From: c stirling bartholomew (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Jun 14 2001 - 17:00:43 EDT
After about 7 months of neglect I decided to pick up the Iliad again and ran
into an example of an agentless passive which caught my attention after the
discussion previous discussion (see, Agency & Passive, Mk 14:57-59 False
Iliad Book 2 lines 14-15
. . . EPEGNAMYEN GAR hAPANTAS
hHRH LISSOMENH, TRWESSI DE KHDE' EFHPTAI.
The context tempts one to supply the agency slot for EFHPTAI with hHRH, but
I noticed that Richmond Lattimore* and A.T. Murray** both resisted this
Here we have troubles and suffering being forecast for the Trojans with no
agent specified. An intriguing parallel to the NT passages where judgement,
woe and divine vengeance is prophesied without an agent specified. Like the
agentless passive in the woe & judgement texts in the the NT, the passive
EFHPTAI could be understood as having double levels of agency, the "gods" or
"fate" as one level of agency and enemy armies as the most immediate level
The agentless passive suppresses the whole idea of "who will do it" and
focuses the readers attention on the result.
Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
* R. Lattimore: "and evils are in store for the Trojans"
**A.T. Murray "and over the Trojans hang woes."
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