Greek: An Updating of a Survey of Recent Work

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Preface to the 2008 online edition

P§1. This online book, “born digital” in 2008, stems from an earlier printed book, Greek: A Survey of Recent Work, co-authored by my late teacher Fred W. Householder and myself. It was published in 1972 by Mouton in the Hague (

P§2. As Householder noted in an unnumbered introductory footnote (p. 15), I was the author of the following sections of Householder and Nagy 1972: Introduction, Parts I and II, and the Conclusions in Part III (pp. 15–72). The publishing house of Mouton / de Gruyter has given me permission to republish these sections of “Nagy 1972” in Householder and Nagy 1972 as “Nagy 2008” on the website of the Center for Hellenic Studies (

P§3. This online republication of “Nagy 1972” in Greek: A Survey of Recent Work as “Nagy 2008” has been selectively updated. That is why I added the word “updating” in the title of Nagy 2008, Greek: An Updating of a Survey of Recent Work.

P§4. This 2008 updating involves some changes in the original 1972 text. New wordings of old observations are framed within circled asterisks (⊛___⊛), while new observations are framed within diamonds (◊___◊). Old observations from 1972 that need further rethinking in 2008, if not by me then by others, are framed within braces ({___}). Changes that do not affect the original content are made without any special indication. Among such changes are deletions of details that I now think are no longer needed.

P§5. The Bibliography that accompanies this 2008 online book includes from the old Bibliography of the original 1972 printed book only those secondary sources that are directly relevant to what is being said. In the case of references to secondary sources as listed in the Bibliography, the indications of the relevant page-numbers have been transferred from the main text into footnotes. As for references to primary sources, by which I mean sources that survive from the ancient world, the relevant citations are given not in the footnotes but in the main text.

P§6. The original page-numbers of Nagy 1972 in Householder and Nagy 1972 will be indicated in this online version of Nagy 2008 within braces (“{” and “}”). For example, “{16|17}” indicates where p. 16 of the original book ends and p. 17 begins. These indications will be useful to readers who need to look up references made by authors to the pages of the original printed version of Householder and Nagy 1972, such as the reference made by Alain Blanc (2008) in his important book on es-stems in Homeric poetry [1] or the multiple references made by Richard Janko (1992) in his commentary on Scrolls XIII-XVI of the Homeric Iliad. [2] As a further aid to the reader, ellipses have been added before and after those page-break indicators whose placement has been rendered a more impressionistic judgment as a result of extensive revisions.

P§7. In the future, any additional updating of this 2008 online book will be done in the format of online marginal notes, author-stamped and date-stamped, which are keyed to specific points in the book that need correction or further commentary. These points will be indicated by markings that refer to the immediately preceding word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph that needs to be updated.


[ back ] 1. Blanc 2008:79n98 on the poetic lengthening of vowels in word-initial syllables (see my pp. 34–35 below); he also cites this online publication (Nagy 2008).

[ back ] 2. Janko 1992:8n2 on the pre-Aeolic forms ἁ̄μός and ὑ̄μός as embedded in Homeric diction (see my p. 66 below); 11n10 on traces of “Mycenaean Greek” or “Achaean” in Homeric diction (see my pp. 62–66 below); 11n13 on the dialectal group known as “Arcado-Cypriote” (see my pp. 62–66 below); 17n30 on traces of Aeolic dialects embedded in Homeric diction (see my pp. 67–69 below); 303 on the phonological shift in the standard Mycenaean Greek dialect from e to i next to a labial (see my pp. 65–66 below).