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In many instances where a short syllable seems to be used for a long, closer examination shows that it is really long by position. The value of a consonant (especially digamma) often remains, even when the letter itself has disappeared from the text. E. g. A 416. So too 3.2, 230, etc.

Whether the initial consonant of “ὡς”, ‘like,’ was “ϝ” or y is uncertain. At any rate, it had disappeared in the Homeric age; its value was retained, however, in formulas like the one quoted, which were inherited from older time.

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    • Homer, Iliad, 3.2
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