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Merism ? Metonymy ? Synedoche ?

Posted: June 14th, 2019, 10:40 am
by Daniel Semler
Hi ya,

In this sentence in Josephus, in a bit which I found a bit of a challenge, one finds this:
“πρῶτον τῆς ἐπιστολῆς τοὺς περὶ τὸν Ἰωνάθην ὑπεμίμνησκον, ὃν τρόπον γράψειαν ὑπὸ τοῦ κοινοῦ τῶν Ἱεροσολυμιτῶν πεπέμφθαι διαλύσοντές μου τὰς πρὸς τὸν Ἰωάννην φιλονεικίας, ὡς παρακαλέσειάν τέ με πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἀφικέσθαι. καὶ ταῦτα διεξιὼν τὴν ἐπιστολὴν εἰς μέσους προύτεινον, ἵνα μηδὲν ἀρνήσασθαι δυνηθῶσιν ἐλεγχόντων αὐτοὺς τῶν γραμμάτων.”
(Life 1:253-255 JOSEPH-T)
https://accordance.bible/link/read/JOSEPH-T#Life_253
Would γραμμάτων in this usage be considered a merism for ἐπιστολῆ ? Perhaps it's more synedoche ? But broadly metonymy ? I guess synedoche is the most precise term here.

Thoughts anyone ?

Thx
D

Re: Merism ? Metonymy ? Synedoche ?

Posted: June 14th, 2019, 11:08 am
by Stephen Carlson
Daniel Semler wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 10:40 am
Would γραμμάτων in this usage be considered a merism for ἐπιστολῆ ? Perhaps it's more synedoche ? But broadly metonymy ? I guess synedoche is the most precise term here.
It may have originally been a kind of synecdoche, but in this case the usage is so conventional that it's actually become lexicalized as a sense of γράμματα. Here's the relevant part of the LSJ entry:
III in pl., set of written characters, piece of writing, Hdt. 1.124: hence, letter, Id. 5.14, IG 22.103.8, etc.; γραμμάτων πτυχαί S. Fr. 144, cf. E. IT 594, al., Pl. Ep. 347c; inscription, epitaph, etc., ἐκόλαψε ἐς τὸν τάφον γράμματα λέγοντα τάδε Hdt. 1.187, cf. 4.91, And. 3.12, Theoc. 18.47, IG 3.751.

Re: Merism ? Metonymy ? Synedoche ?

Posted: June 14th, 2019, 12:16 pm
by Daniel Semler
Thanx Stephen. I had read that LSJ section before I posted actually, but I get what you're saying. Makes sense.

Thx
D