## Wednesday 8 March 2023

### Homer's metre 3. Catalogue and glossary

An appendix to the last two posts on Homer’s hexameter. Contents:

• A taxonomy of violations of Hermann’s Bridge
• Glossary of technical terms relating to the hexameter
 1. Structure of the hexameter | 2. Hermann’s Bridge | 3. Catalogue and glossary

## A taxonomy of violations of Hermann’s Bridge

Seth Schein gives a convenient catalogue of violations in his book Homeric epic and its reception (2016: 114–115). He uses the following taxonomy:

• violations following an enclitic (13× Iliad, 12× Odyssey)
• violations without an enclitic (7× Iliad, 12× Odyssey)
• not counted because of textual variance (1× Iliad)
• Hesiodic violations (2× Theogony, 1× Works and days)
• Homeric Hymns (1× H.Dionysos, 2× H.Demeter, 1× H.Apollo)
• fragment of doubtful age, probably Roman-era (1× papyrus)

Mark Janse (2020) powerfully makes the point that it’s often subjective how you divide a line into its component phrases. A line like this does technically have a word break at the usual mid-line position:

κλέπτε νόωι, ἐπεὶ οὐ ⫶ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις

But it’s daft to treat a prepositive like οὐ as the end of a prosodic unit, as Janse points out (2020: 4). Yet that’s exactly how M. L. West analyses the line (1982: 36). West’s bizarre analysis, with οὐ at colon end, is driven by his theory that the hexameter originated as a hemiepes + paroemiac. An analysis following the four-colon model of Fränkel and Porter would produce something equally nonsensical.

In practice, this line obviously consists of three units, a combination with 3 + 5 + 4 beats. That is, the prosodic units end in the middle of the second foot, and at the end of the fourth foot.

κλέπτε νόωι, ⫶ ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι ⫶ οὐδέ με πείσεις

The question is, which word breaks matter, and which ones don’t? And for our purposes, what kinds of word breaks count as a violation of Hermann’s Bridge? Janse proposes some good ‘operational criteria’ based on postpositives and information structure (2020: 15–23), but they don’t help in this specific context.

One criterion relates to one-syllable words. It’s conventionally understood that a word of one syllable doesn’t violate a bridge. But Schein, above, isn’t sure whether this includes enclitics, and that’s why he includes them in his catalogue of violations. Should we regard a phrase like ἐπεί κε as one word or two? I’ll include them here too, but I’ll let you know in advance that of the five types I outline below, I don’t think types a, b, and c are violations — or, at most, they’re minor violations. Only the fourteen lines in types d and e genuinely violate Hermann’s Bridge.

In all lines quoted below, ⫶ represents a mid-line colon break, and : represents a word break at Hermann’s Bridge.

### Type a. Violations after an enclitic

Group 1. After ἐπεί + κε(ν)

Il. 1.168 ἔρχομ’ ἔχων ἐπὶ νῆας, ⫶ ἐπεί κε : κάμω πολεμίζων
Il. 2.475 ῥεῖα διακρίνωσιν ⫶ ἐπεί κε : νόμωι μιγέωσιν
Il. 21.575 ταρβεῖ οὐδὲ φοβεῖται, ⫶ ἐπεί κεν : ὑλαγμὸν ἀκουσηι
Od. 8.554 ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ πᾶσι τίθενται, ⫶ ἐπεί κε : τέκωσι, τοκῆες
Od. 18.150 μνηστῆρας καὶ κεῖνον, ⫶ ἐπεί κε : μέλαθρον ὑπέλθηι

Il. 21.575: schol. bT reports, Ἀρίσταρχός τινάς φησι γράφειν κυνυλαγμόν (West alters the accent and prints κυνύλαγμον). All manuscripts read κεν ὑλαγμὸν, including three ancient papyri, and implicitly so did Aristarchos.

Group 2. After ἐπεί/ἐπήν + enclitic personal pronoun

Il. 21.483 τοξοφόρωι περ ἐούσηι, ⫶ ἐπεί σε : λέοντα γυναιξίν || Ζεὺς θῆκεν
Il. 23.76 νίσομαι ἐξ Ἀΐδαο, ⫶ ἐπήν με : πυρὸς λελάχητε
Il. 24.423 καὶ νέκυός περ ἐόντος, ⫶ ἐπεί σφι : φίλος περὶ κῆρι
Od. 15.277 ἀλλά με νηὸς ἔφεσσαι, ⫶ ἐπεί σε : φυγὼν ἱκέτευσα

Il. 21.483 is also enjambed, another extremely rare phenomenon in Homer (object in line 483, subject and verb supplemented in 484).

Group 3. ὅσ(σ)ον τε γέγωνε βοήσας

Od. 5.400 ἀλλ’ ὅτε τόσσον ἀπῆν ⫶ ὅσσον τε : γέγωνε βοήσας
Od. 6.294 τόσσον ἀπὸ πτόλιος, ⫶ ὅσσον τε : γέγωνε βοήσας
Od. 9.473 ἀλλ’ ὅτε τόσσον ἀπῆν ⫶ ὅσσον τε : γέγωνε βοήσας
Od. 12.181 ἀλλ’ ὅτε τόσσον ἀπῆμεν, ⫶ ὅσον τε : γέγωνε βοήσας

Group 4. Correlative phrases

Od. 18.105 ἐνταυθοῖ νῦν ἧσο ⫶ κύνας τε : σύας τ’ ἀπέρυκαν
Od. 20.42 εἴ περ γὰρ κτείναιμι ⫶ Διός τε : σέθεν τε ἕκητι

Group 5. Participle phrases after περ/γε

Il. 2.246 Θερσῖτ’ ἀκριτόμυθε ⫶ λιγύς περ : ἐὼν ἀγορητής
Il. 5.571 Αἰνείας δ’ οὐ μεῖνε ⫶ θοός περ : ἐὼν πολεμιστής
Il. 10.549 μιμνάζειν παρὰ νηυσὶ ⫶ γέρων περ : ἐὼν πολεμιστής
Il. 15.585 Ἀντίλοχος δ’ οὐ μεῖνε ⫶ θοός περ : ἐὼν πολεμιστής
Il. 19.82 ἢ εἴποι; βλάβεται δὲ ⫶ λιγύς περ : ἐὼν ἀγορητής
Il. 23.306 Ἀντίλοχ’ ἤτοι μέν σε ⫶ νέον περ : ἐόντ’ ἐφίλησαν
Il. 24.35 τὸν νῦν οὐκ ἔτλητε ⫶ νέκυν περ : ἐόντα σαῶσαι
Od. 1.390 καί κεν τοῦτ’ ἐθέλοιμι ⫶ Διός γε : διδόντος ἀρέσθαι
Od. 19.253 νῦν μὲν δή μοι, ξεῖνε, ⫶ πάρος περ : ἐὼν ἐλεεινός
Od. 20.274 παύσαμεν ἐν μεγάροισι, ⫶ λιγύν περ : ἐόντ’ ἀγορητήν

Compare type b, below (participle phrases with no enclitic); this group represents an intersection between types a and b. Note that 9 out of these 10 use περ ἐών/ἐόντ-.

Hom.Hymn 1.5 ἄλλοι δ’ ἐν Θήβηισιν ⫶ ἄναξ, σε : λέγουσι γενέσθαι

Schein thinks that an enclitic at Hermann’s Bridge is only sort of a violation, and maybe not a violation at all. I agree. An enclitic is a short quasi-suffix that gets attached to the end of another word. You could compare them to the -n’t in English doesn’t, isn’t, wasn’t, except that enclitics also change the pronunciation of the word they’re attached to.

Schein isn’t quite sure what to make of violations after an enclitic (2016: 100). If you did treat an enclitic as an integral part of the preceding word, you might want to treat these violations as full-scale major violations of Hermann’s Bridge.

Θερσῖτ’ ἀκριτόμυθε, ⫶ λιγύς⁐περ : ἐών ἀγορητής

Enclitics are however distinct words, and are always semantically optional. If the enclitic weren’t there, there’d be a perfectly ordinary hepthemimeral word break.

ἡδυεπὴς ἀνόρουσε, ⫶ λιγὺς Πυλίων ἀγορητής

None of these groups is a major violation. But groups 4 and 5 cannot be regarded as any kind of violation, because the word(s) before the bridge are so closely linked to the line-end:

Od. 18.105: ἐνταυθοῖ νῦν ἧσο ⫶ κύνας τε : σύας τ’ ἀπέρυκαν
Il. 23.306: Ἀντίλοχ’ ἤτοι μέν σε ⫶ νέον περ : ἐόντ’ ἐφίλησαν

In Odyssey 18.105 (group 4), κύνας τε σύας τ’ is correlative: ‘to keep away both dogs and pigs’. In Iliad 23.306 (group 5), νέον περ ἐόντ’ is a discrete parenthesis: ‘they loved you, even though you are young’. Note that in group 5 the participle’s complement and the participle span the bridge, so there is no separation. In both groups, beats 6½ to 9 are spanned by the phrase. There is word break at beat 7½, but no colon break.

The upshot is that none of these subgroups give any reason to see the end of a prosodic unit at Hermann’s Bridge. Groups 1 to 3 might perhaps be considered to be minor violations, but very minor.

### Type b. Other violations within participle phrases

Il. 16.627 Μηριόνη τί σὺ ταῦτα ⫶ καὶ ἐσθλὸς : ἐὼν ἀγορεύεις;
Od. 5.272 Πληϊάδας τ’ ἐσορῶντι ⫶ καὶ ὀψὲ : δύοντα Βοώτην
Od. 17.381 Ἀντίνο’, οὐ μὲν καλὰ ⫶ καὶ ἐσθλὸς : ἐὼν ἀγορεύεις
W&D 751 παῖδα δυωδεκαταῖον, ⫶ ὅτ’ ἀνέρ’ : ἀνήνορα ποιεῖ

Type a, group 5, above, already gave us some examples of participle phrases spanning Hermann’s Bridge; those ones included enclitics. Type b consists of the remaining participle phrases: three Homeric, one Hesiodic.

As in type a group 5, the bridge doesn’t fall between a substantive and a participle phrase: that would justifiably be treated as a major violation. Rather, the bridge falls between the participle’s complement and the participle.

All lines in this category also have a monosyllable at Varro’s Bridge (at the end of the third foot); that may or may not be significant. Cf. two lines in type d below.

### Type c. Violations within prepositional phrases

Il. 9.482 μοῦνον τηλύγετον ⫶ πολλοῖσιν : ἐπὶ κτεάτεσσι
Od. 7.192 μνησόμεθ’, ὥς χ’ ὁ ξεῖνος ⫶ ἄνευθε : πόνου καὶ ἀνίης
Theog. 23 ἄρνας ποιμαίνονθ’ ⫶ Ἑλικῶνος : ὕπο ζαθέοιο

These follow similar principles to type b above. Since the phrases are governed by a word that comes immediately before or after the bridge (ἐπί, ἄνευθε, ὑπό), they cannot be construed as multiple phrases.

The Iliadic and Hesiodic examples structure the prepositional phrase with the preposition in between a substantive and its adjective; the Odyssey example has the preposition before the bridge.

### Type d. Violations before a single 4½-beat word at line-end

Il. 10.317 αὐτὰρ ὃ μοῦνος ἔην ⫶ μετὰ πέντε : κασιγνήτοισι
Il. 23.760 ἄγχι μάλ’, ὡς ὅτε τίς τε ⫶ γυναικὸς : ἐϋζώνοιο
Il. 24.753 ἐς Σάμον ἔς τ’ Ἴμβρον ⫶ καὶ Λῆμνον : ἀμιχθαλόεσσαν
Od. 1.241 νῦν δέ μιν ἀκλειῶς ⫶ Ἅρπυιαι : ἀνηρείψαντο
Od. 14.371 νῦν δέ μιν ἀκλειῶς ⫶ Ἅρπυιαι : ἀνηρείψαντο
Od. 18.140 πατρί τ’ ἐμῶι πίσυνος ⫶ καὶ ἐμοῖσι : κασιγνήτοισι
Od. 20.77 τόφρα δὲ τὰς κούρας ⫶ Ἅρπυιαι : ἀνηρείψαντο
Od. 4.684 μὴ μνηστεύσαντες ⫶ μηδ’ ἄλλοθ’ : ὁμιλήσαντες
H.Apollo 36 Ἴμβρος ἐϋκτιμένη ⫶ καὶ Λῆμνος : ἀμιχθαλόεσσα

With type d we come to major violations (3× Iliad, 5× Odyssey, 1× non-Homeric). This is in spite of the fact that the violation is forced, in the sense that a five- or six-syllable word necessarily has an unusual impact on the colometry; and in spite of the fact that in half of them the bridge falls between a noun and its adjective (Il. 10.317, 23.670, 24.753; Od. 18.140).

Splitting a noun phrase like this could be considered artificial, but it is also perfectly justifiable to regard it as a noun or adjective followed by supplementation, that is, as a violation. This is where we bump up against the subjectivity Janse complains of. There’s no robust justification for treating a noun + adjective as a single intonational unit. Parsimony demands that we treat these lines as the violations that they can reasonably be construed as.

In this category κασιγνήτοισι, ἀμιχθαλόεσσα(ν), and ἀνηρείψαντο appear multiple times in the line-end colon; ἐϋζώνοιο and ὁμιλήσαντες appear once each. The two lines with Λῆμνος/-ον ἀμιχθαλόεσσα(ν) have a monosyllable at Varro’s Bridge (cf. type b above).

### Type e. Other violations

Il. 6.2 πολλὰ δ’ ἄρ’ ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθ’ ⫶ ἴθυσε : μάχη πεδίοιο
Il. 24.60 θρέψά τε καὶ ἀτίτηλα ⫶ καὶ ἀνδρὶ : πόρον παράκοιτιν
Od. 10.415 δακρυόεντες ἔχυντο· ⫶ δόκησε δ’ : ἄρα σφίσι θυμὸς
Od. 12.47 ἀλλὰ παρὲξ ἐλάαν, ⫶ ἐπὶ δ’ οὔατ’ : ἀλεῖψαι ἑταίρων
Od. 17.399 μύθῳ ἀναγκαίῳ· ⫶ μὴ τοῦτο : θεὸς τελέσειε
Od. 20.344 μύθῳ ἀναγκαίῳ· ⫶ μὴ τοῦτο : θεὸς τελέσειε(ν)
Theog. 319 ἡ δὲ Χίμαιραν ἔτικτε ⫶ πνέουσαν : ἀμαιμάκετον πῦρ
H.Dem. 17 Νύσιον ἂμ πεδίον ⫶ τῆι ὄρουσεν : ἄναξ Πολυδέγμων
H.Dem. 452 ἑτήκει πανάφυλλον· ⫶ ἔκευθε δ’ : ἄρα κρῖ λευκόν

These are also major violations (2× Iliad, 4× Odyssey, 3× non-Homeric), with no mitigating factors. As in type d some of them could arguably be construed as a single phrase, but there are no robust principles to guarantee that as the correct approach.

Two of these are formulaic (Od. 17.399 ~ 20.344). In Theogony 319, note the Attic correption in ἔτικτε πνέουσαν. Schein cites one further example of unknown date from a hexameter papyrus, which appears in Bernabé’s edition of epic fragments as a fragmentum dubium:

PEG p. 85 dub., 11 [ . . . ἅ]μα καὶ νώτοισι : νέκυν οἵσωμ[εν]

This example is also unusual for having no colon break within the third foot.

## Glossary of technical terms

• Beat. See hemipes.
• Bridge. A position in a poetic rhythm that is normally mid-colon. Equivalently: a position where colon-break is avoided. More loosely, a position where word-break is avoided.
• Bucolic caesura. The result of a hexameter line having a four-beat colon at line-end: that is, a combination of 8 + 4 beats, 3 + 5 + 4 beats, etc. Equivalently: colon break at the end of the fourth foot. The name is ancient, from Greek βουκολικὴ τομή (Bassett 1919: 353). (Sometimes called ‘bucolic diaeresis’: the alternate term comes from the scholastic preoccupation of treating feet as prescriptive rather than descriptive, and so seeing foot-end as somehow different from mid-foot.)
• Caesura. The end of one colon and the start of the next. More loosely, used to refer to any position with a word-break.
• Colon. In Homeric metre, a prosodic unit that is well adapted to the hexameter rhythm. Frequently used prosodic units tend to be attached more or less rigidly to a particular position in the line. Any point in mid-colon is called a bridge; the start or end is called a caesura.
• Dactyl. A foot with the rhythm — ⏑⏑.
• Foot. A descriptive term for one sixth of the twelve-beat hexameter rhythm. Two further descriptive terms, dactyl and spondee, refer to the rhythms typically seen in each foot.
• Hemipes. The technical term for a beat. That is: either one long note or two short notes. The hexameter has twelve hemipedes, each lasting two morae. Odd-numbered hemipedes are (almost invariably) a single long note; the tenth is (almost invariably) two short notes. (Historically, this term comes from pes, Latin for ‘foot’, a descriptive term; that doesn’t mean beats themselves are only descriptive, however.)
• Hepthemimeral caesura. The result of a hexameter line having a five-beat colon at line-end: that is, a combination of 7 + 5 beats, 3 + 4 + 5, etc. Equivalently: colon break after the first syllable of the fourth foot. The name is ancient, from Greek ἑφθημιμερὴς τομή (Bassett 1919: 353).
• Hermann’s Bridge. The bridge in the middle of the eighth beat of a hexameter. (Equivalently: a dactylic fourth foot has no colon break between its two short syllables.) Over 99.95% of Homeric lines observe Hermann’s Bridge. Related to Wernicke’s Law: a word ending in the fourth foot with the natural rhythm — ⏑ would violate either Wernicke’s Law (if the last syllable is lengthened by position) or Hermann’s Bridge.
• Hexameter, more fully dactylic hexameter. The metre of Greco-Roman epic. The typical rhythm is: — ⏕ — ⏕ — ⏕ — ⏕ — ⏑⏑ — ×, with a variety of common colon rhythms that result in commonly observed bridges and caesuras.
• Long. A long note; a syllable lasting two morae.
• Meyer’s Laws. These ‘laws’ apply primarily to post-Homeric hexameter (West 1987: 225–226 notes that Iliad 1.1 breaks all three laws). 1. Words that begin in the first foot do not end between the shorts of the first foot or at the end of the foot. 2. Disyllabic words of the rhythm ⏑ – are avoided immediately before a penthemimeral caesura. 3. A line does not have word break after both the fifth and ninth beats, that is, in the middle of the third and fifth feet.
• Mid-line caesura. An umbrella term that includes colons ending after either the fifth beat (penthemimeral caesura) or halfway through the sixth beat (tritotrochaic caesura). 98% of Homeric lines have a mid-line caesura.
• Mora. In metre, a short note; in hexameter, half of a hemipes. (NB: in linguistics, a mora is a basic timing unit.)
• Penthemimeral caesura. The result of a line using a colon combination of 5 + 7 beats. Equivalently: colon break after the first syllable of the third foot. The name is ancient, from Greek πενθημιμερὴς τομή (Bassett 1919: 353).
• Short. A short note; a syllable lasting one mora.
• Spondee. A foot with the rhythm — —.
• Tritotrochaic caesura. The result of a hexameter line using a colon combination of 5½ + 6½ beats. Equivalently: colon break between the two short syllables of the third foot. The name is ancient, from Greek τρίτη τροχαικὴ τομή (Bassett 1919: 353).
• Varro’s Bridge. The bridge after the sixth beat of a line. (Equivalently: avoidance of colon break at the end of the third foot.)
• Wernicke’s Law. A word ending in the rhythm — — at the end of a spondaic fourth foot (i.e. immediately before a bucolic caesura) will normally have that spondaic rhythm naturally. That is, there will be no need to length the last syllable by position. Related to Hermann’s Bridge: a word in this position ending — ⏑ would violate either Wernicke’s Law (if the last syllable is lengthened by position) or Hermann’s Bridge.