[B-Greek] Mike Aubrey on Middle Voice

nikolaos kadamou ntgreekreader at gmail.com
Tue Dec 14 23:17:05 EST 2010

I would like to add some additional concerns.

I am not that comfortable when pathos in grammatical terms is given as

Mike states that “the mesotes category, as its name implies, combines
the features of the two major voice categories; i.e. the active
inflection with the pathos meaning or the middle inflection with the
energeia meaning. Thus, the form identified as the middle inflection
does not correlate directly with Dionysius’ mesotes voice. Rather the
middle inflection represents the pathos voice, and this is what is
normally recognized as the middle voice by modern grammarians.”

Dionysos states very clearly that μεσότης δὲ ἡ ποτὲ μὲν ἐνέργειαν ποτὲ
PARISTASA) which does not combine.  A combination is an intersections
in set theory terms having some elements of the energy and some of the
pathos, but as Dionysos states it is either energy or pathos.  Also
the term correlate is a very specific statistical concept taking
numerical values between zero and one.  I do not think Dionysos
thought in terms of statistical analysis.

Finally, Mike makes his statement using Flavius Josephus, The Life of
Josephus, Book 1, Whiston Chapter 1, Whiston Section 28, verse 138
ὁ μὲν ταῦτα ἔλεγεν, ἐγὼ δὲ τῷ θεῷ τὰ κατ' ἐμαυτὸν ἐπιτρέψας εἰς τὸ
πλῆθος ὡρμήθην προελθεῖν.

And Mike states that “ὡρμήθην also appears in Matt 8:32, Mark 5:13,
Luke 8:33, Acts 7:57; 19:29”  Actually in these passages we have forms
of the verb ὁρμάω/ὁρμέω and in specific terms ὥρμησεν in the first
three and ὥρμησαν in the last two, all of them in an active form.  I
do not doubt the form in verse 138 is passive, but it sounds kind of
awkward to me.

So someone who thinks in Greek and does not try to translate in
English in order to comprehend – like me – πάθος means that τὶς
παθαίνει τὶ -something happens to someone but not because of an energy
of the subject, but rather as an active energy of a third part.

On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 8:48 AM, cwconrad2 <cwconrad2 at mac.com> wrote:
> Another blog-entry worth the attention of B-Greekers. I refer you to it with
> applause:
> http://evepheso.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/dionysius-thrax-translating-%CE%AC/
> = http://tinyurl.com/2eathyz
> It concerns, at least initially, the meaning of Dionysius Thrax's relatively
> brief comment
> on the DIAQESEIS (διαθέσεις): ENERGEIA (ἐνέργεια) , PAQOS (πάθος) ,
> MESOTHS (μεσότης), and the illustrations of each of these by citing
> particular verb-forms.
> I do really wonder whether "voice" isn't itself one of those grammatical
> terms that we inherited
> and can't get rid of because it's set in sepulchral stone. It appears to be
> a purely arbitrary term,
> derived, I guess from Latin; it certainly doesn't reflect the Greek term
> DIAQESEIS (διαθέσεις)
> which would be better Englished as "disposition" or "arrangement." But that,
> I guess, is a moot
> point.
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (ret)
> ---
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