In the following description, only forms that differ from those of later Greek are discussed. Omitted forms can usually be predicted from patterns seen in Ionic Greek.
Homeric Greek is like Ionic Greek, and unlike Classical Attic, in shifting almost all cases of long ᾱ to η: thus, Homeric Τροίη, ὥρη, πύλῃσι for Attic Τροίᾱ, ὥρᾱ, πύλαις/πύλαισι "Troy", "hour", "gates (dat.)". Exceptions include nouns like θεᾱ́ "goddess", and the genitive plural of first-declension nouns and the genitive singular of masculine first-declension nouns: θεᾱ́ων, Ἀτρεΐδᾱο "of goddesses, of the son of Atreus".
Interrogative pronoun, singular and plural ("who, what, which")
A note on nouns:
-σ- and -σσ- alternate in Homeric Greek. This can be of metrical use. For example, τόσος and τόσσος are equivalent; μέσος and μέσσος; ποσί and ποσσί.
The ending -φι (-οφι) can be used for the dative singular and plural of nouns and adjectives (occasionally for the genitive singular and plural, as well). For example, βίηφι (...by force), δακρυόφιν (...with tears), and ὄρεσφιν (...in the mountains).
-ν appears rather than -σαν. For example, ἔσταν for ἔστησαν in the Third-person plural Active.
The third plural middle/passive often ends in -αται or -ατο; for example, ἥατο is equivalent to ἧντο.
Future: Generally remains uncontracted. For example, ἐρέω appears instead of ἐρῶ or τελέω instead of τελέσω.
Present or imperfect: These tenses sometimes take iterative form with the letters -σκ- penultimate with the ending. For example, φύγεσκον: 'they kept on running away'
Aorist or imperfect: Both tenses can occasionally drop their augments. For example, βάλον may appear instead of ἔβαλον, and ἔμβαλε may appear instead of ἐνέβαλε.
The subjunctive appears with a short vowel. Thus, the form ἴομεν, rather than ἴωμεν.
The second singular middle subjunctive ending appears as both -ηαι and -εαι.
The third singular active subjunctive ends in -σι. Thus, we see the form φορεῇσι, instead of φορῇ.
Occasionally, the subjunctive is used in place of the future and in general remarks.
The infinitive appears with the endings -μεν, -μεναι, and -ναι, in place of -ειν and -ναι. For example, δόμεναι for δοῦναι; ἴμεν instead of ἰέναι; ἔμεν, ἔμμεν, or ἔμμεναι for εἶναι; and ἀκουέμεν(αι) in place of ἀκούειν.
In contracted verbs, where Attic employs an -ω-, Homeric Greek will use -οω- or -ωω- in place of -αο-. For example, Attic ὁρῶντες becomes ὁρόωντες.
Similarly, in places where -αε- contracts to -α- or -αει- contracts to -ᾳ-, Homeric Greek will show either αα or αᾳ.
-δε conveys a sense of 'to where'; πόλεμόνδε 'to the war'
-δον conveys a sense of 'how'; κλαγγηδόν 'with cries'
-θεν conveys a sense of 'from where'; ὑψόθεν 'from above'
Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men—carrion
for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.
Begin it when the two men first contending
broke with one another—
the Lord Marshal
Agamemnon, Atreus' son, and Prince Akhilleus.
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