Re: Apphia as slave-owner?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Feb 06 1997 - 16:29:00 EST

At 3:40 PM -0600 2/6/97, Perry L. Stepp wrote:
>The minute I hit the "send" buttton I thought, "Hey, wait, DESPOTHS,
>MATHHTHS, I bet that's an accusative plural!" Sure enough. Is DESPOTHS
>exclusively masculine, or is there a feminine declension as well?

In older Greek there's the form hH DESPOINA, but it appears to be chiefly
poetic; I don't see it in later prose; L&S point to its use in Rome for an
Empress. In Homeric and no doubt in Mycenean Greek, there was POTNIA with
much of the aristocratic (and religious) ring of "Lady." In Hellenistic
Greek I would guess that KURIA would be the more normal term for the lady
of the house in her capacity as ordering slaves around.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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