[B-Greek] Dative participial clauses

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Jul 2 09:11:41 EDT 2007


On Jul 1, 2007, at 5:09 PM, Iver Larsen wrote:

> It seems to me that we did not quite finish the discussion of  
> participial clauses as the one in Luke
> 8:27.
>
> From my point of view, which is descriptive linguistics rather than  
> traditional Greek grammar, I am
> wondering if there are two different types, where one functions  
> like a relative clause dependent on
> a noun or pronoun, and the other functions as a temporal clause  
> dependent on a verb in a main
> clause. The relative clause in dative is very common when it  
> further describes a noun in the dative.
> The second one is the tricky one, where the analysis is not very  
> clear and apparently disputed.
>
> Steve Runge listed some examples, and I'd like to add a few. Before  
> looking at Mark 16:12 and 14,
> I'd like to quote 16:9
>
> Mark 16:9  Ἀναστὰς δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ  
> σαββάτου
> ANASTAS DE PRWI PRWTHi SABBATOU
> [Jesus] having arisen early on the first [day] of the week
> ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ
> EFANH PRWTON MARIAi THi MAGDALHNHi
> he first of all revealed himself to Mary Magdalene
>
> The implicit subject in the participial clause is the same as in  
> the main clause (Jesus). It is
> therefore in the nominative. The clause sets the time before the  
> main event, and it is usually
> translated by a temporal subordinate clause as in NCV: After Jesus  
> rose from the dead early on the
> first day of the week, he showed himself first to Mary Magdalene.  
> Notice the dative form of the
> temporal word PRWTHi [hHMERAi].
>
> The NET bible seems to present a different analysis by saying:
> "Early on the first day of the week, after he arose, he appeared  
> first to Mary Magdalene"
> They take ANASTAS as a time clause in itself and connects the time  
> words with the main verb EFANH. I
> find this analysis dubious and unlikely to be correct.

I would agree that PRWI PRWTHi SABBATOU ought preferably to be  
understood adverbially with ANASTAS rather than with EFANH.

> In verses 10 and 11 we see how the disciples in general refused to  
> believe that Jesus had risen,
> even when told so by Mary.
>
> Mark 16:12  Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα δυσὶν ἐξ  
> αὐτῶν περιπατοῦσιν ἐφανερώθη
> META DE TAUTA DUSIN EX AUTWN PERIPATOUSIN EFANERWQH
> After these things he showed himself to two of them who were  
> walking along
> ἐν ἑτέρᾳ μορφῇ πορευομένοις εἰς  
> ἀγρόν·
> EN hETERA MORFHi POREUOMENOIS EIS AGRON
> in a different form [and] who were walking towards the countryside.
	"into the countryside"?
>
> I can see two possible analyses. META TAUTA in itself could be the  
> temporal setting and DUSIN EX
> AUTWN the fronted dative object for FANEROW. The phrase "two of  
> them [disciples]" would then be
> highlighted, because the previous context said that the disciples  
> did not believe. But now, two of
> them saw with their own eyes. There are then two participial  
> clauses attached to DUSIN, and they
> both function as relative clauses further describing the nominal as  
> indicated in the translation
> above. They are in plural dative because the nominal is in plural  
> dative. These two disciples who
> were walking along and who were going away from the city.
> The other analysis is to take a longer temporal setting clause:
> META DE TAUTA DUSIN EX AUTWN PERIPATOUSIN
> As two of them later were walking along,
> EFANERWQH [AUTOIS] EN hETERA MORFHi POREUOMENOIS EIS AGRON
> he showed himself [to them] in a different form as they were going  
> towards the countryside.
> In this case, the dative object in the main clause only appears in  
> the deep structure, because it
> can be supplied from the previous clause. This is not uncommon in  
> Greek. It is not a matter of the
> verb being intransitive, but of the object being understood from  
> context. The second object would
> often be supplied in translation and apparently also in many Greek  
> manuscripts where some have such
> a second repeated object, others do not. Notice also that the  
> subject in the initial temporal clause
> corresponds to the object in the main clause.

This structure is certainly too deep for me.  Once we've seen DUSIN  
EX AUTWN PERIPATOUSIN I really can't see any need for an "understood"  
AUTOIS.

I find the superficial perspective sufficiently intellgibile here:  
DUSIN EX AUTWN PERIPATOUSIN EFANERWQH EN hETERAi MORFHi, POREUOMENOIS  
EIS AGRON.

EN hETERAi MORFHi certainly must construe with EFANERWQH/

POREUOMENOIS EIS AGRON really doesn't add much to DUSIN EX AUTWN  
PERIPATOUSIN, does it? In fact, I'd call it otiose (Does "making  
their way" tell us more than "walking"? Does "into the country"  
provide us with any information of significance?).

It would appear to me that this is modeled upon Luke 24:13 KAI IDOU  
DUO EX AUTWN EN AUTHi THi hHMERAi HSAN POREUOMENOI EIS KWMHN  
APECOUSAN STADIOUS hEXHKONTA APO IEROUSALHM -- and I don't think it's  
a very elegant formulation. Isn't POREUOMENOIS EIS AGRON in Mk 16:12  
a reformulation of POREUOMENOI EIS KWMHN APECOUSAN STADIOUS hEXHKONTA  
APO IEROUSALHM?

To me the postulation of a dative absolute construction in DUSIN EX  
AUTWN PERIPATOUSIN is unnecessary and not very helpful.


> V. 13 then tells us that these two disciples went and reported to  
> the rest (including the 11 main
> disciples), but still they refused to believe.
>
> Mark 16:14  Ὕστερον [δὲ] ἀνακειμένοις  
> αὐτοῖς τοῖς ἕνδεκα ἐφανερώθη
> hUSTERON DE ANAKEIMENOIS AUTOIS TOIS hENDEKA EFANERWQH
> Later he showed himself to the eleven themselves as they were  
> reclining at table.
> Again, I see two options.
> Either AUTOIS TOIS hENDEKA is the fronted dative object for FANEROW  
> with an extra fronted
> participle. However, I cannot explain why ANAKEIMENOIS should be  
> fronted, and this makes me think
> that the alternative analysis as a temporal setting clause is  
> preferable.
> The translation would then be more like:
> As the eleven [disciples] themselves were later reclining at table,  
> he showed himself [to them].
> Again, the subject in the temporal setting clause corresponds to  
> the object in the main clause.

Am I right in thinking that it's because you find the word-order  
inconsistent with what you believe about word-order that you are here  
postulating another "dative absolute?" I'm inclined to think that the  
author of the long ending of Mark's gospel doesn't write very elegant  
Greek, but I nevertheless think that what he wrote is perfectly  
intelligible. But then, I believe that the dative participial phrase/ 
clause preceding a verb that construes with a dative complement is  
not so extraordinary.

> Mat  8:23  Καὶ ἐμβάντι αὐτῷ εἰς τὸ  
> πλοῖον
> KAI EMBANTI AUTWi EIS TO PLOION
> And after he had entered the boat,
> ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ
> HKOLOUQHSAN AUTWi hOI MAQHTAI AUTOU
> his disciples followed/joined him
>
> In this case I find the relative clause option impossible. The  
> sense can hardly be that his
> disciples followed him who had entered the boat. It looks much more  
> like a setting in a subordinate
> clause for the main verb. After he had entered the boat, then his  
> disciples followed him. This
> analysis can account for the AUTWi as subject in the participial  
> clause and then AUTWi as dative
> object in the main clause.

This too I would understand as another instance of the dative  
participial phrase/clause preceding a verb that construes with a  
dative complement. I admit that the second AUTWi is superfluous, but  
it is the sort of superfluous pronoun that is not so uncommon in the  
LXX. My inclination here would be to explain the construction as a  
dative participial phrase/clause employed where otherwise a geniive  
absolute would have been used -- the dative chosen PRECISELY BECAUSE  
the speaker/writer is aware that a verb requiring a dative complement  
will follow. The second AUTWi is superflous, but I don't think it  
requires us to understand EMBANTI AUTWi EIS TO PLOION as a "dative  
absolute."

> Mat 9:27  Καὶ παράγοντι ἐκεῖθεν τῷ  
> Ἰησοῦ
> KAI PARAGONTI EKEIQEN TWi IHSOU
> And as Jesus was on his way away from there,
> ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ δύο τυφλοὶ  
> κράζοντες καὶ λέγοντες
> HKOLOUQHSAN AUTWi DUO TUFLOI KRAZONTES KAI LEGONTES
> two blind men who were shouting and who were saying... followed him.
>
> Again the relative clause option does not work, whereas the  
> subordinate temporal setting clause
> works fine.

This is indeed exactly like the construction of Mt 8:23, and again I  
would argue that it's the common construction of a dative participial  
phrase/clause preceding a verb that construes with a dative  
complement. Again the AUTWi is redundant after the dative TWi IHSOU.

For the redundant pronouns, compare Genesis 1:11 KAI EIPEN hO QEOS:  
BLASTHSATW hH GH BOTANHN CORTOU SPEIRON SPERMA KATA GENOS KAI KAQ'  
hOMOIOTHTA KAI XULON KARPIMON hOU TO SPERMA AUTOU EN AUTWi KATA GENOS  
EPI GHS. KAI EGENETO hOUTWS. Note what Al Pietersma has called the  
'interlinear' model of translation (from Hebrew) in the phrasing of  
hOU TO SPERMA AUTOU EN AUTWi.

> Mat 9:28 ἐλθόντι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν
> ELQONTI DE EIS THN OIKIAN
> But after he had entered the house
> προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ τυφλοί
> PROSHLQON AUTWi hOI TUFLOI
> the blind [people] came up to him
>
> Again, the participial clause seems to function like a temporal  
> setting clause rather than a
> relative clause. The subject in the setting clause corresponds to  
> the object in the main clause.

Again the same construction and the redundant AUTWi; and here too  
there's no need to postulate a "dative absolute."

> Mat 14:6  Γενεσίοις δὲ γενομένοις τοῦ  
> Ἡρῴδου
> GENESIOIS DE GENOMENOIS TOU hHRWDOU
> When Herod's birthday celebrations had come around,
> ὠρχήσατο ἡ θυγάτηρ τῆς  
> Ἡρῳδιάδος ... καὶ ἤρεσεν τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ
> WRCHSATO hH QUGATHR THS hHRWiDIADOS..KAI HRESEN TWi hERWDHi
> the daughter of Herodias danced... and it pleased Herod
>
> The dative participial clause is difficult to explain except as a  
> temporal setting clause. Dative is
> often used for temporal setting, for instance in the parallel in  
> Mark 6:21 τοῖς γενεσίοις αὐτοῦ TOIS
> GENESIOUS AUTOU (at his birthday celebrations). The dative object  
> for HRESEN does not correspond to
> the subject in the termporal setting clause.

This is the single really problematic text, and yes, HRESEN must  
construe with TWi hHRWDHi. I do indeed think that this is based on  
Mark 6:21, but I would sooner undrestand this as a dative of time  
when with a circumstantial participle: "at Herod's birthday  
celebration, when it came round, Herodias' daughter danced ..."
I would guess that the evangelist did have in mind the same sort of  
construction as in 8:23, 9:27 and 9:28; it may be that he was aware  
at the outset that he intended to use the verb HRESEN and so chose to  
introduce the sentence with a dative noun and a participle in the  
dative. Unquestionably the phrase/clause here functions as does a  
gentiive absolute in that it cannot be made to construe with the main  
clause syntactically. I think that happens sometimes as it does when  
we are composing e-mail: anacoluthon as a consequence of changing  
grammatical horses before formulating in mind  the sequential parts  
of a sentence.

> Lk 8:27 ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν
> EXELQONTI DE AUTWi EPI THN GHN
> As he came out (from the boat) onto the land
> ὑπήντησεν [αὐτῷ] ἀνήρ τις
> hUPHNTHSEN [AUTWi] ANHR TIS
> a certain man came up to him
>
> The presence of the second AUTWi in some manuscripts seems to  
> support the analysis of the first part
> as a temporal setting clause. All English versions supply such an  
> object in the main clause.

Of course they do, but that's because of the way that English idiom  
works; and surely we're not obliged to back-translate from English to  
Greek, are we? That's the same notion of "deep structure" that seemed  
to me TOO deep when you suggested it the first time with regard to  
Mark 16:9.

> Luke 17:7 Τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν δοῦλον ἔχων  
> ἀροτριῶντα ἢ ποιμαίνοντα,
> TIS DE EX hUMWN DOULON ECWN AROTRIWNTA H POIMAINONTA
> Who of you who has a slave who has been plowing and tending sheep,
> ὃς εἰσελθόντι ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ ἐρεῖ  
> αὐτῷ
> hOS EISELQONTI EK TOU AGROU EREI AUTWi
> who as he [the slave] has come in from the field, will say to him?
>
> In the first part the two accusative participles clearly describe  
> the slave, and most English
> versions would use a relative clause. In the second part, it is  
> more tricky whether the participial
> clause is simply a fronted relative clause describing AUTWi or  
> whether it is a temporal setting
> clause. Most English versions take it as a temporal setting clause  
> with NET being an exception.

There's no problem here -- and certainly EISELQONTI EK TOU AGROU is  
circumstial; but there's no need to suppose this is a "datve absolute."

> Act 7:26 τῇ τε ἐπιούσῃ ἡμέρᾳ ὤφθη  
> αὐτοῖς μαχομένοις
> THi TE EPIOUSHi hHMERAi WFQH AUTOIS MACOMENOIS
> On the next day he showed himself to them as they were fighting.
>
> This is different, but I find it interesting that the temporal  
> setting is in the dative.

But the use of the locative dative to indicate a temporal setting is  
hardly strange, and the choice of a participle EPIOUSHi instead of an  
adjective EPIOUSION (as in TON ARTON TON EPIOUSION) is no more odd  
than the option in English between "on the following day" and "on the  
next day."

> Act 28:10 καὶ ἀναγομένοις ἐπέθεντο τὰ  
> πρὸς τὰς χρείας
> KAI ANAGOMENOIS EPEQENTO TA PROS TAS CREIAS
> And as (we) were setting out to sea they presented (us) with the  
> things for our needs
>
> Here there is no hHMIN in the text, although it must be understood  
> as an implied object for the
> verb. There is a hHMAS in the preceding context which is  
> pragmatically carried forward.

Here I must agree that hHMIN is implicit, and it's also the case here  
that EPEQENTO "expects" a dative complement.

> In all these cases - with the exception of Mat 14:6 - the dative  
> participle might be construed as
> dependent on an explicit or implicit nominal in the dative. But I  
> am wondering whether it would also
> be possible to take the participial clause as a separate temporal  
> clause as Steve Runge suggested,
> so that the dative is governed by it being temporal rather than by  
> being dependent on a dative
> nominal? That would explain some of the otherwise unexplainable  
> frontings. All the examples I have
> been able to find in the GNT seem to share such a temporal setting.  
> It is necessary that the subject
> in the participial clause is different from the subject in the main  
> clause, since otherwise a
> nominative participle would be used.
>
> I don't know whether such constructions are also found in Classical  
> Greek, but I am happy to be
> taught.
>
> Any thoughts?

I think it would be worth investigating the frequency of dative  
nominal + participial phrases/clauses with verbs construed with  
dative complements in Greek literature or at least in Hellenistic  
literature (beyond the GNT!). As I argued when I first discussed the  
problem of Luke 5:1, I also think this is a common construction in  
Latin prose. The instance I was trying to think of a few days ago was  
the very opening of Cicero's De Oratore (1.1): "Cogitanti mihi saepe  
numero et memoria vetera repetenti perbeati fuisse, Quinte frater,  
illi videri solent, qui ... " (Often as I ponder and recollect olden  
days, those men tend to seem to me profoundly blessed, who ... ").  
Here note that the MIHI with with COGITANTI and REPETENTI construe  
ultimately depends upon the verbal phrase VIDERI SOLENT: "they tend  
to seem to me when I ponder ... "

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





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