Re: gnomic fog; hendiadys, Semitic influence

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Apr 05 1997 - 10:53:06 EST

At 5:00 PM -0600 4/4/97, Lynn A Kauppi wrote:
>Alfred Loisy and other commentators consider Acts 14:13 TAUROUS KAI
>STEMMATA . . . ENEGKAS as a hendiadys for TAUROUS ESTEMMENOUS. Is this
>purely a stylistic choice on the part of Luke? (I've checked Smyth and
>BDF). Was hendiadys considered "elevated" or "colloquial" style in the
>early imperial era? Apart from stylistic concerns and providing
>additional minor evidence about Luke's social location, I do not see that
>interpretation of 14:13 is greatly affected by the use or non-use of

I agree with you that the way we understand the basic sense of 14:13 is not
affected by our judgment on this matter of style, but I would personally be
very much inclined to see hendiadys here and to see it as a feature of
elevanted style. I have never made a personal study of the literary style
of Luke, but I've certainly observed and taken note of the observations of
others to the effect that he is emulating contemporary Greek narrative
style, sometimes that of history, sometimes that of other genres, and I
know that some (Pervo) have argued for the influence of Greek romances.
Hendiadys is certainly a feature of contemporary literature--consider
Aeneid 1.1, ARMA VIRUMQUE CANO ..., normally understood as meaning "I sing
the heroic warrior ..." (although there are other literary allusive aspects
of this phrase also, admittedly). My own view would be that Latin
literature and Hellenistic Jewish literature are dialectal contemporary
aspects of a common Hellenistic literary tradition that would involve
employment of a whole repertory of literary features common to works in
each of these aspects, particularly when they are in the same or a similar
genre. I wouldn't hesitate to call STEMMATA KAI TAUROUS a hendiadys myself;
have you checked F.F. Bruce's commentary on the Greek text of Acts? You
might also consult the old classic work of Eduard Norden, _Die Antike
Kunstprosa_, to see whether he speaks of hendiadys as a common feature of
elevated style.

>Does anyone have any information or references about the status
>qaestionis of the influence of Semitic languages, such as Aramaic, upon
>koine? Just curious.
>Lynn Kauppi
>PhD cand
>New Testament
>Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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

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