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379. Αἰ is a Doric and Aeolic form for εἰ, and is sometimes used in epic poetry in the forms αἴθε and αἲ γάρ, and less frequently in αἴ κε.1

1 Αἰ for εἰ is usually left in Homer by editors as the Mss. give it. But Bekker (Homerische Blätter, pp. 61, 62) quotes Heyne with approval, who says that no human being can tell why we have αἰ in one place and εἰ in another. Bekker cites, to illustrate this, αἴθ᾽ οὕτως χόλον τελέσεἰ Ἀγαμέμνων, Il. iv. 178, and εἴθ᾽ ὥς τοι γούναθ᾽ ἕποιτο, Il. iv. 313; also αἴ κε θεὸς ἵκηται, Il. v. 129, followed immediately by ἀτὰρ εἴ κε Ἀφροδίτη ἔλθῃσ᾽ ἐς πόλεμον. Bekker in his last edition of Homer (1858) gives only εἰ, εἴθε, and εἰ γάρ, without regard to the Mss.; and he is followed by Delbrück.

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