Dative Absolute

Richard Ghilardi qodeshlayhvh at juno.com
Tue Aug 28 23:11:20 EDT 2001


Dear B-Greekers and Carl,

[Conrad]

> Quite frankly I don't think either version is very eloquent although 
> both
> are perfectly intelligible.

[Ghilardi]

Fine. Then we agree on the main point of this thread.

[Conrad]

> I think that GENOMENOIS here is a
> circumstantial participle and that the construction 
> here is one that
> is not uncommon in literary narrative...

> this is not really very "good" 
> Greek,
> although it's intelligible enough. That participle GENOMENOIS 
> construing
> with GENESIOIS is really awkward;

[Ghilardi]

So we have here a case where a certain construction, though common enough
in literary narrative, is really awkward and not very "good" Greek. Am I
to understand that in Hellenistic times most writers wrote awkward Greek
most of the time? I haven't read enough Hellenistic Greek to know whether
they did or not.

[Conrad]

> classical Attic or "schoolboy" Greek would not use a
> genitive absolute when the subject of the genitive absolute is 
> identical
> with a syntactic element in the main clause.

[Ghilardi]

Why do you so glibly characterize classical Attic Greek as "schoolboy"?
Do you think that the writers of the following Hellenistic period were
more "sophisticated"? We might except the Atticizing ones, who, on your
terms, could be labeled "adolescent". But judging by your previous
comments above it would come as something of a surprise if you thought
that Hellenistic writers were really very "sophisticated".

[Conrad]

> (presumably drawn from Turner) all are like this.

[Ghilardi]

I cited author, title and page number and put his words in quotes. Why
the "presumably"?

[Conrad]

> Quite frankly I don't think in this instance Mt's version is any
> improvement upon Mk's

[Ghilardi]

I agree. But then why did MQ bother to make such major structural changes
if it wasn't to smoothe out the Greek?

[Conrad]

 There is one real problem with Mark's formulation 
> that is,
> in its own way, like the Matthaean genitive-absolute usage: we have 
> the
> genitive absolute EISELQOUSHS THS QUGATROS AUTOU hHERWiDIADOS KAI
> ORCHSAMENHS and then immediately we have a predicate (HRESEN TWi 
> hHRWiDHi)
> for which the only intelligible subject must be the same Herodias 
> who is
> the subject of the genitive absolute. It's intelligible, but not 
> very neat.

[Ghilardi]

I agree that it's intelligible but not very neat. I do not agree that
hHRWiDIADOS is either the grammatical or logical subject of HRESEN.
According to BDAG, the subject of ARESKW may be << Implied, i.e. impers.
(Philo, Aet. M. 87; Jos., Ant. 14, 205; 207) ARESKEI MOI it pleases me
(=mihi placet) >> 2b; p.130. So in MK 6:22 the implied impersonal subject
of HRESEN is "it" and has as its antecedent the entire preceding double
genitive absolute clause. I admit that this is awkward. But we already
agree on that, eh? And yet it is just as inteligible as your reading.

Yours in His grace,

Richard Ghilardi -- qodeshlayhvh at juno.com
New Haven, CT USA
Nibai kaurno hwaiteis gadriusando in airtha gaswiltith,
silbo ainata aflifnith: ith jabai gaswiltith, manag akran bairith.



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