Infinitive usage in Against Apion 1.1

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zpkenney
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Joined: November 23rd, 2015, 10:27 am

Infinitive usage in Against Apion 1.1

Post by zpkenney »

Source: Perseus Flavius Josephus, Contra Apionem
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ection%3D1

I am hoping someone will be willing to confirm for me what is going on syntactically here. I have provided the entire context below at the end for reference. I basically have two main questions.

1) what is the syntactical usage of the infinitive phrase: τεκμήριόν τε ποιουμένους τοῦ νεώτερον εἶναι τὸ γένος ἡμῶν ?

The way I am interpreting this phrase as (text rearranged for clarity) :

ποιουμένους τεκμήριόν
"while they make it out to be a sure sign"

[that]

τὸ γένος ἡμῶν τοῦ ... εἶναι νεώτερον
our race [obj] to be/it is younger (i.e. of a late date) [compl.] This looks like a double accusative object-complement

I'm unsure of how the infinitive phrase is functioning here. I'm thinking it is epexegetical, explaining the content of the noun τεκμήριόν (sure sign)

2) I'm also wondering about the usage of ποιουμένους as, presumably, the middle of ποιέω. It appears to have the meaning found in LSJ A. V. for ποιέω, "deem, consider, reckon a thing as ...". In this context I've translated it as "make [something] out to be", trying to capture this sense. Any thoughts about this gloss, whether it seems accurate or needs to be rethought?


[1]Ἱκανῶς μὲν ὑπολαμβάνω καὶ διὰ τῆς περὶ τὴν ἀρχαιολογίαν συγγραφῆς, κράτιστε ἀνδρῶν Ἐπαφρόδιτε, τοῖς ἐντευξομένοις αὐτῇ πεποιηκέναι φανερὸν περὶ τοῦ γένους ἡμῶν τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ὅτι καὶ παλαιότατόν ἐστι καὶ τὴν πρώτην ὑπόστασιν ἔσχεν ἰδίαν, καὶ πῶς τὴν χώραν ἣν νῦν ἔχομεν κατῴκησε πεντακισχιλίων ἐτῶν ἀριθμὸν ἱστορίαν περιέχουσαν ἐκ τῶν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν ἱερῶν βίβλων διὰ τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς φωνῆς συνεγραψάμην.
I SUPPOSE that by my books of the Antiquity of the Jews, most excellent Epaphroditus, 2 have made it evident to those who peruse them, that our Jewish nation is of very great antiquity, and had a distinct subsistence of its own originally; as also, I have therein declared how we came to inhabit this country wherein we now live. Those Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years, and are taken out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue.
[2]ἐπεὶ δὲ συχνοὺς ὁρῶ ταῖς ὑπὸ δυσμενείας ὑπό τινων εἰρημέναις προσέχοντας βλασφημίαις καὶ τοῖς περὶ τὴν ἀρχαιολογίαν ὑπ᾽ ἐμοῦ γεγραμμένοις ἀπιστοῦντας τεκμήριόν τε ποιουμένους τοῦ νεώτερον εἶναι τὸ γένος ἡμῶν τὸ μηδεμιᾶς παρὰ τοῖς ἐπιφανέσι τῶν Ἑλληνικῶν ἱστοριογράφων μνήμης ἠξιῶσθαι,
However, since I observe a considerable number of people giving ear to the reproaches that are laid against us by those who bear ill-will to us, and will not believe what I have written concerning the antiquity of our nation, while they take it for a plain sign that our nation is of a late date, because they are not so much as vouchsafed a bare mention by the most famous historiographers among the Grecians.
Barry Hofstetter
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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Infinitive usage in Against Apion 1.1

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

Notice that it's an articular infinitive, I would take it something like "making out as evidence that our nation is of late date..." But how to categorize the usage is a bit more problematic. My first take was indirect statement, but that's before I noticed it was an articular infinitive in the genitive, so I think maybe it functions substantively as the objective genitive with τεκμήριον.

As for ποιουμένους, standard usage, easily attested elsewhere, e.g., John 10:33, καὶ ὅτι σὺ ἄνθρωπος ὢν ποιεῖς σεαυτὸν θεόν. The middle is idiomatic, but makes no difference in meaning.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
zpkenney
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Joined: November 23rd, 2015, 10:27 am

Re: Infinitive usage in Against Apion 1.1

Post by zpkenney »

Thanks for the reply, Barry, that's helpful.
My first take was indirect statement, but that's before I noticed it was an articular infinitive in the genitive
Yes, exactly. That was my first thought was too. I also noticed the article, and that led me to double-check in Wallace (Abridged, p.264; ExSyn 610), which says "c. Genitive Articular Infinitive ... can denote purpose, result, contemporaneous time (rare), cause (also rare), or epexegesis; it can also be in apposition."

All the uses besides appositional and epexegetical are adverbial, rather than substantival, which don't seem to fit. Also, appositional doesn't seem to be right, so that's how I landed on epexegetical.

Basically, I think we both landed on the same page with categorizing its usage. That makes me feel a bit better about my reasoning here.
As for ποιουμένους, standard usage, easily attested elsewhere, e.g., John 10:33, καὶ ὅτι σὺ ἄνθρωπος ὢν ποιεῖς σεαυτὸν θεόν. The middle is idiomatic, but makes no difference in meaning.
Thanks for clarifying. I'm not sure why, but the middle here was what was tripping me up with translation and meaning. The John 10:33 example is helpful.
Ken M. Penner
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Re: Infinitive usage in Against Apion 1.1

Post by Ken M. Penner »

zpkenney wrote: April 30th, 2021, 10:38 am 1) what is the syntactical usage of the infinitive phrase: τεκμήριόν τε ποιουμένους τοῦ νεώτερον εἶναι τὸ γένος ἡμῶν ?

The way I am interpreting this phrase as (text rearranged for clarity) :

ποιουμένους τεκμήριόν
"while they make it out to be a sure sign"

[that]

τὸ γένος ἡμῶν τοῦ ... εἶναι νεώτερον
our race [obj] to be/it is younger (i.e. of a late date) [compl.] This looks like a double accusative object-complement
English can do something similar to what's going on in the Greek. Infinitives are verbal nouns, and English has two ways to nominalize verbs (i.e., two ways of nominalizing verbs): "to be" and "being". Let's try #2:

making it out to be a sure sign of our people being younger.
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University
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