[B-Greek] monogenes

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Mar 9 07:30:58 EST 2006

On Mar 9, 2006, at 6:59 AM, Octavio Rodriguez wrote:

> Dear Sir:
>   The greek word monogenes  is a compound of the words mono and  
> genes. Many
> scholars say that genes is from ginomai rather than gennao. Other  
> scholar
> say that the traditional ethymology from gennao is right.
> I think both positions at once can´t be true.
> What is the real root?. Is it wrong the meaning only-begotten?.

There's been voluminous correspondence on this question on BG in the  
past; you can find it in the archives by searching for MONOGENHS. I  
think that it is generally agreed nowadays that it does indeed derive  
from MONOS and GENOS and means something like "unique" or "one of a  
kind." If a father has only one son, that might be equivalent to  
"only-begotten," but there doesn't seem to be any legitimate way of  
deriving the epithet MONOGENHS from the verb GENNAW.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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