The Attic declension

And some more of those dratted particles.

The Attic declension kicks off Unit 13. These are o-stem nouns some of which were subject to quantitative metathesis, hence νεώς (m) temple < νηός (cf. Homeric Greek νᾱός) and λεώς (m) people (cf. Homeric Greek λᾱός). I’m not sure what the deal with λαγώς (m) hare is. An online source (Lepus the Hare; it’s a page about star names) gives Epic λαγωός, which points to contraction rather than quantitative metathesis.[1]

The second irregular declension is some more s-stems where the lengthened grade of the vowel in the stem formant has been levelled throughout the paradigm in the first sub-group. I’m not sure what the conditions for quantitative metathesis were, but ἥρως (m) hero has a gen sg ἥρωος. Presumably, this form was still *ἥρωσος (or perhaps *ἥρωhος) when λαγωός underwent contraction. I’m not sure whether there’s anything special about s-stems which are asigmatic in the nom sg (e.g. πειθώ (f) persuasion) other than their rarity. They’re probably some of the bric-à-brac that’s survived from IE. This set of nouns consists mainly of feminine proper names. The third of the nouns in this group are s-stems with α in the stem formant. I have a feeling I’ve read about these in some article which might’ve been surveying them to see whether any can be traced back to IE. The vocalism is out of place.

Leaving peculiar nouns behind, the unit turns to verbs which take a do in the genitive or dative. There’s quite a list of verbs, many of which are fairly common.

Unit 13 finishes off with some more particles. (O incomprehensible banes of my life!) Less said about the little pests the better.

The reading includes Brutus’s last words

ὦ τλῆμον ἀρετή, λόγος ἄρ’ ἦσθ’· ἐγὼ δέ σε
ὡς ἔργον ἤσκουν· σὺ δ’ ἄρ’ ἐδούλευες τύχῃ.
O wretched virtue, you were a word then, but I practised you as fact; but you were a slave to fortune after all.

The extra reading is a couple of passages from Plato (extracts from Lysis and Theaetetus), but I’ll have a go at them later.

While I was looking for information about λαγώς, I discovered that there’s a website with supplementary exercises for TY Ancient Greek.

1. Quantitative metathesis seems to have principally affected the sequence –ηο-. William W. Goodwin’s Greek Grammar (§200, p. 43) confirms this and contraction in forms like λαγώς.

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