Original Research

Ὀμωκότας in an anonymous fourteenth century verse-chronicle

C. Matzukis
Literator | Vol 11, No 2 | a800 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v11i2.800 | © 1990 C. Matzukis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1990 | Published: 06 May 1990

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C. Matzukis, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine an etymological enigma in the word ὀμωκότας, a form of an anomalous nature. This form appears only once in a fourteenth century anonymous poem of 759 lines which is contained in the Codex Marcianus 408 in the Library of St. Mark (Venice). The poem reflects events of the 1204 fall and 1261 recovery of Constantinople. The metre which is used by an anonymous poet is the popular one of the period, known as the polilical metre. The initial impression of ὀμωκότας is one of an ἃπαξ λεγόμενον but further examination reveals a linguistic idiosyncracy other than that of merely an ἃπαξ. The form ὀμωκότας appears in the section of the poem which deals with the entry into Constantinople (via the underground drains) by Strategopoulous (Palaiologos’s general). The various sources are thoroughly examined in search of the possible usage of this form in perhaps even one of the sources. The word appears nowhere. After numerous hypotheses and etymological deductions, a conclusion is ultimately arrived at and is proved to be basically the simplest one, with an obvious explanation.

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