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πνυ (πνέω), πλυ (πλέω), or ρεF, πνεF, πλεF Or πλοF, are the true forms of the roots. (See Curtius, Gr. Et. 564.)
. (, . It is a singular fact, that the F when represented by v had not in itself the power of lengthening a syllable, even when it made a diphthong. Thus χυτός, κλυτός, ρυτός, for χεστός &c., have the v short, as is the av in the Pindaric aŭára for ära. So Foρανός (Varuna) became ουρανός and metrically oρανός, as βόλομαι, Lat. volo, is the Aeolic form of βούλομαι. But in έχεια, αλεύασθαι, επιδευής for επιδεής, the F does make a long syllable. The inference from this is, that in ρέει, ρέεθρον, έχεα,
. αλέασθαι, νέος, and such words, the single digamma really did exist, by which the hiatus was avoided ; while in the lengthened forms, έχευα &c., the F was doubled, έχεFFα, αλέFFασθαι, and s0
The variation of the digamma between 1, v, and o, is a curious
ι, υ, property, as showing how different from our F was the real power of the letter. We have ρείθρον and πνείω by the side of ρεύσομαι, ρυτός, and πνεύσομαι, πνεύμα, άμπνυτο. Hence ρέσω,
, TrvéFw, may well have been the primary forms, like xéw χέω, and πλέψω = πλέω, fut. πλεύσομαι. Both αείδειν and αοιδή come
= from a digammated form closely connected with αυδάν, αυδή, viz. άπίδειν or dFύδειν, The written form τραγασυδος for τραγωδός 18 found in an inscription 2. Again, κλείω is another form of κλέω, and if we compare κλύω and κλυτός, we shall arrive at the conclusion that areFw was the old verb. The first verse of the «Works” might therefore be given thus ;-Μούσαι Πιερίηθεν ασυδήσι κλέFoντες. Thus we account for the expanded form κληΐζειν, κλήζειν.
There are some words, however, as κρειών for κρεών, κρείων for κρέων, εξείης for εξής (εξέης), ειάν for εάν, λείων for λέων, χάλκειος for χάλκεος, &c., which would seem rather to depend on a different principle of arbitrary elongation, viz. the epic property of dwelling on a short syllable for metrical convenience. The large class of verbs in -εύω, evidently analogous
2 Sea Donaldson's Greek Grammar, $ 18.
to -éw, may originally have been digammated, just as faldevns and δεύομαι appear to represent επιδεψης and δέFoμαι.
In questions of Attic orthography, such as åel, kláelv, káelv, åetòs, for aiel, Khalev, &c., it is evident that the rejection of the i is only a final effort to efface the lingering vestiges of the F. On the other hand, a few words in the Attic seem to have retained the F or its representative sound, for metrical reasons, as προυσελεϊν, φιάλλειν, αρχέλειος (λεπώς, Aesch. Pers. 299), κατέαγα (Fάγνυμι).
The above remarks are only intended as a popular exposition of an extremely interesting theory, and with the view of directing the attention of younger students to a subject which has not only not been taught, but is even shunned in schools and public lecture-rooms, although rather more attention is now given to phonetic laws and changes, which include the numerous substitutions for the dropped digamma. At present it is perhaps sufficient to refer the student to the important Essay on “ Transformations of the F” in Book III. of G. Curtius' “ Greek Etymology.” I have been unwilling, however, wholly to omit, in reprinting, these remarks of my own, the result of much independent thought, especially as Dr. Flack has throughout referred to them in his edition of the Theogony: Mr. Mahaffy indeed, who in p. 120 of vol. i. of his History of Literature “damns with faint praise” my edition of Hesiod as “overloaded with very questionable notes about the Digamma, and the etymology of old Greek words,” disparages them ; but he writes in the style of one who has not himself gone far into these inquiries. He evidently regards them rather as antiquarian curiosities than as having any practical bearing on the extant literature of Greece. And without doubt, investigators of the digamma must walk warily, as on slippery ground. Yet it is no real gain to scholarship to speak even of their speculations as of no importance, and wholly barren of results. Such inquiries are not by any means barren of results, when
3 Berlin, 1873.
they are applied as a test of the genuirieness or spuriousness of a considerable number of verses in the received texts.
It is, I repeat, in some measure conjectural to what extent the digamma was used in the epic language. But this I will venture to affirm; that there are yet left uncorrected many verses in the early epic writings where a te or a ye has to be ejected, the v ÉDENKVOTIKÒV to be removed, or some easy change to be effected either in the order of the words or in their cases or numbers. The editors of Hesiod hitherto 6 have paid no attention to the digamma in his language, and so have failed to discover numerous minor corruptions, which have either been removed or pointed out in the present work.
* See Schoemann, Com. Crit. p. 44," In toto hoc carmine vix unus locus est, in quo obscuratum in codicibus digamma non adeo facili emendatione restitui possit, ut merito ambigas, verane sit codicum scriptura, an a describentibus propter digammi ignorationem corrupta."
Θ. g. In II. iv. 516, we should read όπου μεθιέντα Fίδοιτο for όπου μεθιέντας ίδοιτο, and in II. Xxi. 356, for καίετο δ' s ποταμοίο, we may restore καίετο Fς ποταuolo. In Od. xv. 334, it is obvious to emend kaì otvou for 8 otvov. One very remarkable instance may be cited from Pindar, Isthm. v. 42, where the absurd reading αύδασε τοιουτόν γ' έπος has been introduced in forgetfulness that Pindar used τοιούτον Fέπος.
6 This was written before Dr. Flack had published the Theogony with the digamma restored in the text.