(Moer. ο 31)
A. Main sources
(1) Moer. ο 31: οἶσε Ἀττικοί· φέρε ἑλληνικὸν καὶ κοινόν.
Cod. F has only οἶσον· φέρε.
Attic-speakers [say] οἶσε (‘bring!’, 2nd pers. sing.). φέρε is Greek and common.
B. Other erudite sources
(1) Schol. (Ariston.) Hom. Il. 3.103: οἴσετε· πρὸς τὸ οἴσετε, ὅτι οὐ μέλλοντός ἐστι χρόνου, ἀλλ’ ἀντὶ τοῦ φέρετε, ἀπὸ τοῦ οἶσε, ὅ ἐστι φέρε. (A)
οἴσετε: [Aristarchus puts a diple] in reference to οἴσετε because it does not belong to the future tense, but it stands for φέρετε (‘bring!’, 2nd pers. plur.), from οἶσε, i.e. φέρε (‘bring!’, 2nd pers. sing.).
(2) Apoll.Dysc. Synt. 1.116 (= GG 2,2.98.3–6): […] ποιητικώτερον μὲν τὸ οἶσε κατ’ ἐναλλαγὴν εἴρηται φωνῆς τῆς φέρε.
οἶσε is rather poetically said by means of enallage of the voice φέρε.
(3) Choerob. in Theod. GG 4,2.243.16–9: λέγει γάρ, ὅτι ὁ οἴσω μέλλων μετάγεται κατὰ ποιητικὴν ἐξουσίαν εἰς ἐνεστῶτα, καὶ κλίνεται λοιπὸν εἰς παρατατικόν, οἷον ᾦσον ᾦσες ᾦσε· καὶ λοιπὸν ἐκεῖθεν τὸ προστακτικὸν οἶσε σύ.
For he (Herodian) says that the future οἴσω turns into a present by means of poetic licence, and it is further inflected in the imperfect as ᾦσον, ᾦσες, ᾦσε. From there, the imperative οἶσε σύ further [originates].
(4) Eust. in Od. 2.232.24–7: τὸ δὲ οἴσετε ποιητικῶς κανονίζεται ὡς παρατατικὸς ἀπὸ μέλλοντος ἀναδραμόντος εἰς ἐνεστῶτα. οἴσω γάρ· οὗ παρατατικὸς οἶσον, τὸ τρίτον οἶσε, τὸ προστακτικὸν ὁμοφώνως οἶσε· οὗ πληθυντικὸν τὸ οἴσετε, ῥῆμα εἰς πεζολογίαν ἄχρηστον.
The form οἴσετε is poetically parsed as an imperfect derived from the future which turns into a present tense. For [the verb is] οἴσω: its imperfect is οἶσον; the third person is οἶσε; the imperative form is homophonous, οἶσε: its plural is οἴσετε; this verb is not used in prose-writing.
(5) Eust. in Od. 2.291.16: καὶ ὅρα τὸ οἶσε δὶς λεχθέν, τοῖς μετρικοῖς μόνοις ὂν χρήσιμον.
Also note that οἶσε appears two times and it is used by poets only.
C. Loci classici, other relevant texts
(1) Hom. Il. 3.103:
οἴσετε ἄρν’, ἕτερον λευκόν, ἑτέρην δὲ μέλαιναν.
Bring two lambs, a white ram and a black ewe. (Transl. Murray 1924, 125).
(2) Hom. Od. 22.106:
οἶσε θέων, εἷός μοι ἀμύνεσθαι πάρ’ ὀϊστοί.
Run, and bring them (i.e., a shield and two spears and a helmet), while yet I have arrows to defend me. (Transl. Murray 1919, 345).
(3) Ar. Ach. 1099:
ἅλας θυμίτας οἶσε, παῖ, καὶ κρόμμυα.
Get the seasoned salt, boy, and the onions. (Transl. Henderson 1998, 199).
(4) Ar. Ra. 482:
ἀλλ’ οἶσε πρὸς τὴν καρδίαν μου σπογγιάν.
Please, give me a wet sponge for my heart. (Transl. Henderson 2002, 89).
(5) Alex. fr. 125.2:
πόσους φέρεις; (B) ἑκκαίδεκ’. (A) οἶσε δεῦρο <⏓>.
οἶσε Dobree (1843, 303) : οισο cod.
(A) […] How many [loaves of bread] have you brought? (B) Sixteen. (A) Bring them here <⏓>. (Transl. Olson 2007, 43).
(6) Anaxipp. fr. 6.1:
ζωμήρυσιν φέρ’, οἶσ’ ὀβελίσκους δώδεκα.
φέρ’, οἶσ’ Dobree (1843, 271) : φέροις cod.
Bring me a soup-ladle! And fetch twelve skewers. (Transl. Olson 2007, 313).
(7) Call. Cer. 136: φέρβε βόας, φέρε μᾶλα, φέρε στάχυν, οἶσε θερισμόν.
Nourish the cattle, bring forth fruit, bring forth corn, bring forth the harvest. (Transl. Stevens 2015, 275).
D. General commentary
The entry in Moeris’ lexicon prescribes an imperative, οἶσε, supposed to be the form used by Attic-speakers in opposition to φέρε, which is defined as ‘Greek and common’ (and therefore of lesser value, according to Maidhof 1912, 327). According to consensus, οἶσε (first occurrence in Homer, see C.2) and other Homeric forms such as οἴσετε, οἰσέτω, ἄξετε, ἄξεσθε, ὄψεσθε are imperatives created from the future stem (see Magnien 1912, 3–4; Chantraine 1958–1963 vol. 1, 417–8; Schwyzer 1939, 788; Leumann 1959, 234-241; Risch 1974, 250; Hooker 1979 ). However, Prince (1970 [= Prince Roth 1990, 19–34]) and Cruciani (2018–2019, 7–27), believe that the starting point of such forms is a structure containing a finite motion + desiderative participle which, by means of enallage, turns into a desiderative imperative + participle meaning ‘going’.
At a first glance, Moeris’ prescription depends on the distribution and number of occurrences of οἶσε and φέρε – the former being attested in Aristophanes (C.3, C.4: see below) but far less widespread than the latter. One may also wonder if the lexicographer saw a difference in the meaning of the two forms, e.g., οἶσε = ‘fetch me’ vs. φέρε = ‘hand me’, as Starkie (1909, 121) ad Ar. Ach. 1109 (C.3) supposed (but this is generally denied, at least for what concerns Aristophanic and later occurrences: see Prince 1970, 158, 162 [= Prince Roth 1990, 28, 33]; Hooker 1979 ; Olson 2002, 339). However, in order to better appreciate Moeris’ lemma, the equivalence between οἶσε and φέρε requires further analysis.
The forms οἶσε, οἰσέτω, οἴσετε and οἰσόντων are employed in a variety of poetic genres. In epic poetry, they occur in Hom. Il. 3.103, Hom. Il. 19.173, Hom. Od. 8.255, Hom. Od. 22.106, Hom. Od. 22.481, Antim. fr. 19 Matthews. Additionally, there are a handful of attestations in Hellenistic poetry (mostly influenced by Homer): Call. Lav.Pall. 17, 31, 48; Call. Cer. 136 (C.7); Theoc. 24.48; possibly Posidipp. fr. *114.11 Austin–Bastianini (almost nothing can be said about the occurrence in IG 12,5.241.7 [Paros, 1st century BCE] –⏕–⏕–⏕–⏕γ[η]δόνας οἶσε). These forms are also frequent in comedy, beginning with Aristophanes (Ar. Ach. 1099, 1101, 1122; Ra. 482) and continuing with Alex. fr. 125.3 (C.5, after correction) and Anaxipp. fr. 6.1 (C.6, after correction). However, they are absent from tragedy and prose.
This distribution is not easily explained. According to Prince (1970, 162) [= Prince Roth 1990, 33], in C.3, ‘Aristophanes puts οἶσε into the mouth of Lamachus as parody of the grand style […]. For these poets οἶσε is opposed to φέρε not because it has any different meaning but simply because it helps to characterize the style as that of high poetry. It is meant to be recognized as a Homeric word; it is no longer part of a living poetic language’. In this regard, see also Hooker (1979, 91 [1996, 413]) and Willi (2003, 258): ‘The (epic) imperative οἶσε ‘bring!’, which is apparently built on the future stem and probably a comically pathetic form rather than a colloquial archaism, is aspectually isolated’. Be that as it may, one wonders whether οἶσε in Ar. Ra. 482 (C.4) really helps to characterise Dionysus’ words as ‘grand style’. As for the other comic occurrences, οἶσε is conjectural, though highly probable in Alex. fr. 125.3 (C.5; see Arnott 1996, 354). Radermacher (1954, 215) suggests that οἶσε could pertain to the Volksprache (‘vernacular’)Register because of its frequent use in comedy; Arnott (1996, 354), commenting on Alex. fr. 125 (C.5), thinks that the form is colloquialColloquial language; see also Bulloch (1985, 125 n. 3): ‘the examples in fourth-century B.C. comedy and Moeris’ note must indicate that the Aristophanic instances cannot be ‘parody of the grand style’’. However, the colloquial use of οἶσε cited in Moeris’ lemma is precisely the point, and it cannot be used to postulate further reasoning. For a more conclusive evaluation, it is necessary to compare Moeris with other erudite sources on οἶσε.
As far as we know, Aristarchus engaged with οἶσε and treated it as a ‘future instead of present’ equivalent to φέρε: see schol. (Ariston.) Hom. Il. 3.103 (A) (B.1), schol. (Ariston.) Hom. Il. 15.718a1 (A), and cf. Friedländer (1853, 6, 83, 255), and Schironi (2018, 195). At least from the 2nd century CE onwards, οἶσε was considered to be ‘more poetic’ than φέρε: according to Apollonius Dyscolus (B.2) οἶσε is a ‘rather poetic’ form and stands for φέρε by means of enallage (cf. Uhlig in GG 2,2.98; Lallot 1997 vol. 2, 63 n. 255; Callipo 2017, 428–9). Herodian (B.3) considered οἶσε and other forms of ‘future instead of present’ as a poetic licence (cf. Epim.Hom. ο 67; EM 619.1–10); in this regard, see also B.4 and B.5.
Only two scholia recentiora to Aristophanes’ Frogs concur with Moeris and describe οἶσε as an Attic form (schol. rec. Ar. Ra. 482a–b). What is more, no erudite source deals with any other form of ‘future instead of present’ as being typically Attic. Moeris’ prescription, however, does not necessarily conflict with the aforementioned scholarship: the ‘poetic enallage’ οἶσε (instead of φέρε), occurring both in Homer and in Aristophanes, may have led to the conclusion that οἶσε was Attic, given the fact that Homer was sometimes seen as a native of Attica and the representative of an older form of Attic (see Schironi 2018, 621–2, with further information). In this scenario, (the source of) Moeris’ lemma could either rest on an Atticist canon, which also included Homer, or represent the final stage of a somewhat reshaped and abridged piece of Homeric scholarship. For parallels, one may consider the following entries in Moeris’ lexicon, with their correspondence in Homeric scholarship:
Moer. δ 32Moer. δ 32 treats the feminine δρεπάνηδρεπάνη, attested in Hom. Il. 18.551 (~ [Hes.] Sc. 292) and later in prose, as an Attic form (δρεπάνη ἡ τῶν θεριστῶν Ἀττικοί· δρέπανον Ἕλληνες: ‘δρεπάνη [‘sickle’] is that used by reapers, [according to] Attic-speakers; Greek-speakers [say] δρέπανον’). Schol. (ex.) Hom. Il. 18.551 (A) considers δρεπάνη as an Ionic form.
Moer. ι 13Moer. ι 13 deals with the Homeric and poetic accusative ἱδρῶἱδρώς for ἱδρῶτα (ἱδρῶ Ἀττικοί· ἱδρῶτα Ἕλληνες: ‘Attic-speakers [say] ἱδρῶ [‘sweat’, acc. sing.]: Greek-speakers [say] ἱδρῶτα’). Perhaps Moeris depends on a source that considered such instances of ‘abbreviated’ forms as a typically Attic feature (see Tz. Ex. 1.13, 34, 65; cf. Eup. fr. 99.81 κυκεῶ, and Moer. κ 15). See the discussion in the entry ἱδρῶ, κυκεῶ, Ἀπόλλω, τυφῶ.
Moer. ο 5Moer. ο 5 addresses ὄψονὄψον (ὄψον Ἀττικοί· προσφάγημα Ἕλληνες: ‘Attic-speakers [say] ὄψον; Greek-speakers [say] προσφάγημα’). This lemma could also echo discussions in ancient scholarship about the word: see schol. (Ariston.) Hom. Il. 9.489a (A); schol. (Ariston.; D) Hom. Il. 11.630c–d (A).
In Moer. τ 9Moer. τ 9 both lemma and interpretamentum are Homeric words adapted to the usual Attic-speakers vs. Greek-speakers structure (τειχίοντειχίον τὸ τῆς οἰκίας Ἀττικοί· τεῖχος τὸ τῆς πόλεως Ἕλληνες: ‘Attic-speakers [use the form] τειχίον [to denote] the wall of the house; Greek-speakers [use the form] τεῖχος [to denote] that of the city’): cf. Hsch. τ 369 and see Hansen (1998, 52 n. 127).
In Moer. χ 12Moer. χ 12 (see entry χολάς, χόλιξ), dealing with words for ‘guts’, Homer seems to be representative of the ‘primitive’ Attic dialect, while Aristophanes counts as an author of ‘Middle Attic’: χολάδαςχολάς οἱ πρῶτοι Ἀττικοί, χόλικας θηλυκῶς οἱ μέσοι ‘χόλικας ἑφθάς’ (Ar. Pax 717)· τοὺς χόλικας ἀρσενικῶς Ἕλληνες: ‘Primitive Attic-speakers [say] χολάδας (‘guts’) (Hom. Il. 4.526 etc.); Middle Attic-speakers [say] χόλικας, feminine: ‘χόλικας ἑφθάς’ (‘boiled guts’) (Ar. Pax 717); Greek-speakers [say] τοὺς χόλικας, masculine’.
In sum, despite uncertainty that οἶσε really was colloquial amongst Attic speakers between the 5th and 4th century BCE, many erudite sources agree on the poetic flavour of this ‘Homeric’ form. Even Moeris’ prescriptive lemma could depend on (or at least be related to) previous Homeric scholarship.
E. Byzantine and Modern Greek commentary
F. Commentary on individual texts and occurrences
Arnott, W. G. (1996). Alexis. The Fragments. A Commentary. Cambridge.
Bulloch, A. W. (1985). Callimachus. The Fifth Hymn. Cambridge.
Callipo, M. (2017). Verso la frase ben costruita. Il primo libro della Sintassi di Apollonio Discolo. Acireale, Rome.
Chantraine, P. (1958–1963). Grammaire homérique. 2 vols. Paris.
Cruciani, A. (2018–2019). Ricerche sugli aoristi misti della lingua omerica. [MA dissertation] University of Bologna.
Dobree, P. P. (1843). Adversaria. Vol. 2. Cambridge.
Friedländer, L. (1853). Aristonici ΠΕΡΙ ΣΗΜΕΙΩΝ ΙΛΙΑΔΟΣ reliquiae emendatiores. Edidit Ludovicus Friedlaender. Göttingen.
Hansen, D. U. (1998). Das attizistische Lexicon des Moeris. Quellenkritische Untersuchung und Edition. Berlin, New York.
Henderson, J. (1998). Aristophanes. Vol. 1: Acharnians. Knights*. Edited and translated by Jeffrey Henderson. Cambridge, MA.
Henderson, J. (2002). Aristophanes. Vol. 4: Frogs. Assemblywomen. Wealth. Edited and translated by Jeffrey Henderson. Cambridge, MA.
Hooker, J. T. (1979). ‘Future Imperatives in Homer’. MSS 38, 87–92 [= Id., Scripta Minora. Selected Essays on Minoan, Mycenaean, Homeric and Classical Greek Subjects. Hrsg. von F. Amory, P. Considine und S. Hooker. Amsterdam 1996, 409–13].
Lallot, J. (1997). Apollonius Dyscole. De la construction (syntaxe). 2 vols. Paris.
Leumann, M. (1959). Kleine Schriften. Herausgegeben zum siebzigsten Geburtstag am 6. Oktober 1959. Zurich, Stuttgart.
Maidhof, A. (1912). Zur Begriffsbestimmung der Koine besonders auf Grund des Attizisten Moiris. Würzburg.
Magnien, V. (1912). Le futur grec. Vol. 2: Emplois et origines. Paris.
Murray, A. T. (1919). Homer. Odyssey. Vol. 2: Books 13–24. Translated by A. T. Murray. Revised by George E. Dimock. Cambridge, MA.
Murray, A. T. (1924). Homer. Iliad. Vol. 1: Books 1–12. Translated by A. T. Murray. Revised by William F. Wyatt. Cambridge, MA.
Olson, S. D. (2002). Aristophanes. Acharnians. Edited with Introduction and Commentary. Oxford.
Olson, S. D. (2007). Athenaeus. The Learned Banqueters. Vol. 2: Books 3.106e–5. Edited and translated by S. Douglas Olson. Cambridge, MA.
Prince, C. L. (1970). ‘Some ‘Mixed Aorists’ in Homer’. Glotta 48, 155–63 [= C. Prince Roth, ‘Mixed Aorists’ in Homeric Greek. New York, London 1990, 19–34]. Radermacher, L. (1954). Aristophanes’ ‘Frösche’. Einleitung, Text und Kommentar. Mit einem Nachwort, Zusätzen aus dem Handexemplar des Verfassers und weiteren Hinweisen, besorgt von Walther Kraus. 2nd edition. Vienna.
Risch, E. (1974). Wortbildung der homerischen Sprache. 2nd Edition. Berlin, New York.
Schironi, F. (2018). The best of the Grammarians. Aristarchus of Samothrace on the Iliad. Ann Arbor.
Schwyzer, E. (1939). Griechische Grammatik. Allgemeiner Teil, Lautlehre, Wortbildung, Flexion. Munich.
Starkie, W. J. M. (1909). The Acharnians of Aristophanes. London.
Stevens, S. A. (2015). Callimachus. The Hymns. Oxford.
Willi, A. (2003). The Languages of Aristophanes. Aspects of Linguistic Variation in Classical Attic Greek. Oxford.
Andrea Pellettieri, 'οἶσε (Moer. ο 31)', in Olga Tribulato (ed.), Digital Encyclopedia of Atticism.
EnallageFutureHomeric scholarshipImperativesPoetic languageἑλληνικόςκοινός
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