Re: Another 2 Clement gem

From: Daniel Riao (
Date: Sat Feb 20 1999 - 18:01:50 EST

I'd suggest with every possible caution two possible interpretations.

        a) In accordance to Randy Leedy proposal to take *tau/thn* as
cataforic, but taking the relative sentence as a whole as the reference of
the pronoun, I'd translate: "and for that reason it is not possible for men
to find it (sc. *th\n a)reth/n*): (because of) those who are introducing
human fears...". That kind of people are the reason we are looking for
(Spanish: Y por esta raz'on no le es posible al hombre hallarlo, <por>
aquellos que est'an introduciendo temores humanos...). It goes well with
the choice of *oi(/tines* instead of *oi(/* and with the text that follows:
a strong attack on a particular group of people, which is a notable change
in the tone of the letter.

        b) The second suggestion (C. Conrad's 2nd), taking oi(/tines in
plural ad sensum, seems to me the next best solution, if the text is to be
accepted. "and for that reason (i.e. that we do not fu/gomen th\n
a)se/beian) it is not possible that men find (it, sc. th\n a)reth/n),
precisely those who..." (i.e. not every man, but only those who...).

Even if we accept certain emmendation, the partitive as subject would be
here extremely hard and, with the plural a)nqrw/pwn, it would have
required, I feel, the article.

        BTW: This is a interesting case from the point of view of automatic
parsing: it is one of those examples where, supposing the software didn't
fail before, it will almost necessarily assign a wrong parsing, taking
*a)nqrw/pon* as subject of the infinitive and the relative clause of
oi(/tines as its direct complement, something syntactically perfectly
possible but absolutely meaningless.

>At 8:38 AM -0500 2/19/99, Bart Ehrman wrote:
>> In 2 Clement 10, after "for if we are eager to do good, peace will
>>pursue us," comes a peculiar line (v. 3): dia tauthn gar thn aitian ouk
>>estin heurein anthrwpon, hoitines paragousi phobous anthrwpinous,
>>prohirhmenoi mallon thn enthade apolausin h thn mellousan epaggelian.
>> Can anyone make sense of this without emending the text?
>> Can anyone who thinks the text needs to be emended suggest something
>I have to transcribe this into our more standard transliteration to make it
>clear for myself; what I'm wondering (I don't have a Greek text of the
>original handy) is whether the ANQRWP- form following hEUREIN is acc. sg.
>or genitive plural;
>We want, of course, an antecedent for hOITINES, which could not ordinarily
>be the singular ANQRWPON, in which case the hOITINES clause dangles. The
>one thought that occurs to me is that, IF the word in question is the
>genitive plural ANQRWPWN, it could be partitive; in earlier Greek, and
>perhaps in second-century Atticist Greek also, it's common enough to find
>partititives functioning as subjects and objects of sentences. So, IF the
>word is ANQRWPWN, understood as a partitive and as subject of hEUREIN, then
>we'd have: "if we are eager to do good, peace will pursue us, since it is
>for this reason that it is impossible for any men to find it, such as bring
>along human anxieties, since they have chosen enjoyment here rather than
>the promise to come." I am understanding OUK ESTIN here again in the sense
>OUK EXESTIN, "it isn't possible ..."
>A bit more awkward, I think, but conceivable, is to understand ANQRWPON as
>an acc. sg. subject of hEUREIN, and then, since it can be understood as a
>generic human being, make the following clause a generic plural, as we do
>in careless colloquial English, e.g.: "No one can do this, if they try to
>do something else at the same time."
>Carl W. Conrad
>Department of Classics/Washington University
>One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
>Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
> OR
>B-Greek home page:
>You are currently subscribed to b-greek as:
>To unsubscribe, forward this message to
>To subscribe, send a message to

Daniel Riao Rufilanchas
c. Santa Engracia 52, 7 dcha.
28010-Madrid, Espaa

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:17 EDT