Re: Latinisms in Greek: 33 index entries in BDR!

Carl W. Conrad (
Fri, 6 Sep 1996 05:47:13 -0500

At 8:33 PM -0500 9/5/96, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>Today I was waylaid by a pluperfect in John 20:11, and as I was looking it
>up in
>BDR, I noticed a reference to the Latin, so I checked the index for
>"Latinismen", and found 33 references! No, I haven't checked most of them (I'm
>just a little Greek, after all, and I'm still working on figuring out what the
>pluperfect means in John 20:11, and the few examples I did see would have made
>more sense if I had even a smattering of Latin). But I did check a few that
>looked interesting. One that caught my eye: the dative of relationship, BDR
>#197, is considered as a possible latinism. As always, BDR lists
>references, so
>this might be a possible starting point.

Thanks very much, Jonathan; I'll definitely follow up on this, hoping that
it goes beyond matters of vocabulary, although idiomatic expressions
derived from Latin would be significant. I know about the Latin words in
Mark which are sometimes offered as evidence that that gospel was indeed
written in Rome, although Rome was hardly the only place that Latin was
spoken and written in the early Christian era!

As an aside, your concern about the pluperfect in John 20:11 may be laid to
rest. Yes, hEISTHKEI is pluperfect--but it has the force of an imperfect.
If you recall that the present tense, hISTAMAI, means "rise to a standing
position," it's intelligible that the only way to say "I am standing" is to
use the perfect tense, hESTHKA, and so also, the only way to say "was
standing" is to use the pluperfect, hEISTHKEI.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR