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

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Wed Feb 06 2002 - 13:31:15 EST

At 12:00 PM -0400 2/6/02, Brent Hudson wrote:
>>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.
>Of course you are correct Carl, however, as you know, the generation now
>entering University were born c. 1983 and these have had much less
>exposure to the older terms like "brotherhood" used in an inclusive
>manner. Now it is more likely to be understood as a term referring to
>male members of a group or club. Since ADELF- is not gender specific and
>FILADELFOS is also an available form, it is understandable why such a
>question would be asked -- particularly, since the root ADELF -- while
>neutral itself -- is the root for familial terms that are gender specific
>(i.e., ADELFH / ADELFOS). Perhaps the question of how best to translate
>this term today would be more suited for the b-translation list.
>The think the best thing for people to do is to look these words up in a
>modern lexicon (it's time to put away Thayer folks!). It is pretty clear
>from BDAG, BAGD, and L-N that FILADELFIA is not meant as a gender specific

Just one more little secondary fact worth noting: the second Ptolemy in the
Hellenistic dynasty ruling Egypt adopted the name FILADELFOS, which in this
case seems to have meant "sister-loving" -- expressive of his love of his
sister-wife Arsinoe (incestuous marriages in the royal line of Egypt were
evidently part of the distinct Egyptian kingship tradition. Of course the
FORM, FILADELFOS, although it could be 2-termination, is in this instance
masculine, even if in this particular instance it means "loving of sister."

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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