Homer from Z to A

Metrics, Linguistics, and Zenodotus


This book presents the first systematic linguistic study of Zenodotus’ variant readings, showing that he used a version of Homer older than the one used by Aristarchus a century later. Several clues point to the fact that Zenodotus’ version belongs to a tradition that was already distinct from that which eventually yielded the vulgate (that is, the Homer we know). In particular, his version largely pre-dates the Sophists’ reflections on language, rhetorics and style, and the grammatical theories of Alexandrian scholars.

The finding presented in this book should encourage not only historical linguists, but also philologists and classicists to revise the communis opinio and attentively consider Zenodotus’ readings in their research.

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Claire Le Feuvre is Professor of Greek and Indo-European Linguistics at the Sorbonne University of Paris. As an Indo-Europeanist, she specialised in Slavic linguistics (Ph.D. on Old Novgorodian, 1998) and Ancient Greek (Habilitation on Homer, 2009). She previously published a book on the reanalysis and reinterpretation of Homeric words in Greek (Ὅμηρος δύσγνωστος. Réinterprétations de termes homériques à date archaïque et classique. Geneva, Droz. 2015) as well as several articles in English and in French.

 1 Homeric Scholarship and Zenodotus’ Status
 2 Corpus

1 Zenodotus’ Text: An Overview
 1 Types of Variant Readings
 2 Linguistic Evidence for Zenodotus’ Text
 3 Criteria of Discussion of Variant Readings
 4 Old Forms in new clothes
 5 Should a Zenodotean Older Reading Be Printed in a Modern Edition?
 6 Zenodotus and Historical Linguistics

2 Sitting on an Old Tree
 1 Γ 151–152: The Metrical Problem
 2 Zenodotus’ Reading
 3 Dialectal Trees
 4 The Athematic Forms of δένδρεον
 5 “Tree” and Its Proto-Indo-European Root
 6 Back to Zenodotus
 7 Δενδρήεις

3 “Demain dès l’aube” (Tomorrow at Dawn)
 1 Θ 470: The Metrical Problem
 2 Θ 470: The Syntactic Problem
 3 Zenodotus’ Reading
 4 Aeolic αὔα/αὖα
 5 Proto-Indo-European Inflection of “Dawn”
 6 Boeotian ἀϝές, Zenodotus’ ἄϝας and Sappho’s *αὔα
 7 Ἄας δὴ and ἠοῦς δὴ
 8 Θ 525
 9 Chronology and Phonetic Evolution
 10 Achaean Type τελήεις

4 Stretching Arms
 1 Α 351
 2 A Linguistic Fossil
 3 Yet Another Fossil

5 Matters of Perception
 1 Ξ 37–38: The Hapax ὀψείοντες
 2 Zenodotus’ Reading
 3 Adverbs and Preverbs
 4 μ 438–439
 5 Elimination of ὄψ
 6 From Zenodotus’ Reading to the Vulgate

6 Cloaks and Coats
 1 Ἔρυμα/ἔλυμα Δ 137
 2 Νυκτὶ ἐλυσθείς Α 47
 3 ϝελυσθείς and ἐλυσθείς
 4 ἐλύσθη
 5 A New Picture
 6 Hesiod’s ἔλῡμα

7 Straight Shaft and Straight Flight
 1 The hapax ἰθυπτῑ́ων
 2 Κυλλοποδίων
 3 Zenodotus’ Reading
 4 Reconstruction and Etymology
 5 The Vulgate’s Reading

8 Hollow Lacedaemon, Its Reeds, Its Crevices …
 1 Achaean κηώεις?
 2 Κοίλην Λακεδαίμονα κητώεσσαν # Β 581
 3 What Was Zenodotus’ Spelling?
 4 Καιτάεσσαν in Its Context
 5 Reanalysis and Secondary Use
 6 Remotivating the New Form

9 Reeds Again
 1 Σ 576: The Vulgate’s Reading
 2 Zenodotus’ Reading
 3 The Preposition and the Status of κελάδων

10 Homer the Master of Rhetorics
 1 Β 681
 2 Α 60
 3 Ζ 70–71
 4 Λ 458
 5 Γ 210–211
 6 O 190–191



Appendix: The Corpus
Index Verborum
Index Locorum
Index Grammaticorum
Academic audience (scholars, post-graduate students) interested Indo-European linguistics, Greek historical linguistics, Homeric studies, Classics.
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