Homeric Conversation

  Beck, Deborah. 2005. Homeric Conversation. Hellenic Studies Series 14. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_BeckD.Homeric_Conversation.2005.

Appendix III

Full-verse context-specific introductory formulas

All context-specific speech introductory formulas that occur at least three times in the Homeric epics (presented in order of frequency, with most frequent first) are given below. [1]

Implied subjects whose names would be given in a different verse if the formula appeared in a longer passage of Greek are given in parentheses in the English translations. Varied nouns or pronouns are noted in square brackets. Where either a masculine or a feminine gender is possible (e.g. with participles modifying the subject, or with the accusative pronoun μιν), all possible genders are given in the Greek, but only the masculine possibility is translated into English to simplify presentation. The main verb of speaking is highlighted.

Formulas Appearing Ten Times or More

Formulas Appearing between Five and Ten Times

Formulas Appearing Three to Five Times

[nominative, subject] [4] δ’ ἐνένιπεν ἔπος τ’ ἔφατ’ ἔκ τ’ ὀνόμαζε
5x Odyssey
[subject] scolded him with a word and spoke out and named him
ὧδε δέ τις εἴπεσκε νέων ὑπερηνορεόντων
5x Odyssey
And thus would go the word of one of the arrogant young men
τὸν δ’ αὖτε (or προτέρη) ψυχὴ προσεφώνεε [genitive singular patronymic] [
5x Odyssey
The soul of [the son of X] answered (or, was first to speak)
[nominative, subject] [dative plural, indirect object] ἐκέκλετο μακρὸν ἀΰσας
5x Iliad
[subject] in a great voice cried out to [indirect object]
αἶψα δὲ [accusative, direct object] προσεφώνεεν ἐγγὺς ἐόντα
5x (3x Iliad, 2x Odyssey)
And at once (he) called over to [direct object] who was not far from him {288|289}
αὐτίκα [accusative, direct object] ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα
4x Iliad
But immediately (he) spoke in winged words to [object]
καὶ or δὴ τότε [nominative, subject] προσεφώνεε [accusative, subject]
4x Odyssey [
Then [subject] talked to [object]
κινήσας δὲ [or ῥα] κάρη προτὶ ὃν μυθήσατο θυμόν
4x (2x Iliad, 2x Odyssey)
(he) stirred his head and spoke to his own spirit
[dative singular pronoun, object] δ’ ἐπὶ μακρὸν ἄϋσε [nominative name/epithet, subject]
4x Iliad
And [subject] cried aloud to [object] in a great voice
τοῖσι δὲ [nominative, subject] ἁδινοῦ ἐξῆρχε γόοιο
3x Iliad
[subject] led the thronging chant of their lamentation
καί μιν λισσόμενος ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα
3x Odyssey
And (he) spoke to him in winged words and in supplication
[compound dative, indirect object] ἐκέκλετο μακρὸν ἀΰσας
3x Iliad
He called out in a great voice to [indirect object]
[nominative, subject] δ’ ἔκπαγλον ἐπεύξατο μακρὸν ἀΰσας
3x Iliad
And [subject] vaunted terribly over him, calling in a great voice
τοὺς ὅ γ’ ἐποτρύνων ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα
3x Iliad
Calling out to these in winged words he rallied them onward
τεύχεά τ’ ἐξενάριξε καὶ εὐχόμενος ἔπος ηὔδα
3x Iliad
(he) stripped off his armor and spoke exulting over him {289|}


[ back ] 1. In Appendices III and IV, formulas that appear in the mouth of a character-narrator rather than the primary narrator are not included in the tallies. Such formulas will form part of a study I am currently writing on the range of speech representational strategies in the Homeric poems.

[ back ] 2. Generally used between a man and a woman, so gender is used in translation. The same applies to χειρί τέ μιν κατέρεξεν ἔπος τ’ ἔφατ’ ἔκ τ’ ὀνόμαζε below.

[ back ] 3. This total does not include six uses by Odysseus, with elided με in place of ῥα, in the tale of his wanderings.

[ back ] 4. Plus two examples in the Odyssey of an accusative instead of a nominative beginning the verse.

[ back ] 5. These are lumped together as “speech introduction for dead soul” rather than being separated into the subcategories of “response by dead soul” (with δ’ αὖτε) and “initial speech by dead soul” (with προτέρη).

[ back ] 6. One additional example in the Odyssey where the subject and object are reversed in position.