Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

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Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:49 am

danbek wrote:2. Several times Rouse uses ονομάζουσιν to describe a person's name e.g. "ονομάζουσιν δ' εμε μεν Θρασύμαχον". Why a 3rd person *plural* for the verb here? I found this confusing because at this point only his father has been mentioned, not his mother. Should I understand this as meaning something like "People call me ..."?
Hi danbek,
ὀνομάζουσιν is used commonly enough in the sense you have rightly deduced from context. You can see the 64 examples in Perseus here.

As the only person who tends to be as restrictive as I am in terms of vocabulay choices in composition, let me say that what I don't think is idiomatic about this phrase of Rouse's is his using ὀνομάζουσιν with a personal pronoun. That is to say, so far as Perseus lets me search the corpus of extant Greek literature, it is used with a range of pronouns - demonstrative, relative, indefinite, et al. - but not with the personal pronouns.
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Re: Rouses's Greek Boy, section II

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:52 pm

jeidsath wrote:
ἑκηβόλος wrote:As the only person who tends to be as restrictive as I am in terms of vocabulay choices in composition, let me say that what I don't think is idiomatic about this phrase of Rouse's is his using ὀνομάζουσιν with a personal pronoun. That is to say, so far as Perseus lets me search the corpus of extant Greek literature, it is used with a range of pronouns - demonstrative, relative, indefinite, et al. - but not with the personal pronouns.
All wrong.
You seem confident.
jeidsath wrote:Here is Euripides:

ὅπερ μ᾽ ὁ φύσας ὠνόμαζ᾽ Ὀδυσσέα,
A pity that's an example of something else.

I'm glad my mother taught me to tread carefully in china shops.

If you want to slice butter with the blunt axe of unvarigated perception, then yes, there are many examples of this verb in whatever form with personal pronouns.

The form in question, ὀνομάζουσιν - a pseudo-passive of sorts - is not found in the searchable Perseus collection with any personal pronouns in the way that Rouse uses it.

The occasional use of λέγουσιν with a personal pronoun doesn't follow the pattern has in his example with ὀνομάζουσιν either. (It is structured with an infinitive phrase):
Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists, 13.25 wrote:σὲ γὰρ λέγουσιν τοῦτ᾽ ἰδεῖν πρῶτον, Σόλων,
Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists, 13.46 wrote:σέ τε γὰρ λέγουσιν διαφθείρειν τοὺς ἐντυγχάνοντάς σοι ἀνωφελῆ καὶ ἐριστικά σοφίσματα διδάσκοντα, ἐμέ τε ὡσαύτως ἐρωτικά μηθὲν οὖν διαφέρειν ἐπιτριβομένοις καὶ κακῶς πάσχουσιν ἢ μετὰ φιλοσόφου ζῆν ἢ ἑταίρας’ κατὰ γὰρ τὸν Ἀγάθωνα:
ὥσπερ καὶ σὲ λέγουσιν ἐν Θήβαις διαπονῆσαι τὰ περὶ τοὺς λόγους
Dio Chrysostom, Orationes, 2.25 wrote:ὥσπερ καὶ σὲ λέγουσιν ἐν Θήβαις διαπονῆσαι τὰ περὶ τοὺς λόγους
Xenophon, Symposium, 6.7 wrote:ἀλλ᾽ οὐ μὰ Δί᾽, ἔφη, οὐ τούτων σε λέγουσιν ἐπιμελεῖσθαι, ἀλλὰ τῶν ἀνωφελεστάτων.
In the following epigram, the λέγουσιν is made more definite (heavier) by adding the τινὲς (and using it with the infinitive):
Greek Anthology, Volume IV, 11.68 (Lucillius) wrote:τὰς τρίχας, ὦ Νίκυλλα, τινὲς βάπτειν σε λέγουσιν,
ἃς σὺ μελαινοτάτας ἐξ ἀγορᾶς ἐπρίω.
For completeness sake, I've added these two "also ran"'s.
A different strategy here:
Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 672 wrote:λέγουσιν ἡμᾶς ὡς ὀλωλότας,
A false lead here:
Dio Chrysostom, Orationes, 69.2 wrote:καὶ δὴ τὸ τοῦ κιθαρῳδοῦ τοῦτο ὃ λέγουσιν ἔσωσέ με,
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by jeidsath » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:10 pm

Οἱ μὲν ἐμοὶ φίλοι, ἔφη, καλοῦσί με Εὐδαιμονίαν, οἱ δὲ μισοῦντές με ὑποκοριζόμενοι ὀνομάζουσι Κακίαν
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Re: Syntactic limitations on ὀνομάζουσιν as a pseudo-passive

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:40 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:The form in question, ὀνομάζουσιν - a pseudo-passive of sorts - is not found in the searchable Perseus collection with any personal pronouns in the way that Rouse uses it.
jeidsath wrote:Here is Euripides:
ὅπερ μ᾽ ὁ φύσας ὠνόμαζ᾽ Ὀδυσσέα,
jeidsath wrote:Οἱ μὲν ἐμοὶ φίλοι, ἔφη, καλοῦσί με Εὐδαιμονίαν, οἱ δὲ μισοῦντές με ὑποκοριζόμενοι ὀνομάζουσι Κακίαν
Your confidence seems to grow.

More scambled eggs thinking.

Both of your examples have subjects. Yolk: Rouse's ὀνομάζουσιν - without subject, pseudopassive. White: Examples quoted with a subject. Rouse's ὀνομάζουσιν and Xenophon's ὀνομάζουσιν are homographs - by looking at their usage in the sentence (with and without subject), you can see that they are not the same.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by jeidsath » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:50 am

I haven't been replying to you for the fun of arguing with you on this, but to save the new learner on the other thread from becoming victim to your peculiar, unsupported, and solitary, views.

Your first statement -- people can scroll up to see it -- simply said that ὀνομάζειν was not used with a personal pronoun by the Greeks. I offered a counterexample. But that wasn't a true Scotsman! It's only the form ὀνομάζουσι that wasn't used with a personal pronoun. I offered a counterexample to your new statement, and we found, once again, that wasn't a true Scotsman. Now, only ὀνομάζειν used without a definite subject can never be used with a personal pronoun. It would have saved us trouble if you had said this in your first post [said Socrates to Euthyphro].

So yet another counterexample:

Ἀλλ’ εἰ μὲν ὅταν σοι διαλέγωνται περὶ ἐμοῦ τινες καλοῦσί με τοῦτο τὸ ὄνομα οὐκ οἶδα· οὐ γὰρ δή, ὅταν γέ με εἰς ἀντίδοσιν καλῶνται τριηραρχίας ἢ χορηγίας, οὐδείς, ἔφη, ζητεῖ τὸν καλόν τε κἀγαθόν, ἀλλὰ σαφῶς, ἔφη, ὀνομάζοντές με Ἰσχόμαχον πατρόθεν προσκαλοῦνται.

"ὀνομάζοντές με" appears here without reference to any definite or expressed subject.

I assume that my above counterexample is yet again, no true Scotsman. And your definition will once again assume a new form. (Will "τινες" in the earlier sentence now be an new exception to your rule? Or will you be more creative?) Enough. Nothing that you have presented here is supported by anything other than your inability to search Perseus effectively. I'm not about to reply to you any further on this.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:51 am

ἑκηβόλος wrote: it is used with a range of pronouns - demonstrative, relative, indefinite, et al. - but not with the personal pronouns.
There are many examples with τινες.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:55 am

jeidsath wrote:peculiar, unsupported, and solitary, views.
Have you seen the "Minority Report"?

This is not a view. It is only an observation. Besides a passing allusion to weight, I have not gone into any discussion about why I think it is so.

If you want to object to this observation, a better argument might be that I am making the assumption that what has been preserved in Greek was representative of what could be said in Greek. OR That the appeal to λέγουσιν, (which I think has similar usage information included / encided in its meaning) as a parallel syntactic model is unfounded.
jeidsath wrote:Your first statement -- people can scroll up to see it -- simply said that ὀνομάζειν was not used with a personal pronoun by the Greeks. I offered a counterexample. But that wasn't a true Scotsman! It's only the form ὀνομάζουσι that wasn't used with a personal pronoun. I offered a counterexample to your new statement, and we found, once again, that wasn't a true Scotsman. Now, only ὀνομάζειν used without a definite subject can never be used with a personal pronoun. It would have saved us trouble if you had said this in your first post [said Socrates to Euthyphro].
I thought that was clear.

I said ὀνομάζουσιν, I meant ὀνομάζουσι(ν). I assumed that everybody would realise from the context of the thread that we were duscussing the pseudo-passive form, not the third person indicative active or the dative plural.

I am saying that in the searchable Perseus corpus, I find no examples of a subject-less / pseudo-passive ὀνομάζουσιν with the accusative of the first and second person personal pronouns in the way that Rouse has used them here (now there since the dislocation).

Rouse is good and interesting, but in this small point, I believe he is unidiomatic to the Greek usage. I am implicitly suggesting by the introduction of data on the pseudo-passive λέγουσιν that if Rouse had included an εἶναι, then that might be better, but because it is unattested in the searchable Perseus corpus, I am not asserting that.

You contribution has been of great value just now because of the introduction of ὀνομάζοντες.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:05 am

danbek wrote:2. Several times Rouse uses ονομάζουσιν to describe a person's name ...
Are the other times with the personal pronouns?

Is there any doubt that ἐμε for με is also unidiomatic?
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:15 pm

Barry Hofstetter in the original thread wrote:Another example of ὀνομάζειν with a personal pronoun:

ἀλλʼ ἀντὶ τοῦ δὴ παῖδά μʼ ὠνομάζετο; (Sophocles, OT 1021).
Rather than pay out $67,883, or at least cop flack, I guess I need to point out the obvious here too? Using the word "passive" doesn't make things equivalent.

The pseudo-passive form has certain similarities in translation with the actual passive form, but it is not a middle-passive form. The translation of this middle-passive form in Sophocles here is something along the lines of "gratify himself by calling me his child", "call me his own child".
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:46 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
jeidsath wrote:Your first statement -- people can scroll up to see it -- simply said that ὀνομάζειν was not used with a personal pronoun by the Greeks. I offered a counterexample. But that wasn't a true Scotsman! It's only the form ὀνομάζουσι that wasn't used with a personal pronoun. I offered a counterexample to your new statement, and we found, once again, that wasn't a true Scotsman. Now, only ὀνομάζειν used without a definite subject can never be used with a personal pronoun. It would have saved us trouble if you had said this in your first post [said Socrates to Euthyphro].
I thought that was clear.

I said ὀνομάζουσιν, I meant ὀνομάζουσι(ν). I assumed that everybody would realise from the context of the thread that we were duscussing the pseudo-passive form, not the third person indicative active or the dative plural.

I am saying that in the searchable Perseus corpus, I find no examples of a subject-less / pseudo-passive ὀνομάζουσιν with the accusative of the first and second person personal pronouns in the way that Rouse has used them here (now there since the dislocation).

Rouse is good and interesting, but in this small point, I believe he is unidiomatic to the Greek usage. I am implicitly suggesting by the introduction of data on the pseudo-passive λέγουσιν that if Rouse had included an εἶναι, then that might be better, but because it is unattested in the searchable Perseus corpus, I am not asserting that.

You contribution has been of great value just now because of the introduction of ὀνομάζοντες.
First, it's not pseudo-passive, it's quite active. Smyth has the usage here:


931. The nominative subject of the third person may be omitted
a. When it is expressed or implied in the context: ὁ σὸς πατὴρ φοβεῖται μὴ τὰ ἔσχατα πάθῃ your father is afraid lest he suffer death X. C. 3. 1. 22.
b. When the subject is indefinite, especially when it is the same person or thing as the omitted subject of a preceding infinitive (937 a): ἡ τοῦ οἴεσθαι εἰδέναι (ἀμαθίᾱ), ἃ οὐκ οἶδεν the ignorance of thinking one knows what one does not know P. A. 29 b. Often in legal language: ὁ νόμος, ὃς κελεύει τὰ ἑαυτοῦ ἐξεῖναι διαθέσθαι ὅπως ἂν ἐθέλῃ the law, which enjoins that a man has the right to dispose of his property as he wishes Is. 2. 13.
c. When a particular person is meant, who is easily understood from the situation: τοὺς νόμους ἀναγνώσεται he (the clerk) will read the laws Aes. 3. 15.
d. When it is a general idea of person, and usually in the third person plural of verbs of saying and thinking: ὡς λέγουσιν as they say D. 5. 18. So φᾱσί they say, οἴονται people think; cp. aiunt, ferunt, tradunt.
e. In descriptions of locality; ἦν δὲ κρημνῶδες for it (the place) was steep T. 7. 84
f. In impersonal verbs (932, 934).

That we do this sometimes in English with the passive voice doesn't mean that the Greek (or Latin) should be considered pseudo-passive, and as I pointed out in the other thread English has parallels to this construction.

Secondly, I did a search in Perseus for this phrase:

ἑαυτοὺς ἡμᾶς τιμῶμεν

And found nothing! Does that mean that it's "unidiomatic" Greek? Or does it mean that nobody in that collection of literature simply had the need to express the idea, and so did not do so? While estimates vary and it's impossible to know for sure, we probably have about 1% of the literature produced in ancient times surviving to us, so any conclusions drawn on what's missing from our corpus should be treated cautiously. In this case, there are syntactical parallels which make perfect sense out of the usage, so I think Rouse is pretty safe here.

Edit: here is a nice blog entry on the 1% figure:

https://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/200 ... -survives/
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:16 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:I did a search in Perseus for this phrase:

ἑαυτοὺς ἡμᾶς τιμῶμεν

And found nothing!
e(autou= is one of the Stop Words.

The second bullet point on the screen that told you your seach found no results reads:
● You may have searched for one or more "stop words"--words that are considered too common to be indexed. View all stop words...
It is not a very user friendly error message at that point.

Try searching without it.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:29 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:[λέγουσιν in this usage i]s not pseudo-passive, it's quite active.
Passive does not encode the subject in the verb form, active does. λέγουσιν in this usage encodes a null subject - we are not expected to imagine who or what is doing the action of the verb, only that the verb is being done. That is to say, we are expected to pay attention to the action of the verb, and ignore the actors. ie, that it is active in form, but passive in focus.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:That we do this sometimes in English with the passive voice doesn't mean that the Greek (or Latin) should be considered pseudo-passive
I had not considered how English expressed things. The term pseudo-passive is based on the idea that the null-subject is in effect like a passive.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:we probably have about 1% of the literature produced in ancient times surviving to us, so any conclusions drawn on what's missing from our corpus should be treated cautiously. In this case, there are syntactical parallels which make perfect sense out of the usage, so I think Rouse is pretty safe here.
I have expressed my thoughts on the syntactic patterns in which λέγουσιν (this exact form, and not other forms from which it was derived, or which were or could be derived from it, or which might be formed in parallel with it, ie the one with a grammatical subject, but without a specific / specified subject) is used here in this thread. Based on the use of λέγουσιν in the extant material, an analoguous conjecture may be that με rather than ἐμε, and that an infinitive should perhaps be included.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by mwh » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:10 am

I don’t like to intervene in a thread so ill-natured and so full of misunderstandings, but I will say that I think εκηβολος is right in his contention. ονομαζουσιν εμε (as distinct from e.g. καλουσιν εμε or το ονομα εμοι) is unidiomatic. All of Joel’s and Barry’s objections miss the point and lack force. And I see no objection to his calling this subject-less use of the 3rd-person plural “quasi-passive,” just as e.g. λεγουσι can be equivalent to λεγεται.
He is wrong however to say that ἐμε for με is also unidiomatic. That is to ignore the μεν after εμε.

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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by jeidsath » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:19 am

Maybe I'm a little to dense to get this.

ὀνομάζουσι μέντοι αὐτόν, ὡς ἐγᾦμαι, Μέλητον

Isn't αὐτόν a personal pronoun here? ὀνομάζουσι seems to be used here as a quasi-passive? Maybe ὀνομάζουσιν ἐμέ is unidiomatic -- but I don't think it's for any reason given so far.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by mwh » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:40 am

That’s more like it! A true parallel (unlike the others), and I can withdraw my reluctant endorsement of εκηβολος.

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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:02 am

jeidsath wrote:Maybe I'm a little to dense to get this.
Using the imagery of fluid mechanics, I would say that you are anything but thick (to use a synonymy and change from solid to liquid for your "dense"). The grey matter of somebody with a high vicosity of thought may not move very quickly or very far. Low viscosity liquids move quickly to fill all the available space in their containers. The "mis-understandings" in this thread have mainly been about the extent of containers. For example the issue of what the mention of ὀνομάζουσι(ν) signifies. Is it just that form, or is all (720??, I've forgotten the exact number and anyway it varies from verb to verb) forms that the Greek verb can have, or is it limited to one tense? In fact it is one usage of the one form listed - a containment of thought smaller than the boundaries of the printed (ie. spoken) form of the language - the word in context.
jeidsath wrote:ὀνομάζουσι μέντοι αὐτόν, ὡς ἐγᾦμαι, Μέλητον

Isn't αὐτόν a personal pronoun here? ὀνομάζουσι seems to be used here as a quasi-passive?
Continuing this imagery of fluids, the container "personal pronoun" is a rather large one. Especially if the oersons are overweight ;-D

I doubt that introducing more complexity into an already misunderstood topic will benefit much, but anyway...

Despite it being classified as a personal pronoun together with the first and second person, I think that αὐτὸς may have been be misplaced, or that it could be better classified in a different way. The second and third person pronouns are tangible or sensory pronouns, but αὐτὸς is an imaginary, intellectual, non-sensory pronoun, syntactic pronoun - etymologically "to mention the same person again".

There are ample examples of ὀνομάζουσι(ν) with the third person "personal pronouns", but the person in "personal" pronouns is the person of "third person", rather than necessarily a tangible (sensorily perceived) person. The first and second are the person and a (usually known) person.

To possit a theory (guided guess) about why the third person personal pronoun is used, but not the first and second; I think that the third person "personal" pronoun can be used with the subject-less / quasi-passive because there is no actual person in the third person personal prounoun, so a subject-less active form can balance with it, but since the first and second person personal pronouns refer to persons (people) they need something stronger (more concrete / tangible) to balance with (or to support) them.


I would not be surprised if there were other precluded pronouns, perhaps τὸν δὲ etc. and τοῦτον etc.. (Those are accusatives and the etc. is an expansion into the other 5 accusatives of their declension).


The observable data in the searchable Perseus corpus are what they are, my ideas about why the data are resoned to what they are, my predicted preclusions are untested.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:22 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:ἑαυτοὺς ἡμᾶς τιμῶμεν
After consideration, I guess that the reference to τιμάω + reflexives, is not a veiled allusion to Gallen's nefterics, so it is probably about the Athenian courts.

In the Athenian legal system, was there a more formulaic use of τιμάω than this unsuccessful search suggests? Perhaps searching just for verbal forms similar to Lysias' ἔδησεν ἑαυτὸν τιμησάμενος δεσμοῦ (Lys.6.21) [from the LSJ entry]. Even then, the ἑαυτὸν is the object of ἔδησεν, isn't it? So finding them together doesn't give information about the (attested) idiomatic usages of τιμάω.
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:09 am

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:I did a search in Perseus for this phrase:

ἑαυτοὺς ἡμᾶς τιμῶμεν

And found nothing!
e(autou= is one of the Stop Words.

The second bullet point on the screen that told you your seach found no results reads:
● You may have searched for one or more "stop words"--words that are considered too common to be indexed. View all stop words...
It is not a very user friendly error message at that point.

Try searching without it.
I didn't use the Perseus site. I have the entire Perseus collection through Logos, and their search engine has no such limitation.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:16 am

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:ἑαυτοὺς ἡμᾶς τιμῶμεν
After consideration, I guess that the reference to τιμάω + reflexives, is not a veiled allusion to Gallen's nefterics, so it is probably about the Athenian courts.

In the Athenian legal system, was there a more formulaic use of τιμάω than this unsuccessful search suggests? Perhaps searching just for verbal forms similar to Lysias' ἔδησεν ἑαυτὸν τιμησάμενος δεσμοῦ (Lys.6.21) [from the LSJ entry]. Even then, the ἑαυτὸν is the object of ἔδησεν, isn't it? So finding them together doesn't give information about the (attested) idiomatic usages of τιμάω.
I just made up an example in my head to make the point I wanted to make. Feel free to overthink it some more, though.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: Can ὀνομάζουσιν be used with personal pronouns?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:40 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
ἑκηβόλος wrote:is not a veiled allusion to Gallen's nefterics (sic.),
...
Feel free to overthink it some more, though.
I underthought the Galen passage, I think

Now that I've memorised the passagge from Galen, I see that his use of ὀνομάζουσι(ν) with the reflexive about the nephritics has a subject - those refer to themselves by that name. (Assuming that a reflexive should have a subject, then finding a subject should have been expected with a reflexive. Not realising that is thick). It is not this quasi-passive use that we are discussing.
καὶ πρό γε τῶν μαγείρων ἅπαντες ἄνθρωποι καὶ δυσουροῦντες πολλάκις καὶ παντάπασιν ἰσχουροῦντες, ὅταν ἀλγῶσι μὲν τὰ κατὰ τὰς ψόας, ψαμμώδη δ᾽ ἐξουρῶσιν, νεφριτικοὺς ὀνομάζουσι σφᾶς αὐτούς.
Satyrs with glass beards should not throw parties.

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