Greek accentuation

In Greek texts accents are almost never written before the 2nd century, and only rarely after that (in some literary texts). Modern editors just add them in their editions. For Greek words, there are fixed rules which are well-known, although not every Greek papyrologist applies them flawlessly. For Egyptian words, names in particular, matters are far less clear. Willy Clarysse argues for accentuating according to the Greek declensions, and this is also accepted for Latin names by Johannes Kramer. In this view, no accents should be put on non-declined names (e.g. the month names). Most papyrological editions continue, however, to use the traditional accentuation based on Preisigke’s Namenbuch, and in fact on our Latin pronounciation, e.g. -οσῖρις, Ἀμᾶσις and not -όσιρις, Ἄμασις, as Clarysse would have it.

Because of the uncertainty we have omitted Greek accents from names of Egyptian origin. This rule may not always have been followed, and sporadically Greek accents may still appear on these names, most often those of the editors. In no case should the variants attested in Trismegistos People be seen as models for those wanting to accentuate ‘à la Clarysse’.

There is another complication with accents. The rules for their placement are complicated in that they take vowel length into account, and accents thus shift according to case endings. When building up our database of declined forms of name variants (NAMVARCASE), we started from an attested form, then created the nominative and the other cases. For this we never took the accents into account, so that many declined forms may not have the accent in the right place. The automated recognition process, however, made abstraction of the accents and kept the accentuation attested in the edition. In the NAMVARCASE-database, on the other hand, some very strange and incorrect forms may appear. We hope to correct this in the future.