epistolary aorist

From: BTHURMAN@unca.edu
Date: Mon Apr 28 1997 - 07:01:43 EDT

i'm a lurker who waited to see if anybody'd cite any epistolary aorists from
papyri, cause i saw request a couple of days ago.

don't have time now to speak of who i am or to explain my shape-based plus time
honored latinate equivalent transliterations (and wil never argue the point).

probably most papyri i've looked at have been legal documents ranging from time
of imperial rome into early byzantine period.

will preface remarks with something that may rile up a good many. if ancient
understanding of xpovoc aopictoc = chronus ahoristus had been kept, namely,
that use of the tense ignores definite time (so that to put it in terms most of
you may buy into: such forms really offer no N O 'aspect' other than being
chronus indefinitus, meant otherly than infinitivus). so. punctiliar, if it
have any validity as a term, could refer only to the ignoring of perfectivity,
progressivity, or anything else that the setting suggests.

let's see if i can risk this generalization: a-horistus 'without boundaries'
leaves it open to be used in a setting that might be clearly imperfective,
perfective or plu = plus quam = more than perfective (e.g. the way i -- surely
not most of you -- reconcile john's piercing with sinaiticus of matthew: a
soldier had done it. aorists for ppf. is very frequent in ogr and johannines).

now with that almost sure to be rejected, but probably reasonably correct
background, let me state that in speaking of 'epistolary aorist' i'm really
playing along with what i consider to be mammoth philological mistakes: if you
posit that some kind of punctiliarity inheres in a form (a notion easily
exploded by thousands of instances). i'm an old man and talk the way i want to
and if you get anthing from me, you might let age of fingers suffice as grounds
to ignore typos. wwhere was i?

if you posit. cross that out. if you presuppose the such and such forms of
themselves express punctiliarity or time of this or that kind, then you have to
invent category after category -- like the silly constantive, inchoative,
iterative &c. &c. ad nauseam & ad nauseam -- to cover your tracks. now those
are not bad descriptions of ideas that can be inferred from the settiings, but
only from he settings. the only reason it can be used in such a wide, wide
variety of settings will have been that it was per se indefinite.

now with that rather stuffy pedagogical looking down my nose, and justly so, at
so-called greek as taught in many seminary and bible school settings, let me
point out a couple of papyrological items:

oops. forgot generalization that legal documents offer opportunity to show
other verbs than forms of gpafw = grapho as 'epistolary', e.g. at end of legal
instruments papyrological it's frequent to have wmologhca = [h]omologesa as in
'i so-and-so openly declared/agreed' and occasionally other terms like wmwca =
omosa 'i swore' or die0emhv = diethemen 'i made this here will/testament'.

some respective exempla: & i ain't givin line numbers just the key to the
document. look normally at end for the terms:
poxy 8,1121 has a common thing where who actually did the letters claimed "i
done it for so-&-so who cout'n write." also phamb 1,4 (3s stad of 1s)

plond 3,992 wmologhcamev 'we submit our formal acknowledgement' +poxy 14,1626
pthead 8 also (that's p. jouguet's collection in cairo)

poxy 16,1881 wmocamev 'we put our solemn oath to this'

the hamb supra was hamburgensis, which yuou might not've recognized.

more for egpaya = egrapsa bgu 1,300 poxy 1,67

there're also lots of monographs on such legal documents, as those of C. B.

i'm quittin while i'm ahead. if i keep on, i'll get to liking this stuff and
won't have any time left at all to sail or to tell folks about the risen Jesus.

wasn't some of this material translated by those princeton semi-philologists
whose work was edited by pharr for texas press, known as something like ancient
roman statutes? reason i refer in such a snide way: i remember that the work
that came to texas when i was there in the 50's looked like something some
playboys had done. real scholars had to take so much time correcting, they
might have worked it up from scratch and had their names on it.

don't believe all the stuff you read in thayer's translation of grimm and
wilke or the arndt &c. translation of bauer.

bearded bill of asheville <bthurman@unca.edu>
unca not having approved either whom or thereof.

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