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ὁρμώμεθον: pres.subjunct. Only two other instances of a 1st pers. dual occur in texts of the classical period: (1) Il. 23. 485 τρίποδος περιδώμεθον ἠὲ λέβητος”. Here, while the greater MS. authority supports the dual, one MS. gives “περιδώμεθα”: and the hiatus can be defended by the ‘bucolic diaeresis,’ just as in Il. 5. 484οἷόν κ᾽ ἠὲ φέροιεν Ἀχαιοὶ κεν ἄγοιεν”. (2) El. 950λελείμμεθον”: where again one of the minor MSS. has “λελείμμεθα”. Elmsley denied the existence of such a 1st pers. dual, because it is so rare, and is nowhere required by metre. Bieler (De duali numero, p. 18) pushes this unsafe argument further by pointing out how often Homer and the dramatists abstained from this form where they might have used it. Leaf (on Il. 23. 485) thinks that it can be explained only as due to the analogy of the 2nd dual (i.e., “-μεθον” : “-μεθα” :: “-σθον” : “-σθε”). But even so, analogy might have produced this form before the time of the dramatists: we cannot assume that it was merely a figment of later grammarians. I should therefore keep “ὁρμώμεθον” here and “λελείμμεθον” in El. 950; though in Il. 23. 485, considering all the facts, I should prefer “περιδώμεθα”.

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