Re: EKLALEW + accusative in Philo

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Feb 10 2000 - 08:58:01 EST

At 1:30 AM -0500 2/10/00, Tom Conry wrote:
>Our class is translating Philo's "The Contemplative Life." We
>came across (near the paragraph 27 marker) the following phrase:
>I understand this as something like "Indeed, many have divulged
>the famous doctrines of the holy philosophy while dreaming in
>sleep." But there has been discussion about whether EKLALEW can
>take an accusative.
>The LSJ tells me only:
>ekla^l-e, blurt out, blab, divulge, Dem. 1.26, Ph.1.64, al.,
>Aen.Gaz.Ep. 7 ; to eklaloun talkativeness, E.Fr.219 :--
>Pass., Hp.Jusj.1, Lib.Or. 18.213.
> . . . and BAGD isn't much more help:
>(Eur.; Demosth.; Jdth 11:9; Philo, Mos. 1, 283, Vi. Cont. 26;
>Jos., Ant. 16, 375) tell TINI someone (Ps.-Apollod., Epit. 2, 1;
>Philo, Sacr. Abel. 60) w. hOTI foll. Ac 23:22.
>So: I'm wondering if anyone can shed any light on how the phrase
>should be understood, and if EKLALEW can take the accusative?

For myself I would assume at the outset that TA ... DOGMATA is object of
EKLALOUSIN rather than of the participle ONEIROPOLOUMENOI--the very
definitions that you cite from LSJ are clearly transitive, needing an
object, although I suppose we could imagine "blab" being used absolutely.
I've also checked out ONEIROPOLEW, however, for which passive senses are
offered in LSJ: "be haunted in dreams," which would fit nicely here, and
even mentions a phrase PLOUTOS ONEIROPOLHQEIS, "wealth envisioned in
dreams." While ONEIROPOLOUMENOI might be understood as a middle voice (and
no one is more itchy to do so than I!), I still don't think I'd want to
understand TA ... DOGMATA as its object--UNLESS, you were to take it as a
common object of both EKLALEW and ONEIROPOLOUMENOI, in which case I'd
English it as, "In fact many even blurt out in their sleep the celebrated
doctrines of sacred philosophy that haunt their dreams" (understanding a
middle ONEIROPOLEOMAI as meaning something like "be subject to nightmares
about ...").

I'm glad to see that Philo is being read in a class; I don't imagine it
happens very much. What sort of a class is this? At Harvard, huh, which is
probably still haunted by the ghost of Raphael Demos and Arthur Darby Nock
(of whom so many wonderful tale are told). I once taught, more or less for
fun and because a couple graduate students really wanted to do it, a class
in Alexandrian Literature in which we spent about a third of the term doing
LXX Wisdom, Philo and Josephus. Not that Josephus is Alexandrian, of
course, but Hellenistic Jewish Greek is an interesting thing in itself.

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

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