[B-Greek] SFWE in the Iliad 1.8

Ann Nyland accuratebibles at ozemail.com.au
Thu Jul 31 05:43:35 EDT 2003

Isn't Homer fantastic!

It's an epic word. Yes, it sort of does mean "two", and is translated that
way often, but it is the dual - the dual is more precisely in the sense of a
"pair" - "which of the gods engaged the pair of them (the both of them/the
two of them) to contend in fighting?" SFWE is the dual nom or acc of the 3rd
person pronoun.  In Attic, the third person pronoun is never used as a
personal pronoun in the nominative.

I should add this is not Classical Greek - Homer was Ionic Greek (has a few
Doric and Aiolic forms here and there), quite different from Attic
(Classical Greek) as many tortured students who have had to list pages of
the differences can testify. Basically, Homer is Old Ionic ("Epic"),
Herodotos is New Ionic (so is Hippocrates) - some people just call them all
simply "Ionic" - and the Attic (a further development of the New Ionic) is
usually called "Classical". Ionic Greek isn't as simple as Attic. Btw, when
people are often told it would help them to improve their NT Greek by
learning "Classical", they often start at Homer (who isn't classical), not a
good place to start, imo.

SFWE didn't last long at all, and at any rate, the dual has disappeared by
the Koine.

Ann Nyland

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason Hare" <jason at jhronline.com>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 5:23 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] SFWE in the Iliad 1.8

> B-Greekers,
> I'm just wondering about the word SFWE in the eighth
> line of book 1 (chapter 1) of the Iliad. Does it not
> mean "two?" However, the answer to the rhetorical
> question is given in the singular: LHTOUS KAI DIOS
> hYIOS (the son of Leto and Zeus).
> What is the significance/usage of this word in
> classical Greek? Also, does it appear in Koine (or
> later Greek) at all?
> Thanks!
> Jason Hare

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