διοπετής and word-formation

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
Post Reply
Mike Baber
Posts: 97
Joined: May 30th, 2011, 11:25 pm
Location: Texas

διοπετής and word-formation

Post by Mike Baber » January 1st, 2014, 6:06 pm

Say I have a word like διοπετής which means "Zeus-fallen" or "fallen from Zeus." -πετής is related to the verb πίπτω, but how would you exactly describe its relationship? At the least, it appears to be a suffix derived from πίπτω, but can anything else be said of it? There appears to be an adjective πτωτός, but I don't know if it was even common in Koine. And, it doesn't seem as though πετής itself is an adjective. So, is it just a suffix form, and did Greek have a standard way of deriving suffixes from verbs (or roots)?

Your help is appreciated.
0 x



Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2864
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: διοπετής

Post by Stephen Carlson » January 2nd, 2014, 4:27 am

The root is πετ-, which is fairly clear in διοπετής. This root also has a "zero grade" form, πτ, and the present stem is formed by reduplication on this zero-grade form as πι-πτ-ω.

A similar formation is γίνομαι, where the root is γεν, γν, and the present formation is γι-γν-ο-μαι in Classical Greek, later γίνομαι in Koine. The aorist ἐγένετο shows the root fairly well.

Not so obvious as a similar formation is τίκτω, "I bear (a child)." Here the root is τεκ, and the present stem is *τι-τκ-ω, which changes by metathesis to τίκτω.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Διοπετής + Διοτρεφὴς v. Ἰσίδωρος

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 2nd, 2014, 6:29 am

Stephen Carlson has given you a grammatical sort of answer, but let's also consider how names form - here of course the reference is to just the name of a rock (ἄγαλμα) which fell from the sky - and what is the relationship between the person with the name and the deity at the front of the name. If someone were to give the name Διοπετής "Fallen from Jupitier" to their child, that name would be a reference to Diana through one of her local names of her cult at Ephesus, rather than as a name referring to Jupiter.

As a parallel to this, you might consider that another name that is the Διοτρεφὴς "Nourished by Jupiter", a person mentioned in 3 John 1:9. Although we look at the element that we recognise - the genitive singular form of Ζεύς viz. Διός - the names probably evolved within a mythical context where a certain other pagan diety or hero of legend had the name - in the case of Διοπετής (that you are asking) a story about a falling meteorite that was venerated. From our extant knowledge of the religions of the time, it is not clear which of the heroes / heroines or deities the name Διοτρεφὴς is refering to, as yet.

Another way of putting that is to say that a person who was named after some mythical figure, the epithet of a god or a local cultic description (name) of a god or goddess, was not thought to have a direct relationship with Jupiter, but rather the naming parents would have been thinking of a diety or hero that had a personal relationship with Jupiter and hoping that their child would be under the protection, blessing or guidance of that other deity (not Jupiter). These are taken from divine epithets which characterise a certain significant place, significant event or distinguishing characteristic of the deity that the parents want to stress in the naming.

Religion happens at two levels; (1) the mythical / story telling level and (2) the personal level level of practice, so to put this Διοπετής + Διοτρεφὴς way of naming into a context of contradistinction, let's say that that is different from the case I think with a name like Ἰσίδωρος, Isidore "Given from / to Isis" which appears to be a cultic name - a name originating in personal religious practice. Something like the parents pray for a child, the child is given (supposedly) by the god, so in recognition of that fact, the parents give (dedicate) the child back to the god. In this personal cultic case the giving is both ways, so you could understand it in terms of various genitival relationship, but in the case of Διοπετής (+ Διοτρεφὴς), only in one way.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
Posts: 2112
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: διοπετής

Post by cwconrad » January 2nd, 2014, 9:31 am

I've moved this thread from the subforum on "Syntax and Grammar." I guess it could be argued that word-formation belongs under "grammr" but it certainly doesn't belong under 'Syntax."
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

ed krentz
Posts: 64
Joined: February 22nd, 2012, 5:34 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: διοπετής and word-formation

Post by ed krentz » January 3rd, 2014, 11:36 am

Mike Baber wrote:Say I have a word like διοπετής which means "Zeus-fallen" or "fallen from Zeus." -πετής is related to the verb πίπτω, but how would you exactly describe its relationship? At the least, it appears to be a suffix derived from πίπτω, but can anything else be said of it? There appears to be an adjective πτωτός, but I don't know if it was even common in Koine. And, it doesn't seem as though πετής itself is an adjective. So, is it just a suffix form, and did Greek have a standard way of deriving suffixes from verbs (or roots)?

Your help is appreciated.
See if you can get Albert DeBrunner,Griechische Wortbildungslehre. He might answer your questions.

Edgar Krentz
0 x
Edgar Krentz
Prof. Emeritus of NT
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3638
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: διοπετής and word-formation

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 3rd, 2014, 1:43 pm

ed krentz wrote:See if you can get Albert DeBrunner,Griechische Wortbildungslehre. He might answer your questions.
You can see it here:

https://archive.org/details/griechischewortb00debruoft
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Post Reply

Return to “Word Meanings”