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διοπετής and word-formation

Posted: January 1st, 2014, 6:06 pm
by Mike Baber
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.

Re: διοπετής

Posted: January 2nd, 2014, 4:27 am
by Stephen Carlson
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.

Re: Διοπετής + Διοτρεφὴς v. Ἰσίδωρος

Posted: January 2nd, 2014, 6:29 am
by Stephen Hughes
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.

Re: διοπετής

Posted: January 2nd, 2014, 9:31 am
by cwconrad
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."

Re: διοπετής and word-formation

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

Re: διοπετής and word-formation

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