Re: Pronouncing Liddell

Edgar M. Krentz (
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 17:50:50 -0500

>Reminds me of a tale I heard in Munich about Werner Jaeger in the days when
>he was young and arrogant (as he certainly was not when I was in his final
>seminar at Harvard). A bright young linguist had just done a statistical
>study of the incidence of Movable Nu in the Prometheus Bound in comparison
>with the other extant whole plays of Aeschylus (it's a known fact that use
>of Movable Nu increased progressively over the course of the 5th century).
>On the basis of this, the young man said he had proved indisputable that
>the Prometheus Bound cannot possibly have been written by Aeschylus. Upon
>being told this, Jaeger scratched his head and said, "Ach, wenn der
>Prometheus nicht von Aischylos ist, dann weiss ICH nicht was Aischylos ist."
>Of course, there are two or three people in the world like Jowett and
>Jaeger of whom one might almost believe that they know everything.

One other such person, also at Harvard during Carl Conrad's time, I think,
was Arthur Darby Nock. He reviewed N.M.P. Nillson's _Geschichte der
griechischen Religion_. He commented (not ad verbum tradition) that knew
only 50% of what one needed to know to adequately review this work; but
then, that was twice as much as anyone else knew, so he would write the
review in spite of that.

And, as the oral tradition also records, he studied in the buff, wearing
only his bowler. And he liked to work all night. When his cleaning lady
came in one morning to discover him hard at work, at the sight she
exclaimed "My God." To which ADN replied, lifting his bowler, "No, Madam,
only his humble servant Arthur Darby Nock."

I look to Carl Conrad to give the authorized version of this tradition.

Edgar Krentz, New Testament OR *****
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
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