Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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(1,939 words)


This article surveys tmesis, the separation of preverb and verbal stem, in epic Greek, and looks at both its function in epic diction and its historical linguistic background.

1. Definition and Synchronic Description

Tmesis is the separation of a preverb from its host verb, commonly found in Homer and in the later epic dialect (Epic Diction). Consider the following example:

tòn kaı̀ Mēriónēs próteros pròs mûthon éeipe

‘him Meriones addressed first’ (…

Cite this page
Dag Haug, “Tmesis”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000351>
First published online: 2013

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