Dataset Open Access

Non-Homeric hexameter

Gainsford, Peter

LAST UPDATE: 18 May 2015. See below for changes.

This dataset includes two files:

  • "NonHomeric_hexameter_Greek.txt"
  • "NonHomeric_hexameter_romanised.txt", a transliterated version with punctuation and diacritics stripped.

This is a plain-text compilation of non-Homeric hexameter, in an attempt to compile in one place all hexameter verses and fragments earlier than ca. 480 BCE. A selection of textual variants are also included. The corpus includes (1) the Hesiodic corpus and fragments; (2) the Homeric Hymns; (3) epic fragments from Bernabé's Teubner edition, vol. 1, supplemented with a few extras from West and Davies; (4) the Derveni Theogony and a small number of Orphic fragments that may possibly be Archaic; (5) pre-480 hexameter inscriptions from CEG and a variety of other sources; (6) a small number of quotations from Archaic or Classical-era chresmologoi (excluding ones that are obviously spurious).

This file is not intended in any way as a critical edition. It is simply an aid that may possibly be more convenient than the TLG in some circumstances.

My own purpose for the compilation is to provide an easy way of searching for metrical formulas. To that end, all texts that are not in the Homeric dialect (mainly inscriptions) are accompanied by versions re-written in the standardised orthography of the Alexandrian editions. All such "standardisations" are annotated as such. For an apparatus, critical editions should always be consulted.

These files were inspired by a similar aid for the Homeric epics, the online pdf copy of the edition by the late Helmut van Thiel ( Van Thiel's online version is plain text with no punctuation or diacritics; I have found it a valuable way of searching for strings of text. In imitation of it, the present compilation is available both as Unicode Greek text (with punctuation, diacritics, and some editorial marks) and, in a separate file, transcribed into the Roman alphabet via Beta Code with all punctuation and diacritics removed.

It is easy to search the latter (romanised) version using a moderately sophisticated text editor like Notepad++, which will display in a separate pane every occurrence of a given word, letter-sequence, or more complex search term, in the context of its complete line and with a line-reference.

I should of course be grateful to be advised of any corrections and omissions. These files were not compiled with the slow care and attention one would expect of a critical edition!

NB: a small number of supplements and/or textual variants have been adopted from sources that do not appear in standard critical editions.

CHANGELOG. 18 May 2015: added Peisander, Xenophanes, Parmenides, oracles attributed to the Pythia, three Attic vase inscriptions, and some kitharoidic fragments (Terpander, Eumelos). Thank you to Stefano Vecchiato for pointing out some of these absences.

TODO: a sweep through the Certamen, the Lives of Homer, and Fontenrose's catalogue of oracular responses from Didyma.

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