A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
Ursinus
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 493
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:06 am

A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Post by Ursinus » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:46 am

Would you guys mind giving me the contextual meaning's of the above prepositions in these particular contexts. I'm reading Alexandros. Τὰ Μεγάλα Παναθήναια ἀνὰ τέτταρα ἕτη γίγνεται, πέμπτω δὴ ἔτει. A full translation would help on this one as the last clause is tripping me up, too.

Πολλάκις δ' ἄγομεν ἑορτὰς καὶ Ἄθήνησι καὶ κατ' ἀγρούς. My guess is that its locational, but the exact sense escapes me. My best try is: Often we celebrate the festivals both in Athens and in the fields. If it's locational, why is kata better than en?

τὰ μέν ἐστιν ἐν ταῖς Ἄθήναις αὐταῖς, τὰ δὲ ἐν ταῖς κώμαις καὶ κατὰ τὸ πεδίον καὶ κατὰ τοὺς λόφους. Some are in Athens itself and others are in the villages: both in the fields and in the mountains.

Thanks for any help you guys might provide.
In hoc enim fallimur, quod mortem prospicimus" -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Vestibulum: Revised and Expanded

Διορθοῦ με εἰ πλανῶμαι, παρακαλῶ.

Gratia et Pax,

Joannes Ursinus

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3182
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Post by jeidsath » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:33 am

I think the first would mean: "The Great Panathenaea comes after every four years, so on the fifth year."

For the second and third, the idea would be "throughout," I think.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3250
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Post by mwh » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:44 am

Τὰ Μεγάλα Παναθήναια ἀνὰ τέτταρα ἕτη γίγνεται, πέμπτω δὴ ἔτει: this is the “distributive” use of ἀνὰ: “every four years", i.e. it’s a quadrennial festival. πέμπτω δὴ ἔτει “in the fifth year”: the cycle is 1-2-3-4-|5 etc.


Πολλάκις δ' ἄγομεν ἑορτὰς καὶ Ἄθήνησι καὶ κατ' ἀγρούς: yes, κατὰ is locational. It’s a common usage, a bit more general than ἐν. The contrast is between festivals held “at Athens” i.e. within the city and those held “in fields” i.e. elsewhere in Attica.

anphph
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 577
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:35 am

Re: A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Post by anphph » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:33 pm

Walter Burkert (The Orientalizing Revolution, trans. 1998) suggests that this use of ανα might be a Semitism.

Image

I'm not sure how credible this might be, since I couldn't access the source (that's Thekla Horovitz, Vom Logos zur Analogie 1978 137-144).

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1036
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:33 pm

anphph wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:33 pm
Walter Burkert (The Orientalizing Revolution, trans. 1998) suggests that this use of ανα might be a Semitism.

Image

I'm not sure how credible this might be, since I couldn't access the source (that's Thekla Horovitz, Vom Logos zur Analogie 1978 137-144).
Extremely unlikely. ἀνά is traceable all the way back to PIE, and the distributive usage is attested throughout all periods of ancient Greek. The paragraph cited above also employs the genetic fallacy.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

anphph
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 577
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:35 am

Re: A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Post by anphph » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:56 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:33 pm
anphph wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:33 pm
Walter Burkert (The Orientalizing Revolution, trans. 1998) suggests that this use of ανα might be a Semitism.

Image

I'm not sure how credible this might be, since I couldn't access the source (that's Thekla Horovitz, Vom Logos zur Analogie 1978 137-144).
Extremely unlikely. ἀνά is traceable all the way back to PIE, and the distributive usage is attested throughout all periods of ancient Greek. The paragraph cited above also employs the genetic fallacy.
For the record, while still not trying personally to defend it, that's not what he's saying. Rather he's defending that the word ἀνά, certainly extant in Greek/PIE (as he himself says), might have gained in Greek, on top of its usual "upward movement" sense, the distributive use through the influence of Akkadian. It's not clear when he (or Horovitz) thinks this may have happened, whether in the Archaic or in the so-called Dark Ages, or if earlier through Mycenean or Minoic times. We'd have to see whether distributive ανα is extant in Linear B, which should actually be easy to check, although given the fact that the Myceneans were already part of the Eastern Mediterranean trading and political atmosphere of the era before the Bronze Age collapse, I'm not sure even that would falsify the hypothesis.

The fact that it's not falsifiable doesn't mean it's likely, though. I am curious enough about this that I'd like to read the source quoted. Burkert's is a strange book, full of likely insights but also overly eager in many things. I would be curious to know how it was received (West's East of Helicon is a different beast with a different focus). Yet it does have a certain intuitive reasoning to it, in the way trade mannerisms do tend to propagate through languages.

Also I'm not sure what you mean by genetic fallacy in this context.

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1036
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:44 pm

anphph wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:56 pm

For the record, while still not trying personally to defend it, that's not what he's saying. Rather he's defending that the word ἀνά, certainly extant in Greek/PIE (as he himself says), might have gained in Greek, on top of its usual "upward movement" sense, the distributive use through the influence of Akkadian. It's not clear when he (or Horovitz) thinks this may have happened, whether in the Archaic or in the so-called Dark Ages, or if earlier through Mycenean or Minoic times. We'd have to see whether distributive ανα is extant in Linear B, which should actually be easy to check, although given the fact that the Myceneans were already part of the Eastern Mediterranean trading and political atmosphere of the era before the Bronze Age collapse, I'm not sure even that would falsify the hypothesis.

The fact that it's not falsifiable doesn't mean it's likely, though. I am curious enough about this that I'd like to read the source quoted. Burkert's is a strange book, full of likely insights but also overly eager in many things. I would be curious to know how it was received (West's East of Helicon is a different beast with a different focus). Yet it does have a certain intuitive reasoning to it, in the way trade mannerisms do tend to propagate through languages.
Loanwords from different languages families which become engaged in various ways are fairly common. Semantic borrowing is practically unheard of.
Also I'm not sure what you mean by genetic fallacy in this context.
When you have attested meanings with a semantic range as far back as the literature goes, there is no such thing as an "original meaning."
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

User avatar
ἑκηβόλος
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:19 am
Location: Nanchang, PRC
Contact:

Re: A Couple Questions About the Meanings of "ἀνά" and "κατά"

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:05 pm

Perhaps I'm troubling a thread that's already been hosed and stabled, but to put a saddle back on it for trot round Mark 6:40 let me layout the following third question in the couple:

The NA-UBS reads:
Καὶ ἀνέπεσαν πρασιαὶ πρασιαί, κατὰ ἑκατὸν καὶ κατὰ πεντήκοντα.

While the Byzantine text reads:
Καὶ ἀνέπεσον πρασιαὶ πρασιαί, ἀνὰ ἑκατὸν καὶ ἀνὰ πεντήκοντα.

Is there us no difference in overall meaning between those two?
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

Post Reply