Early accentual changes in Ancient Greek

A 19th century manuscript showing part of the Rigveda, a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns

Scholars agree that Greek accent changed during the Koine Greek period from pitch to stress. Another less discussed fact is that Greek accent changed earlier, yielding the restrictions of the traditional Greek accent rules. Continue reading “Early accentual changes in Ancient Greek”

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Poetry as song

A muse playing a lyre, sitting on Mount Helicon

Ancient Greek poetry is described as song in the famous beginning of the Iliad:

Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί’ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε’ ἔθηκε

Rage, sing, goddess, of Achilles son of Peleus,
ruinous, that laid numberless sufferings on the Achaeans

Though we know that singing here meant something more like chanting, no modern recitations reflect this, at least none that I have heard. Even the best are not completely satisfactory. Continue reading “Poetry as song”