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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.

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