[B-Greek] Active for Passive?

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Wed Apr 14 09:56:15 EDT 2010


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <yancywsmith at sbcglobal.net>
To: "greek B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 14. april 2010 15:15
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Active for Passive?


> Carl wrote:
>> "active form with PASSIVE MEANING???? Ordinarily the term is applied to 
>> middle/passive forms with ACTIVE meaning.
>>
>> I think that's a pretty pitiful discussion of "deponency" -- poorly written, 
>> unreferenced. Of course Wikipedia stuff varies considerably in quality.
>>
>> In Greek I know of three verbs commonly used in a passive sense:
>>
>> PASCW, e.g. DEINA EPAQON hUP' AUTWN = "I suffered awful things at their 
>> hands" = "I was treated dreadflly by them."
>> PIPTW, e.g. PIPTOUSIN MURIADES TWN POLEMIWN = "Untold numbers of the enemy 
>> fall" = "Untold numbers of the enemy are cut down."
>> APOQNHiSKW, e.g. APOQNHiSKEI hO PRODOTHS hUPO TWN POLITWN = "The traitor is 
>> executed by the citizens."
------------------
PASCW suggests MP semantics in that the subject is clearly the Patient. Some 
verbs with a patient as subject are active in form in Greek as well as in other 
languages that have both active and passive morphology.
>>
>> I remain skeptical about EIDOTWN KAI MH EIDOTWN meaning "things known and 
>> unknown."
>
> Text and translation from Horsely [see below]:
> Μῆνα ἐγ Διοδότου Ἀλέξανδρος Θαλούσης μετὰ Ἰουλίου καὶ τῆς ἀδελφῆς ἐλυτρώσαντο 
> τὸν θεὸν ἐξ εἰδότων καὶ μὴ εἰδότων. Ἔτους σλγ’
> MHNA EG DIODOTOU ALEXANDROS QALOUSHS META IOULIOU KAI THS ADELFHS ELUTRWSANTO 
> TON QEON EX EIDOTWN KAI MH EIDOTWN. ETOUS SLH’
> "Alexander, son of Thalouse, with Julius and his sister
> paid to the god Men of Diodotos a ransom for things known and not
> known. Year 233 (= 148-49 CE)."

What I don't understand is why people talk about a passive meaning here. Maybe 
they look at the English above and take "things" as subject for (be) known, or 
maybe I am missing something? It seems to be a rather short and ellipsed 
statement since the scenario is common knowledge:
Alexander, Julius and his sister paid a ransom to the god Men because of the 
things/sins which they knew about and the things/sins which they did not know 
about (as sins).

The subject for knowing (the Experiencer) is the three people while the object 
is the implicit things/sins, and that means no passive idea as far as I can 
tell. With an elision, the subject for EIDOTES is supplied from the preceding 
context.

Iver Larsen 




More information about the B-Greek mailing list