Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis
Associate Editors: Vit Bubenik, Emilio Crespo, Chris Golston, Alexandra Lianeri, Silvia Luraghi, Stephanos Matthaios

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The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics (EAGLL) is a unique work that brings together the latest research from across a range of disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of Ancient Greek. It is an indispensable research tool for scholars and students of Greek, of linguistics, and of other Indo-European languages, as well as of Biblical literature.

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(3,829 words)

Author(s): Julián Méndez Dosuna
1. Introduction The homeland of the Macedonians is a matter of dispute. Whatever their origin, the core of their kingdom was so-called Lower Macedonia, the coastal plain along the Thermaic Gulf watered by the rivers Axios and Haliacmon and encompassing Pieria and Bottiea between Thessaly to the south and Paeonia to the north. Throughout the 5th-4th c. BCE, the Macedonian kingdom dominated Upper Macedonia (Elimeia, Almopia, Orestis, Lyncestis, Pelagonia) up to the Pindos range in the west and Mygdonia, Crestonia, Bisaltia, up to the river Nestos in the east. During the reign of Philip I…
Date: 2013-11-01

Magna Graecia, Dialects

(2,385 words)

Author(s): Susana Mimbrera Olarte
Abstract Magna Graecia was home to both Doric and Ionic colonies. In ancient times there were speakers of West Ionic or Euboean and speakers of East Ionic. However, Ionic ceased to be spoken at a fairly early date in many cities, due to historical events, and was mostly superseded by the Koine. In the Doric colonies, the following dialects were spoken: Laconian, Achaean and Locrian. Although the existence of a Doric Koina is uncertain, there were certainly supradialectal influences at work. Doric…
Date: 2013-11-01


(1,965 words)

Author(s): Dagmar Muchnová
Abstract Manner is a semantic role akin to Time, Space, Cause, etc., assigned to the syntactic function Adverbial. Manner Adverbials usually modify a state of affairs expressed by the predicate; more precisely, they refer to how an event happens. Being non-required by verbal valency, they are classified as free adjuncts. The semantic role Manner can be coded through various types of expressions, chiefly by adverbs ( sophôs ‘wisely’), but also by noun phrases ( orgêi ‘with fury’) and prepositional phrases ( met’ eunoías ‘with friendly consideration’), and less commonly, by par…
Date: 2013-11-01

Media Tantum

(429 words)

Author(s): Rutger Allan
Abstract  Media tantum (middle deponents) are verbs which do not have an active voice. Media tantum (‘middle  only’) are verbs which do not have an active voice. They are also called middle deponents. The term media tantum is sometimes used in a narrower sense, to refer to verbs which lack an active voice and have a middle aorist form. Verbs which lack active forms and have a passive aorist form (with suffix - thē- or -; Passive (Morphology)) are then called passiva tantum. Media tantum have a middle meaning in that their subject is physically or mentally affected by…
Date: 2013-11-01

Medical Vocabulary

(2,399 words)

Author(s): Giovanni Ceschi
Abstract The analysis of ancient Greek medical terminology allows for the identification of technical occurrences resulting from a morphological or semantic genesis. The first category includes both suffixation and composition of verbs; the second category comprises medical terms derived from a semantic drift process, particularly active in the oldest treatises of the Corpus Hippocraticum. The most vivid and expressive items in the Hippocratic lexicon arise from terms attested in the common language that later acquired a specifically medical meani…
Date: 2013-11-01

Medieval Translation of Greek Texts

(2,829 words)

Author(s): Paolo di Leo
Abstract This article explores the translations into Latin of Greek philosophical texts from the Carolingian Renaissance to William of Moerbeke. It concentrates mostly on the transmission of the works of two authors who have had the most significant influence on Western thought: Pseudo-Dionysius and Aristotle. The works of the former have been translated by Hilduin and then Erigena and other thinkers up to Robert Grosseteste over the course of almost five centuries. The works of the latter were p…
Date: 2014-01-29


(1,853 words)

Author(s): Rutger Allan
Abstract Ancient Greek has three morphologically distinct voices: the active voice, the middle voice and the passive voice. The term mediopassive or middle-passive is used to refer to the morphological voice category which combines the mid. and pass. voices. Ancient Greek has three morphologically distinct voices (Voice): the active, the middle and passive voice (Passive (morphology), Passive (syntax)). The term mediopassive or middle-passive is used to refer to the morphological voice category which unifies the mid. and pass. voices. The combined middle-p…
Date: 2013-11-01


(423 words)

Author(s): Bridget Samuels
Abstract The coalescence of multiple phonemes into one. Several mergers took place in the consonantal system between PIE and the Classical period, while later mergers transformed the vowel system as it developed into Koine. As a centum language, one important set of mergers in the prehistory of Greek was between the plain velars *k, *g, *gʰ and their palatovelar counterparts *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ (examples from Sihler 1995).   oîkos *woyḱ-o- ‘house(hold)’   génos *ǵenh₁- ‘race, kind’   khéō *ǵʰew- ‘I pour’ The labiovelars *kʷ, *gʷ, and *gʷʰ inherited from PIE ultimately merged with existin…
Date: 2013-11-01


(8 words)

Abstract   See Laconian, Messenian Bibliography  
Date: 2014-01-27


(764 words)

Author(s): Andrea Sansò
Abstract This article examines the various applications of the theory of conceptual metaphor to Ancient Greek. The theory of conceptual metaphor (Metaphor, Ancient Theories of) has been spawned by G. Lakoff and M. Johnson’s (1980) milestone book Metaphors we live by (new edition 2003). According to Lakoff & Johnson, people conceptualize many abstract semantic domains metaphorically, i.e., in terms of concrete semantic domains more tied to our bodily experience, and such metaphoric thinking is said to be systematically reflected in t…
Date: 2013-11-01

Metaphor (‎‎metaphorá‎), Ancient Theories of

(3,072 words)

Author(s): Anna Novokhatko
Abstract The article offers a brief history of ancient discussions on metaphor. Theories of metaphor are considered within the context of philosophical, rhetorical, and linguistic discourses. Though metaphor never lost its direct function as a stylistic device and as a figure of speech, philosophers from Empedocles, through Aristotle, to Plotinus also considered the cognitive nature of metaphor in transferring meanings and concepts. Thus, metaphor retained an equivocal position throughout the ancient thought.   Metaphora (Greek metaphorá, from metaphérein, Latin translatio…
Date: 2013-11-01


(595 words)

Author(s): Betsy McCall
Abstract Metathesis occurs when two adjacent sounds or features are transposed in a word.  Greek exhibits several types of metathesis.  Greek also has some examples of pseudo-metathesis. Metathesis is a linguistic phenomenon whereby two adjacent sounds are transposed. Metathesis is primarily a diachronic process; synchronic metathesis is typically analyzed by speakers as irregularities in a paradigm rather than an active process, though it is not unheard of in other languages.  Not all examples of apparent metathesis are …
Date: 2014-01-27

Metrical Laws

(2,494 words)

Author(s): Simon Oswald
Abstract Metrical laws are patterns observed by modern scholars within the realm of Greek meter. These laws may be restricted to individual meters, genres, and even particular authors. They deal with the compositional dimension of verse ‒ the coordination of words within the meter ‒ and are named after their modern discoverers. Two of the most important principles relating to metrical laws are word-breaks (caesurae) and the avoidance of word-breaks (bridges). 1. Introduction Metrical laws are patterns observed by modern scholars within the realm of quantitative Gre…
Date: 2013-11-01


(4,956 words)

Author(s): Chris Golston
Abstract Metrics is the study of the formal properties of poetry. In Greek meter these involve primarily the distribution of heavy and light syllables in feet and metra and the regulations of word-end in various places in a line via caesurae and bridges. 1. Introduction Metrics is the study of the formal properties of poetry, including the length and internal composition of lines and other recurring units of poems. The main meter of epic poetry is the dactylic hexameter, used exclusively in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and in Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days (Epic Meter); the hexamete…
Date: 2014-01-22

Metrics (métron), Ancient Theories of

(3,958 words)

Author(s): Marco Ercoles
Abstract The beginnings of Greek metrics seem to date back to Classical Athens (Hippias of Elis, Damon of Oa): the science concerned phonetics, prosody and the study of musical and prosodic rhythm. As the relationship between music and poetical text underwent deep changes, after the influence of a new ‘school’ of composers (the so called New Dithyrambographers), the field of metrics was restricted to prosodic rhythm (Aristoxenus), based on the alternation of long and short syllables. This is the …
Date: 2013-11-01


(2,997 words)

Author(s): Tomas Riad
Abstract The metron (Gk. μέτρον) in poetic meter refers to the unit that is repeated in the line of verse (stichic verse), or that otherwise recurs in a stable shape across stanzas and poems (lyric verse). The size of a metron is either a single verse foot (dactyl, spondee), or a pair of verse feet (trochaic, iambic, anapestic), within which some stable property occurs. 1. Metron in Stichic Meter The basic meaning of métron is ‘instrument for measuring’ or ‘measure’. It is used to denote a standard, a criterion or a rule, whereby order is created or established in se…
Date: 2013-11-01

Meyer's Law

(10 words)

Abstract   See Ancient Prose Rhythm Bibliography  
Date: 2014-01-27