Meanings of the Word ἄφιξις

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Bernd Strauss
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Joined: May 20th, 2017, 11:23 am

Meanings of the Word ἄφιξις

Post by Bernd Strauss » April 1st, 2020, 3:27 am

Can someone explain how the word ἄφιξις has two diametrically opposed meanings: “departure” and “arrival”?
If the context where this word is used is not sufficient enough, is it impossible, based on the word’s etymology alone, to determine what it means in that context?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Meanings of the Word ἄφιξις

Post by Barry Hofstetter » April 1st, 2020, 7:38 am

ἄφιξις, εως, ἡ (s. ἀφικνέομαι, hence usu. of ‘arrival’: Hdt. et al.; so also Lysimachus [200 B.C.]: 382 Fgm. 6 Jac.; Diod S 8, 19, 2; pap; 3 Macc 7:18; EpArist 173; Jos., Ant. 20, 51, Vi. 104; Tat.) in our lit. the point from which one moves is emphasized departure (cp. Demosth., Ep. 1, 2; 3, 39 ἄ. οἴκαδε; Ael. Aristid. 48, 7 K.=24 p. 467 D.; Jos., Ant. 2, 18; 4, 315; 7, 247; PMich 497, 12; other pass. in Gk. lit. may appear to be ambiguous to the modern reader, but not be, because the ancient writer views the departure in terms of movement toward a destination) Ac 20:29.—JWackernagel, Glotta 14, 1925, 59.—DELG s.v. ἵκω. M-M.
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 157). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Bernd Strauss
Posts: 101
Joined: May 20th, 2017, 11:23 am

Re: Meanings of the Word ἄφιξις

Post by Bernd Strauss » April 2nd, 2020, 7:49 am

I had looked up the definition of the word in BDAG earlier. The definition in the dictionary is not clear enough in explaining what I need to know. Does the word mean both “departure” and “arrival” at the same time? (This resembles what is known among linguists as the Illegitimate totality transfer fallacy, according to which a word has all of its meanings in a context, which is not the case, because a word has only one of its meanings in a specific context.)

Does the word has two different meanings—“arrival” and “departure”—so that the word means different things in different contexts?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Meanings of the Word ἄφιξις

Post by Barry Hofstetter » April 3rd, 2020, 7:20 am

BDAG looks quite clear to me. Of course it can't mean "arrival" and "departure" at the same time -- you've answered your own question about that. Context determines which it means.
ἄφιξις -εως, ἡ [ἀπό, ἵξις] ⓐ arrival HDT. 1.69.3, al. LYS. 2.26 etc.; ἡ οἴκαδε ἄ. return home DEMOSTH. epist. 1.2, al. ‖ leaving, departure ▶ παρά τινα toward or to the side of s.o. HDT. 3.69.6 = ▶ εἴς τινα DEMOSTH. 5.8; ▶ ἐπί or ἔς τι to some place HDT. 7.58.2, 9.17.2 | ▶ abs. NT Acts 20:29 etc. ⓑ entreaty AESCHL. Suppl. 843, cf. ἱκεσία Ion. ἄπιξις -ιος.
Montanari, F. (2015). M. Goh & C. Schroeder (Eds.), The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

ἄφιξις, εως, Ion. ἄπιξις, ιος, ἡ: (ἀφικνέομαι):—arrival, Hdt.1.69, al.; τὴν ἀπὸ Κορίνθου ἄ. arrival from C., Id.5.92.ζ; ἐς Θήβας Id.9. 17; ἄ. ἐπὶ Σαρπηδονίης ἄκρης ποιεῖσθαι Id.7.58; μέρος αὐτῆς ἀπίξιος παρὰ τὸν μάγον her turn for going in to him, Id.3.69, cf. Pl.Ep.337e, Aristeas173, J.Ap.1.18, etc.; ἄ. εἰς τοὺς πολεμίους ποιησάμενος D.5.8; ἄ. εἰς Κύπρον Isoc.9.53; ἡ ἐνθάδε ἄ. Hdt.2.145, Lys.2.26; ἡ οἴκαδε ἄ. home again, D.Ep.1.2, 3.39.
2. departure, J.AJ2.2.4, Act.Ap.20. 29.
II. = ἱκεσία, A.Supp.483.

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 291). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Bernd Strauss
Posts: 101
Joined: May 20th, 2017, 11:23 am

Re: Meanings of the Word ἄφιξις

Post by Bernd Strauss » April 4th, 2020, 7:12 am

Thank you. It appeared to me that the meanings “departure” and “arrival” are somehow merged in the word ἄφιξις because of what is stated in the BDAG lexicon: “Other pass. in Gk. lit. may appear to be ambiguous to the modern reader, but not be, because the ancient writer views the departure in terms of movement toward a destination.”
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