previous next

11. THE IONIC DIALECT OF THE HIPPOCRATIC COLLECTION.

The later MSS. of the Corpus exhibit a mass of pseudo-ionic forms which are not to be found, or are only rarely found, in the earlier MSS. The uncontracted forms, too, are more common in the later authorities. If we follow closely the earlier MSS. we have a text which is very like Attic, with a mild sprinkling of Ionic forms. These facts seem to show that, when Ionic became the medium of scientific prose, it lost touch gradually with the spoken speech and assimilated itself to the predominant Attic, and later on possibly to the κοινή. It retained just enough Ionic to keep up the tradition and to conform to convention. The later scribes, under the mistaken impression that the texts before them had been atticized, restored what they considered to be the ancient forms, often with disastrous results. Many of their ionisms are sheer monstrosities.

In 1894 A. W. Smyth discussed the dialect of the Corpus in his work The Sounds and Inflections of the

[p. lxiii] Greek Dialects : Ionic.1 He pointed out, however, that the labours of Littré2 had left much to be done in this department of Hippocratic study, and that the material for a sound judgment was not yet available.

The collection of this material is not yet complete, but a good start was made by Kéhlewein, who in Chapter III of the Prolegomena to the first volume of the Teubner Hippocrates (de dialecto Hippocratica3 laid down the principles followed in the present edition.

1 See 94-103, pp. 100-110.

2 See Vol. I., 479-502.

3 pp. lxv-oxxviii.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: