[b-greek] Re: Homeric AUTAR and Attic DE

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 02 2000 - 07:06:04 EST

At 12:00 PM -0800 10/29/00, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>on 10/29/00 10:28 AM, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>> This is a little off topic.
>> AUTAR is common in Homer and it appears to have a lot of similarities to DE
>> in that it can function either as an adversative particle or as a
>> continuative particle.
>> What I am wondering about is the dissimilarities. Where does AUTAR differ
>> from DE and what kind of problems would one run into if one was tempted to
>> just think DE every time one saw AUTAR?
>No one seems to be home at b-greek so I will take a shot at my own question.
>LSJ (Perseus) says about ATAR (Attic form of AUTAR):
>"Conj., but, nevertheless, marking a strong contrast; freq. in Hom. to
>introduce an objection or correction"
>and then turns around and says:
>"3.3. without real contrast, maps atar ou kata kosmon Hom. Il. 2.214, cf.
>au=Hom. Il. 3.268,au=Hom. Il. 3.270=lr, etc."
>So it would appear that like DE in Attic and Koine, the contrast must be
>implicit in the semantic structure of the context.
>LS (abridged) says that ATAR is more empathic than DE. That is about all I
>could find out about this subject so far.

Clay, I have not forgotten your question of last Sunday, but at the time I
saw it I didn't have anything I could turn to for answers. Now I have
turned to one of the best things I could find; would you be surprised that
it's the very copy of Denniston's _The Greek Particles_ which you kindly
sent me last summer, assuming you'd never have use for it?

Clay's question is, of course, off-topic for B-Greek, as was Edgar Foster's
question a week or so ago about Homer's account of Odysseus and Polyphemus,
but as we've had occasion before to remind B-Greekers, there's lots of good
Greek literature, both entertaining and edifying, outside of the Greek
Bible, and Homer is both entertaining and edifying and there's one scholar
we mentioned on-list at the beginning of last summer who argues that the
shaping of Mark's gospel is deeply influenced by the Homeric epics (I have
to say that there's an instance of a Ph.D. which doesn't constitute
reliable evidence of competence and good judgment, IMHO). At any rate, I
would highly recommend the reading of Homer, and I would urge anyone who
undertakes it, Clay first and foremost, to procure one or both of the
standard in-print Greek-English Homeric dictionaries, one of them by
Cunliffe, the other by Autenrieth. The Autenrieth is a translation into
English of a classic German Homeric dictionary; I think the Cunliffe is
somewhat more highly thought of, but I have the Autenrieth and have always
found it useful since I was an undergraduate a couple centuries ago.

Now as for AUTAR, I'll cite Denniston breviter: "AUTAR seems to represent
AUTE + AR. If so, the evolution of 'on the contrary' from 'again' is
paralleled in the Latin RURSUS. The particle is virtually confined to Epic
(and later, Pastoral) poetry, its place elsewhere being taken by ATAR. ..."
Usages: (1) Strongly adversative Iliad 1.118ff. etc.; ... (2) Weakly
adversative, or purely progressive (A commoner use) Iliad 2.218, etc.; (3)
Apodotic Iliad 3.290, etc.

There is a longer article on ATAR in Denniston, but the original question
concerned only AUTAR, and as this isn't likely to be interesting to many, I
forbear to adduce anything from it. Enough already, if not too much.


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
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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