Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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Breathings 9

Every initial vowel or diphthong has either the rough (‘) or the smooth (’) breathing. The rough breathing (spiritus asper) is pronounced as h, which is sounded before the vowel; the smooth

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breathing (spiritus lenis) is not sounded. Thus, ὅρος hóros boundary, ὄρος óros mountain.

9D

The Ionic of Asia Minor lost the rough breathing at an early date. So also before ρ ( cross13). Its occurrence in compounds ( cross124 D.) is a relic of the period when it was still sounded in the simple word. Hom. sometimes has the smooth where Attic has the rough breathing in forms that are not Attic: Ἀΐδης (Ἅ_ιδης), the god Hades, ἆλτο sprang (ἅλλομαι), ἄμυδις together (cp. ἅμα), ἠέλιος sun (ἥλιος), ἠώς dawn (ἕως), ἴ_ρηξ hawk (ἱέρα_ξ), οὖρος boundary (ὅρος). But also in ἄμαξα wagon (Attic ἅμαξα). In Laconian medial ς became ( (h): ἐνί_κα_ἑ ἐνί_κησε he conquered.

10

Initial υ (υ and υ_) always has the rough breathing.

10D

In Aeolic, υ, like all the other vowels (and the diphthongs), always has the smooth breathing. The epic forms ὔμμες you, ὔμμι, ὔμμε ( cross325 D.) are Aeolic.

11

Diphthongs take the breathing, as the accent ( cross152), over the second vowel: αἱρέω hairéo I seize, αἴρω aíro I lift. But ᾳ, ῃ, ῳ take both the breathing and the accent on the first vowel, even when ι is written in the line (5): ᾄδω Ἄιδω I sing, ᾅδης Ἅ_ιδης Hades, but Αἰνεία_ς Aeneas. The writing ἀίδηλος (Ἀίδηλος) destroying shows that αι does not here form a diphthong; and hence is sometimes written αϊ (8).

12

In compound words (as in προορᾶν to foresee, from πρό ὁρᾶν) the rough breathing is not written, though it must often have been pronounced: cp. ἐξέδρα_ a hall with seats, Lat. exhedra, exedra, πολυίστωρ very learned, Lat. polyhistor. On Attic inscriptions in the old alphabet (2 a) we find ΕΥΗΟΡΚΟΝ εὐὅρκον faithful to one's oath.

13

Every initial ρ has the rough breathing: ῥήτωρ orator (Lat. rhetor). Medial ρρ is written ῤῥ in some texts: Πύῤῥος Pyrrhus.

14

The sign for the rough breathing is derived from H, which in the Old Attic alphabet (2 a) was used to denote h. Thus, HO the. After H was used to denote η, one half ([rough ]) was used for h (about 300 B.C.), and, later, the other half ([smooth]) for the smooth breathing. From [rough ] and [smooth] come the forms ‘and’.

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Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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