Re: "Royal" We

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Apr 16 1997 - 15:53:53 EDT

At 12:56 PM -0500 4/16/97, S. M. Baugh wrote:
>Some time ago, someone inquired about the "royal we" in the NT. I was
>nosing around the Loeb "Select Papyri" volumes this morning and came
>across an interesting specimen. In the 3d cent. B.C. correspondence to
>Zenon, the standard greeting (CAIREIN) is followed by polite inquiry
>about Zenon's health. Then we find (all translations are from Hunt and
>Edgar in the Loeb edition):
>hUGIAINOMEN DE KAI hHMEIS "I too am in good health"; Hierocles to Zenon
>(P. Cairo Zen. 59060; LCL #88).
>hUGIAINOMEN DE KAI AUT[OI] "I myself am well"; Promethion to Zenon
>(P.S.I. 333; LCL #89).
>Nothing remarkable (assuming the emmendation AUT[OI] is correct and the
>original is not AUT[OS]), but then, interestingly we find:
>ERRWMEQA DE KAI AUTOS, "I too am well"; Dromon to Zenon (P. Cairo Zen.
>59426; LCL 91). Obviously Dromon could not keep up the "royal we" long
>enough to use AUTOI in agreement with plural ERRWMEQA! (Cf. LCL #93
>where we find singular: ERRWMAI DE KAI EGW and LCL #96 hUGIAINON DE KAI
>We :) just thought you might find this interesting.

What's the usual view taken of Gal 1:8ff.: ALLA KAI EAN hHMEIS H AGGELOS EX
PROEIRHKAMEN KAI ARTI PALIN LEGW, ... Isn't it pretty clear that this 1pl.
formulation followed by LEGW is strictly Paul speaking for himself?

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

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