[b-greek] Re: Dative Absolute

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Fri Aug 24 2001 - 11:15:05 EDT

At 9:36 AM -0400 8/17/01, Richard Ghilardi wrote:
>Dear b-greekers,
>MQ. 14:6 says,
>Now I know there is no such thing as a "dative absolute", but this sure
>looks like one! I notice that there is considerable textual variation
>here. But surely the reading above is the lectio difficilior (or does it
>rise to the level of difficilima?) and best explains the origin of the
>2) GENESIWN DE AGOMENWN -- W 0106 0136 f13 33 Maj
>3) GENESIWN DE GENOMENWN -- C K N theta 565 892 1241 1424 al
>GENESIOIS DE GENOMENOIS is supported by aleph B D L Z lect2211
>I notice too that the following editions read the same as NA27:
>Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott/Hort, Merk, Bover,
>NA25 while Griesbach, Wordsworth, Vogels agree with 2 above and von Soden
>with 3 above.
>The parallel in MK 6:21 retains the dative TOIS GENESIOIS but this has
>now become a dative of time referencing the "day" mentioned in the
>previous genitive absolute: GENOMENHS hHMERAS EUKAIROU.
>What am I missing here?
>I apologize if MQ 14:6 has been thoroughly discussed before. I rarely
>have time to check the archives.

This has not been discussed previously (that I'm aware of) and I see that
it's been left unanswered for a week now. I've been thinking about this and
I don't think it's a dative absolute. Wallace considers it a Dative of
time, and I agree with this; I think that GENOMENOIS here is a
circumstantial participle and that the construction here is one that is not
uncommon in literary narrative: At the birthday of Herod when it came round
the daughter of Herodias danced ..." I can see that this may readily have
been altered into the genitive absolute constructions indicated (GENESIWN
DE AGOMENWN, GENESIWN DE GENOMENWN) in later MSS. The evidently earlier
GENESIOIS DE GENOMENOIS is the lectio difficilior and it is not by any
means ungrammatical.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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