Manolis Nikolaou aei_didaskomenos at
Wed May 1 08:16:24 EDT 2002

> There's a book that appeared in German about the middle of the last century
> by Bruno Snell originally entitled _Die Entdeckung des Geistes_, Englished
> as _The Discovery of the Mind_. While some of what Snell argues in that
> collection of essays on ancient Greek cultural developments is outdated,
> there's a fine chapter, the exact title of which I don't recall, which
> describes "the invention of the article" as something taking place more or
> less toward the end of the 6th century B.C.E. when what was earlier (and
> continued, to some extent, to be) essentially a weak demonstrative pronoun
> (= "he/she/it") came increasingly to be used to point to a noun or
> substantivized phrase in such a way as to give it the force of a definite
> noun.
> -- 
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
> Most months:: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
> cwconrad at OR cwconrad at
> WWW:

The title of the chapter mentioned is "The formation of scientific terms
in the ancient Greek language". According to Snell, Greek science and
philosophy owe, to a large extent, their flourishing to the appearance of
the definite article!

Manolis Nikolaou

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