Euripides and His Age/Note

Euripides and His Age  (1913)  by Gilbert Murray
Note on the Pronunciation of Names


Greek names have mostly come to the modern world through Latin and consequently are generally given in their Latin form. Thus in Latin the K-sound was denoted by C; KH by CH; AI- by AE; OU- by U; U by Y, which is really a Greek letter taken over into Latin for this express purpose. Also one or two common terminations are given in their Latin form, Homêros becoming Homerus, Apollon Apollo, and Alexandros Alexander. This difference in writing did not mean a difference in pronunciation; the Latin Aeschylus was pronounced (except perhaps in the termination) exactly like the Greek "Aiskhulos," Thucydides like "Thoukudides."

The conventional English pronunciation follows the Latin form and pronounces all vowels and diphthongs as in English, except that E is always pronounced, and never used merely to lengthen a previous vowel: e.g., "Euripides" rhymes with "insipid ease," not with "glides," "Hermione" roughly with "bryony," not with "tone." OE and AE are pronounced as one syllable, like "ee" in "free," except when marked as two syllables, as "Arsinoë": EU as in "feud." Of the consonants C is pronounced as in English, CH as K. The only difficulty then is to know where the stress comes and what vowels are long or short.

By Latin custom, if the last syllable but one is long, it will have the stress (as surprísing, everlásting, Achílles, Agamémnon); if the last syllable but one is short, the stress will be on the syllable before (as ádamant, dángerous, Aéschylus, Thucýdides).

In the following index ´ denotes a stressed short vowel sound, as in cáttle, imbédded, pítiful, biólogy: a ^ denotes a stressed long vowel as in câke, creêper, spîteful, Octôber, endûrable, gŷroscope.