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Writing out Greek names associated with places

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Writing out Greek names associated with places

Postby chrisbrennan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:53 am

Hi,

I'm trying to figure out how to properly write out some ancient Greek names that are associated with places, and I can't seem to find any good resources which explain the standard for how this should be done.

For example, in referring to a writer from the 4th century whose name is 'Paul of Alexandria' I get the impression that his name 'Paul' should be in the nominative while the place that he is from 'Alexandria' should be in the genitive, which I think would look something like this: Παῦλος Ἀλεξανδρέως or perhaps Παῦλος τοῦ Ἀλεξανδρέως (I'm not even sure if the article has to be used in front of the place name, since it sometimes seems to be dropped in some names, and other times seems to be included).

Another example is the 2nd century name 'Vettius Valens of Antioch', which I think would be rendered as Οὐέττιος Οὐάλης Ἀντιοχέως, if indeed the name of the place is supposed to be rendered in the genitive, rather than some other more specific case that I haven't discovered yet.

I've looked all over Smyth and all I can seem to find is a very short, terse paragraph titled 'Gentiles or Place Names' in section 844, which seems to corroborate the endings that I'm coming up with, but because it is so short I'm not really certain if I am on the right track here.

I would appreciate any help or references that anyone would be willing to share with me.

Thanks,

Chris.
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Re: Writing out Greek names associated with places

Postby thesaurus » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:03 pm

I'm not at all learned in this area, but aren't there adjectival forms of places that names take?

For example, I randomly searched "of Alexandria" and got the page for this fellow, Hero of Alexandria. In Greek, Ήρων ο Αλεξανδρεύς, "Hero the Alexandrian." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_Alexandria

Paul of Alexandria then is probably Παῦλος ο Αλεξανδρεύς. I'm not sure about the adjectival form for Antioch, but I'll look around.

Edit: I just realised that Αλεξανδρεύς is an appositive noun, not an adjective. My bad, though I still think it would work fine.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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Re: Writing out Greek names associated with places

Postby modus.irrealis » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:17 am

I'm thinking some place names use the genitive of the place-name and others use a noun derived from the place-name. Antioch seems to be the former -- I looked at some names of saints and the Greek has 'Αντιοχείας, e.g. Ignatius of Antioch is Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας.

Edit: a little more searching found people like Ἀέτιος ὁ Ἀντιoχεύς, so I guess Antioch can go either way. And that makes me realize that Ἀντιοχέως is the genitive of Ἀντιoχεύς so you'd use it only when the name has to be in the genitive as well, since they have to agree in case, like Ἀετίου τοῦ Ἀντιοχέως. So in the nominative, I'm thinking it would be either Οὐέττιος Οὐάλης ὁ Ἀντιοχεύς or Οὐέττιος Οὐάλης Ἀντιοχείας -- but I couldn't find any references on this, so it's just going by the patterns of other names.
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Re: Writing out Greek names associated with places

Postby chrisbrennan » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:13 am

Thanks guys, this is really helpful.

So then basically the name itself and the place name of origin do need to agree in case? That was partly where I was confused, since I wasn't sure if the name needed to be in the nominative and the place needed to be in the genitive, since, for example it is 'Vettius Valens of Antioch'. If all three can simply be put in the nominative case then that works for me though. It is just frustrating and somewhat surprising that there are no references for this anywhere.

The other issue is whether or not the article is necessary in front of the place name. This seems to vary from place to place from what I've seen, although I did find a couple of brief statements on page 290 of Smyth where he says that "Names of cities usually omit the article" and similarly with the names of nations when associated with persons. There still seems to be some confusion about the implementation of this in different sources though, such as on Wikipedia for example, where it varies from entry to entry. See their entry on Thrasyllus of Mendes for example, where the article is used both before the name and before the city: "Thrasyllus of Mendes whose full name was Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus ... (Greek: ὁ Τιβερίος Κλαύδιος Θράσιλλος or ὁ Θράσιλλος της Μένδης)." This entry is all in the nominative, but the question of whether or not the article must be used is even more acute.
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Re: Writing out Greek names associated with places

Postby modus.irrealis » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:49 pm

With the case it depends on the construction. If you use a noun/adjective that means "person from X", then it's in apposition like thesaurus said and has to agree with the noun in case. If you use the name of the place itself, then it will always be in the genitive. It looks to me like the more usual Classical practice was to use a noun in apposition, but it may have depended on the place.

About the article, I think this is one of the more subtle things with Ancient Greek, but it depends a lot on the context in which the name is used. But to just give the name, you wouldn't use the article with the personal name. With the appositive noun, if I understand Smyth and his examples correctly, the more "official" usage was to not have an article either, so Παῦλος Αλεξανδρεύς, but forms with the article seem very common when I search, like Παῦλος ο Αλεξανδρεύς that thesaurus gave -- I guess this was the "popular" form according to Smyth.

If you want to use the place name in the genitive instead, then you wouldn't use the article either. (Or actually, I think that if you were to use the article, it would agree with the person's name to get something like Παῦλος ὁ Ἀλεξανδρείας, (lit. Paul, the one of Alexandria) but I don't think this is a very common option.)

If that's right, that would mean the Thrasyllus article's Greek would be not quite right both times (and at least it should be Θράσυλλος). I'm not sure Wikipedia is the best source to check for this.
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Re: Writing out Greek names associated with places

Postby annis » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:18 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:If that's right, that would mean the Thrasyllus article's Greek would be not quite right both times (and at least it should be Θράσυλλος). I'm not sure Wikipedia is the best source to check for this.


But a judicious use of google-fu should not be sniffed at. :)

I regularly verify the order of Greek particles by putting them in the order I'm curious about in google, and putting double quotes around the whole thing. So, if you're not sure if it should be "μὲν γὰρ" or "γὰρ μὲν" just do the search (with the quotes — it's μὲν γὰρ).

So, my approach to this was to dump a few greek names attached to several people (Diogenes, say) and an article. A search on "Διογένης ὁ" found me this lovely list of the names of Greek authors starting with Δ — http://www.gottwein.de/graeca/lex/d_aut01.php. Another with good examples is C.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Re: Writing out Greek names associated with places

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:32 pm

annis wrote:But a judicious use of google-fu should not be sniffed at. :)

That I know from experience.
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