Re: PROSKNUEO & KUNEO

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Mar 29 1996 - 10:12:34 EST


On 3/29/96, Davis Phillips wrote:

> The word PROSKUNEO includes etymologically the workd KUNEO (kiss); At least
> the Liddel & Scott data seems to strongly indicate that this is so. See the
> Liddel & Scott entries available from Tufts University on-line Persesu
> system on the web (I have listed the entries for PROSKUNEO and KUNEO below,
> for those who may have trouble accessing the Web).
>
> Back in 1970 I was pondering the meaning of Jesus' discussion in John
> chapter 4 of how" the Father was seeking true worshippers to worship him in
> spirit and in truth." -- What does it mean to WORSHIP God?!
> I looked into the Greek and was impressed that "worship" had the thought of
> coming before in obeisance and respect, with the thought also that it might
> involve a respectful kiss. This understanding of "worship" deeply
> impressed me that worship involved a PERSONAL relationship to the one being
> worshipped (The Father). (There is a traditional sense in which one
> thinks of worship as very close to a ritualistic behavior, very religious,
> but not very personal.)
>
> (Please let me know (off-line:to dphil, not b-greek) if you found this note
> useful. thanks)
>
> From Perseus
> To get a morphological analysis (ignoring accents) and from there ask for
> the Liddel & Scott (big or small) entry:
>
> http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/morphindex?entry=
>
>
> http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/lexindex?entry=proskune/w
> PROSKUNEO<-----------------------------
>
> prosku^n-eÖ, fut. -ÉsÖ Hippon.32 (tm.), Plat. Rep. 469a: aor. prosekunÉsa
> Xen. Cyrop.
> 5.3.18; poet. proseku^sa Aristoph. Kn. 640, imper. proskuson
> IBID=au=Aristoph. Kn. 156,
> Soph. Phil. 776, inf. -kusai IBID=au=Soph. Phil. 657, part. -kusas
> IBID=au=Soph. Phil. 533,
> au=Soph. Phil. 1408 (troch.): pf. -kekunÉka LXX Ex.32.8, OGI196.2 (Egypt, i
> B.C.):--Pass.,
> pres. inf. proskuneisthai Eur. Tro. 1021: aor. prosekunÉthÉn
> Arr.An.4.11.9:-- make obeisance to
> the gods or their images, fall down and worship, c. acc., Hdt. 2.121, etc.;
> gÉn te p. hama kai ton
> theÖn Olumpon Soph. OC 1654, cf. Aesch. Pers. 499, Aristoph. Kn. 156:
> prov., hoi -kunountes
> tÉn Adrasteian sophoi, of deprecating the wrath of Nemesis, Aesch. Prom.
> 936, cf. Plat. Rep.
> 451a; ton phthonon de proskuson Soph. Phil. 776; steiche proskusas chthona,
> to avert divine
> wrath, IBID=au=Soph. Phil. 1408 (troch.); of sacred places, do reverence
> to, pat rÖia hedÉ theÖn
> IDEM=Soph. El. 1374; tas thÉkas Plat. Rep. 469b; tÉn tholon Dem. 19.314:
> abs., Aristoph. Kn.
> 640.
>
> 2. esp. of the Oriental fashion of prostrating oneself before kings and
> superiors, abs., Hdt. 1.119,
> au=Hdt. 8.118: c. acc., p. ton Dareion make obeisance to him, IDEM=Hdt.
> 3.86; proskunein
> didaskontai ton basilea [hoi elephantes] Arist.HA630b20; prospiptÖn p. Hdt.
> 1.134, cf. au=Hdt.
> 7.136; pantes se proskunoumen hoid' hiktÉrioi Soph. OT 327; proskunÖ s',
> anax, prospitnÖn Eur.
> Orest. 1507 (troch.), cf. Xen. Cyrop. 5.3.18, au=Xen. Cyrop. 8.3.14, Plut.
> Them. 27, Arr. l.c.,
> etc.; kupsas ho laos prosekunÉsen LXX Ex.12.27; oudena anthrÖpon despotÉn
> alla tous theous p.
> Xen. Anab. 3.2.13; p. tous hubrizontas hÖsper en tois barbarois Dem.
> 21.106: ironically, p. tina
> hÖs hieron kai thaumaston Plat. Rep. 398a: later c. dat., LXX Ge.24.26,
> al., Ev.Matt.2.2,
> au=Ev.Matt. 2.11=lr, Ev.Jo.4.23, D.C.67.13; tÖi theÖi J.AJ9.13.2. (Orig.
> perh. throw a kiss to
> the god, cf. Apul.Met.4.28: the gesture is probably represented in Sumerian
> and Babylonian art
> monuments.)
>
> II. later, kiss, sou -ÉsÖ tÉn cheira BGU423.15 (ii A.D.); to prosÖpon, tÉn
> opsin, tous podas,
> PLond.3.1244.4 (iv A.D.), PGiss.22.5 (ii A.D.), PGen. 91.6 (vi/vii A.D.).
>
> 2. greet, spoudazousa -Ésai se (by letter) BGU 615.8 (ii A.D.); elthÖ pros
> humas hina humas -ÉsÖ
> dia pollou chronou PLips. 110.19 (iii/iv A.D.), cf. PGiss.17.11 (ii A.D.).
>
> 3. welcome respectfully, respect, prosekunÉsa sou ta grammata POxy.237 vi
> 37 (ii A.D.), cf.
> PTeb.286.22 (ii A.D.), etc.; tÉn theian antigraphÉn hupo pantÖn
> proskunoumenÉn OGI262.27
> (Baetocaece, iii A.D.).
>
>
> SKUNEO<-----------------------------
>
> Liddel & Scott entry for "kuneo"
>
> http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/lexindex?entry=kuneo
>
> ku^neÖ, Ep. impf. kuneon Hom. Od. 21.224: fut. ku^nÉsomai Eur. Cycl. 172;
> later kusÖ [u^],
> poet. kussÖ Babr.129.17: aor. ekunÉsa v.l. in Arist. HA560b31; Poet.
> eku^sa, Ep. kusa, ekussa,
> kussa, v. infr.:--kiss, karÉ d' ekus' Hom. Od. 23.208; labe gounata kai
> kuse cheiras Hom. Il.
> 24.478; kuneon . . kephalÉn te kai Ömous Hom. Od. 21.224: c. acc. pers. et
> partis, kusse de min
> kephalÉn au=Hom. Od. 16.15, cf. au=Hom. Od. 19.417; TÉlemachon . . dios
> huphorbos panta
> kusen au=Hom. Od. 16.21; kuson me Aristoph. Cl. 81, cf. ti=Aristoph. Birds
> 141, etc.; k. tina
> cheiros A.R. 1.313: pres. in Eur. Alc. 183, ti=Eur. Med. 1141, Aristoph.
> Ach. 1208, ti=Aristoph.
> Peace 1138 (lyr.): --rare in Prose, Luc.Alex.55; k. [allÉlas], of pigeons,
> bill, Arist. l.c.
>
> 2. = proskuneÖ, E.Cyc. l.c., AP6.283.

It's good to have this etymology clarified. I'd long been under the
impression that the etymology of PROSKUNEW was from the word for "knee;"
although I knew that KUNEW meant "kiss," I'd not associated the words
(dumb! dumb! dumb!). And of course the real word for knee in Greek is GONU,
GONATOS. Dumb! Gotta go back and study Grimm's law more carefully.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwc@oui.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/



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