PW~S in Epictetus

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Sun Aug 20 20:11:27 EDT 2000

At 1:44 PM -0700 8/20/00, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>Encountered a use of PWS in reading *Levinskaya which I have not encountered
>before in a citation from Epictetus**
>This citation is perfectly simple to understand but it did raise some
>questions about how PW~S might be used. I was not able to find any
>enlightenment from the standard sources on this (LSJ, Smyth, BDF, BAGD). I
>don't think this is a NT or LXX pattern of usage. Searched for multiple PW~S
>strings and found only one in Jer. 31:39 which was not similar since each
>PW~S introduced a new clause. I toyed with the idea that each PW~S in this
>Epictetus** citation was introducing a new clause but that reading seemed to
>be improbable since hEKASTOS seems to indicate a distribution across all
>three groups. However if we read LEGETAI as an equative verb functioning
>like EIMI then it is feasible that LEGETAI could be "elided" so to speak
>after the second and third PW~S. But this still leaves some loose ends to be
>tied up.

I hope I'm not misunderstanding your question, Clay.

I assume that the third word in the citation should be IOUDAION

Perseus LSJ has for PW~S:

IV. p. in indirect questions for hopôs , Aesch. Eum. 677, Soph. Trach. 991
(anap.), Aristoph. Kn. 614, Xen. Mem. 1.2.36, etc.; ethaumazon an p . . .
edeisan IG12(3).174.28 (Cnidus, Epist.Aug.); zêtêthêsetai p. hoti kai touto
alêthes esti S.E. M.8.16.

and that's what I'd assume we have in this instance--a succession of three
clauses of indirect question following upon the introductory OUC hORAiS; I
would understand elliptical carry-over of hEKASTOS LEGETAI (EINAI) in the
second and third PWS clauses: "Why do you play the role of a Jew when you
are Greek? Don't you see how one is said as an individual to be Jewish, how
(one is said as an individual to be) Syrian, how (one is said as an
individual to be) Egyptian?"

Normally the interrogatives in indirect discourse take a hO- (which I take
to be in origin a neuter relative pronoun): PWS --> hOPWS, POU --> hOPOU,
TI/ --> hO/TI (usually spelled as two words: hO/ TI), but it's permissible
to use the direct interrogative word in place of the indirect when one

P.S. Thanks also, Clay, for the Denniston on particles which I found
waiting for me when I got back to my office in St. Louis. I deem it one of
the more valuable additions to my reference library.


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at
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