Pointing at the Past: From Formula to Performance in Homeric Poetics

  Bakker, Egbert J. 2005. Pointing at the Past: From Formula to Performance in Homeric Poetics. Hellenic Studies Series 12. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_BakkerE_Pointing_at_the_Past.2005.

Chapter 1. Peripheral and Nuclear Semantics

Together these studies point to “peripherality” as an essential and structural property of Greek epic diction. And this basic insight suggests an obvious line of research: to investigate which further part of Homer’s diction can be characterized as peripheral material with respect to which nucleus. In this chapter, I address, by way of case study, the dative expressions for “spear” in this light, seeing whether they can be described as peripheral, extending material with respect to verbs denoting killing or wounding. Also, I will be concerned with the conditions under which a given element may be called “peripheral” in Homer and the conditions under which it may not.

Nucleus and Periphery

In this chapter I will elaborate on this point, analyzing δουρὶ φαεινῷ and expressions for “with the (his) spear” in general from the point of view of their verse-technical function. I will argue that very often these expressions are not uttered to convey what they mean by their lexical value. Rather, they are uttered to adapt the verb of killing or wounding to its metrical context, by giving it the appropriate length. The fact that the nucleus is a verb of killing or wounding puts contextual constraints on the functioning of this formulaic “system”: it is confined to contexts that are concerned with androktasiai ‘killings in battle’. I will return to this point below.

1. Neutrality with respect to context.

Peripheral elements are semantically neutral in that they may just be present or absent without any difference for the intended meaning of the combination nucleus-periphery. This is the logical consequence of the notion of peripherality: a peripheral element is peripheral precisely because it may be absent without leaving a semantic gap. And when it is present, it serves primarily a verse-technical, rather than a semantic role.

2. Metrical diversity

The function of a peripheral element not only hinges on its neutrality with respect to context, but also on its variable metrical form, which is what Parry called “length” (see above): if the verse-filling and extending function of a peripheral element is to be fully productive in the diction, the peripheral element has to be able to fill any incident metrical slot in an automatic way. Consequently, diversity of metrical form can be seen as an index of peripherality. The diversity can be achieved by a number of means, each of which is in its own right a salient feature of the Homeric diction. We may mention (i) morphological and/or dialectal diversity, (ii) the addition of optional (“peripheral”) elements, and (iii) synonymy.

The second means to effect metrical diversity implies that a peripheral element may consist of a nucleus and a periphery itself (as in the case of δουρὶ φαεινῷ, where the epithet φαεινῷ ‘shining’ functions as periphery to the nucleus δουρί, or in the case of the ships just mentioned, where the dative phrase for “ships” can be modified itself by a number of epithets. Peripherality is thus a recursive affair: it applies within expressions that are as a whole peripheral to something else. The addition of epithets will be further discussed in section 3 below.

The third factor, synonymy, means that the very frequent phenomenon in Homer of the existence of various lexemes with the same meaning is not just a matter of poetic style; synonymy in Homeric diction is motivated by the need of different metrical forms for one single semantic concept. A good example of metrically motivated synonymy in Homer is the large number of verbs meaning “to kill” (Visser 1987:67–79), which reflects the non-determinant (reacting) status of the verb in verses reporting a killing.

3. The meaning of ornamental adjectives

Metrical and/or prosodic diversity as discussed in the previous section is greatly augmented when more than one peripheral element may be added to the nucleus. Thus in the system of the peripheral element “with the spear” just listed, we have δουρὶ φαεινῷ and ὀξέϊ δουρί beside χαλκήρεϊ δουρί, and ἔγχεϊ μακρῷ beside ἔγχεϊ χαλκείῳ and ἔγχεϊ ὀξυόεντι. The co-existence of various epithets to one nucleus leads us again to the question of the meaning of these elements. We already saw that peripheral elements are neutral with respect to their context (subsection 1 above); we may now say that they are mutually interchangeable as well. Like neutrality with respect to context, interchangeability is a crucial feature of peripheral elements: for δουρὶ φαεινῷ and ὀξέϊ δουρὶ, for example, to function as a metrically identical pair that allows for adaptation to the prosodic circumstances, and so to adequately perform their function as peripheral elements, there must be, in this particular function, no semantic (lexical) barriers between the epithets “shining” and “sharp” which would restrict the choice of either of them.

But again it should be stressed that interchangeability does not imply loss or superfluity of meaning: the fact that δουρὶ φαεινῷ is in principle interchangeable with ὀξέϊ δουρί does not mean that the lexical difference between the two epithets is irrelevant. φαεινός ‘shining’ is the epithet for heroic weaponry in general as well as for “eyes,” those of Zeus in particular, the eyes that not only saw the battle but also oversaw its crucial developments. [25] The spear’s visibility as it shines in the sun when brandished, thrown, or missing its target is consistently brought out by the use of the φαεινός-epithet as periphery to verbs denoting these actions: Tἀκόντισε δουρὶ φαεινῷ || ‘made a throw with the shining spear’, Tτιτύσκετο δουρὶ φαεινῷ || ‘brandished the shining spear’, Tἀπήμβροτε δουρὶ φαεινῷ || “missed with the shining spear.” [26] In two of these cases, the other phrase ὀξέϊ δουρί could have been used on account of so-called nu movable in the Ionic dialect (ἀκόντισεν ὀξέϊ δουρὶ, ἀπήμβροτεν ὀξέϊ δουρί), but this happens only at Iliad IV 490. By contrast, ὀξέϊ δουρί is consistently used when the spear actually hits an opponent’s body or armor and so is true to its sharpness. Typical verbs in this connection are βεβλήκει ‘hit’ (Iliad V 73), οὔτασε ‘wounded’ (e.g., Iliad V 336, XVI 317), νύξ(ε) ‘thrust’ (XX 488–489), etc. Still, the poetic or factual difference between the two epithets can be easily overruled. At Iliad VI 32 (ἐνήρατο δουρὶ φαεινῷ), cited above on p. #, for example, δουρὶ φαεινῷ is used simply because the nuclear verb ἐνήρατο ends on a vowel.

From Peripheral to Significant

1. Spears in battle narrative

What is omnipresent in consciousness may be taken for granted to such a degree that its presence speaks for itself. And when it is mentioned, there is either a specific reason for doing so, or the mentioning serves the purpose of peripherality which we are studying here. The idea “with the spear” appears to be so prominent when battle is described that it is subsumed in the semantics of verbs of spear-handling (killing, wounding, aiming etc.): the modifier “with the spear” may be omitted with any of these verbs in contexts in which the use of spears goes as a matter of course. The consequence of this is that when a spear is explicitly mentioned in this context, the purpose is versification: a spear-handling verb is extended backwards or forwards to the nearest metrical boundary (verse-beginning or –end, caesura). In other words the dative modifier becomes a peripheral element that is suited to this particular context and this particular nucleus.

Let us start again from instances like Iliad VI 32 cited on p. #. Here a spear-expression of the form ⎯ ∪ ∪ ⎯ ⎯ || extends a verb of the form T∪ ⎯ ∪ ∪B (falling between the trochaic caesura and the bucolic diaeresis) to the end of the line. δουρὶ φαεινῷ as extension of ἐνήρατο occurs only once, as already indicated, but as extension of ἀκόντισε, a verb of the same metrical form, it is very frequent (14 times in the Iliad), for example:

῞Εκτωρ δ᾿ αὖτ᾿ Αἴαντος ἀκόντισε δουρὶ φαεινῷ·

Iliad XVII 304

and Hektor, at Aias he made a throw with the shining spear

Ἕκτωρ δ᾿ Αὐτομέδοντος ἀκόντισε δουρὶ φαεινῷ·

Iliad XVII 525

and Hektor, at Automedon he made a throw with the shining spear

These verses are as to their internal structure similar to Iliad VI 32: the names of the agent and his target or victim, being semantically the most important, have “priority” in the production of the verse; together they lay down the verse-structure, the object occupying the important position just before the trochaic caesura and the remaining metrical space (the second half of the verse) being filled by the verb and its extension.

That δουρὶ φαεινῷ is no more than an optional extension of the verb appears from the fact that it can be easily dropped when the names of the aggressor and his intended victim cannot, for some reason, be placed in the first half of the line. Consider:

τοῦ δ᾿ ἰθὺς μεμαῶτος ἀκόντισε Τυδέος υἱός·

Iliad VIII 118

and at him charging directly, he made a throw, Tydeus’ son.

Consider also:

Αἴαντος δὲ πρῶτος ἀκόντισε φαίδιμος Ἕκτωρ

Iliad XIV 402

and at Aias as the first he made a throw, glorious Hektor.

This verse is as to its propositional content identical to Iliad XVII 304 cited earlier: both state the fact that Hektor aimed his spear at Aias, and one could ask why the two verses are different. Again, the difference appears to be motivated by contextual considerations, which take precedence over the question as to whether or not to use δουρὶ φαεινῷ. The crucial difference between Iliad XVII 304 and Iliad XIV 402 is that the latter is not a neutral statement of the type “A (Hektor) aimed at B (Aias).” The line follows on a description of the lining up of the two armies in battle order, the Greeks by Poseidon and the Trojans by Hektor. Similes underline the shouting of the two armies and the tension rises: what will happen now? The idea of “the first” to do something comes to the fore, and this is in fact what determines the first verse after the description: πρῶτος ‘the first’ is placed at the important pre-caesural position and the usual constituents are rearranged accordingly. The name of the target, Αἴαντος, is placed first in the verse, and the name of Hektor, deducible from the previous context, is placed at the end of the line, as the kind of disambiguating apposition we saw earlier. The name is extended by the epithet φαίδιμος, so that it occupies the same metrical space as δουρὶ φαεινῷ.

The following example shows that apart from πρῶτος there can be more factors at work:

Αἰνείας δὲ πρῶτος ἀκόντισεν Ἰδομενῆος·

Iliad XIII 502

and Aineias as the first he made a throw at Idomeneus

Here it is the metrical form of Ἰδομενῆος that causes the divergence from the basic pattern of Iliad XVII 304 and 525 cited earlier: if this form (⎯ ∪ ∪ ⎯ ∪) is placed at the normal position for new information before the trochaic caesura, there is no more room left for the subject Aineías, and as this form cannot be placed after the bucolic diaeresis, the object has to move to the end of the line.

Another example of the peripherality of spear-expressions is constituted by cases where δουρὶ or ἔγχεϊ are used in a context where the spear was mentioned just before:

Ἕκτωρ δ᾿ ὁρμηθέντος ἀκόντισε δουρὶ φαεινῷ.
ἀλλ᾿ ὁ μὲν ἄντα ἰδὼν ἠλεύατο χάλκεον ἔγχος
τυτθόν· ὁ δ᾿ Ἀμφίμαχον Κτεάτου υἷ᾿ Ἀκτορίωνος,
νισόμενον πόλεμόνδε κατὰ στῆθος βάλε δουρί·

Iliad XIII 183–186

and Hektor threw at him as he rushed, with the shining spear. | But he, looking ahead, dodged the bronze spear | by a hair; and he <, it was> Amphimakhos son of Kteatos of Aktorion, | coming back to the war, on the chest he hit with the spear

τοῦ δὲ βάδην ἀπιόντος ἀκόντισε δουρὶ φαεινῷ
Δηΐφοβος· δὴ γάρ οἱ ἔχεν κότον ἐμμενὲς αἰεί.
ἀλλ᾿ ὅ γε καὶ τόθ᾿ ἅμαρτεν, ὁ δ᾿ Ἀσκάλαφον βάλε δουρὶ,
υἱὸν Ἐνυαλίοιο· δι᾿ ὤμου δ᾿ ὄβριμον ἔγχος
ἔσχεν· ὁ δ᾿ ἐν κονίῃσι πεσὼν ἕλε γαῖαν ἀγοστῷ.

Iliad XIII 516–520

and at him as he walked away he threw with the shining spear, | Deiphobos; he still had rancor unrelenting for him. | But he missed him then as well, and Askalaphos he hit with the spear, | son of Enualios; right through the shoulder the sturdy spear | it went; and he falling in the dust took a handful of earth.

When the wording is similar between two formulaic passages, the differences become revealing. Polupoites’ killing of Damasos and Akhilleus’ killing of Demoleon are identical battle events. What seems at first sight in Polupoites’ killing to be a genuine, referential mentioning of a spear (δουρὶ βάλεν Δάμασον ‘hit Damasos with the spear’) that makes possible the use of αἰχμὴ χαλκείῃ ‘bronze spear point’ two verses later, appears in light of Akhilleus’ killing in Book XX to be no more than the optional backward extension of βάλεν to the beginning of the line. For at Iliad XX 399 αἰχμή is used in an identical way, both in battle and in the verse, without any overt preparation. Of course, verbs such as νύσσειν ‘thrust’ and ἀκοντίζειν ‘throw (a spear)’ virtually imply the use of a spear, but the same principle equally applies to more neutral verbs such as βάλλειν ‘hit’ and οὐτάζειν ‘wound’. This proves that the omnipresence of spears in the depicted battle may correlate with absence of spears in the text. And the fact that this absence does not make the text illogical or incoherent is the basis for the use of δουρὶ/ἔγχεϊ as a context-neutral peripheral element.

2. Significant mention in battle narrative

Spear-expressions, too, may be used as a significant, context-sensitive element in the same contexts and in the same metrical positions as the examples discussed earlier. Below follow two examples of this phenomenon; they do not have a special poetic effect, but they show that the peripheral status of an element can always be overruled whenever the context motivates this. Consider first Diomedes’ encounter with an immortal opponent in the Iliadic battle:

οἱ δ᾿ ὅτε δὴ σχεδὸν ἦσαν ἐπ᾿ ἀλλήλοισιν ἰόντες,
πρόσθεν Ἄρης ὠρέξαθ᾿ ὑπὲρ ζυγὸν ἡνία θ᾿ ἵππων
ἔγχεϊ χαλκείῳ, μεμαὼς ἀπὸ θυμὸν ἑλέσθαι·
καὶ τό γε χειρὶ λαβοῦσα θεὰ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη
ὦσεν ὑπὲκ δίφροιο ἐτώσιον ἀϊχθῆναι.
δεύτερος αὖθ᾿ ὡρμᾶτο βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Διομήδης
ἔγχεϊ χαλκείῳ· ἐπέρεισε δὲ Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη
νείατον ἐς κενεῶνα, ὅθι ζωννύσκετο μίτρῃ·

Iliad V 850–857

and they when they were close, coming in contact with each other, | Ares has eagerly reached over the yoke and the reins of the chariot, | burning with desire to take away his soul with the bronze spear; | and taking it with her hand goddess owl-eyed Athena, | she pushed it to fly in vain over the chariot. | In his turn then he leaned over, Diomedes good at the war-cry | with the bronze spear: and Pallas Athena pushed it | against his underbelly, where his belt was fastened.

The full integration of the two instances of ἔγχεϊ χαλκείῳ in the chain of ideas in the narrative appears from the fact that each time the deletion of the phrase would disrupt the coherence of the discourse: τό γε in line 853 would be left hanging in the air, and there would be uncertainty as to the object of ἐπέρεισε ‘she pushed’ in line 855. The difference with Iliad XII 182–186 on p. # above is clear. There the second reference to the spear is not pronominal or zero, but fully nominal. This alone makes the preceding dative redundant: it can easily be missed, as is shown by Iliad XX 395–400 on p. #. Furthermore, and more importantly, δουρὶ at Iliad XII 183 (p. #) cannot be called the first mention of a persistent topic: the subsequent discourse in those examples is not concerned with what happened to the spear, as in the encounter of Ares and Diomedes, but with what happened next, or what happened to the victim.

In the following example, the dative expression is significant for another reason:

ἔνθ᾿ ἕλεν ᾿Αστύνοον καὶ Ὑπείρονα, ποιμένα λαῶν,
τὸν μὲν ὑπὲρ μαζοῖο βαλὼν χαλκήρεϊ δουρί,
τὸν δ᾿ ἕτερον ξίφεϊ μεγάλῳ κληῗδα παρ᾿ ὦμον
πλῆξ᾿, ἀπὸ δ᾿ αὐχένος ὦμον ἐέργαθεν ἠδ᾿ ἀπὸ νώτου.

Iliad V 144–147

there he took both Astynoos and Hypeiron, shepherd of the troops, | hitting the one above the jaw with the bronze spear, | and the other with his large sword on the collar-bone by the shoulder | he struck, and he severed the shoulder from the neck and from the back.

Here we have two contrasting sentences: two different warriors, functioning as contrasting topics (τὸν μὲν … τὸν δ᾿ ἕτερον ‘the one … the other’) are hit by two different weapons at two different parts of their body. Consequently, the dative χαλκήρεϊ δουρὶ is a means to differentiate two different killings from one another and cannot be a peripheral element.

3. Mention outside battle-narrative.

Outside battle narrative in the sense delimited above, spears may be referred to together with other weapons. The dative for “spear” is then coordinated with other expressions:

αὐτὰρ ὁ τῶν ἄλλων ἐπεπωλεῖτο στίχας ἀνδρῶν
ἔγχεΐ τ᾿ ἄορί τε μεγάλοισί τε χερμαδίοισιν,
ὄφρά οἱ αἷμ᾿ ἔτι θερμὸν ἀνήνοθεν ἐξ ὠτειλῆς.

Iliad XI 264–266

but he, he ranged along the ranks of the other men, | with spear, sword, and large stones, | until his blood, warm, surged up out of the wound.

“With his spear” as a coordinated phrase yields the recurrent phrase δουρί τε μακρῷ ‘and with the long spear’, which cannot function as a peripheral element, since in containing the connective particle τε it can hardly be called context-neutral (the context has to be concerned with coordination):

Αἰνείας δ᾿ ἀπόρουσε σὺν ἀσπίδι δουρί τε μακρῷ

Iliad V 297

and Aeneas he rushed away with his shield and his long spear

οὕνεκ᾿ ἄρ᾿ οὐ τόξοισι μαχέσκετο δουρί τε μακρῷ

Iliad VII 140

because he was not fighting with the bow nor with the long spear

It may be that a Homeric warrior cannot rage but with his spear, but this has not created a need for a peripheral system around the nucleus “rage.”

The notion of grammar, in a direct linguistic sense, may be used to get the relation between “formula” and “original meaning” in sharper focus. Grammar is not a constraint but a set of emergent rules that make purposeful expression and communication possible. True, grammar may create standardized, indeed formulaic phrases, that have to be used, and remembered, as such in their idiomatic fixity. But grammar may also involve the kind of regularity by which speakers behave according to flexible rules that they help shape in using them. Here the distinction between “traditional” and “original” loses its meaning, since speakers are both. In this way Homeric formulas can certainly be the ready-made building blocks that appear in many discussions. But no poetry or narrative would be possible without more flexible strategies, such as the regularized adaptations of nuclear elements to the metrical circumstances that we have studied in this chapter. The notion of peripheral semantics thus explicitly leaves room for “free will” without precluding the existence of a style and a method of versification which significantly differ from unequivocally literate poetry.


[ back ] 1. Jahn 1987, Bakker 1988a:151–195, and Visser 1987, 1988.

[ back ] 2. Parry 1930:117–147 (= Parry 1971:301–324).

[ back ] 3. Cf. Lord 1960:35–36; see also Bakker 1995, 1997a:187.

[ back ] 4. See Minton 1965, Hainsworth 1964, Hoekstra 1965:7–30 among others. These studies strongly object to the policy of Parry and his followers to assign formulaic status to a given expression whenever it can be shown to have “something” in common with another expression (cf. the well-known statement in Parry 1971: 313: “Τεῦχε κύνεσσιν is like δῶκεν ἑταίρῳ”). The increasingly abstract “verse-patterns” and “structural formulas” came close to being equated with the metrical localization patterns of the hexameter in general (O’Neill 1942), whether oral or written.

[ back ] 5. Cf. Bakker 1990b; 1997a:200–206.

[ back ] 6. Parry 1971:17, 276–278.

[ back ] 7. O’Neill’s (1942) tables do not show significant differences between Homer and Alexandrian poets. The “inner metric” of the hexameter is thus diachronically stable from Homer onwards, being apparently insensitive to the way the verse is produced.

[ back ] 8. Parry 1971:84; cf. Bakker 1997a:201.

[ back ] 9. Parry 1971:305 [1930:124]: “The fixed epithet in Homer is purely ornamental. It has been used with its noun until it has become fused with it into what is no more, so far as the essential idea goes, than another metrical form of the name.” For a good survey of Parry’s thought in this respect, see Visser 1987:1–40.

[ back ] 10. Jahn 1987:247–258. The important point here is that the numerous phrases for “in his heart” (see the list on p. 256) are not as many formulae from which the poet may choose when he wants to say “in his heart”; what the poet wants to say is, e.g., “he was grieved/happy,” or “he was thinking”; the function of the “in his heart”-expressions is to adapt this phrase to the metrical context. For the semantic consequences of this, see below.

[ back ] 11. Bakker 1988a:171–186.

[ back ] 12. Visser 1987, 1988. The insights have now been applied to the context-type with which battle narrative has greatest structural affinity, entries in the Catalogue of Ships; see Visser 1997:49–77.

[ back ] 13. For the principles underlying the translation offered (as well as of extracts to be cited later on), see Chapter Three below and in more detail Bakker 1997a:49–122.

[ back ] 14. In its turn, the verb ἐνήρατο is in its localization and form dependent on the form and localization of the two proper names in the first half of the line. These two elements determine the structure of the verse.

[ back ] 15. For the “synonymy” of these two words for spear, δόρυ and ἔγχος with respect to their peripheral function, see below, p. # as well as Chapter Two.

[ back ] 16. See also Jahn 1987:249.

[ back ] 17. See for instance Tsagarakis 1982 and Vivante 1982. However, in its turn this reaction has gone too far too. See subsection 3 below.

[ back ] 18. See also Visser’s (1987:58–65) typology of killing scenes.

[ back ] 19. Witte 1913; Meister 1921.

[ back ] 20. But see below, Chapters Six and Seven, for different views on the presence of older linguistic strata in Homer.

[ back ] 21. On formulas for “ships,” see Alexanderson 1970.

[ back ] 22. See also Whallon 1966:16–18, who argues that in contradistinction to the pair σάκος and ἀσπίς, which is consistently used to refer to two different types of shields, δόρυ and ἔγχος are used indiscriminately to refer to any (type of) spear. However, originally δόρυ and ἔγχος probably designated different weapons (Trümpy 1950:53–54). See further Chapter Two below.

[ back ] 23. On the syntax of this passage, see Bakker 1997a:101–102.

[ back ] 24. See also Paraskevaides 1984:26. The letters “V” and “C” indicate whether a phrase has initial vowel or consonant when it is metrically identical to another phrase. Note that there are more words for “spear” (e.g., ἐγχείη, ἄκων, αἰγανέη), or words that by metonymical extension of their meaning may come to mean “spear” in Homer, either in applying to parts of a spear (αἰχμή, ἀκωκή, ξυστόν) or to the material of which (a part of) the spear is made (μελίη, χαλκός). These words either do not occur in the dative or, if they do, do not have the function under study here (but ξυστῷ occurs two times as what seems to be a peripheral element to a verb of wounding: IV 469 and XI 260). The notable exception is χαλκῷ, which forms, just like δουρί/ἔγχει, epithet-combinations (ὀξέϊ χαλκῷ, νηλέϊ χαλκῷ, ταναήκεϊ χαλκῷ) that would seem to compete with the δουρί/ἔγχει-expressions in battle contexts. See further Chapter Two below.

[ back ] 25. Shield: III 356; V 437; VII 251; VIII 272; XI 435; XIII 342, etc; helmet: X 76; XIII 527, 805, etc; Zeus’s eyes: XIII 3, 7; XIV 236, XVI 645.

[ back ] 26. Where “T” stands for the trochaic caesura and “||” for the end of the verse.

[ back ] 27. Notice, incidentally, that the meaning of ὀξυόεις is strictly speaking controversial. Homer may have used it as a kind of synonym to ὀξύς, but on account of the suffix –εις ‘rich in’ it must have meant originally something like “with sharp parts.” If, on the other hand, the alternative meaning “beechen” is valid, then Tsagarakis’ point obviously loses all its force.

[ back ] 28. Tsagarakis criticizes Edwards 1966:149, who states, rightly, that at XVI 309 ἔγχεϊ ὀξυόεντι is preferred to ἐγχεϊ χαλκείῳ simply because of its extra syllable.

[ back ] 29. Compare also the discussion on “illogical” epithets in Homer, such as Penelope’s “thick hand” (χειρὶ παχείῃ, xxi 6) or the beggar Iros’s “queenly mother” (πότνια μήτηρ, xviii 5). Parry’s formulaic treatment (1971:131–133) has been followed by attempts to account for the illogicality in terms of poetic meaning (e.g., Combellack 1965) or in terms of a different cultural load of the epithet (e.g., “thick” hands being becoming for women in a culture that appreciates body size: Lowenstam 1993:30, with Bakker 1998b).

[ back ] 30. On the structural similarities between battle narrative and catalogues, see Beye 1964.

[ back ] 31. See O’Neill 1942:145.

[ back ] 32. Notice that δ᾿ ἄρ᾿, δ᾿ ἄρα, and δ᾿ ἄρ᾿ ἔπειτα may be analyzed as the extended forms of δέ (see Visser 1987:91–92, Bakker 1990b:397). In other words, the principle of nucleus and periphery equally applies to the connective particle. This means that for the description of ἄρα in Homer (on which, see Grimm 1962, Bakker 1993a:15–25, as well as Chapter Six below) there is an important difference whether the particle is preceded by δέ or not.

[ back ] 33. The functioning of a noun phrase as a non-subject term behind a verb is sometimes called “right-dislocation” or “tail” in linguistics. This phenomenon, characteristic of spoken discourse is important for the study of Homeric discourse in a number of ways. See Bakker 1990a, 1997a:89–108, 1997c:293–297 as well as Chapter Three below.

[ back ] 34. See also Visser 1987:82.

[ back ] 35. On this type of situation, see Lossau 1991.

[ back ] 36. Sometimes the βάλε δουρὶ-expression belongs to the C-part of Beye’s (1964) ABC-scheme for battle descriptions, in which, after a little biographical or anecdotal digression (the B-part) about the victim who was stated in the A-part, the poet refers back to the victim by means of an anaphoric pronoun (see also Visser’s 1987:44–57 typology of battle scenes). An example is IV 494–504: τοῦ δ᾿ Ὀδυσεὺς μάλα θυμὸν ἀποκταμένοιο χολώθη (495) (…) ἀκόντισε δουρὶ φαεινῷ (497) (…) τόν ῥ᾿Ὀδυσεὺς ἑτάροιο χολωσάμενος βάλε δουρὶ (501).

[ back ] 37. Compare also XVI 317–318 (cited on p. # above). Similar cases are V 72–74, where χαλκός in line 74 refers back to δουρὶ in line 72; V 660–661, where αἰχμή in line 661 refers back to ἔγχεϊ μακρῷ in line 660; XIII 561–562, where αἰχμή in line 562 refers back to ὀξέϊ χαλκῷ in line 561; and XV 573–575, with δουρὶ φαεινῷ in line 573 and βέλος in line 575.

[ back ] 38. See also V 65–67; XI 434–435; XVII 605–607.

[ back ] 39. See Bakker 1988a:153–157 for a discussion of “formula” in this regard.

[ back ] 40. Bakker 1997a:198–200.

[ back ] 41. See, e. g., Givón 1983:17–18., Bakker 1997a:92–108 as well as Chapter Three, p. # below. Zero anaphora is in Greek the normal realization of persistent object topics. A good example is Iliad II 102–108, where Agamemnon’s royal scepter (introduced in 1ine 101) is the persistent (continuous) topic; it is referred to six times but never expressed; on the verbs (unaugmented aorists) here, see further Chapter Seven below.

[ back ] 42. See Bakker 1988a:171–186.

[ back ] 43. See also note 32 above.

[ back ] 44. Compare the compound δουριάλωτος. The language of war testifies to the omnipresence of spears in Iliadic warfare.

[ back ] 45. Cf. XVI 193–195, 834–835.

[ back ] 46. Cf. I 303, XVI 56–57.

[ back ] 47. Cf. Bakker 1995; 1997a:184–206.