[b-greek] RE: b-greek digest: April 15, 2001

From: Will Pratt (prattw@nevada.edu)
Date: Tue Apr 17 2001 - 01:27:24 EDT

> Would someone show how Jerome translated PARQENOS and Isa.7:14?

Jerome translated both as "virgo". This, however, settles nothing,
because virgo in _Latin_ is not exactly equivalent to "virgin" in
English. The root meaning is "young" or "strong" ("virile" is from
the same root), just as PARQENOS in Classical Greek simply meant a
virtuous young woman who could be recently married, or even widowed.
That is, physical virgins were included in the set, but were a subset,
not the entire set. Classical (as contrasted to medieval) Latin seems
to have had no single word meaning physically virgin.

> It might better to translate PARQENOS as "maiden," except that that
> word in its basic meaning has pretty well dropped out of spoken
> English.
> Barbara D. Colt, mailto:babc@ix.netcom.com
> St John the Evangelist, San Francisco

Except for it's being unfamiliar to most English speakers, Maiden
would be an good choice, though a bit wider in meaning. Its meaning
in English is actually simply an unmarried woman who has never been
married, with no necessary implication as to age, nor sexual
inexperience (witness the rueful, pregnant maidens of a sizeable
fraction of English folksongs).

Will Pratt

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