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How to express time (year) when

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How to express time (year) when

Postby Timothée » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:23 pm

Wanting examples of expressing a year when something took place, I found Josepus having a little relevant material in his Ἰουδαϊκὴ ἀρχαιολογία. Writing in the 1st century, he used the Olympiad reckoning, which seems to have been introduced by historians in the 200's BCE. Examples of the older Athenian eponymous reckoning custom have to be searched from some other author.

1. τῷ τρίτῳ ἔτει τῆς ἑϐδόμης καὶ ἑϐδομηκοστῆς πρὸς ταῖς ἑκατὸν ὀλυμπιάδος, ὑπατεύοντος Ῥωμαίων Κυίντου Ὁρτησίου καὶ Κυίντου Μετέλλου. (14,4)
'In the third year of 177th Olympiad, when Q. Hortensius and Q. Metellus were consuls, — —'
Notes. datiuus temporis for 'in 3rd year'. 'Of the 177th Olympiad' is expressed by τῆς — — ὀλυμπιάδος, numbers from small to large. One would, however, expect "καὶ ἑκατοστῆς ὀ.", would one not? J. uses instead πρὸς ταῖς ἑκατὸν, i.e. cardinal. Is this a commun custom? How would it be analysed? What is the omitted headword of ταῖς? Maybe of lesser surprise is the gen. sg. ὑπατεύοντος in the genetiuus absolutus; it refers to two persons, and besides Ῥωμαίων is in gen. pl.

2. περὶ τρίτον μῆνα τῇ τῆς νηστείας ἡμέρᾳ κατὰ ἐνάτην καὶ ἑϐδομηκοστὴν καὶ ἑκατοστὴν ὀλυμπιάδα ὑπατευόντων Γαΐου Ἀντωνίου καὶ Μάρκου Τυλλίου Κικέρωνος. (14,66)
'In the third month, on the day of fast, in the 179th Olympiad, when C. Antonius and M. Tullius Cicero were consuls, — —'
Notes. περὶ + acc. for 'in the 3rd month'; dat. temp. for 'on the day of fast'. κατὰ + acc. (κατὰ — — ὀλυμπιάδα) for the year, numbers from small to large. Now we have gen. pl. ὑπατευόντων in gen. abs.

3. ἑστιᾷ δὲ τὴν πρώτην ἡμέραν τῆς βασιλείας Ἀντώνιος. καὶ ὁ μὲν οὕτως τὴν βασιλείαν παραλαμϐάνει τυχὼν αὐτῆς ἐπὶ τῆς ἑκαστῆς καὶ ὀγδοηκοστῆς καὶ τετάρτης ὀλυμπιάδος ὑπατεύοντος Γναίου Δομετίου Καλϐίνου τὸ δεύτερον καὶ Γαΐου Ἀσινίου Πωλίωνος. (14,389)
'Antonius feasts the first day of rule (or: in the first day of rule?). In this way he got the kingdom, having chanced upon it in the 184th Olympiad, when Cn. Domitius Caluinus was for the second time a consul, and C. Asinius Pollio his first time.'
Notes. Is ἑστιᾷ lively praesens historicum usage? Would τὴν πρώτην ἡμέραν be best considered its object, or rather accusatiuus temporis ('for the length of the first day')? The time when is here with ἐπὶ + gen., now from large to small.

4. τῆς γὰρ ἐπ' Ἀκτίῳ μάχης προσδοκωμένης, ἣν ἐπὶ τῆς ἑϐδόμης καὶ ὀγδοηκοστῆς πρὸς ταῖς ἑκατὸν ὀλυμπιάδος συνέϐη γενέσθαι, Καῖσαρ μὲν Ἀντωνίῳ περὶ τῶν ὅλων ἔμελλεν ἀγωνιεῖσθαι πραγμάτων. (15,109)
'The Battle of Actium being expected. It came to pass in the 187th Olympiad, when Augustus was to fight Antonius about all the things.'
Notes. Begins with gen. abs., the time when in the relative clause is marked with ἐπὶ + gen., and again we have the πρὸς ταῖς ἑκατὸν embedded before ὀλυμπιάδος.

5. Συνέϐη δὲ μετὰ ἔτη δύο τῷ ἑκατοστῷ καὶ τεσσαρακοστῷ καὶ πέμπτῳ ἔτει μηνὸς πέμπτη καὶ εἰκάδι, ὃς καλεῖται κατὰ μὲν ἡμᾶς Ἐξελέους, κατὰ δὲ Μακεδόνας Ἀπελλαῖος, ὀλυμπιάδι ἑκατοστῇ καὶ πεντηκοστῇ καὶ τρίτῃ. (12,248)
'It happened after two years, in the 145th year, on the 25th day of month, which we call Ἐξελέους (?), Macedonians Apellaios, in the 153rd Olympiad.'
Notes. Where does 145th year refer to? Why is it needed in the 1st place? Ἐξελέους is apparently some Hebrew month; it's not in the LS. "When" is marked with a regular dat. temp.

6. Ἀντίοχος δὲ χαλεπῶς ἔχων ἐφ' οἷς ὑπὸ Σίμωνος ἔπαθεν εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν ἐνέϐαλεν τετάρτῳ μὲν ἔτει τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ, πρώτῳ δὲ τῆς Ὑρκανοῦ ἀρχῆς, ὀλυπιάδι ἑκατοστῇ καὶ ἑξηκοστῇ καὶ δευτέρᾳ.
'Antiochus was angry for what Simon had had to go through. He left for Judaea in his fourth year of reign. That was the first year when Hyrcanus ruled, and occurred in the 162nd Olympiad.'
Notes. This has three datiui temporis.
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Re: How to express time (year) when

Postby John W. » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:43 pm

Timothée - one example occurs at the start of Book 2 of Thucydides (2.2.1), where he cites a variety of different dating systems in order to fix clearly the start of the war:

τέσσαρα μὲν γὰρ καὶ δέκα ἔτη ἐνέμειναν αἱ τριακοντούτεις σπονδαὶ αἳ ἐγένοντο μετ᾽ Εὐβοίας ἅλωσιν: τῷ δὲ πέμπτῳ καὶ δεκάτῳ ἔτει, ἐπὶ Χρυσίδος ἐν Ἄργει τότε πεντήκοντα δυοῖν δέοντα ἔτη ἱερωμένης καὶ Αἰνησίου ἐφόρου ἐν Σπάρτῃ καὶ Πυθοδώρου ἔτι δύο μῆνας ἄρχοντος Ἀθηναίοις, μετὰ τὴν ἐν Ποτειδαίᾳ μάχην μηνὶ ἕκτῳ καὶ ἅμα ἦρι ἀρχομένῳ Θηβαίων ἄνδρες ὀλίγῳ πλείους τριακοσίων (ἡγοῦντο δὲ αὐτῶν βοιωταρχοῦντες Πυθάγγελός τε ὁ Φυλείδου καὶ Διέμπορος ὁ Ὀνητορίδου) ἐσῆλθον περὶ πρῶτον ὕπνον ξὺν ὅπλοις ἐς Πλάταιαν τῆς Βοιωτίας οὖσαν Ἀθηναίων ξυμμαχίδα.

This may be of interest in this context.

John
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Re: How to express time (year) when

Postby Timothée » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:09 pm

Thank you John. That passus does indeed contain many examples of telling time.

Could the current year, then, be, for instance, τῷ πέμπτῳ καὶ ἑξηκοστῷ ἔτει Ἐλισάβετ βασιλευούσης? Quite simply with datiuus temporis and genetiuus absolutus?
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Re: How to express time (year) when

Postby jeidsath » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:05 pm

I had thought of posting the beginning of Jeremiah to the other thread "ἔτους τρισκαιδεκάτου ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ Ιωσια," but held off since I assumed there would be better Attic examples. And apparently there were.

If we are translating a modern date, I think that you would want to be concrete about what you are actually counting with a year. 2016: τὸ ἕκτου καὶ δεκάτου καὶ δισχιλιοστοῦ ἔτος τὸ ἐν τῇ βασλείᾳ τοῦ κυρίου. That assumes anno domini, which I think think is more expressible than CE. I suppose "common era" could be something like "ὁ τῶν ἔτων λόγος συνήθης"
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Re: How to express time (year) when

Postby John W. » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:40 am

In my thread about 'A country house inscription', I described an inscription at Hammerwood Park which includes the following:

ΕΠΟΙΕ ΤΟΝ ΑΨϞΒ ΕΝΕΑΥΤΟΝ ΙΗϹΟΥ ΧΡΙϹΤΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΝ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΟΝ ΤΗϹ ΧʹΜΒʹ ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΔΑϹ.

The intended sense is: 'He [Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect] constructed it in the 1792nd year of Jesus Christ and the second year of the 642nd Olympiad.’

There are some problems with the Greek here: the use of numerical symbols is inconsistent, and one would expect datives to denote the year in which the construction took place. Correcting for those issues would yield:

ΕΠΟΙΕ ΤΩΙ ͵ΑΨϞΒʹ ΕΝΕΑΥΤΩΙ ΙΗϹΟΥ ΧΡΙϹΤΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΩΙ ΔΕΥΤΕΡΩΙ ΤΗϹ ΧΜΒʹ ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΔΑϹ.

Might this not serve as a useful template?

John
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Re: How to express time (year) when

Postby Timothée » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:34 am

jeidsath wrote:I had thought of posting the beginning of Jeremiah to the other thread "ἔτους τρισκαιδεκάτου ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ Ιωσια," but held off since I assumed there would be better Attic examples. And apparently there were.

My Josepus examples are hardly Attic, either, but luckily John had a good Attic passage to offer. Still, these younger examples can be educational, as well, for the structures if not for the true Attic phraseology.

jeidsath wrote:τὸ ἕκτου καὶ δεκάτου καὶ δισχιλιοστοῦ ἔτος τὸ ἐν τῇ βασ<ι>λείᾳ τοῦ κυρίου

Shouldn't it be simply τὸ ἕκτον καὶ δέκατον καὶ δισχιλιοστὸν ἔτος ('the 2016th year')?

John: As to your country house inscription, you're right, one does expect the accusative (accusatiuus temporis) to denote for how long something occurs, whereas the dative (datiuus temporis) tells the point of time when something occurs. (Then there are also many possible prepositional phrases, as is shown by the J. quotes.) Thus I daresay there should indeed be dative there.

But isn't it the genitive ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΔΟC we expect at the end (with ΤΗC), not the accusative plural ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΔΑC?

I think that that does work well as a template. Using either the common Western chronology or the Olympiad calendar will definitely be much easier than choosing the eponymous rulers. The reason I suggested the latter elsewhere was because I was wondering how the classical Attic system actually worked. We may be so accustomed to Olympiads that we may not realise how (relatively) young they are. Obviously the eponymous chronology felt too difficult already then, which it in fairness is. Or do as Thucydides (or the country house) and use multiple fixed points to diminish the possibility of misunderstanding.
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Re: How to express time (year) when

Postby John W. » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:25 pm

Timothée wrote: But isn't it the genitive ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΔΟC we expect at the end (with ΤΗC), not the accusative plural ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΔΑC?


Timothée - you're quite right about this, of course; many thanks for pointing it out.

John
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Re: How to express time (year) when

Postby jeidsath » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:24 pm

Timothée wrote:
jeidsath wrote:τὸ ἕκτου καὶ δεκάτου καὶ δισχιλιοστοῦ ἔτος τὸ ἐν τῇ βασ<ι>λείᾳ τοῦ κυρίου

Shouldn't it be simply τὸ ἕκτον καὶ δέκατον καὶ δισχιλιοστὸν ἔτος ('the 2016th year')?


Yes. I goofed on the cases. However, doesn't it need some sort of object? The 2016th year of what?
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Re: How to express time (year) when

Postby Markos » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:23 pm

2017 = τῷ πρώτῳ ἔτει, τοῦ Τρὺμπ τοῦ τῆς Ἀμερίκης Προέδρου ὄντος.
οὐ μανθάνω γράφειν, ἀλλὰ γράφω τοῦ μαθεῖν.
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