two complete grammatical clauses, often at least one of the two is either a direct command or a question. It is not surprising, therefore, that such verses appear frequently in direct speech. Some of these verses in direct speech are repeated within the Iliad, like Iliad 1.362 = Iliad 18.73, others are not: they are even unique in Homer. Some of the unique lines containing either one or two complete clauses suit their specific context very well; tentatively describing them as “formulaic” lacks all evidence.

Within smaller scale units, a distinction between semantically nuclear and peripheral elements is made by Bakker. In the process of larger scale composition, modifications of grammatical categories and word endings is caused and required by the frequent application of the smaller scale unit. Examples are the alternation τὸν δ᾿ ἀπαμειβόμενος / τὸν δ᾿ ἀπαμειβομένη, and τὸν δ᾿ ἀπαμειβόμενος / τὴν δ᾿ ἀπαμειβόμενος. Bakker defines grammar as governance within the metrical unit of the colon. If the unit within which the process of “grammatisation” takes place is the metrical colon, the unit is minor scale. Compared to the whole of the epic framework, or even the book or the passage, the unit of such grammatical segmentation is not remarkably striking:

               Διὸς δ᾿ ἐτελείετο βουλή

Iliad 1.5

The will of Zeus gradually became fulfilled

There is the possibility that all grammatical segments are formulas. Lack of primary sources, however, deprives us of proof for that hypothesis. [
108] As grammatical segments, formulas are shaped metrically. Bakker explains that their formation finds its origin in the extension of a nucleus (translated in capital letters) into a metrical phrase (underlined):

νύμφη πότνι᾿ ἔρυκε Καλυψώ δῖα θεάων

Odyssey 1.14

A powerful nymph kept him hidden, CALYPSO, radiant among goddesses

Τρώων θ᾿ ἱπποδάμων καὶ Ἀχαιῶν χαλκοχιτώνων

Iliad 3.127

of the horse taming TROJANS and the GREEKS, harnessed in bronze

The principle of formulaic economy suggests that the formation of formulas was defined by metrical requirements, rather than by semantics. Noun-epithet formulas, for example, are specific extensions to occupy specific metrical positions. I agree that maintenance of metrical boundaries as positions of word end contributes to the sense of grammatical segmentation. After all, it has not proven difficult to identify recurrent metrical colometry based on positions of frequent word division (indicated by the number of the metrical position in both the Greek example and its translation): [

into two hemistichs:

εἶκε Διὸς θύγατερ 5 πολέμου καὶ δηιοτῆτος

Iliad 5.348

Remove yourself, daughter of Zeus 5 from the war and the fighting

that can both be divided into two cola:

εἶκε Διὸς 3 θύγατερ 5 πολέμου 7 καὶ δηιοτῆτος

Iliad 5.348

Remove yourself, Zeus’s 3 daughter 5 from the war 7 and the fighting

into four cola:

ὧς ἔφαθ᾿ 2 ἡνίοχος 5 δ᾿ ἵμασεν 7 καλλίτριχας ἵππους

Iliad 11.280

Thus he spoke 2 and his charioteer 5 put the whip on 7 the horses with beautiful manes

into a three-colon verse:

οὐ γὰρ ἐπὶ ψευδέσσι πατὴρ Ζεὺς 8 ἔσσετ᾿ ἀρωγός

Iliad 4.235

(For) father Zeus will not come to the aid 8 of those who rely on lies

into a “rising threefolder”: [

διογενὲς 3 Λαερτιάδη 7 πολυμήχαν᾿ Ὀδυσσεῦ

Iliad 2.173

Descendant of Zeus 3 son of Laertes 7 resourceful Odysseus

ἕζετ᾿ ἔπειτ᾿ 3 ἀπάνευθε νεῶν 7 μετὰ δ᾿ ἰὸν ἕηκε

Iliad 1.48

Then he sat down 3 at some distance from the ships 7 and he let go an arrow

Analysis of single hexameters as metrical units is, of course, the foundation of such colometry. The hexameters as the metrical units, and the metrical colon as the metrical phrase, seem to underlie the composition of the Homeric narrative. As such, they precede Homer’s semantic phrasing. There are clear examples of verses that consist of one complete “sentence”, [
111] or “clause”; [112] and of verses that naturally divide into metrical cola. [113] Fränkel’s colometry is based on its usefulness for internal articulation: the hexameter features three “zones” into which the positions of frequent word end can be found. “Displacement” of the caesura demarcating the phrase does not question the division of the verse into four units. Fränkel [114] points out that the metrical cola are regularly “units of meaning”, and that the word breaks which limit them are “sense-pauses”. Porter [115] shows, however, that this is not always the case. He argues that the persistence of metrical cola is due to prosodic reasons (‘an expected sequence of syllables produced by a brief rhythmical impulse’ [116] ), and that cola only tend to comprise organic word groups. He states that the main explanation for their persistence lies in sentence-articulation: colon-structure is concerned with aural effect. [117] Porter argues for a modification of Fränkel’s system. He looks for “balance” between the phrases that together constitute the hexameter, and accepts that the metrical colon is not invariably a semantic unit. His determination to balance the metrical cola, and to identify the colon as a word group rather than as a word, leads him to ignore the statistical evidence for the frequency of word end at position 7. As Porter’s colon is a rhythmical unit that exercises a normative effect on the meaning, Ingalls 1970 rejects Porter’s criticism of Fränkel when he concludes that Porter works from a priori notions (Porter seems to reject the idea of an iamb-shaped colon between positions 5½ and 7). Kirk meets with similar criticism. His addition to the basic colometry of the hexameter into two or four cola is offered in his 1966 publication. Kirk starts from verses where metrical boundary in the third foot is impossible. [118] As the frequency of word end determines the third foot caesura as the second most important metrical boundary in hexametric verse, it is straddled rarely in metrics. Identification of other metrical boundaries in the verse where the third-foot word end is impossible, leads him to the tripartite colometry of the “rising threefolder”, soon extended to incorporate “semantic rising threefolder” verses.

1.6.2 Semantic phrases as the equivalent of combinations of structural units

Chantraine reconstructs a development in Homeric discourse towards subordination: adverbs, originally correlative, develop into conjunctions, due to the disappearance of the first limb of the correlative pair. Syntactical units introduced by conjunctions show further development suggesting subordination: the position of the conjunction and the use of modes other than the indicative. From the point of view of grammatical necessity, as taken in current enjambment studies of for example Higbie, [132] verses introduced by a subordinating conjunction are never a requirement for understanding the preceding verse. In adding style, they cause verse-end clausal external enjambment (Higbie’s terminology). An example from the first lines of the Iliad is Iliad 1.10–11:

νοῦσον ἀνὰ στρατὸν ὦρσε κακήν ὀλέκοντο δὲ λαοί
οὔνεκα τὸν Χρύσην ἠτίμασεν ἀρητῆρα

Iliad 1.10–11

He sent a foul plague over the army’s camp—the soldiers perished—| since he had dishonoured him, Chryses, the priest

On the other hand, we find in the Homeric epics verses introduced by subordinating conjunctions that precede what may be considered their main clause. The first example in the Iliad is Iliad 1.39–41:

Σμινθεῦ εἴ ποτέ τοι χαρίεντ᾿ ἐπὶ νηὸν ἔρεψα
εἰ δή ποτέ τοι κατὰ πίονα μηρί᾿ ἔκηα
ταύρων ἠδ᾿ αἰγῶν τόδε μοι κρήηνον ἐέλδωρ

Iliad 1.39–41

Smintheus, if ever I covered a temple with a roof pleasing to you, | or if ever I gave you full ration when burning the fat shanks | of bulls or goats: fulfil this one hope for me

Followed by a main clause, (ταύρων ἠδ᾿ αἰγῶν) τόδε μοι κρήηνον ἐέλδωρ, the verse end of Iliad 1.40 constitutes clausal internal enjambment (Higbie’s terminology). [
133] This type of verse-end enjambment is considered more effective than the clausal external type: Iliad 1.39–40 raise grammatical expectations. There, identification as subordinate units requires continuation by means of a main clause. Iliad 1.39–41, however, do not show any preparations in the grammar of the subordinate unit to prepare for either another subordinate unit (Iliad 1.40), or for a main clause (Iliad 1.41b). Not surprisingly, in Homer the main clause can easily be deferred for several lines, or not appear at all. [134] Chantraine [135] argues that the uncertain status of forms of ὅς is proof of the “paratactic character” of the “Homeric phrase”. Bakker and Clark seem to agree with Chantraine. The alleged paratactic character, however, has a blurring effect [136] on the syntactical division into main and subordinate “clauses”. Chantraine, among others, advocates the analysis that the Iliad and the Odyssey mark a stage of the development from parataxis to a broader use of hypotaxis.

Inclined as I am to subscribe to Chantraine’s point of view, there is still something missing in the analysis. The approach by Bakker of metrical phrases as appositional intonation units makes the feeling that something is missing even stronger. Describing the Homeric narrative as a stage in the development to hypotaxis makes it look like the development of a syntactical feature like hypotaxis is more or less coincidental, the by-product of the random apposition of internally coherent grammatical unities. Clark’s model of the semantic “hooks” to link formulas reduces, correctly in my view, the importance of grammatical completeness at the metrical boundary that is the verse end, [137] but there are so many more examples of grammatically more complex composition due to the straddling of various metrical boundaries—not to the chance meeting of appositional chunks at the metrical boundary. Examples of grammatisation over the metrical boundaries of the accepted metrical phrases do not always rely on “hooks”, and that includes crossing the verse end:

                    δόμον ὅν με κελεύεις 12

Odyssey 7.28–29

The house you ask me for | I will show

An example crossing the third foot caesura is Iliad 1.48:

ἕζετ᾿ ἔπειτ᾿ ἀπάνευθε νεῶν μετὰ δ᾿ ἰὸν ἕηκε

Iliad 1.48

Then he sat down at some distance from the ships, and he let go an arrow

And, I argue, there is crossing in all instances of elision at the metrical boundary:

ὣς ἔφαθ᾿ ἡμῖν δ᾿ αὖτ᾿ 5 ἐπεπείθετο θυμὸς ἀγήνωρ

Odyssey 2.103

So he spoke, and for us the proud heart consented

Other positions of frequent word end require similar attention. Grammatical coherent phrases start at various positions in the hexameter, and completion of grammar may disregard the available (and often used) metrical boundaries. Both in the Iliad and in the Odyssey, whole passages consist of such diverging grammatical and metrical patterns. I will cite four larger scale examples. The first two are examples of character speech: they illustrate what Bakker calls the “fugal effect” of more emotional passages. Numbers 3 and 4 do not have a similar excuse: they show the ordinariness of the non-alignment of metrical and grammatical boundaries. The grammatical boundaries are not always those of Bakker’s chunks, that is, with strict observance of metrical colometry. In the Greek text, I indicate the positions of frequent word end that are “straddled” by ongoing grammatisation.

τοῖσι μὲν ἔμπεδα κεῖται ἐμεῦ δ᾿ ἀπὸ μούνου Ἀχαιῶν 12
εἵλετ᾿ ἔχει δ᾿ ἄλοχον θυμαρέα τῆι παριαύων
τερπέσθω τὶ δὲ δεῖ 5 πολεμιζέμεναι Τρώεσσιν 12
Ἀργείους τὶ δὲ λαὸν ἀνήγαγεν ἐνθάδ᾿ ἀγείρας 12
Ἀτρείδης ἦ οὐχ 5 Ἑλένης 7 ἕνεκ᾿ ἠυκόμοιο
ἦ μοῦνοι φιλέουσ᾿ 5 ἀλόχους μερόπων ἀνθρώπων 12
Ἀτρείδαι ἐπεὶ ὅς τις ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς καὶ ἐχέφρων 12
τὴν αὐτοῦ φιλέει καὶ κήδεται ὡς καὶ ἐγὼ τήν 12
ἐκ θυμοῦ φίλεον δουρικτητήν περ ἐοῦσαν

Iliad 9.335–343

For them it remains untouched, but from me alone of the Greeks | he took, and he keeps my pleasing concubine for himself; let him sleep with her | and take his pleasure! But why was there need to fight the Trojans | for the Greeks? Why did he gather the army and bring it here, | Atreus’s son? Was it not because of fair Helen? | Are we to understand that of mortal men the only ones who love their partners | are Atreus’s sons? As every worthy and sensible man | loves his own and cares for her, so did I | love her from the heart, even if she were a mere prize of war

κῆρυξ τῆ δή τοῦτο 5 πόρε κρέας ὄφρα φάγηισι 12
Δημοδόκωι καί μιν 5 προσπτύξομαι ἀχνύμενός περ
πᾶσι γὰρ ἀνθρώποισιν ἐπιχθονίοισιν ἀοιδοὶ 12
τιμῆς ἔμμοροί εἰσι καὶ αἰδοῦς οὕνεκ᾿ ἄρα σφέας 12
οἴμας Μοῦσ᾿ ἐδίδαξε φίλησε δὲ φῦλον ἀοιδῶν

Odyssey 8.477–481

Herald, here then, take, that he may eat, this piece of meat | to Demodocus; I will even praise him despite my sorrows; | for in the eyes of all men who dwell on the land the singers | are entitled to reward and respect, as, obviously, to them | the Muse has taught her songs; she loved the race of singers

ὧσ φάτο Σαρπηδών ὀ δ᾿ ἀνέσχετο μείλινον ἔγχος 12
Τληπόλεμος καὶ τῶν μὲν ἁμαρτῆι δούρατα μακρὰ 12
ἐκ χειρῶν ἤιξαν ὁ μὲν βάλεν αὐχένα μέσσον 12
Σαρπηδών αἰχμὴ δὲ διαμπερὲς ἦλθ᾿ ἀλεγεινή
τὸν δὲ κατ᾿ ὀφθαλμῶν 5 ἐρεβεννὴ νὺξ ἐκάλυψε
Τληπόλεμος δ᾿ ἄρα μηρὸν ἀριστερὸν ἔγχει μακρῶι 12
βεβλήκειν αἰχμὴ δὲ διέσσυτο μαιμώωσα
ὀστέωι ἐγχριμφθεῖσα πατὴρ δ᾿ ἔτι λοιγὸν ἄμυνεν

Iliad 5.655–662

Thus spoke Sarpedon; Tlepolemus had lifted his ashen spear | and simultaneously their long weapons | rushed from their hands; Sarpedon hit the other’s neck in the middle; | the painful point ran right through; | black night covered the other’s eyes; | Tlepolemus, however, had hit the left thigh with his long spear; | the point hastened on eagerly | grazing the bone, but his father still warded off death

ἀλλ᾿ ὁ μὲν ἔκφυγε κῆρα καὶ ἤλασε βοῦς ἐριμύκους 12
ἐς Πύλον ἐκ Φυλάκης καὶ ἐτισατο ἔργον ἀεικὲς 12
ἀντίθεον Νηλῆα κασιγνήτωι δὲ γυναῖκα 12
ἠγάγετο πρὸς δώμαθ᾿ ὀ δ᾿ ἄλλων ἵκετο δῆμον 12
Ἄργος ἐς ἱππόβοτον τόθι γάρ νύ οἱ αἴσιμον ἦεν 12
ναιέμεναι πολλοῖσιν ἀνάσσοντ᾿ Ἀργείοισιν

Odyssey 15.235–240

But he escaped death and brought the lowing cows | from Phylake to Pylus and for his unfair deed he punished | godlike Neleus; a wife for his brother | he took home with him; he reached the house of others | in horse-feeding Argos; there then it was his fate | to live as a ruler over many Greeks

In all four passages grammatically coherent phrases are not equivalent to metrical cola. The way grammatically coherent phrases are being located onto the metrical pattern in fact disrupts the repetition that characterises the sequence of metrical cola of the hexameter. The juxtaposition of grammatically coherent phrases is much smoother than metrical cola suggest.

1.6.3 Larger scale semantic phrasing through the structuring impulse of meter

Additional verses may also lead to interesting digressions, as in Iliad 6.288–292:

αὐτὴ δ᾿ ἐς θάλαμον κατεβήσετο κηώεντα
ἔνθ᾿ ἔσαν οἱ πέπλοι παμποίκιλοι ἔργα γυναικῶν
Σιδονίων τὰς αὐτὸς Ἀλέξανδρος θεοειδὴς
ἤγαγε Σιδονίηθεν ἐπιπλὼς εὐρέα πόντον
τὴν ὁδὸν ἣν Ἑλένην περ ἀνήγαγεν εὐπατέρειαν

Iliad 6.288–292

she herself went down to the fragrant bedroom | where there were parti-coloured garments, the work of women | from Sidon whom the godlike Paris himself | brought back from Sidon sailing the open sea | on that journey when he took well-born Helen with him

The addition over the verse end is a verse, or a cluster of verses, and may completely consist of metrical fillers, as in Odyssey 15.404–406:

νῆσός τις Συρίη κικλήσκεται εἴ που ἀκούεις
Ὀρτυγίης καθύπερθεν ὅθι τροπαὶ ἠελίοιο
οὔ τι περιπληθὴς λίην τόσον ἀλλ᾿ ἀγαθὴ μέν
εὔβοτος εὔμηλος οἰνοπληθὴς πολύπυρος

Odyssey 15.403–406

a certain island is called Syria, perhaps you have heard about it, | north of Ortygia, where the sun’s turning point is, | not too crowded with inhabitants, but actually pleasant, | well-feeding, good for sheep, abundant in wine and wheat

In other verses, additions consist of metrical fillers occupying a part of the line. The metrical filler then bridges the half-verse gap before another addition that has more semantic value:

τὸν δ᾿ οἶον νόστου κεχρημένον ἠδὲ γυναικός
νύμφη πότνι᾿ ἔρυκε Καλυψώ δῖα θεάων
ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι λιλαιομένη πόσιν εἶναι

Odyssey 1.13–15

Him alone, longing for the return home and for his wife | a powerful nymph kept hidden, Calypso, radiant among goddesses, | in vaulted caves, as she wanted him to be her husband

ἀλλ᾿ οἵ γ᾿ ὑψηλῶν ὀρέων ναίουσι κάρηνα
ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι θεμιστεύει δὲ ἕκαστος
παίδων ἠδ᾿ ἀλόχων οὐδ᾿ ἀλλήλων ἀλέγουσι

Odyssey 9.113–115

But they live on the summits of high mountains, | in vaulted caves, and each has authority | over his children and wives, and they do not care for each other

The usefulness of such metrical fillers seems to be determined by the location of semantically more valuable additions. The Odyssean formula ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι occurs seven times, always occupying the first half of the hexameter. In Odyssey 1.15 λιλαιομένη πόσιν εἶναι occupies the second half of the hexameter, as does θεμιστεύει δὲ ἕκαστος in Odyssey 9.114. The formula ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι is thus bound to an invariable metrical position, but so is its role as a bridge towards an equally restricted addition with higher semantic value: λιλαιομένη πόσιν εἶναι is metrically restricted as well.

On a smaller scale, that is, between metrical boundaries within the verse or even the hemistich, metrical fillers have a similar function: they allow the syntactically more important constituents to occupy the position their metrical shape restricts them to. As mentioned in 1.5, Bakker demonstrates this compositional principle by means of the narrative pattern ‘A kills B’ in the Iliad (fillers are bold):

Ἀστύαλον δ᾿ ἄρ᾿ ἔπεφνε μενεπτόλεμος Πολυποίτης
Πιδύτην δ᾿ Ὀδυσεὺς Περκώσιον ἐξενάριξεν
ἔγχει χαλκείωι Τεῦκρος δ᾿ Ἀρετάονα δῖον
Ἀντίλοχος δ᾿ Ἄβληρον ἐνήρατο δουρὶ φαεινῶι
Νεστορίδης Ἔλατον δὲ ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγαμέμνων

Iliad 6.29–33

So warlike Polypoetes killed Astyalus, | and Odysseus finished off Pidytus from Perkote | with his bronze spear, as did Teucer the shining Aretaon, | and Antilochus slew Ablerus with his shining spear, | son of Nestor, as did Agamemnon, lord of men, Elatus

Similar to the larger scale units, the smaller fillers enable semantically more important constituents to occupy the metrical position they are restricted to without jeopardising the comprehensibility of their syntactical function: the epithet ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν in Iliad 6.33 makes it easier, not more difficult, to recognise Agamemnon as the subject of the clause in which Elatus is the object.

A filler like ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι in Odyssey 1.15 answers to the same rule: its metrical shape is different from ἔγχει χαλκείωι in Iliad 6.31, but it equally occupies the first hemistich. Another similarity is the fact that both fillers, ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι and ἔγχει χαλκείωι, are “linked” to both the preceding and the subsequent clause: semantically, both constituents belong to the preceding clause; metrically, both seem to be forward extensions of a semantically more valuable clause in the same hexameter towards the nearest metrical boundary, the beginning of the verse.

Does a filler like ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι have a structuring semantic value as well as metrical functionality? In other words, can it be more than a free-floating addition that happens to fill a certain metrical position? A metrical position that was in danger of remaining unoccupied when the poet first arranged the semantic nuclei of the passage in his mind?

True, the metrical fillers appear to be applied in order to extend nuclei like the verb towards metrical boundaries. The usage of metrical fillers often demonstrates the restrictions on the location of other smaller scale units. These restrictions are very compelling in case of the location of certain structuring discourse markers like the start and completion of direct speech, and the resumption of an extended simile by means of ὡς. In both these cases, direct speech and the extended simile, the transition over the verse end is the only position from which the poet starts. That makes it necessary to fill out the line before the start of direct speech:

Ἶριν δ᾿ ὤτρυνε χρυσόπτερον ἀγγελέουσαν
βάσκ᾿ ἴθι Ἶρι ταχεῖα

Iliad 8.399–400

He urged Iris, his gold-winged messenger: | “Go, quickly, swift Iris,

When the verb ‘to speak’ is confined to verse-final position, [
143] fillers may bridge the gap to the verse end:

δή ῥα τότ᾿ ἀμφιπόλοισιν ἐυπλοκάμοισι μετηύδα
κλῦτέ μευ ἀμφίπολοι λευκώλενοι

Odyssey 6.238–239

Finally then she spoke to her beautiful maidservants: | “Listen to me, maidservants with white arms

When grammatical completeness requires another constituent that must be postponed to the following line, the subsequent line is still extended towards the verse end:

εἰ μὴ ἄρ᾿ Αἰνείαι τε καὶ Ἕκτορι εἶπε παραστὰς
Πριαμίδης Ἕλενος οἰωνοπόλων ὄχ᾿ ἄριστος
Αἰνεία τε καὶ Ἕκτορ

Iliad 6.75–77

Had not rushed to Aeneas and Hector and spoken to them | Helenus, son of Priam, by far the best of the seers: | “Aeneas and Hector,

Extensions over the verse end due to the requirements of grammatical completeness may even result in the addition of another verb not denoting the actual act of speaking before the verse end:

τοῖς δὲ βαρὺ στενάχων μετέφη κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων
χειρὸς ἔχων Μενέλαον ἐπεστενάχοντο δ᾿ ἑταῖροι
φίλε κασίγνητε

Iliad 4.153–155

Sighing heavily among them powerful Agamemnon spoke, | holding his brother by the arm, and the comrades moaned together with him: | “My dear brother,

What the various extensions have in common, regardless of their size and exact metrical shape, is their usefulness in extending an utterance towards the verse end. The verse end, however, is not always the nearest metrical boundary.

Consider the resumption of the extended simile, which seems to be equally restricted to the beginning of the hexameter: [144]

ὡς δ᾿ ὅτ᾿ ἀπ᾿ Οὐλύμπου νέφος ἔρχεται οὐρανὸν εἴσω
αἰθέρος ἐκ δίης ὅτε τε Ζεὺς λαίλαπα τείνηι
ὣς τῶν ἐκ νηῶν γένετο ἰαχή τε φόβος τε

Iliad 16.364–366

Like when a cloud enters the sky from mount Olympus | after bright weather, when Zeus starts a storm | so a panic and fear rose in them from between the ships

In exact the same way I felt amazement in my heart when I saw it | and for a long time, as a tree like that one did not grow from the earth before, | similarly, I admire you, lady, and feel amazement

What the extended simile in particular shows, is the usefulness of additional constituents up until the verse end before resumption: constituents and even whole lines may be freely added, as long as the addition as a whole, together with possibly required constituents, [
146] ends with verse end:

53      οἷον δὲ τρέφει ἔρνος ἀνὴρ ἐριθηλὲς ἐλαίης
          χώρωι ἐν οἰοπόλωι ὅ θ᾿ ἅλις ἀναβέβροχεν ὕδωρ
55      καλὸν τηλεθάον τὸ δέ τε πνοιαὶ δονέουσι
          παντοίων ἀνέμων καί τε βρύει ἄνθει λευκῶι
          ἐλθὼν δ᾿ ἐξαπίνης ἄνεμος σὺν λαίλαπι πολλῆι
          βόθρου τ᾿ ἐξέστρεψε καὶ ἐξετάνυσσ᾿ ἐπὶ γαίηι
           τοῖον Πάνθου υἱὸν ἐυμμελίην Ἐύφορβον
60      Ἀτρείδης Μενέλαος ἐπεὶ κτάνε τεύχε᾿ ἐσύλα
          ὡς δ᾿ ὅτε τίς τε λέων ὀρεσίτροφος ἀλκὶ πεποιθώς
          βοσκομένης ἀγέλης βοῦν ἁρπάσηι ἥ τις ἀρίστη
          τῆς δ᾿ ἐξ αὐχέν᾿ ἔαξε λαβὼν κρατεροῖσιν ὀδοῦσι
          πρῶτον ἔπειτα δέ θ᾿ αἷμα καὶ ἔγκατα πάντα λαφύσσει
65      δηιῶν ἀμφὶ δὲ τόν γε κύνες τ᾿ ἄνδρές τε νομῆες
          πολλὰ μάλ᾿ ἰύζουσιν ἀπόπροθεν οὐδ᾿ ἐθέλουσιν
          ἀντίον ἐλθέμεναι μάλα γὰρ χλωρὸν δέος αἱρεῖ
          ὣς τῶν οὔ τινι θυμὸς ἐνὶ στήθεσσιν ἐτόλμα
          ἀντίον ἐλθέμεναι Μενελάου κυδαλίμοιο

Iliad 17.53–69

Like the blossoming shoot of the olive that a man grows | in a secluded spot, where water surfaces in abundance; | it is beautiful and in bloom, breezes of various winds rock it gently | and it is covered in white blossom; | but suddenly a wind has risen with heavy squalls, and | overthrown it from its pit, and knocked it down to the ground; | like that shoot, the spear-warrior Euphorbus, son of Panthous, | was being robbed of his armour by Menelaus, son of Atreus, after he killed him; | just like when a lion from the mountains, confiding in his own strength, | snatched a cow from the grazing herd, precisely the very best; | clenching her between his mighty teeth he broke the animal’s neck | first; then he laps up the blood and all the entrails | tearing it apart; all around him dogs and herdsmen | make a terrible noise from a distance, and they do not want | to come face to face with it; for sickening fear gets a firm hold on them; | similarly, for none of them the heart in the chest had the courage | to come face to face with famous Menelaus

The start, or completion, of direct speech, like the resumption of an extended simile, is a special instance of syntactical organisation in Homer. Syntax is still rather flat and paratactic [
147] in these cases, but the compositional process is not that of mere adding anymore. There may still be some semantically more or less important additions following the verb denoting ‘to speak’ or the resumption (ὡς) of a simile. The verb ‘to speak’, however, prepares for a specific type of continuation, that is direct speech. Similarly, the start of an extended simile [148] prepares for resumption by means of ὡς or τοῖον. The start of the constituents, whose appearance is prepared for, is confined to the start of the hexameter. Above, I argued that the fixed localisation of constituents due to their metrical shape does not harm the comprehensibility of their syntactical function. Semantically, the metrical fillers contribute to this comprehensibility. In the case of direct speech, as in that of the resumed extended simile, the syntactical function of constituents is confined to one specific metrical location, the start of the line. Even if the verb denoting ‘to speak’ were not in the preceding line, there are various ways to mark the start of the first line of direct discourse as a shift in discourse type. I will give examples of the various markers:


ὦ Ἀχιλεῦ κέλεαί με διίφιλε μυθήσασθαι

Iliad 1.74

Achilles, you, dear to Zeus, order me to fully explain


κλῦθί μοι Ἀργυρότοξ᾿ ὃς Χρύσην ἀμφιβέβηκας

Iliad 1.37

Listen to me, Silverbow, who stands protectively over Chryse


μή σε γέρον κοίληισιν ἐγὼ παρὰ νηυσὶ κιχείω

Iliad 1.26

Let me not find you here, old man, anywhere near the curved ships

μὴ δ᾿ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐών θεοείκελ᾿ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόωι ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις

Iliad 1.131–132

Do not in this way, fine as you are, godlike Achilles, | try to steal from me by thought, as you will not deceive me, not persuade me

Emotional outcry:

ὤι μοι ἀναιδείην ἐπιειμένε κερδαλεόφρον

Iliad 1.149

No! You, clothed in shamelessness, so crafty

Shift to first or second person:

ἦλθον ἐγὼ παύσουσα τὸ σὸν μένος αἴ κε πίθηαι

Iliad 1.207

I have come to put an end to your aggression, if at least you obey

τίπτ᾿ αὖτ᾿ αἰγιόχοιο Διὸς τέκος εἰλήλουθας

Iliad 1.202

Why then, child of the aegisbearing Zeus, have you come?

χρὴ μὲν σφωίτερόν γε θεά ἔπος εἰρύσασθαι

Iliad 1.216

It is necessary, goddess, to do as the two of you command


               καὶ λίσσετο πάντας Ἀχαιούς
Ἀτρείδα δὲ μάλιστα δύω κοσμήτορε λαῶν
Ἀτρείδαι τε καὶ ἄλλοι ἐυκνήμιδες Ἀχαιοί

Iliad 1.15–17

And he begged all the Greeks, | especially the two sons of Atreus, the leaders of the army: | ‘Sons of Atreus and you other well-harnessed Greeks

In many instances, as in the examples cited, various markers of discourse shift are combined. The discourse shift itself seems confined to verse-initial position. But some doubt might arise in the absence of verse-initial semantic markers of the shift:

τὸν δ᾿ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς
θαρσήσας μάλα εἰπὲ θεοπρόπιον ὅ τι οἶσθα

Iliad 1.84–85

Answering him swift-footed Achilles said | ‘Take heart and tell us the divine revelation that you know of


Answering him swift-footed Achilles said | having encouraged himself: ‘Tell us the divine revelation that you know of

Both analyses are equally possible.


ὣς ἔφατ᾿ ἔδδεισεν δ᾿ ὁ γέρων καὶ ἐπείθετο μύθωι

Iliad 1.33

Thus he spoke; the old man, however, became scared and obeyed the order

ὣς τώ γ᾿ ἀντιβίοισι μαχησαμένω ἐπέεσσιν

Iliad 1.304–305

Having fought thus with words of evident hostility both | rose from their seats

ἦ καὶ κυανέηισιν ἐπ᾿ ὀφρύσι νεῦσε Κρονίων

Iliad 1.528

Said the son of Kronos and he nodded in assent with his brows

Emphatic use of the personal pronoun:

ἤτοι ὅ γ᾿ ὥς εἰπὼν κατ᾿ ἄρ᾿ ἕζετο τοῖσι δ᾿ ἀνέστη
Κάλχας Θεστορίδης

Iliad 1.68–69

Now, having spoken thus, he sat down, and for them rose | Calchas, son of Thestor

τὸν δ᾿ ἠμείβετ᾿ ἔπειτα ποδάρκης δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς

Iliad 1.121

To him then replied swift, godlike Achilles

τὸν δ᾿ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων

Iliad 1.130

Giving him an answer mighty Agamemnon spoke

Emphatic use of a narrative-structuring adverb:

ἔνθ᾿ ἄλλοι μὲν πάντες ἐπευφήμησαν Ἀχαιοί

Iliad 1.22

At that time, all other Greeks approved

καὶ τότε δὴ θάρσησε καὶ ηὔδα μάντις ἀμύμων

Iliad 1.92

At that moment then the excellent seer took heart and said

Metrical fillers show that certain constituents may be used despite their invariable position, and that the verse end facilitates grammatical completion by means of extension of the discourse unit that ends with it:

καί μιν φωνήσας ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα
βάσκ᾿ ἴθι οὖλε ὄνειρε θοὰς ἐπὶ νῆας Ἀχαιῶν

Iliad 2.7–8

and having turned to speak to him he said the winged words: | (grammatical completion at the metrical boundary) ‘Go on, noxious dream, go to the fast ships of the Greeks

τὸν δ᾿ ἠμείβετ᾿ ἔπειτα θεὰ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη
ὦ πάτερ ἡμέτερε Κρονίδη ὕπατε κρειόντων

Odyssey 1.44–45

To him in reply then spoke the grey eyed goddess Athena: | ‘Our father, son of Kronus, most powerful of the ruling

κινήθη δ᾿ ἀγορὴ φὴ κύματα μακρὰ θαλάσσης
πόντου Ἰκαρίοιο τὰ μέν τ᾿ Εὖρός τε Νότος τε
ὤρορ᾿ ἐπαίξας πατρὸς Διὸς ἐκ νεφελάων
ὡς δ᾿ ὅτε κινήσηι Ζέφυρος βαθὺ λήιον ἐλθών
λάβρος ἐπαιγίζων ἐτί τ᾿ ἠμύει ἀσταχύεσσιν
ὧς τῶν πᾶσ᾿ ἀγορὴ κινήθη τοὶ δ᾿ ἀλαλητῶι
νῆας ἔπ᾿ ἐσσεύοντο ποδῶν δ᾿ ὑπένερθε κονίη
ἵστατ᾿ ἀειρομένη τοὶ δ᾿ ἀλλήλοισι κέλευον
ἅπτεσθαι νηῶν ἠδ᾿ ἑλκέμεν εἰς ἅλα δῖαν
οὐρούς τ᾿ ἐξεκάθαιρον ἀυτὴ δ` οὐρανὸν ἷκεν
οἴκαδε ἱεμένων ὑπὸ δ᾿ ἥιρεον ἕρματα νηῶν

Iliad 2.144–154

The assembly started to move like the high waves of the sea, | the Icarian sea; the east wind and south whipped them up | rushing on out of father Zeus’s clouds; | like when the west wind has moved the thick grain upon its arrival, | rushing on relentlessly, and it bends before the blast with its ears; | similarly their entire assembly started to move; with a cheerful cry | they hurried to the ships, and from under their feet dust | rose floating; repeatedly they encouraged each other | to seize the ropes dangling from the ships and pull then towards the shining surface; | they cleared the runways, the shouting penetrated the firmament | as they longed to go home; they removed the props from under the ships

τὴν δ᾿ ἐφόρει μέγα κῦμα κατὰ ῥόον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα
ὡς δ᾿ ὅτ᾿ ὀπωρινὸς Βορέης φορέηισιν ἀκάνθας
ἂμ πεδίον πυκιναὶ δὲ πρὸς ἀλλήληισιν ἔχονται
ὣς τὴν ἂμ πέλαγος ἄνεμοι φέρον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα

Odyssey 5.327–330

A high wave carried it on the current to and fro, | like when the north wind in autumn carries the thistle-stalks | over the plain; densely they cling to one another: | similarly the winds carried it to and fro over the sea

The invariable verse-initial position of certain discourse markers strengthens the idea that the verse end of Homer’s dactylic hexameter is the first position of choice for the completion of one syntactical unit and the start of the next. Apart from direct discourse and extended similes, many other verses feature verse-initial start, or verse-end completion of syntactical units.

A number of verses feature both. Some verses have another syntactical “break” within the line, at the third foot caesura:

ὣς ἔφατ᾿ εὐχόμενος τοῦ δ᾿ ἔκλυε Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων

Iliad 1.43

Thus he spoke in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo listened to him

The third foot caesura is not the only position for an additional, verse-internal “break” in syntax:

ἀλλ᾿ ἴθι 2 μή μ᾿ ἐρέθιζε σαώτερος ὥς κε νέηαι

Iliad 1.32

But go away; do not provoke me any further, that you may return the more safe

ἕζετ᾿ ἔπειτ᾿ ἀπάνευθε νεῶν 7 μετὰ δ᾿ ἰὸν ἕηκε

Iliad 1.48

Then he sat down at some distance from the ships, and he let go an arrow

εἰ δ᾿ ἄγε τοι κεφαλῆι κατανεύσομαι 8 ὄφρα πεποίθηις

Iliad 1.524

Well, come, I will nod in assent with my head, that you may be convinced

And then there is a second type of phrasing, as not every line in the Iliad and the Odyssey has the start of a syntactical unit at its beginning, or the completion of one at its end. Verse-internal metrical boundaries do not always feature a syntactical “break” either. Metrical boundaries like the verse end and the third foot caesura are regularly straddled by syntactical units. The principle of using metrical fillers to facilitate the start of a syntactical unit from a metrical boundary is equally used to continue the syntactical unit over the metrical boundary (fillers are in bold):

ὅρκια πιστὰ θεῶν (5) συναγον 7 κρητῆρι δὲ οἶνον (12)

Iliad 3.269–270

They collected the offerings for the oath sacred to the gods, and in the crater they mixed | the wine

                    νέρθε δὲ ποσσὶν (12)
ἤιε (2) μακρὰ βιβάς

Iliad 7.212–213

With his feet below | he came forward, taking great strides

ἀλλ᾿ ὃ μὲν ἐν νήεσσι (5½) κορωνίσι ποντοπόροισιν (12)
κεῖτ᾿ ἀπομηνίσας (5) Ἀγαμέμνονι

Iliad 7.229–230

But he, in his curved and seafaring ships, | lies there now and bears Agamemnon a grudge

                    ἀλλὰ μάλ᾿ αἰνῶς (12)

Iliad 19.23–24

But I am terribly | afraid

               ἐπεὶ ἑκὰς (8) ὀφθαλμοῖσιν (12)
γαῖαν ἐγὼν (3) ἰδόμην

Odyssey 5.358–359

As in the distance with my eyes | I have seen land

αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ (3) χείρεσσι (5½) λαβὼν 7 περιμήκεα κοντὸν (12)
ὦσα παρέξ

Odyssey 9.487–488

I, however, grabbed an enormous pole with my hand and | I thrust it in at the side

               γένοιτό τοι (8) ἔς περ ὀπίσσω (12)

Odyssey 18.122–123

May there, in the future, be for you | prosperity

As in previous examples, the application of metrical fillers results in metrically variable and context neutral (innocuous) constituents. As such, the constituents are peripheral material, as opposed to the nuclei, the semantically more important constituents. The metrical fillers do not jeopardise the comprehensibility of the semantic function of nuclei. When demarcated by a “break” in syntax (indicated by square brackets) on either side, the filler is semantically (and syntactically) tied to either the preceding, or the subsequent syntactical unit:

                    [ὦκα δὲ θυμὸς
ὤιχετ᾿ ← ἀπὸ μελέων]5[στυγερὸς → δ᾿ ἄρα μιν σκότος εἷλεν]

Iliad 13.671–672

Quickly his life | disappeared from his limbs, and hateful darkness took him

She put a girdle around her hips, | a beautiful one, made of gold, and on her head she placed a veil

Often, however, metrical fillers are not the start or closure of a syntactical unit. Many metrical fillers have their place within the syntactical unit:

[τὸν δ᾿ αὖ Μηριόνης δουρικλυτὸς ἀντίον ηὔδα]

Iliad 16.619

To him, in turn, Meriones, famous as spear-fighter, replied back

The hyperbaton, so to say, of the nuclei (Μηριόνης … ηὔδα) belonging to the syntactically coherent unit, does not hinder the syntactical coherence. The fillers themselves are an integral part of the syntactical unit. As syntactical coherence is maintained despite “disturbances” like epithets, so it is maintained despite more structural embedded constituents, like the “embedded predication”: [

[καί μιν ὑπόδρα ἰδὼν χαλεπῶι ἠνίπαπε μύθωι]

Iliad 2.245

And him he rebuked, giving him an angry look, with threatening words

[ἡμεῖς τοι Τροίηθεν ἀποπλαγχθέντες Ἀχαιοὶ
παντοίοις ἀνέμοισιν ὑπὲρ μέγα λαῖτμα θαλάσσης
οἴκαδε ἱέμενοι ἄλλην ὁδόν ἄλλα κέλευθα

Odyssey 9.259–262

We, wandering since we left Troy, Greeks, | over the great surface of the sea due to all kinds of winds, | on our way home on the wrong course, the wrong paths | have come

The examples so far show that the nuclei, the semantically more important constituents, may well keep their metrically restricted position. The gap between the nuclei, bridged by means of peripheral material, regularly extends the nuclei forwards or backwards to a position of frequent word end (metrical boundary). The “adding” that characterises Homeric style presents itself as adding of metrical phrases: nuclei (printed in capitals in the following translations) are extended to positions of frequent word end in order to constitute metrical phrases like cola and hemistichs before being added:

ἀντικρὺ δὲ διέσχε παλάσσετο δ᾿ αἵματι θώρηξ

Iliad 5.100

and IT WENT straigth THROUGH to the opposite side and the HARNASS WAS SPATTERED with blood]

Ἀτρείδη κύδιστε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν Ἀγάμεμνον

Iliad 9.163

στῆτέ μοι ἀμφίπολοι 5 πόσε φεύγετε φῶτα ἰδοῦσαι

Odyssey 6.199

STAND by me, maid-servants 5 WHERE DO YOU RUN TO now that you have seen a man

βῆ ῥ᾿ ἴμεν εἰς ὕλην 5 τὴν δὲ σχεδὸν ὕδατος εὗρεν

Odyssey 5.475

so HE WENT on his way TO THE FOREST 5 and HE FOUND IT near to the water

In these examples, the juxtaposition of metrical hemistichs results in juxtaposition of smaller scale syntactical units. Such adding of metrical phrases, I would argue, is paratactic in more than one sense: it is paratactic both metrically and syntactically. Metrically, positions of frequent word end (in this case: the third foot caesura) are observed; syntactically, the organisation does not imply any further hierarchical organisation.

Metrical phrases like hemistichs, created around nuclei, may constitute larger scale syntactical units (indicated by square brackets), often coinciding with verses:

[εὗρεν ἔπειτα μάχης (5) ἐπ᾿ ἀριστερὰ θοῦρον Ἄρηα]

Iliad 5.355

[then SHE FOUND on the battlefield’s (5) left side unbridled ARES]

[καὶ τότε δὴ μ᾿ ἐπέεσσι (5½) προσηύδα μάντις ἀμύμων]

Odyssey 11.99

[and THEN, at last, TO ME with words (5½) SPOKE the excellent SEER]

Passages may be built using verses that are syntactical units:

[ὣς φάτο γήθησεν δὲ (5½) πολύτλας δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς]
[χαίρων οὕνεχ᾿ ἑταῖρον (5½) ἐνηέα λεῦσσ᾿ ἐν ἀγῶνι]
[καὶ τότε κουφότερον (5) μετεφώνεε Φαιήκεσσι]

Odyssey 8.199–201

[THUS SHE SPOKE and he REJOYCED (5½) much-troubled, godlike ODYSSEUS] | [HAPPY because of the COMRADE (5½) the FRIENDLY one HE NOTICED in the contest] | [and AT THAT MOMENT, more light-heartedly, (5) HE RAISED HIS VOICE addressing the Phaecians]

If a passage consists of verses that are syntactical wholes, the verse end as position of demarcation is observed, and paratactic syntactical organisation aptly describes the juxtaposition of verses. In that case, however, metrical boundaries within the line no longer demarcate syntactical units that may be applied as syntactically paratactic additions. The single syntactical unit is then no longer equal in size to the shorter metrical colon or hemistich, but to the single hexameter. Extended nuclei constituting metrical phrases are themselves part of larger scale syntactical units. The larger unit still consists of metrical phrases: the continuing additions take the repetitive shape of dactylic hexameters.

But there is reason to take one more step beyond the level of grammatisation that Bakker has shown. Some more autonomy is lost, as the syntactical unit grows bigger: the “hyperbaton” of semantically coherent nuclei (printed in bold face in the following two examples) in a verse is more demanding for the composer, and for the audience, than the “apposition” of nuclei in, for example, the hemistich:

[αὐτὰρ ὃ αὖτις ἰών (5) παῖς ὣς ὑπὸ μητέρα δύσκεν]

Iliad 8.271

[HE, HOWEVER, returning to his former seat, (5) like a child to the safety of his mother TOOK SHELTER]

[σοὶ δ᾿ ἐγὼ ἐξερέω (5) ὡς καὶ τετελεσμένον ἔσται]

Iliad 8.286


The more metrical boundaries are being straddled within a syntactical unit, the stronger a sense of higher level syntactical organisation becomes. Straddling a metrical boundary within a syntactical unit means that the second part of the unit is not a paratactic addition: it may contain a semantically relevant constituent of the developing syntactical unit. As the extension of the nucleus to the metrical boundary led to a certain level of “grammatisation”, so the straddling of metrical boundaries leads to a larger scale grammatisation. On a larger scale, grammatisation may be equally due to straddling the verse end, the third foot caesura, or both:

               [ὃ γὰρ βασιλῆι χολωθεὶς (12)
νοῦσον ἀνὰ στρατὸν ὦρσε (5½) κακήν]

Iliad 1.11–12

[for HE, enraged with the king | MADE A DISEASE RAVAGE the army (5½) relentlessly]

[ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε μοῦσα (5½) πολύτροπον] [ὃς μάλα πολλὰ (12)
πλάγχθη] [ἐπεὶ Τροίης (5) ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσε]

Odyssey 1.1–2

[TELL me, Muse, ABOUT THE MAN (5½) of many devices] [WHO for a very long time | WANDERED AROUND] [after he TURNED TROY’S (5) holy FORTRESS INTO A RUIN]

Larger scale grammatisation is the process of extending the expression of thought, not by means of addition, but by means of semantic cohesion. Certain points of demarcation appear: not the metrical demarcation that easily allows for endless continuation through repetition, but semantic-syntactical contours that create a sense of completion, or expectation. I argue that there is reason to assume that the syntactical contours of the Homeric epic are not so much limited by metrical boundaries, but rather brought into being by a degree of selection of metrical boundaries.

My assumption reduces the importance of nonconfigurationality for Homeric discourse, but it was pointed out in 1.4 that the occurrence of phenomena of nonconfigurationality does not make Homeric discourse nonconfigurational: the characteristics of nonconfigurationality can be found from time to time, but they are not pervasive. Some of these characteristics are characteristic of Greek in general, and can even be found in the highly organised syntax of written Classical Greek. Others appear to be the rule-confirming exceptions when compared to more “figurational” Homeric discourse. Both types of discourse can be found, side by side. Homeric syntax does, however, show certain extended grammatical development. Grammatical governance can be identified; syntactical subordination does not seem to be fully absent in Homer, but it may be too much to say that it is in a stage of development. [155] The chunks of spoken language, the metrical phrases of the Iliad and the Odyssey, are themselves either formulas, [156] or grammatical adaptations of verb forms: the adaptation extends the verb to the nearest metrical boundary, for example by means of fillers. [157] Alternatively, Homer may have used not so much formulas but single words as compositional units. [158] Either way, the combination of (some) nonconfigurationality and (some) extended grammatisation in Homer seems to me to confirm and deny the importance of metrical boundaries at the same time: the words in the line can be separated into metrical phrases, but the metrical phrases are often not semantically coherent units. The metrical phrases show internal grammatical organisation, but contribute to larger scale grammatical organisation at the same time. Recognition of this contribution over the verse end is labelled enjambment. Verse-internally, however, contribution to grammatical development over metrical boundaries is even more common. [159]

As pointed out earlier, metrical boundaries may join together metrical phrases comprising clauses that are in some sort of semantic hierarchy to one another, like the main and subordinate clause. Such joining at the verse end creates expectations for the verse to follow when the subordinate clause comes first, or when the main clause contains a constituent suggesting semantic limitation to follow (like correlatives and certain particles):

ἀλλ᾿ ἐπεὶ ἀασάμην καί μοι φρένας ἐξέλετο Ζεύς
ἂψ ἐθέλω ἀρέσαι δόμεναί τ᾿ ἀπερείσι᾿ ἄποινα

Iliad 19.137–138

But as I was blinded and Zeus robbed me of my senses: | I am willing to make amends and to give unlimited compensation

ἔνθά κεν ὑψίπυλον Τροίην ἕλον υἷες Ἀχαιῶν
εἰ μὴ κτλ

Iliad 21.544–545

Then would the sons of the Greeks have taken high-gated Troy | had not etc.

Beginning with the subordinate clause and using a correlative can of course be combined. The resumption by means of the main clause is then more accurately marked:

εἵως μέν ῥ᾿ ἀπάνευθε θεοὶ θνητῶν ἔσαν ἀνδρῶν
τέως Ἀχαιοὶ μὲν μέγα κύδανον

Iliad 20.41–42

Now as long as the gods were far from the mortal men | for so long the Achaeans greatly triumphed

Resumption, however, may be equally marked within the line:

οἵη περ φύλλων γενεή τοίη δὲ καὶ ανδρῶν

Iliad 6.146

Just as are the generations of leaves, such are those of men

τρὶς μέν μιν πελέμιξεν ἐρύσσασθαι μενεαίνων
τρὶς δὲ μεθῆκε βίης τὸ δὲ τέτρατον κτλ

Iliad 21.176–177

Thrice he made it quiver in his eagerness to pull it, | thrice he gave up the effort; but the fourth time etc.

I have rejected any “strength” of enjambement, and the possibility for emphasis due to metrical position, but I think it is safe to state that the grammatical organisation at the metrical boundary is not paratactic in these examples. The continuation over the metrical boundary is not a mere addition in the sense that ‘it could have been anything’, any new focus of consciousness. The continuation is prepared for, and it stands in a semantically hierarchichal relation to what preceded it. Even a continuation by means of another main clause, as in Iliad 21.177 τὸ δὲ τέτρατον, has a semantic function prepared for by a constituent in the preceding main clause: [
160] without it, the usage of τρίς remains without proper meaning.

Metrical boundaries fulfil more roles in organising the syntax of Homeric discourse—apart from providing a break between clauses, and resulting in “enjambment”. Semantic hierarchy makes it possible to separate discourse markers and sentential particles from their clause at the caesura and the verse end (compare the many instances of αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα at verse end). The metrical boundary then frames a constituent that facilitates the transition from one clause to the next:

δεύοντο ψάμαθοι δεύοντο δὲ τεύχεα φωτῶν
δάκρυσι τοῖον γὰρ 5 πόθεον μήστωρα φόβοιο

Iliad 23.15–16

Wetted were the sands and wetted the armour of the warriors | with tears; for so mighty a deviser of rout they mourned

                    ἦ γάρ οἱ αἰεί 12
μήτηρ παρμέμβλωκεν ὁμῶς νύκτας τε καὶ ἦμαρ

Iliad 24.72–73

For ever to his side | came his mother both by night and by day

This phenomenon may of course be compared to the so-called dislocation of constituents, a characteristic of nonconfigurational language discussed above in 1.4. Many instances of “enjambment” can then be removed from the various categories, as they reflect a cognitive process: [
161] an implicit constituent is merely made explicit through left- or right-dislocation.

                    αἱ δὲ γυναῖκες
ἱστάμεναι θαύμαζον ἐπὶ προθύροισιν ἑκάστη

Iliad 18.495–496

And the women | stood each at her door and marveled (enjambment)

And as for the women, | they stood each at her door and marveled (left-dislocation)

οὕνεκα τὸν Χρύσην ἠτίμασεν ἀρητῆρα

Iliad 1.11–12

Since | the son of Atreus | had done dishonor to Chryses, his priest (enjambment)

Since he had done dishonor to Chryses, his priest, | he, that is, the son of Atreus (right-dislocation)

Prosodically “isolated” nouns may thus function as “heralding” of the clause to come, or as an “afterthought” to the clause that has just been completed. From a semantic point of view, such labeling is not always in order: the prosodically isolated noun is often essential for the comprehension of the narrative. For example, as the isolated noun signals the shift to another grammatical subject:

οἵ που νῦν ἕαται ποτιδέγμενοι αὐτὰρ Ἀχιλλεὺς (12)
ἄγριον ἐν στήθεσσι θέτο μεγαλήτορα θυμόν

Iliad 9.629–630

(the Greeks) who are now sitting and waiting expectantly; but Achilles | has put a fierce and arrogant anger in his chest

It is not impossible, as it would not be in spoken discourse, to consider the isolated noun a heralding (or theme) of the clause to come, but the semantic shift has already been indicated by a conjunction (αὐτὰρ) whose domain stretches beyond the single noun [
162] Ἀχιλλεὺς. The verse end is hence a grammatical transition within a larger scale syntactical whole. Punctuation in the translation is helpful to show the syntactical coherence between the conjunction and the clause, despite the “dislocated” noun:

οἵ που νῦν ἕαται ποτιδέγμενοι αὐτὰρ Ἀχιλλεὺς 12
ἄγριον ἐν στήθεσσι θέτο μεγαλήτορα θυμόν

Iliad 9.629–630

(the Greeks) who are now sitting and waiting expectantly; but, as for Achilles, | he has put a fierce and arrogant anger in his chest

As free-floating as the dislocated constituent seems to be, it is syntactically incorporated into a developing clause. The same is true for the “dislocated” discourse marker or sentential particle:

                     αὐτὰρ ὄπισθε (12)
νῶι μαχησόμεθα Τρωσίν τε καὶ Ἕκτορι δίωι

Iliad 17.718–719

But behind you | we two will do battle with the Trojans and godlike Hector

ἄλλοτε μέν τε γόωι φρένα τέρπομαι ἄλλοτε δ᾿ αὖτε (12)

Odyssey 4.102–103

At times I satisfy my heart with weeping, but then again at others | I stop

οὐδὲ τροφοῦ οὔσης σεῦ ἀφέξομαι ὁππότ᾿ ἂν ἄλλας (12)
δμωιὰς ἐν μεγάροισιν ἐμοῖς κτείνωμι γυναῖκας

Odyssey 19.489–490

And I will not even spare you, though you are my nurse, when later upon the other | slave women in my palace I will execute the death-sentence

The discourse markers and sentential particles are separated from their clauses by a metrical boundary, but the development of a syntactically coherent whole is not hindered by the verse end. Within the hexameter, metrical boundaries do not hinder syntactically cohesive extension of the clause either:

ὤ πέπον εἰ μὲν γάρ (5) πόλεμον περὶ τόνδε φυγόντε
αἰεὶ δὴ μέλλοιμεν ἀγήρω τ᾿ ἀθανάτω τε
ἔσσεσθ᾿ οὔτε κεν αὐτὸς (5½) ἐνὶ πρώτοισι μαχοίμην

Iliad 12.322–324

Dear friend, yes indeed if we, having escaped this war, | would live without growing old and facing death, | forever, then I myself would not do battle amidst the champions

Σκύλλην δ᾿ οὐκέτ᾿ ἔασε πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε
εἰσιδέειν οὐ γὰρ κεν (5½) ὑπέκφυγον αἰπὺν ὄλεθρον

Odyssey 12.445–446

As for Scylla, however, the father of men and gods did not allow her anymore | to notice me, for I would not have escaped a horrible death

Nor do verse-internal metrical boundaries necessarily create “dislocation” of other constituents:

                    ἣ τάχα χήρη
σεῦ ἔσομαι τάχα γάρ σε (5½) κατακτανέουσιν Ἀχαιοὶ

Iliad 6.408–409

(I,) who soon the widow | of you will be; for soon the Greeks will slay you

οἳ δ᾿ ἔλαχον τοὺς ἄν κε (5½) καὶ ἤθελον αὐτὸς ἑλέσθαι

Odyssey 9.334

And those were drawn who I would want to have chosen myself

Still, it is remarkable that so many discourse markers and sentential particles, often together with other constituents, are metrically “isolated”, as they constitute metrical phrases. As such, they do not comprise independent “units of meaning”. The metrical phrase contains constituents that can not be left out without rendering the clause incomprehensible.

What is left of the metrical “isolation” then? If grammatical completeness is extended over several metrical phrases, why is there still what looks like a persistent “natural division” of parts at the metrical boundary in so many clauses? Focusing on the discourse markers and sentential particles (as examples of “transitional” constituents) for now, their metrical phrasing often shows the use of fillers. Their metrical isolation, possibly together with another nucleus, is obvious:

ἵκετο δ᾿ αἰπὺν Ὄλυμπον ὁμηγερέεσσι δ᾿ επῆλθεν
ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι Διὸς δόμωι 8 οἳ δὲ ἰδόντες 12
πάντες ἀνήιξαν καὶ δεικανόωντο δέπασσιν

Iliad 15.84–86

She reached high Olympus, and approached the gathered | immortal gods in the house of Zeus; as for them, upon seeing her, | all jumped to their feet, and saluted her with their cups

ἐσθλώ τοι τούτω γ᾿ ἐπαμύντορε 8 τοὺς ἀγορεύεις 12
ὕψι περ ἐν νεφέεσσι καθημένω 8 ὥ τε καὶ ἄλλοις 12
ἀνδράσι τε κρατέουσι καὶ ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι

Odyssey 16.263–265

Noble, indeed, these helpers, of whom you speak (as) | residing somewhere above in the clouds, who, as they do over others, | rule over men and over the immortals gods

In this last example, Odyssey 16.263–265, the leap from an isolated metrical phrase that can be juxtaposed paratactically, to a semantically and syntactically integrated part is especially perceptible: just take out the underlined metrical phrases. Semantically, the integration is partly the result of the way the constituent is extended towards the nearest metrical boundary: the phrase comprises a sentential particle and another semantic nucleus, or a discourse marker and another semantic nucleus, or a constituent suggesting syntactical hierarchy and another semantic nucleus. In other words, the transitional constituent is tied to something more to follow or to be implicated: the chunk that is the metrical phrase is not in itself markedly autonomous or syntactically paratactic. The chunk is characterised as transitional: it both continues from what was already said (sometimes by contrast), and it needs further elaboration in subsequent syntactical development. The chunking of “transitional” constituents has an equivalent in linguistics: in the pragmatic approach, these constituents are not always considered as part of the clause proper, but as extra-clausal, if they hold functions like theme and tail. Their syntactical relation to the clause itself becomes apparent through prosodic characterisation. [
163] On a larger scale, semantic hierarchy also nullifies the equation of “metrical parataxis” and syntactical parataxis.

1.7 Conclusion: Continuation as Progressive Tendency

I have shown that Homeric syntax is not so much concerned with the due completion of “sense” in accordance with metrical phrasing. The frequent divergence of syntactical and prosodic patterns serves continuation despite metrical repetition. Such divergence is at least as frequent as the audible structuring of the discourse into metrically well-balanced grammatically complete wholes. I do not deny that syntactical phrasing or completion of “sense” is regularly enclosed within metrical phrases like cola, hemistichs, and verses: I have cited examples above, and others have given many more. I merely argue that there is a second type of syntactical or rather “sense” phrasing: a type whose units do not seem to be restricted in size by the recurring metrical phrases. At the same time, this second type of phrasing inevitably leads to a higher level of grammatical organisation than witnessed within the boundaries of the recurring metrical phrase. Descriptions of Homeric syntax like Chantraine’s and Bakker’s, who both stress the compositional principle of appositional alignment of words and metrical phrases, do not account for this emergence of large scale grammatisation.

The emergence of larger scale grammatisation is reflected in the progressive movement that characterises Homer’s style: at first sight the “nonconfigurationality”, so reminiscent of Chantraine’s approach, of the merely paratactic structure seems to reflect the sense in Homeric narrative, but looks naive when compared to the syntax of the complex periodic sentence of written language. But Homeric syntax is not naïve: its aim is not to progressively categorise the various units to form a larger scale well-ordered syntactical hierarchy—a hierarchy, though, whose sense often may only be understood from re-reading. On the contrary, Homeric syntax aims to retain the attention of the listening audience, without them having to rearrange previous chunks along the way. In Homer, syntax develops from a progressive tendency. This progressive compositional technique demands parataxis, non-disturbing metrical boundaries, audibly framed chunks and a creative poet. Its also requires the possibility of perceptible reorganisation of grammatical wholes despite metrical repetition, without loosing sight of sense in the narrative. Listening to Homer, the audience must rely on their own ability to construct a mental picture of what is told from the order in which it is told. The narrative of the Iliad and the Odyssey presents its audience with certain specific discourse structuring elements, both in syntax and in semantics. These elements not only structure the discourse, but are also supportive in constructing the mental picture in the listener’s mind. The listener’s attention can be channelled into focusing on the continuing chain of thoughts. Metrical cola may be neglected as sense-units in the process, syntactical coherence can not. Still, the listener’s attention cannot be channelled without any aid from the side of prosody. As Bakker assumes, prosodic phenomena characterise the units into which spoken language naturally divides. For Bakker, these prosodic phenomena are the recurrence and fixed shape of metrical phrases. The resulting metrical-phrase chunks were labelled “intonation units”, but unfortunately meter does not provide us with clues for a prosodic phenomenon like intonation: intonation is related to the structure of language and syntactical phrasing, not to colometry. We are looking for further prosodic clues that are not limited to just meter, but take some other form of audible coherence of units into account. First, however, a theoretical model is needed for the analysis of the units of Homeric discourse.


[ back ] 1. Several text editions have been used from which the lemmata in recent commentaries (for which see footnote 3) have been taken. Prominent among these editions are Leaf 1900–1902, Allen 1917, 1919, and 1931, Monro & Allen 1920a and 1920b, Stanford 1950, Von der Mühll 1962, West 1998/2000, Van Thiel 1991. In my own quotations from the Iliad and the Odyssey, I have used West 1998/2000 and Stanford 1950 unless otherwise stated. Translations are freely based on Murray (Loeb).

[ back ] 2. Erbse 1983:482 for the Iliad. Erbse 1988:135ff. lists all the words in the Iliad that are followed by some form of punctuation according to the scholia. The list does not account for all the punctuation used in modern editions of the Homeric epic.

[ back ] 3. Covering the entire Iliad: Kirk 1985–1993, and, though only the first installments (Prolegomena, book 1, book 2, book 3) are yet available, Latacz 2000–; covering the entire Odyssey: Heubeck, West & Hainsworth 1988, Heubeck & Hoekstra 1989, and Russo, Fernandez-Galiano & Heubeck 1992.

[ back ] 4. Cf. for example Clark 1997:29–30.

[ back ] 5. When discussing the prosodic characteristics of the Homeric epic, I mainly refer to the metrical structure of the Iliad and the Odyssey: syllable quantity and the identifiable units of meter. I use the metrical system of O’Neill, Jr. 1942, and I refer to the positions of frequent word end (on 3, 5, 5½, 7, 8, 9, and 12) as metrical boundaries: [ back ]

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

[ back ] In the system of O’Neill, position 12 is rendered by X. X is supposed to indicate the metrical anceps element (syllaba anceps), allowing either a short () or a long syllable, due to metrical indifference as typical for line termination. The anceps is persistently given in Dee 2004. Alternatively, position 12 may be seen as a necessarily long element. Other aspects of prosody, like pitch, intonation, rhythm, and stress, are referred to using their specific terminology.

[ back ] 6. Initiated by Parry 1929, the discussion on Homeric enjambment continues in Kirk 1966, Higbie 1990, and Clark 1997. Bakker 1990, 1997b:302–303, and 2005:53, takes a different approach when he looks at Homeric syntax as the ‘syntax of spoken language’; see further discussion below.

[ back ] 7. Parry 1971:389.

[ back ] 8. Parry 1971:389.

[ back ] 9. Clark 1997:23.

[ back ] 10. Parry 1971:389.

[ back ] 11. Higbie 1990:76.

[ back ] 12. Clark 1997:26.

[ back ] 13. In my quotations from Greek texts I do not use any written punctuation.

[ back ] 14. Parry 1971:376–390.

[ back ] 15. Cf. Clark 1997:22.

[ back ] 16. Clark 1997:22.

[ back ] 17. Higbie 1990:29.

[ back ] 18. Clark 1997:157–158.

[ back ] 19. Higbie 1990:48.

[ back ] 20. Higbie 1990:29.

[ back ] 21. As defended by for example Kahane 1997 and Edwards 2002. Basset 1938:141–172, the basis for criticism of the Parryan “one-verse utterance”, is also fundamental in its criticism on the notion of emphasis resulting from metrical boundaries in general. Clayman & Nortwick 1977 revive the idea that “rhetorical colometry”, based on syntactical coherence, should be more important in determining the units of meaning than metrical colometry. Clayman 1981 concludes that the sentence as a larger scale unit of meaning may develop in spite of metrical colometry. In the studies on enjambment following the principles of Parry 1971:251–265, Clark 1994 maintains the terminology “enjambment”, but accepts that run-over composition is the result of paratactic juxtaposition of metrical phrases. In a later publication (1997:4), he argues that such a “complex and elegant technique” is “consistent with oral formulaic composition”. Bakker 2005, especially 53–54, argues that the terminology “enjambment” is best abandoned for many instances of run-over composition without any detectible poetic purpose (like for example emphasis). Dik 2007:249–254, though approaching the issue from another angle, reaches roughly the same conclusion.

[ back ] 22. Clark 1997:23 ‘the frequent occurrence of whole-line formulaic clauses in the epics should be no surprise: the methods of composing oral poetry can be expected to produce a preponderance of lines consisting of one complete clause apiece. […] At times these whole lines, rather than individual words, seem to be the real units of composition.’

[ back ] 23. Even more “violent” would be the hyperbaton δεινὴν … καναχήν, only paralleled by Hesiod Shield of Heracles 226–227.

[ back ] 24. Contrary to most good MSS, editors (among others Leaf 1900–1902) read καυλὸν ‘hilt’, in which case there is “necessary” instead of “violent” enjambment (following Higbie 1990). ἀμφὶ δὲ καυλὸν translates as ‘on both sides of the hilt’, but a sword shattering ‘on both sides of’ something, is rendered by ἀμφί with a dative (cf. Iliad 3.362 ἀμφὶ δ᾿ ἄρ᾿ αὐτῆι). Furthermore, καυλός with the meaning ‘hilt’ does not occur elsewhere in Homer. If καλόν is preferred, the use of ἀμφί as an adverb meaning ‘all around’ must be considered a variant of the combination ἀμφὶ περί (e.g. Iliad 21.10). The result, however, is an enjambment that is not without parallel (Iliad 13.611–612). Cf. Janko 1992:330, 360. For the meaning of καυλός see Chantraine 1968–1980: s.v. καυλός.

[ back ] 25. The relative pronoun ὅς agrees not with its antecedent but with its complement, making the answer to the audience’s expectations for the noun even more unpredictable. Although μέγιστος often acts as a predicative adjective (e.g. Iliad 17.20–22 οὔτ᾿ οὔν παρδάλιος τόσσον μένος οὔτε λέοντος || οὔτε συὸς κάπρου ὀλοόφρονος οὗ τε μέγιστος || θυμὸς ἐνὶ στήθεσσι περὶ σθένει βλεμεαίνει ‘not even a leopard’s violence is so strong, or that of a lion | or a murderous boar, for which most strongly | the heart in the chest rages with aggression’), here the adjective is used attributively with ὅρκος. Parry might have argued that the expectations of the audience were based on the use of μέγιστος as a predicatively used adjective (as in Iliad 17.21).

[ back ] 26. In some ancient texts, σιδήρειόν νύ τοι ἤτορ was a constituent in a phrase that straddled the verse end: σιδήρειόν νύ τοι ἤτορ || ἀθάνατοι ποίησαν Ὀλύμπια δώματ᾿ ἔχοντες (Aristonicus in A) or σιδήρειόν νύ τοι ἤτορ || ἀθάνατοι ποίησαν οἳ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσιν (T), cf. Leaf 1900–1902:551; Erbse 1969; Richardson 1993:295.

[ back ] 27. Parry 1971:264.

[ back ] 28. For example Janko 1992:121–122 on Iliad 13.611–612.

[ back ] 29. Parry 1971:264–265 explains it as the result of joining traditional phrase like ὅς τις ἄριστος and βουλὰς βουλεύει (Iliad 10.415), βουλὰς βουλεύειν (Iliad 10.147, Iliad 10.327, Odyssey 6.61) or βουλὰς βουλεύουσι (Iliad 24.652) with little modifications. Cf. Janko 1992:121–122.

[ back ] 30. Thereby—grammatically—reducing it to an adjective again.

[ back ] 31. Parry 1971:264.

[ back ] 32. Kirk 1990:225.

[ back ] 33. As in Edwards 1991:42–44; 2002.

[ back ] 34. Janko 1992:300 compares the enjambment here with that in Iliad 12.51, 17.264 and 13.611. The differences, however, are more noticeable than the similarities. In Iliad 17.264–5 the “type” of enjambment depends on the reading preferred. Most MSS read ἄκραι | ἠιόνες resulting in “violent” enjambment, not unlike the enjambment in Iliad 15.653–654. Leaf 1900–1902(II):235 and West, with later MSS and Eustathius, read ἄκραι | ἠιόνος which is paralleled by Iliad 4.425 and by the use of ἄκραι in Iliad 14.36 and Odyssey 9.285. Although I agree with Leaf’s remark concerning the inappropriateness of ἠιόνες here (‘Here, if we read ἄκραι ἠιόνες, we must translate by the shores echo to their farthest point, or the like’), his observation on the improbability of such enjambment is clearly wrong: Leaf explains the separation of adjective and noun by pointing out that the ‘adjective forms part of the predicate’ and quotes as parallel examples Iliad 3.44 and 16.314. But the same exception applies to πάντες, θαμειάς (Iliad 12.44, 18.68) ἄκρος (Iliad 12.51, 15.653, 17.264). These adjectives are not simply used predicatively at the end of an line ending in enjambment, though Janko 1992:300 refers to ἄκραι in Iliad 15.653 as “predicative”. In Iliad 13.611 the enjambment is of a completely different nature. For the enjambment in Iliad 12.51 see discussion of the passage below.

[ back ] 35. Preferably written ἔν. The remarkable phenomenon of a particle used as an adverb to perform as the finite verb in the line ending in enjambment, prepares the audience for the subject in the next line. The even more remarkable fact that this occurs again with πρό and ἐπί in line 799, both acting as finite verbs for their subjects, strengthens my conviction that the audience was waiting for only the subject to follow the verse end of line 797. Something similar (and again in a comparison/simile) happens in Iliad 23.520–521 οὐδέ τι πολλὴ || χώρη μεσσηγύς where there is no predicate: the audience only waits for the subject (χώρη) of the developing clause to appear in the subsequent line. In Iliad 23.520–521 it is difficult to decide whether πολλή was used attributively (‘and there was not a big gap in between’) resulting in “violent” enjambment or “noun-preparatory” enjambment, or predicatively (‘and the gap in between was not big’), resulting in “necessary” enjambment.

[ back ] 36. However, it occurs in Alcaeus (supp. 25.4) and is colloquial in Attic (Aristophanes Knights 919, Peace 314).

[ back ] 37. Devine & Stephens 1994:409–410 point at the audible difference in downtrend between the major and minor phonological phrase.

[ back ] 38. Cf. Hainsworth 1993:323.

[ back ] 39. The vulgate reading χείλει ἐφεσταότες supports Parry’s view to allow for an audible pause at the end of line 51 and read the first two words of line 52 as an “addition” to ἐπ᾿ ἄκρωι, since ‘Homerus praepositionem non duplicat’ (Brandreth ad loc.). The widely attested variant χείλει ἐσταότες (according to Leaf 1900–1902:530 not to be neglected in view of the improbability of hiatus being introduced) frustrates intonation-unit boundary at the verse end of line 51.

[ back ] 40. Devine & Stephens 1994:403 describe the phrase-initial tonal adjustment of the minor phrase as “minor phrase boost”.

[ back ] 41. Janko 1992:237.

[ back ] 42. “Necessary” also based on intonation, since νοέω can be used as intransitive as well (‘to reflect, consider, proceed judiciously’, Iliad 10.225, 10.247, Odyssey 15.170), sometimes with dative (θυμὼι, Odyssey 18.228).

[ back ] 43. The present subjunctive μενοινήηισι is the reading of Aristarchus. Most MSS and a papyrus read the aorist optative μενοινήσειε, probably under the influence of the optative εἴην. A present subjunctive following an aorist subjunctive is odd, and so is this specific form with assimilation of -ά- into -ή-, cf. Chantraine 1953(I):77.

[ back ] 44. Aristarchus understood εἴην as optative of ἰέναι ‘to go’, as it seems to be understood in Iliad 24.139 (cf. Macleod 1982:101) and Odyssey 14.408 and 14.496. Chantraine 1953(I):285 argues for its origin in the verb εἶναι ‘to be’.

[ back ] 45. Clark 1997:26. On the other hand, Clark allows for some ‘planning ahead’ in Homer, when he states: ‘I believe that passages […] demonstrate that the oral poet could plan at least a certain distance ahead and adjust the run of words to fit the requirements of the context’ (p. 126) and: ‘Evidently the composition of these passages required some planning; again we see that the art of oral poetry requires forethought; it does not consist merely of adding one formula to another’ (p. 165). This is the furthest he dissociates himself from Parry’s remark that ‘the singer of oral narrative rarely plans his sentences ahead, but adds verse to verse and verse part to verse part until he feels that his sentence is full and finished.’ (Parry 1971:414–418).

[ back ] 46. Parry 1971:263.

[ back ] 47. Which is to be preferred to taking the ships as subject.

[ back ] 48. As ravines are being filled with corpses (ἐναύλους νεκύων Iliad 16.72), human beings with courage (ἀμφοτέρω μένεος Iliad 13.60, μένεος φρένες Iliad 1.104, ἀλκῆς καὶ σθένεος Iliad 17.212), a travel bag with provisions (πήρην σίτου Odyssey 17.441), a river with horses and men (ῥόας ἵππων τε καὶ ἀνδρῶν Iliad 21.16), a cup with wine (δέπας οἴνοιο Iliad 9.224) or, metaphorically, a heart with food and drink (θυμὸν ἀδητύος ἠδὲ ποτὴτος Odyssey 17.603).

[ back ] 49. Janko 1993:154 ‘they were drawn up in rows in a curve around the entire shore (ἠιών) of the deep bay (στόμα μακρόν)’ shows the confusion the overlap might cause.

[ back ] 50. Hainsworth 1993:71. The arrangement of the words of Agamemnon’s answer in Iliad 9.116–117 carefully follows that of Nestor’s original words in Iliad 9.97–98.

[ back ] 51. E.g. Iliad 1.454, 2.64, 18.162, Odyssey 24.402, 1.276 etc. Together with a verb, it also expresses the intensity of sound, e.g. Iliad 2.784, 11.10, 19.260, Odyssey 17.239, 17.541, and the intensity of emotions, e.g. Iliad 1.256, 6.362, Odyssey 4.30, 16.139.

[ back ] 52. Janko 1992:237.

[ back ] 53. Bakker 1997 considers a cluster of clauses not ending with the end of the verse as “emotional”.

[ back ] 54. Clark 1997:2.

[ back ] 55. Chantraine 1953:12–21, 351–364.

[ back ] 56. Devine & Stephens 2000:142.

[ back ] 57. Devine & Stephens 2000:142–148. Nonconfigurationality points at Indo-European origin (Chantraine 1953:12; cf. Matthews 1981), but is not a sign of primitivism, cf. Bakker 1997b:284.

[ back ] 58. Also known as “pro-drop”. The dropped pronouns (“null anaphora”) are partly suggested by the endings of verb forms (so-called “inflectional affixes”).

[ back ] 59. Cf. Chantraine 1953:322. Some MSS read ἀναγνούσης in 206.

[ back ] 60. Horrocks 1981.

[ back ] 61. Devine & Stephens 2000:146.

[ back ] 62. Chantraine 1953:162–168, but cf. Kirk 1985:54 on the use of the article in Iliad 1.11.

[ back ] 63. Chantraine 1953:351–364; Notopoulos 1949; Bakker 1997b; Devine & Stephens 2000:142.

[ back ] 64. Bakker 1997b.

[ back ] 65. Oesterreicher 1997:191–192. Cf. Bakker 2005:38–42.

[ back ] 66. Bakker 2005:43 ‘in such a society poets may well exist, but in the absence of literate poets they cannot be oral poets’.

[ back ] 67. Gathered and republished in Parry 1971.

[ back ] 68. Cf. discussion in Bakker 2005:44–46.

[ back ] 69. Thalmann 1984:4–6.

[ back ] 70. Cf. his remarks in Parry 1971:22–23.

[ back ] 71. Chafe 1994:28.

[ back ] 72. Chafe 1987:1; 1994:108 ff.

[ back ] 73. Chafe 1994:56.

[ back ] 74. Bakker 2005:48 fixes the size of the intonation unit at 4 to 7 words.

[ back ] 75. Examples in Chafe 1994, and Bakker 1997b.

[ back ] 76. Bakker 1997b:290.

[ back ] 77. Bakker 1997a:100–121.

[ back ] 78. Bakker 1997b:292.

[ back ] 79. Bakker 1997b:292.

[ back ] 80. Bakker 1997a:54–122; 2005:50.

[ back ] 81. Bakker 1997b:300–303.

[ back ] 82. Fränkel 1926. His colometry of the hexameter features four cola, two in the first half of the verse before the third foot caesura (the first hemistich), and two in the second half (second hemistich). The size of the cola increases gradually towards the end of the line (‘Gesetz der wachsenden Glieder’), just as the size of the two hemistichs themselves. In the hexametric system of O’Neill 1942 the third foot caesura is either position 5 or 5½. The first hemistich is usually further divided by a caesura at position 3. The second hemistich provides for an internal break at the dieresis at position 8, or the caesura at position 9.

[ back ] 83. Bakker 2005: ‘The intonational and prosodic properties of the unit can be stylized into metrical properties. The intonation units of ordinary speech become the metrical units of special, poetic speech’ (48); see further Bakker 2005:68; 1997a:146–155.

[ back ] 84. Bakker 1990:3. Cf. the remarks concerning the sentence in Chafe 1994:139–144.

[ back ] 85. Bakker 1997b:302; cf. Edwards 2002:9–13.

[ back ] 86. Bakker 2005:68.

[ back ] 87. Bakker 1997a:57.

[ back ] 88. Bakker 2005:48; cf. 1997a:146–155.

[ back ] 89. Cf. the division of Odyssey 19.445b–454 in half-verses in Bakker 2005:69.

[ back ] 90. Bakker 2005:21.

[ back ] 91. Bakker 1993:15–25; 2005:5–6.

[ back ] 92. Bakker & Fabricotti 1991; Bakker 2005:1–21.

[ back ] 93. Bakker 1997a:54–71.

[ back ] 94. Bakker 1997a:54–71; 1997b:292–295.

[ back ] 95. Cf. the remarks on Bakker’s way of translating Homer in Edwards 2002:9–13.

[ back ] 96. As identified—metrically—in West 1982:36.

[ back ] 97. Parry 1971:388–389.

[ back ] 98. Parry 1971:253–254.

[ back ] 99. West 1997:218. On the other hand, West (1997:221) describes the dactylic hexameter as a catalectic verse, where catalexis is regularly considered a signal of stanza-end, e.g. in the anapaestic system.

[ back ] 100. Cf. West 1997.

[ back ] 101. Cf. West 1982:36. West claims that 27% of the Homeric verses do not feature a sense-pause at verse end.

[ back ] 102. Parry 1971:251.

[ back ] 103. Examples in Higbie 1990:70; Clark 1997:22.

[ back ] 104. Lord 2000:54 states, while comparing Homeric epic with South Slavic epic, that South Slavic epic does not feature any “necessary” enjambment: ‘Very rarely indeed does a thought hang in the air incomplete at the end of the line; usually we could place a period after each verse.’

[ back ] 105. Explicitly in Nagy 1990:27; Kirk 1966:106; Peabody 1975:4; Higbie 1990:67, 76.

[ back ] 106. Caution is needed: Zenodotus athetised lines 553–555 for unknown reasons. Aristarchus included them in the text as being authentic. Kirk 1985:207 states that ‘verse 555 could be an independent addition, but seems to belong stylistically with the others (i.e. 553–554)’.

[ back ] 107. Chantraine 1953:12–21, 82–149, 351–364.

[ back ] 108. Russo 1966; Parry 1971; Kirk 1976; Stolz & Shannon 1976; Hoekstra 1965; Clark 2004.

[ back ] 109. Fränkel 1968; Kirk 1966; Ingalls 1970; Beekes 1972; Kirk 1985:18–24; Barnes 1986; Steinrück 1994; Wefelmeier 1994; Hagel 1994–1995; Barnes 1995; Clark 2004; David 2006.

[ back ] 110. Kirk 1985:20–21 uses the terminology “rising threefolder” for the three-colon verse containing three cola of increasing length. Such verses feature straddling of the third foot caesura by means of a word bridging the caesura, or a word group that bridges the caesura semantically.

[ back ] 111. Parry 1971:389.

[ back ] 112. Parry 1971:253–254; Clark 1997:21.

[ back ] 113. Kirk 1985:19–20.

[ back ] 114. Fränkel 1926.

[ back ] 115. Porter 1951.

[ back ] 116. Porter 1951:17.

[ back ] 117. Cf. Kirk 1985:19.

[ back ] 118. Sicking 1993:77 considers such verses as lines without a caesura at all.

[ back ] 119. Ingalls 1972:122 ‘The formulae from Parry’s analysis, then, continue the intimate connection between formular usage and the colometric structure of the hexameter. Just as the formulae are the linguistic building blocks of the verse, so the cola are the metrical blocks. In other words, the metrical shapes of the formulas tend to coincide with those of the cola with which the verse is composed.’

[ back ] 120. Oesterreicher 1997; Bakker 1997b; 2005.

[ back ] 121. Bakker 1997b.

[ back ] 122. As explained in Chafe 1994.

[ back ] 123. That is, in line with my usage of the term “prosody”, they are characterised metrically. The metrical-colon intonation units of Homeric discourse offer no clue as to their characterisation with respect to intonation.

[ back ] 124. Chafe’s “one new idea constraint” (1994:108).

[ back ] 125. Bakker 1997b:292.

[ back ] 126. Nagy 1990; Bakker 1997b; 2005:38–55, especially 47.

[ back ] 127. Bakker 1997b:292.

[ back ] 128. Bakker 1997b:292.

[ back ] 129. Bakker 1997b:292–295.

[ back ] 130. Bakker 2005:21.

[ back ] 131. Kirk 1985:53; cf. Clark 1997:115.

[ back ] 132. Higbie 1990.

[ back ] 133. Though, properly speaking, any clausal internal enjambment in Iliad 1.39–41 can only be attributed to the third foot caesura of Iliad 1.41. Verse-internal enjambment, however, is not commonly accepted. The sample in the Appendix only contributes two more examples of “clausal internal enjambment” in the first book of the Iliad and three in the first of the Odyssey.

[ back ] 134. Chantraine 1953:351–364.

[ back ] 135. Chantraine 1953:243.

[ back ] 136. A well-known example of the consequences of this blurring effect comes from the Iliad’s first book: οὗ in Iliad 1.6 is seen as a relative adverb, with numerous interpretational problems as a result, starting with the commentary of the scholiast (A) on the transition from Iliad 1.5 to Iliad 1.6: Ἀρίσταρχος συνάπτει. Cf. analysis in Bakker 1997b.

[ back ] 137. Examples of a verb form as runover in Clark 1997:91, 112–113. On page 29, however, Clark states that he does not consider the first word of Iliad 15.371 a runover as the verb form is required to form a clause together with the preceding verse.

[ back ] 138. Cf. Bakker 2005:11.

[ back ] 139. Kirk 1985:360.

[ back ] 140. Bakker 2005:11 focuses on fillers as extensions of the verb towards the nearest metrical boundary.

[ back ] 141. Bakker & Fabricotti 1991 use the terminology “nucleus” to indicate the semantically required constituents of the smaller scale units between metrical boundaries.

[ back ] 142. Bakker 1993:15–25; 2005:5–6.

[ back ] 143. In this example, due to the avoidance of verse-internal spondaic word end.

[ back ] 144. With the possible exception of Iliad 6.146.

[ back ] 145. Actually a double resumption within three lines, cf. Edwards 1991:29.

[ back ] 146. Cf. Edwards 1991:68–69.

[ back ] 147. Though direct speech may be considered an argument to the verb denoting ‘to speak’ (as an object), the case is especially difficult to prove in the Homeric epic: the status of direct speech (direct discourse) as a freely localised argument, or as embedded predication, cannot be sufficiently evidenced, as direct speech is never used as an argument to the verbal form following it: the completion of direct speech leads to resumption of the type ‘having spoken thus’. A possible exception is an example like Iliad 8.373.

[ back ] 148. As opposed to the short simile that occupies less than a hexameter, cf. Edwards 1991:25–26.

[ back ] 149. With the possible exception of a unique “quotation” of thought in Iliad 15.82.

[ back ] 150. But cf. the reading ἐφύπερθε in stead of ἐπέθηκε (Aristarchus), construing κεφαλῆι with περὶ βάλετ᾿.

[ back ] 151. See discussion concerning the syntactical status of the predicative participle in chapter 2.

[ back ] 152. Or: mighty SON OF ATREUS lord of men, Agamemnon.

[ back ] 153. See 1.5 above.

[ back ] 154. Bakker 1997b.

[ back ] 155. As does Chantraine 1953.

[ back ] 156. Clark 1997:5–19.

[ back ] 157. Bakker 1988; 2005:1–21.

[ back ] 158. Visser 1988.

[ back ] 159. The verse’s third foot caesura is not always a sensible verse-divider. Consider examples like Ἰφιδάμας δὲ κατὰ ζώνην θώρηκος ἔνερθε (Iliad 11.234) ‘But Iphidamas (stabbed him) on the belt beneath the corselet’ and εἱστήκει γὰρ ἐπὶ πρυμνῆι μεγακήτει νηί (Iliad 11.600) ‘For he was standing on the stern of the huge ship’. Both verses feature a preposition group that straddles the third foot caesura. An audible break at the third foot caesura in performance is unlikely in these examples. The preposition group is not audibly cut up: the caesura is a mere visible word division. As a rhythmical boundary, the third foot pause is no more than theoretical in these verses. See further chapter 4.

[ back ] 160. Cf. Richardson 1993:68.

[ back ] 161. A procedure applied to Homeric Greek in Bakker 1990; in later publications, Bakker analyses such constituents as instances of “staging” or “re-staging of characters”, cf. Bakker 1997a:198–200; 1997b; 2005:13.

[ back ] 162. Such a domain encompasses the entire subsequent clause. Compare the (word group) domain of enclitics like δὲ and τε.

[ back ] 163. S.C. Dik 1997(II):381: ‘[these constituents] are typically set off from the clause proper by breaks or pause-like inflections in the prosodic contour’.

[ back ] 164. Next to clause: idea unit, intonation unit, utterance, phrase, and mental picture.

[ back ] 165. Cf. the identification of the ‘phrase’ in Bakker 1997b; 2005:38–55; Devine & Stephens 2004:204–205.