Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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RandallButh
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by RandallButh » April 8th, 2019, 4:13 am

Jason and Stirling, χαίρετε,

"discontinuous" syntax is reasonably clear English metalanguage, while ὑπέρβατον is Greek metalanguage "over-mover".

To Jason's example, the following may be helpful:

οὗτοι is what I call a Contextualizing Constituent, AKA "Topicalization." The word order has specially marked the item. The metalanguage Topicalization works in this case because οὕτοι is also the subject of its sentence. If Setting material was involved then Contextualization would still cover the syntax and is a more inclusive term.

υἱοί  is what I call Focus, that is, specially marked salient information of the sentence. In this case, the special marking comes from being placed before the verb. Greek is a rather flexible language because it allows pieces of a noun phrase to be specially marked by word order.

εἰσιν θεοῦ remain in their default positions.

If one wants to use intonation to help mark these functions, then I recommend reading  υἱοί with a high tone, called ὀξύτονος "sharp tone" in Greek. Please note: Focus is a case where the Greek accent system shows its artificiality. According to accent rules υἱοί would normally lose it high tone before another accented word: οὗτοι υἱοὶ γενήσονται θεοῦ. In real life that would almost certainly have been read οὗτοι υἱοí γενήσονται θεοῦ. In Jason's example there is a fortunate reprieve because εστιν/εισιν does not carry an accent. Thus, the high tone is maintained in the mechanical application of accents. Every time that a word accented on the final syllable is in Focus, it most probably retained its high tone. The so-called βαρύτονος was non-other than a potential accent marker. A potentiality that was activated by either a pause or Focus (or both).
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MAubrey
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by MAubrey » April 8th, 2019, 8:52 pm

Jason Hare wrote:
April 7th, 2019, 4:48 am
Hyperbaton? Is this how you'd label what's going on in the attached image? (Not meaning to distract here... please be forgiving.) If not, do you know of a name for fronting the PN in such a way?

οὗτοί εἰσιν υἱοὶ θεοῦ
οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ
εἴσιν οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ
οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ εἰσίν

Any pointers as to why each of these might appear or their nuance?
Yes, that's what I'd call it. Clitics create syntactic discontinuities for purposes of phonological phrasing. Enclitics like the unaccented pronouns and forms of εἰμί tend to attach to the clauses sentence accent.

οὗτοί εἰσιν υἱοὶ θεοῦ places a strong sentence stress on the demonstrative.
οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ places a strong stress on υἱοί and with the fronted demonstrative would likely only be used if you were pointing a group of sons, perhaps to distinguish them from another group of sons.
εἴσιν οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ - This is a weird one. I don't imagine this one happening.
οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ εἰσίν - This one is the least emphatic/contrastive, I'd say.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by Barry Hofstetter » April 8th, 2019, 11:19 pm

MAubrey wrote:
April 8th, 2019, 8:52 pm
Jason Hare wrote:
April 7th, 2019, 4:48 am

οὗτοί εἰσιν υἱοὶ θεοῦ
οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ
εἴσιν οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ
οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ εἰσίν

Any pointers as to why each of these might appear or their nuance?
Yes, that's what I'd call it. Clitics create syntactic discontinuities for purposes of phonological phrasing. Enclitics like the unaccented pronouns and forms of εἰμί tend to attach to the clauses sentence accent.

οὗτοί εἰσιν υἱοὶ θεοῦ places a strong sentence stress on the demonstrative.
οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ places a strong stress on υἱοί and with the fronted demonstrative would likely only be used if you were pointing a group of sons, perhaps to distinguish them from another group of sons.
εἴσιν οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ - This is a weird one. I don't imagine this one happening.
οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ εἰσίν - This one is the least emphatic/contrastive, I'd say.
Here is an example where the verb is fronted in it's clause:

εἰσὶν δὲ ἐξειλεγμένοι Περσῶν οἱ ἄριστοι δόξαντες ἐν ἡλικίᾳ τέτταρες...

Apuleius. (1912). Apulei Platonici Madaurensis, Pro se de magia liber (Apologia). (R. Helm, Ed.) (p. 29). Medford, MA: Lipsiae : B.G. Teubneri.

Here's an example using the demonstrative:

ἔπειτά εἰσιν οὗτοι οἱ κατήγοροι πολλοὶ καὶ πολὺν χρόνον ἤδη κατηγορηκότες...

Plato. (1903). Platonis Opera, ed. John Burnet. Medford, MA: Oxford University Press.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by Stephen Carlson » April 9th, 2019, 4:14 am

MAubrey wrote:
April 8th, 2019, 8:52 pm
Yes, that's what I'd call it. Clitics create syntactic discontinuities for purposes of phonological phrasing. Enclitics like the unaccented pronouns and forms of εἰμί tend to attach to the clauses sentence accent.
+1
MAubrey wrote:
April 8th, 2019, 8:52 pm
εἴσιν οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ - This is a weird one. I don't imagine this one happening.
Maybe "There are these sons of God"? Admittedly the combination of an existential and a demonstrative is pretty weird.
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by Matthew Longhorn » April 9th, 2019, 4:23 am

Couldn’t the combination of εἰσιν οὐτοι merely be an instance of the demonstrative strengthening the verb, I don’t read it as particularly strange
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by Matthew Longhorn » April 9th, 2019, 4:32 am

Another example of my confusion in the syntax of Josephus, not hyperbaton this time. I don’t want to spam the board with individual posts which will annoy people.
I tried to understand this and asked someone else but am stumped. I simply moved on while pondering it in the back of my mind

Why is τίνες ὄντες ἐξ ἀρχῆς Ἰουδαῖοι in the nominative? As the object of Josephus’ desire to reveal shouldn’t it be in the accusative.
I am fully expecting to be told this is beginner level stuff, but please do so nicely ;-)

Antiquities 1:6 ἤδη μὲν οὖν καὶ πρότερον διενοήθην ὅτε τὸν πόλεμον συνέγραφον, δηλῶσαι τίνες ὄντες ἐξ ἀρχῆς Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ τίσι χρησάμενοι τύχαις ὑφ᾿ οἵῳ τε παιδευθέντες νομοθέτῃ τὰ πρὸς εὐσέβειαν καὶ τὴν ἄλλην ἄσκησιν ἀρετῆς πόσους τε πολέμους ἐν μακροῖς πολεμήσαντες χρόνοις εἰς τὸν τελευταῖον ἄκοντες πρὸς Ῥωμαίους κατέστησαν
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RandallButh
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by RandallButh » April 9th, 2019, 4:37 am

Mike, I think you need to include more attention on the individual items in order to complete the picture, particularly the "these":
οὗτοί εἰσιν υἱοὶ θεοῦ places a strong sentence stress on the demonstrative.
οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ places a strong stress on υἱοί and with the fronted demonstrative would likely only be used if you were pointing a group of sons, perhaps to distinguish them from another group of sons.
εἴσιν οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ - This is a weird one. I don't imagine this one happening.
οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ εἰσίν - This one is the least emphatic/contrastive, I'd say.
For example:
οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ places a strong stress on υἱοί and with the fronted demonstrative would likely only be used if you were pointing a group of sons, perhaps to distinguish them from another group of sons.

No. That definition/context would make οὗτοι Focal and would mis-read υἱοί. The first example sentence {οὗτοί εἰσιν υἱοὶ θεοῦ} would have been used in such a situation although that sentence could also be read as the least emphatic/contrastive of all.
If you were pointing to a group of sons among other groups of sons, the "sons" would be the presupposed, information and υἱοί would not have been fronted before εισιν.

In this example {οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ} οὗτοι is non-Focal, it is a Contextualization (AKA Topic) and would relate to some group that the context was making clear. The sentence would then be communicating a characterization of the "these" by adding the salient information, and in this example would be doing so in a marked/special way. In other words, "As for these, they are verily SONS of God." This would have been used in a context where the author wanted to say what kind of people "these" were. Were they good, bad, slaves, rich, poor, common, patrician, literate, illiterate, strong, weak, etc? They were SONS of God. "Of God," then, gets dragged along with the Focal partial constituent so that it attains to a kind of unmarked Focus as well. A second way to say this was the last example {οὗτοι υἱοὶ θεοῦ εἰσίν}, where again the marked Focus ends up on "sons of God."

PS: Yes, #3 is weird, where υἱοὶ θεοῦ becomes a kind of appositive and secondary proposition: "There exist these, sons of God in fact."
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RandallButh
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by RandallButh » April 9th, 2019, 4:58 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 4:14 am
MAubrey wrote:
April 8th, 2019, 8:52 pm
Yes, that's what I'd call it. Clitics create syntactic discontinuities for purposes of phonological phrasing. Enclitics like the unaccented pronouns and forms of εἰμί tend to attach to the clauses sentence accent.
+1
almost +1, but then -1

The so-called "sentence accent" can also be for a Topicalization, Contextualization and thus non-Focal. So I find "sentence accent" unhelpful by itself. (See my comments immediately above.)
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Matthew Longhorn
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by Matthew Longhorn » April 9th, 2019, 6:08 am

PS: Yes, #3 is weird, where υἱοὶ θεοῦ becomes a kind of appositive and secondary proposition: "There exist these, sons of God in fact."
Randall, doesn’t this depend on the context immediately prior. For example, if their status as sons of god has been denied in the previous statement then the position of the verb helps provide the denial of that proposition more force. The translation of “there exist these, sons of God” would t be the best in that scenario?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Syntax in Josephus Antiquities

Post by Barry Hofstetter » April 9th, 2019, 6:21 am

Matthew Longhorn wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 4:32 am
Another example of my confusion in the syntax of Josephus, not hyperbaton this time. I don’t want to spam the board with individual posts which will annoy people.
I tried to understand this and asked someone else but am stumped. I simply moved on while pondering it in the back of my mind

Why is τίνες ὄντες ἐξ ἀρχῆς Ἰουδαῖοι in the nominative? As the object of Josephus’ desire to reveal shouldn’t it be in the accusative.
I am fully expecting to be told this is beginner level stuff, but please do so nicely ;-)

Antiquities 1:6 ἤδη μὲν οὖν καὶ πρότερον διενοήθην ὅτε τὸν πόλεμον συνέγραφον, δηλῶσαι τίνες ὄντες ἐξ ἀρχῆς Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ τίσι χρησάμενοι τύχαις ὑφ᾿ οἵῳ τε παιδευθέντες νομοθέτῃ τὰ πρὸς εὐσέβειαν καὶ τὴν ἄλλην ἄσκησιν ἀρετῆς πόσους τε πολέμους ἐν μακροῖς πολεμήσαντες χρόνοις εἰς τὸν τελευταῖον ἄκοντες πρὸς Ῥωμαίους κατέστησαν
I didn't want this to get lost in all the arcane digressive discussion... :)

It's actually an indirect question. Believe it or not, the main verb in the indirect question is κατέστησαν, and the subject is τίνες. This gets lost because there are so many qualifying participial phrases before the main thought. In English, it's best to change these around a bit and make them separate sentences, as this translation does:
Whiston wrote:and indeed I did formerly intend, when I wrote of the war, to explain who the Jews originally were,—what fortunes they had been subjected to,—and by what legislator they had been instructed in piety, and the exercise of other virtues,—what wars also they had made in remote ages, till they were unwillingly engaged in this last with the Romans...
Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged (p. 27). Peabody: Hendrickson.

This is some of the more complicated syntax you'll run across in any Greek author, so don't feel bad, and don't get discouraged.
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