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The Invention of the Whole-and-Part Figure and the Stoics on Solecism. Ancient Interpretations of Il. 24.58

Dirk M. Schenkeveld
Mnemosyne
Fourth Series, Vol. 55, Fasc. 5 (2002), pp. 513-537
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4433360
Page Count: 25
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The Invention of the Whole-and-Part Figure and the Stoics on Solecism. Ancient Interpretations of Il. 24.58
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Abstract

The second half of the Homeric line Il. 24.58 (Ἕκτωρ μὲν θνητός τε γυναι̑κά τε θήσατο μαζόν) was explained by ancient grammarians in different ways. By means of notions of ellipsis, pleonasm, and substitution they interpreted the words. Not before Eustathius are found the beginnings of an explanation based on the idea of the whole and the part and which is very close to the modern notion of the σχη̑μα καθ᾽ ὅλον καί κατά μέρος, although this term never was in use. In the second part of this paper the annotation of the scholium, repeated in Eustathius, that the Stoics detected here a solecism, is discussed. This annotation has never been used in treatments of Stoic theory of language and is a very precious addition to the very few cases of solecism known to us as having been noticed by them. With the help of many other texts it is possible to come to the conclusion that the Stoics objected to the use of the middle voice θήσατο = ἐθηλάσατο in connection with a baby child, instead of the active form. Very probably they called this type of solecism ἐπικυματισμός, 'fluctuation'.

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