P.Oxy.1482,3-13 following the classical standard?

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

P.Oxy.1482,3-13 following the classical standard?

Post by Stephen Hughes » December 30th, 2015, 7:47 pm

This is an open question for discussion.

Mandilaras (verb, sections 46-48), made the statement 40 years ago that the authour of this papyrus precisely followed the function of the tenses when he wrote:
P.Oxy.1482,3-13 wrote:γράφω σοι ἵ(*)νʼ ἰδῇς(*) ὅτι λελικμήκαμεν
τὴν κριθὴν τοῦ Αὐασίτου τῇ η̣, καὶ οὐ
5οὕτως αὐτὴν λελικμήκαμεν μετὰ
κόπου. ὁ Ζεὺς γὰρ ἔβρεχε καὶ ἀμάχητος
ἦν ὁ ἄνεμος, καὶ Πάρες(*) οἶδε ὅσα πεποκα-
μεν(*) \ἱ(*)/να(*) εἰσχύσωμεν(*) \ὅλως/ μετενέγκαι τὰ ἄλλα
σὺν θεοῖς. ἐξέβησαν δὲ \τοῦ ὅλου/ ἀρτάβαι λη χυνικε̣(*) δ·
10τύτων(*) κατέφθακα ἀρτάβας ιβ χύνικα(ς)(*) η.
ἐξήτασα δὲ περὶ τῆς θειμῆς(*) τοῦ χόρτου
τοῦ ἐφετινοῦ, ἐπράθη δ\ὲ/ ἐν τῇ κώμῃ ἐξ
ἑπτὰ δραχμῶν τὸ ἀγώγιν.
Text taken from the Duke Documentary Papyrus site, and used under a CC BY 3.0 licence.
Mandilaras (verb), section 47 wrote:Here the writer wants to say the he writes [γράφω] this letter to inform his master that they have winnowed [λελικμήκαμεν] the barley, and that it was raining [ἔβρεχε] at the time of the work and that Panares knows [οἶδε] what they have done [πεποκαμε], and that the yield was [ἐξέβησαν] 38 artabae, of which he has reserved [κατέφθακα] 12½, and that he inquired [ἐξήτασα] about the price, and that the load was sold [ἐπράθη] in the village at 7 drachmae.
With the advances in the understanding of the Greek verb, is it still thought that this is precise use of the verb tenses?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

MAubrey
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Re: P.Oxy.1482,3-13 following the classical standard?

Post by MAubrey » January 3rd, 2016, 8:37 pm

I don't know about precise, but it looks fine to me. I'm not at home though, so I can't read the larger context of Mandilaras' discussion.
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: P.Oxy.1482,3-13 following the classical standard?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 4th, 2016, 7:52 am

The writer of the letter was an illiterate (not acquainted with spelling at least - not well or widely read) farmer talking about his crops. Here is the summary taken from the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri site where I got the text from.
On the recto of this papyrus are the beginnings of the first seventeen lines of a letter from Epimachus to Panares written about A.D. 120-160. On the verso is a letter to the same Epimachus from a friend called Morus, who together with Panares had been winnowing some barley under difficulties caused by the weather. The script is the rude uncial of an illiterate writer, who makes numerous mistakes of spelling in spite of several corrections.
The date of our text on the verso is given as "second century" (AD).

It is odd to me that a lot of rigour is read into the tense use of this writer. If Plato, Demosthenes, Xenophon, Lysias or Isocrates wrote those words, we could have reasonable grounds for assuming we knew what exactly he meant by them. I am wondering of the tenses as they stand here meant the same to the writer as they may be read by taking the classical models of writers writing five or six hundred years earlier as the standard for interpretation.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

MAubrey
Posts: 858
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
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Re: P.Oxy.1482,3-13 following the classical standard?

Post by MAubrey » January 4th, 2016, 9:15 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:The writer of the letter was an illiterate (not acquainted with spelling at least - not well or widely read) farmer talking about his crops. Here is the summary taken from the Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri site where I got the text from.
On the recto of this papyrus are the beginnings of the first seventeen lines of a letter from Epimachus to Panares written about A.D. 120-160. On the verso is a letter to the same Epimachus from a friend called Morus, who together with Panares had been winnowing some barley under difficulties caused by the weather. The script is the rude uncial of an illiterate writer, who makes numerous mistakes of spelling in spite of several corrections.
The date of our text on the verso is given as "second century" (AD).

It is odd to me that a lot of rigour is read into the tense use of this writer. If Plato, Demosthenes, Xenophon, Lysias or Isocrates wrote those words, we could have reasonable grounds for assuming we knew what exactly he meant by them. I am wondering of the tenses as they stand here meant the same to the writer as they may be read by taking the classical models of writers writing five or six hundred years earlier as the standard for interpretation.
Well, I don't see anything here in the use of tenses that would be difficult to understand by a classical speaker. It all looks pretty normal to me. Maybe it's just the way Mandilaras presents it that makes it look so rigorously precise.
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: P.Oxy.1482,3-13 following the classical standard?

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 4th, 2016, 9:39 pm

MAubrey wrote:I don't see anything here in the use of tenses that would be difficult to understand by a classical speaker. It all looks pretty normal to me.
Yes. I agree.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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