Re: accents

From: Daniel Riaño (
Date: Fri Mar 03 2000 - 06:32:35 EST

<x-flowed iso-8859-1>>Dr. Rick Strelan wrote;
>>By what criteria does one determine accents. The accent on FARMAKOI in Rev
>>22:15 varies from textual edition to textual edition and even within the
>>same edition between 22:15 and 21:8! In this particular case, the meaning
>>could be affected altho it would seem to me that it is essentially, but
>>certainly not exactly, the same.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery answered:

>FARMAKOI\ is nominative plural and the dipthong is short (OI and AI when
>they are the last two letters in the word are short), hence it can only
>take an acute or grave accent on the last syllable (oxytone). FARMAKOI=S
>(Rev.21:8) on the other hand has a long ultima and has the circumflex on
>the ultima (perispomenon).

        I am not sure I understood the English of Prof. Strelan, but
I think the issue here is why FARMA/KOIS and not FARMAKOI=S,
(Apoc.21.8), and why FA/RMAKOI (Apoc.22.14) and not FARMAKOI/. There
is a real issue here, and people advocating the writing of Greek
without accents should consider more carefully examples like the ones
in question.

        There are two different words spelled (without accent)
FARMAKOS, one of them oxytone -KO/S and the other proparoxytone
FA/RM-; plus one neuter FA/RMAKON with several forms identical
(except for the accent) with the forms of the other two. To determine
the accent of the masculine forms would be an extremely doubtful
question, where it not that the good old grammar Herodianus tell us
how to accentuate them (his testimony is notwithstanding
contradictory to that of Didymus, who writes FARMA=KOS instead of
FARMAKO/S). Since the meaning here can't be that of FARMAKO/S (to see
what a FARMAKO/S is, see the excellent Burkert, Walter. Greek
religion. Translated by John Raffan. Cambridge, Massachusets: HUP,
1985. pp. 82-82) an acceptable translation is "seller of poisons",
i.e., a FA/RMAKOS. The accentuation of this "desacralized" word is
probably due to a contamination of the neuter FA/RMAKON with the
sense "poison".

>On the other hand
>accent in verbs is recessive and tends to be easier to learn.

        Uh! I guess there is a typo here, "easier" for "more
difficult". At least myself never found it so easy to learn the
accent of the conjugated forms of the Greek verb! :-)

Daniel RiaÒo Rufilanchas
Madrid, EspaÒa

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