H. W. Smyth

Greek Grammar (First Edition)


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volumes of the series

greek grammar for schools and colleges.  By the Editor,

Prof. Herbert Weir Smyth.

GREEK GRAMMAR FOR COLLEGES.  By the Editor, Prof. Herbert Weir

BIGINNER'S GREEK BOOK.  Prof. Alien R. Benner, Phillips Academy, An-
dover; and the Editor.

BRIEF GREEK SYNTAX.  Prof. Louis Bevier, Jr., Rutgers College.

Volkmann School, Boston,

Spieker, Johns Hopkins University.

AESCHYLUS. PROMETHEUS.  Prof. J. E. Harry, University of Cincinnati

ARISTOPHANES.  CLOUDS.  Dr. L. L. Forman, Cornell University

DEMOSTHENES.  on THE CROWN.  Prof. Milton W. Humphreys, University
of Virginia.

EURIPIDES.  IPHIGENIA IN TAURISProf. William N. Bates, University of

EURIPIDES.  MEDEA.  Prof. Mortimer Lamson Earle, Columbia University.

HERODOTUS.  BOOKS VII.-VIII.  Prof. Charles Forster Smith and Prof. Arthur
Gordon Laird, University of Wisconsin.

HOMER.  ILIAD.  Prof. J. R. S. Sterritt, Cornell University.
books i.-hi.  books i.-iii. and selections.

LYSIAS.  Prof. Charles D. Adams, Dartmouth College.

PLATO.  APOLOGY AND CRITO.  Prof. Isaac Flagg, University of California.

PLATO.  EUTHYPHRO.  Prof. William A. Heidel, Wesleyan University.

THEOCRITUS.  Prof. Henry R. Fairclough and Prof. Augustu T. Murray, Leland
Stanford, Jr. University.

THUCYDIDES.  BOOKS II.-III.  Prof. W. A. Lamberton, University of Penn-

XENOPHON.  ANABASIS.  Books I.-IV.  Dr. M. W. Mather, Instructor in
Harvard University, and Prof. J. W. Hewitt, Wesleyan University.

XENOPHON.  HELLENICA (Selections).  Prof. Carleton L. Brownson, College of
the City of New York.

GREEK ARCHAEOLOGY.  Prof. Harold N. Fowler, Western Reserve University,
and Prof. James R. Wheeler, Columbia University.

GREEK LITERATURE.  Dr. Wilmer Cave Wright, Bryn Mawr College.

GREEK RELIGION.  Arthur Fairbanks, Ph.D., Litt. D., Director of the Boston
Museum of Fine Arts.

GREEK SCULPTURE.  Prof. Rufus B. Richardson, formerly Director of the Ameri-
can School of Classical Studies, Athens.

Harvard University.





















Calvin College Library

No. PA258 563


THE present book, apart from its greater extent and certain differences of statement and arrangement, has in general, the same plan as the author's Greek Grammar for Schools and Colleges.  It is a descriptive, not an historical, nor a comparative, grammar.   Though it has adopted many of the assured results of Comparative Linguistics, especially in the field of Analogy, it has excluded much of the more complicated matter that belongs to a purely scientific treatment of the problems of Morphology.  It has been my purpose to set forth the essential forms of Attic speech, and of the other dialects, as far as they appear in literature; to devote greater attention to the Formation of Words and to the Particles than is usually given to these subjects except in much more extensive works; and to supplement the statement of the principles of Syntax with information that will prove of service to the student as his knowledge widens and deepens.

As to the extent of all amplification of the bare facts of Morphology and Syntax, probably no two makers of a book of this character, necessarily restricted by considerations of space, will be of the same mind.  I can only hope that I have attained such a measure of success as will commend itself to the judgment of those who are engaged in teaching Greek in our colleges and universities.  I trust, however, that the extent of the enlarged work may lead no one to the opinion that I advocate the stucy of formal grammar as an end in itself; though I would have every student come to know, and the sooner the better, that without an exact knowledge of the language there can be no thorough appreciation of the literature of Ancient Greece, or of any other land ancient or modern.

In addition to the authorities mentioned on page 5, I have consulted with profit Delbrück's Syntaktische Forschungen, Gildersleeve's numerous and illuminating papers in the American Journal of Philology and in the Transactions of the American Philological Association, Schanz's Beiträge zur historischen Syntax der griechischen Sprache, Riddell's Digest of Platonic Idioms, La Roche's Grammatische Studien in the Zeitschrift für oesterreichische Gymnasien for 1904, Forman's Selections from Plato, Schulze's Quaestiones


Epicae, Hale's Extended and Remote Deliberatives in Greek in the Transactions of the American Philological Association for 1893, Harry's two articles, The Omission of the Article with Substantives after oêtow, õde, ¤keÝnow in Prose in the Transactions for 1898, and The Perfect Subjunctive, Optative, and Imperative in Greek in the Classical Review for 1905, Headlam's Greek Prohibitions in the Classical Review for 1905, Marchant's papers on The Agent in the Attic Orators (University of Chicago, Stahl's Kritisch-historische Syntax des griechischen Verbums, and Wright's Comparative Grammar of the Greek Language.  I have examined many school grammars of Greek in English, German, and French, among which I would particularize those of Hadley-Allen, Goodwin, Babbitt, Goodell, Sonnenschein, Kaegi, Koch, Croiset et Petitjean.  I am much indebted also to Thompson's Greek Syntax.

I would finally express my thanks for helpful criticism from Professor Allen R. Benner of Andover Academy, Professor Haven D. Hopkins University, Professor Archibald L. Hodges of the Wadleigh High School, New York, Dr. Maurice W. Mather, formerly Instructor in Harvard University, Professor Hanns Oertel of Yale University, and Professor Frank E. Woodruff of Bowdoin College.  Dr. J. W. H. Walden, formerly Instructor in Harvard, has lent me invaluable aid by placing at my service his knowledge and skill in the preparation of the Indices.



Aug. 1, 1918



A. Greek, the language of the inhabitants of Greece, has been constantly spoken from the time of Homer to the present day.  The inhabitants of ancient Greece and other Greeks dwelling in the islands and on the coasts of the Mediterranian called themselves (as do the modern Greeks) by the name Hellenes (©Elljnev); their country Hellas (Ó hEll€v), and their language the Hellenic (Ó hElljnikÑ glòssa).  We call them Greeks from the Latin Graeci, the name given to them by the Romans, who applied to the entire people a name properly restricted to the Gra²oi, the first Hellenes of whom the Romans had knowledge.

N. 1.Graeci (older Graici) contains a Latin suffix -icus, and the name Graiko°, which occurs first in Aristotle, is borrowed from Latin.  The Roman designation is derived either from the Gra²oi, a Boeotian tribe that took part in the colonization of Cyme in Italy, or from the GGra²oi, a larger tribe of the same stock that lived in Epirus.

N. 2. — No collective name for ' all Greece ' appears in Homer to whom the Hellenes are the inhabitants of Hellas, a district forming part of the kingdom of Peleus (B 683) and situated in the S.E. of the country later called Thessaly.  hEll€v for ' all Greece ' occurs first in Hesiod.  The Greeks in general are called by Homer HAcaio°, HArge²oi, Danao°.

B. Greek is related to the languages of the Indians (Sanskrit), Persians (Zend), Armenians, Albanians, Slavonians, Lituanians, Romans, Celts, and Germans.  These various languages are all of the same stock, and together constitute the Indo-European family of languages.  an important relation of Greek to English, which is a branch of the Germanic tongue is illustrated by Grimm's law of the 'permutation of consonants':

π = f
πατήρ father

τ = th


β = p

δ = t

γ = c (k)

φ = b

θ = d
θύρᾱ door

χ = g

The above English words are said to be cognate with the Greek words.  Derived words, such as geography, theatre, are borrowed, directly or indirectly from the Greek (γεωγραφίᾱ, θέᾱτρον )


C. At the earliest known period of its history the Greek language was divided into dialects.  Corresponding to the chief divisions of the Greeks into Aeolians, Dorians, and Ionians (a division unknown to Homer), three groups of dialects are commonly distinguished: Aeolic, Doric, and Ionic, of which Attic is a sister dialect.  Aeolic and Doric are more nearly related to each other than is either to Ionic.

Aeolic:  spoken in Aeolis, Lesbos, and kindred with the dialect of Thessaly (except Phthiotis) and of Boeotia (though Boeotian has many Doric ingredients).  In this book 'Aeolic' means Lesbian Aeolic.

N. 1. — Aeolic retains primitive (30); changes τ before ι to σ (115); has recessive accent (162 D.), and many other peculiarities.

Doric:  spoken in the Peloponnesus (except Arcadia and Elis), in several of the islands of the Aegean (Crete, Melos, Thera, Rhodes, etc.), in parts of Sicily and Southern Italy.

N. 2. — Doric retains primitive (30) keeps τ before ι (115 D.).  Almost all Doric dialects have -μες for -μεν (462 D.); the infinitive in -μεν for -ναι (469 D.), the future in -ξω from verbs in -ζω (516 D.), the future in -σῶ, -σοῦμαι (540 a.).

N. 3. — The sub-dialects of Laconia, Crete, and Southern Italy, and of their several colonies, are often called Severer (or Old) Doric; the others are called Milder (or New) Doric.  Severer Doric has η and ω where Milder Doric has ει and ου (59 D, 4, 5; 230 D.).  There are also differences in verbal forms (654).

Ionic:  spoken in Ionia, in most of the islands of the Aegean, in a few towns of Sicily, etc.

N. 4. — Ionic changes primitive to η (30); changes τ before ι to σ (115); has lost digamma, which is still found in Aeolic and Doric; often refuses to contract vowels; keeps a mute smooth before the rough breathing (124 D.); has κ for π in pronominal forms (132 D.).

N. 5. — The following dialects do not fall among the above divisions:  Arcadian (and the kindred Cyprian, which are often classed as Aeolic), Elean, and the dialects of N.W. Greece (Lokris, Phocis, Aetolia, Acarnania, Epirus, etc.), N.W. Greek resembles Doric.

N. 6. — The dialects that retain (30) are called A4 dialects (Aeolic, Doric, etc.); Ionic and Attic are the only J dialects.  The Eastern dialects (Aeolic, Ionic) change τι to σι (115).

N. 7. — The local dialects, with the exception of Tzaconian (a Laconian idiom), died out gradually and ceased to exist by 300 A. D.

D. The chief dialects that occur in literature are as follows (almost all poetry is composed in a mixture of dialects):

Aeolic:  in the Lesbian lyric poets Alcacus and Sappho (600 B.C.).  Numerous Aeolicisms appear in epic poetry, and some in tragedy.  Theocritus' idylls 28-30 are in Aeolic.

Doric:  in many lyric poets, notably in Pindar (born 522 B.C.); in the bucolic (pastoral) poetry of Theocritus (about 310–about 245 B.C.).  Both of these poets


adopt some epic an Aeolic forms.  The choral parts of Attic tragedy also admit some Doric forms.  There is no Doric, as there is no Aeolic, literary prose.

Ionic:  (1) Old Ionic or Epic, the chief ingredient of the dialect of Homer and of Hesiod (before 700 B.C.).  Almost all subsequent poetry admits epic words and forms.  (2) New Ionic (500–400), the dialect of Herodotus (484–425) and of the medical writer Hippocrates (born 460).  The period between Old and New Ionic:  Archilochus, the lyric poet (about 700–650 B.C.).

Attic:  (kindred to Ionic) was used by the great writers of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., the period of their political and literary supremacy.  In it are composed the works of the tragic poets Aeschylus (525–456), Sophocles (496–406), Euripides (about 480–406), the comic poet Aritophanes (about 450–385), the historians Thycidides (died before 396) and Xenophon (about 434–about 355), the orators Lysias (born about 450), Isocrates (436–338), Aeschines (389–314), Demosthenes (383–322), and the philosopher Plato (427–347).

E. The Attic dialect was distinguished by its refinement, precision, and beauty; it occupied an intermediate position between the soft Ionic and the rough Doric, and avoided the pronounced extremes of other dialects.  By reason of its cultivation at the hands of the greatest writers from 500 B.C. to 300 B.C., it became the standard literary dialect; though Old Ionic was still occasionally employed in later epic and Doric in pastoral poetry.

N. 1. — The dialect of the tragic poets and Thucydides is often called Old Attic in contrast to New Attic, that used by most other Attic writers.  Plato stands on the border-line.  The dialect of tragedy contains some Homeric, Doric, and Aeolic forms; these are more frequent in the choral than in the dialogue parts.  The choral parts take over forms used in the Aeolic-Doric lyric; the dialogue parts show the influence of the iambic poetry of the Ionians.  But the tendency of Attic speech in literature was to free itself from the influence of the dialect used by the tribe originating any literary type; and by the fourth century pure Attic was generally used throughout.  The normal language of the people ("Standard Attic") is best seen in Aristophanes and the orators.  The native Attic speech as it appears in the inscriptions show no local differences; the speech of Attica was practically uniform.  Only the lowest classes, among which were many foreigners, used forms that do not follow the ordinary phonetic laws.  The language of the religious cults is sometimes archaic in character.

N. 2. — Old Attic writers use ss for tt (78), ρσ for ρρ (78) ξύν for σύν with, ς for εἰς into, for ει (λύ̄for , λύ̄ει thou loosest), -ῆς in the plural of substantives in -εύς (βασιλῆς, 277), and occasionally -αται and -ατο in the third plural of the perfect and pluperfect (465 f).

With the Macedonian conquest Athens ceased to produce great writers, but Attic culture and the Attic dialect were diffused far and wide.  With this extension of its range, Attic lost its purity; which had indeed begun to decline in Aristotle (384–322 B.C.).

F. Koinè or Common dialect (ἡ καινὴ διάλεκτος ).  The Koine took its rise in the Alexandrian period, so called from the preëminence of


Alexandria in Egypt was a centre of learning until the Roman conquest of the East; and lasted to the end of the ancient world (sixth century A.D.).  It was the language used by persons speaking Greek from Gaul to Syria, and was marked by numerous varieties.  In its spoken form the Koinè consisted of the spoken form of Attic intermingled with a considerable number of Ionic words and some loans from other dialects, but with Attic orthography.  The literary form, a compromise between Attic literary usage and the spoken language, was an artificial and almost stationary idiom for which the living speech drew farther and farther apart.

In the Koinè are composed the writings of the historians Polybius (about 205–about 120 B.C.), Diodorus (under Augustus), Plutarch (about 46–120 A.D.), Arrian (about 95–175 A.D.) Cassius Dio (about 150–about 235 A.D.), the rhetoricians Dionysius of Halicarnasus (under Augustus), Lucian (about 120–about 180 A.D.), and the geographer Strabo (about 64 B.C.–19 A.D.).  Josephus, the Jewish historian (37 A.D.–about 100) also used the Koinè,

N. 1. — The name Atticist is given to those reactionary writers in the Koinè dialect (e.g. Lucian) who aimed at reproducing the purity of the earlier Attic.  The Atticists flourished chiefly in the second century A.D.

N. 2. — Some writers distinguish, as a form of the Koinè, the Hellenistic, a name restricted by them to the language of the New Testament and of the Septuagint (the partly literal, partly tolerably free, Greek translation of the Old Testament made by Grecized Jews at Alexandria and begun under Ptolemy Philadelphus 285–247 B.C.).  The word Hellenistic is derived from Ἑλληνιστής (from ἑλληνίζω speak Greek), a term applied to persons not of Greek birth (especially Jews), who had learned Greek.  The New Testament is composed in the popular language of the time, which in that work is more or less influenced by classical models.  No accurate distinction can be drawn between the Koinè and Hellenistic.

G. Modern Greek appears in literature certainly as early as the eleventh century, when the literary language, which was still employed by scholars and churchmen, was no longer understood by the common people.  During the middle ages and until about the time of the Greek Revolution (1821–1831), the language was called Romaic (hRwma»kÐ), from the fact that the people claimed the name of Romans (hRwma²oi), since the capital of the Roman Empire had been transferred to Constantinople.  The natural language of the modern Greeks is the outcome of a continual development of the Koinè in its spoken form.  At the present day the dialect of a Greek peasant is still organically the same as that of the age of Demosthenes; while the written language, and to a less extent the spoken language of the cultivated Athenians and those who have been influenced by the University of Athens, have been largely assimilated to the ancient idiom.  Modern Greek, while retaining in general orthography of the classical period, is very different in respect of pronunciation.



ATHENS:  De Graecae linguae dialectis (I. Aeolic 1839, II. Doric 1843).  Gött-
ingen.  Still serviceable for Doric.

BLASS:  Pronunciation of Ancient Greek.  Translated from the third German
edition by Purton.  Cambridge, Eng., 1890.

Boisacq:  Les Dialectes doriens.  Paris-Liége, 1891.

Brugmann:  Griechische Grammatik.  4te Aufl.  München, 1913.  Purely com-

CHANDLER:  Greek Accentuation.  2nd ed.  Oxford, 1881.

Gildersleeve and Miller:  Syntax of Classical Greek from Homer to Demos-
thenes.  Part I.  New York, 1900.  Part II, 1911.

Goodwin:  Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb.  Rewritten and
enlarged.  Boston, 1890.

Henry:  Précis de Grammaire comparée du Grec et du Latin.  5th ed.  Paris,
1894.  Translation (from the 2nd ed.) by Elliott:  A Short Comparative
Grammar of Greek and Latin.  London, 1890.

Hirt:  Handbuch der Griechischen Laut- und Formenlehre.  Heidelberg, 1902.

Hoffmann:  Die griechischen Dialekte.  Vol. i.  Der süd-achäische Dialekt (Ar-
cadian, Cyprian), Göttingen, 1891.  Vol. ii.  Der nord-achäische Dialekt
(Thessalian, Aeolic, Boeotian), 1893.  Vol. iii.  Der ionische Dialekt (Quellen und Lautlehre), 1898.

Krüger:  Griechische Sprachlehre.  Part i, 5te Aufl., 1875.  Part ii, 4te Aufl.,
1862.  Leipzig.  Valuable for examples of syntax.

Kühner:  Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache.  3te Aufl.  Part i
by Blass.  Part ii (Syntax) by Gerth.  Hannover, 1890–1904.  The only
modern complete Greek Grammar.  The part by Blass contains good collec-
tions, but is insufficient on the side of comparative grammar.

Meister:  Die griechischen Dialekte.  Vol. i.  Asiatisch-äolisch, Böotische, Thes-
salich, Göttingen, 1882.  Vol. ii.  Eleisch, Arkadisch, Kyprisch, 1889.

MEISTERHANS:  Grammatik der attischen Inschriften.  3te Aufl.  Berlin, 1900.

MEYER:  Griechische Grammatik.  3te Aufl.  Leipzig, 1896.  Comparative, with
due attention to inscriptional forms.  Deals only with sounds and forms. 

Monro:  A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect.  2d ed.  Oxford, 1891.  Valuable
especially for its treatment of syntax.

Riemann and Goelzer:  Grammaire comparée du Grec et du Latin.  Vol. i
Phonétique et Étude des Formes, Paris, 1901.  Vol. ii.  Syntaxe, 1897. 

SMYTH:  The Sounds and Inflections of the Greek Dialects.  Ionic.  Oxford, 1894.

VAN LEEUWEN:  Enchiridium dictionis epicae.  Lugd. Bat.  1892–94.  Contains
a fuller discussion of forms, and aims at reconstructing the primitive text of

Veitch:  Greek Verbs Irregular and Defective.  New ed.  Oxford, 1887.

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