Oratorical gesture?

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Barry Hofstetter
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Oratorical gesture?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:28 pm

Acts 26:1, ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα...

Several commentaries mention that this is a gesture of respect performed for the audience and to indicate that the speaker is ready to begin. Does anyone know of any other ancient source where this is mentioned, or is it depicted in any ancient art?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

dikaiopolis
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Re: Oratorical gesture?

Post by dikaiopolis » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:54 pm

How about Thelyphron's gesture in Apuleius?

ac sic aggeratis in cumulum stragulis et effultus in cubitum suberectusque in torum porrigit dexteram, et ad instar oratorum conformat articulum duobusque infimis conclusis digitis ceteros eminus porrigens et infesto pollice subrigens infit Thelyphron (Metam. 2.21)

Quint. 11.3 is the key text on oratorical gestures, but you may not find anything specifically about the opening of a defense (like Paul in Acts). For gestures in Cicero, Jon Hall has a few articles you might check out.

Like most of Acts, the phrase is very reminiscent of the LXX (and so also of Jesus in the Gospels--e.g., the Who's my Family? pericope in Mt 12.)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Oratorical gesture?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:32 pm

How is the phrase reminiscent of the LXX?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

dikaiopolis
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Re: Oratorical gesture?

Post by dikaiopolis » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:22 am

Because it's common in the LXX (100+ times), but not so much in other texts. I think especially of passages like the first part of LXX Exodus, the source of this pleasant fragment of Ezekiel the Tragedian:

<Μ.> ἰδοὺ βέβληται· δέσποθ’, ἵλεως γενοῦ·
ὡς φοβερός, ὡς πέλωρος· οἴκτειρον σύ με·
πέφρικ’ ἰδών, μέλη δὲ σώματος τρέμει.
<Θ.> μηδὲν φοβηθῇς, χεῖρα δ’ ἐκτείνας λαβέ
οὐράν, πάλιν δὲ ῥάβδος ἔσσεθ’ ὥσπερ ἦν.
ἔνθες δὲ χεῖρ’ εἰς κόλπον ἐξένεγκέ τε.
<Μ.> ἰδοὺ τὸ ταχθέν, γέγονεν ὡσπερεὶ χιών.
<Θ.> ἔνθες πάλιν δ’ εἰς κόλπον, ἔσται δ’ ὥσπερ ἦν [note the breach of Porson's bridge..]

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Oratorical gesture?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:37 am

Could you be more specific, and give actual examples from the LXX?
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: Oratorical gesture?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:19 pm

I mean, שלח יד is a common OT idiom "to stretch forth the hand (and do then do something)", commonly rendered with ἐκτεῖναι (τὴν) χεῖρα. However, the expression in this sense does take place in other Greek literature apart from Semitic influence, cf. ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα καὶ λαβόμενος τοῦ ἱματίου ἄνωθεν αὐτοῦ παρὰ τὸν ὦμον, ἐκεῖνόν τε προσηγάγετο... (Pl.Rep. 449b, and quite a few more examples could be cited), so Septuagintal influence on Acts at this point is debateable.

I was looking specifically for the use in oratorical contexts, and your citation from Apuleius is quite helpful.

(Since I looked up the expression in the LXX, that means you can disregard my request above).
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

dikaiopolis
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Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Oratorical gesture?

Post by dikaiopolis » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:00 pm

I agree, the phrase definitely occurs in Gk lit. outside Jewish or Christian texts and, by itself, is unremarkable. The point is that it occurs with an unusually high frequency in the LXX (as the regular translation of שלח יד, as you note) and was subsequently echoed in Jewish-Greek lit., as in the fr. of the Exagoge above. Lk-Acts is full of literary resonances with the LXX—it’s no stretch [ha..] to hear one here.

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