[b-greek] Re: Philadelphia = "brotherly love"?

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Wed Feb 06 2002 - 08:10:39 EST

At 8:52 AM -0400 2/6/02, Brent Hudson wrote:
>>It's possible that the coiner of this name of many Hellenistic cities knew
>>Greek grammar better than you: <snip>
>That is a very interesting response! I understood the question quite
>differently. In my reading of it, I understood Keith to be asking how
>Greek scholars (not the original writers) came to gloss FILADELFIA as
>"*brotherly* love" when it is a feminine form.
>Brent Hudson

But in any case there's a real misunderstanding here--failure to realize
that the root ADELF- involved here refers to both ADELFOS "brother" and
ADELFH "sister"--and that "brotherhood" was clearly enough understood until
recent years to refer to a sense of human solidarity as well as to some
sort of "male bonding." And there's a misunderstanding too of the
relationship of GENDER to lexical meaning in the case of words not
referring to male or female persons or animals.

>*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********
>On 05/02/2002 Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>>At 4:44 PM -0500 2/5/02, Keith Saare wrote:
>>>Can somebody please explain to me why "Philadelphia" (in the feminine
>>>gender) somehow came to mean "brotherly love." Did this mistake originate
>>>simply from folks not knowing Greek grammar?


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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