στοιχεῖα

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cwconrad
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Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by cwconrad » October 25th, 2011, 8:17 am

Jason Hare wrote:So, I take it that στοῖχος and στίχος are synonyms.

What of στοιχῶ (-έω) and στείχω/στίχω?
Are they also synonyms?
Is there any important distinction between them?

Seems that originally στείχω would have basically been the causative - "to put in a line or row." While στοιχῶ was the action itself of being in or getting into line.

Did they merge together? Or, am I looking at this entirely wrong?

Thanks.
I think one needs to take a close and careful look at the lexical entries and the textual evidence to which they point, take note of usage and be careful about etymological relationships. That said, here's my take on these matters:

The root is στειχ/στοιχ/στιχ; the fundamental sense seems to be something like 'sequential positioning'
The basic verb is στείχω (στίχω being a variant form of στείχω), meaning "come/go straight (forward/back).
The basic noun is στοῖχος, meaning "sequence of items in a row"
The noun στίχος is akin to the preceding but generally indicates a line or row of sequential units: a file of soldiers, a line of verse
The noun στοιχεῖον means basically "point on a line, unit in a series"
The verb στοιχέω is denominative from στοῖχος and means "align to/with" (ordinarily with a dative).
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Mike Baber
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Location: Texas

Re: στοιχεῖα

Post by Mike Baber » February 21st, 2012, 4:37 pm

Jason,

You may also be interested in another usage of the word, and that is, in reference to the heavenly bodies.

See Thayer's note #3 on the word.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lex ... ongs=G4747
Click on "Click here for the rest of the entry" to expand the lexicon entry.

For example, in Theophilus of Antioch's To Autolycus, Book I, Ch. 4, he writes,
For the heavens are His work, the earth is His creation, the sea is His handiwork; man is His formation and His image; sun, moon, and stars are His elements, made for signs, and seasons, and days, and years, that they may serve and be slaves to man; and all things God has made out of things that were not into things that are, in order that through His works His greatness may be known and understood.
I think that his comment elaborates Paul's remark in Galatians. Rather than these heavenly bodies serving and being slaves to men, men became servants and slaves to them.
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