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Remarks on the genitive in Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica

Remarques sur le génitif dans les Argonautiques d’Apollonios de Rhodes
Osservazioni sul genitivo nelle Argonautiche di Apollonio Rodio
Daniel Kölligan

Texte intégral

1. A Hellenistic text in Hellenistic Greek

  • 1 Unless indicated otherwise, English translations are taken from the Loeb series (HUP).
  • 2 Studies on A.R.’s language include Rzach A., Grammatische Studien zu Apollonios Rhodios, Wien, 187 (...)

1The language of Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica1 may be characterized as both conservative, keeping to the model of epic, mostly Homeric, language use, and as innovative both in terms of the choice, readjustment and further development of features of the epic language and of the occurrence of non-epic features either reflecting different literary genres (such as tragedy) and / or contemporary language use.2 Within this complex situation of imitation, variation and deviation, case usage may be seen as a parameter indicative of the degree of conservatism and innovation in Hellenistic epic language. Taking the use of the genitive case as an example, it will be argued that in both instances features of the epic language are subject to reinterpretation in terms of Apollonius’ contemporary language.

2. Post-Homeric elements and the imitation of Homeric features

  • 3 Cf. Stüber K., Die primären s-Stämme des Indogermanischen, Wiesbaden, Reichert, 2002; Meissner T., (...)
  • 4 2.557 θελήμονα, 4.1657 θελήμονες.
  • 5 Hes. Op. 118 οἳ δ' ἐθελημοί# may also be read οἳ δὲ θελημοὶ which, beside the general variation of (...)
  • 6 2.528 καὶ τὰ μὲν ὣς ὑδέονται “And thus the story is told.”, 4.264 ᾿Αρκάδες, οἳ καὶ πρόσθε σεληναίη (...)
  • 7 The traditional connection with Gk. αὐδή ‘voice’, Ved. vádati ‘speaks’, ptc uditá-, is difficult f (...)

2As a text written in the 3rd century BC, the Argonautica contains numerous post-Homeric and post-classical features, e.g. in the lexicon words like αἶπος (-εος, ntr.) ‘height’ (cf. the adj. αἰπύς; A.+; A.R. 2.505), showing the increasing productivity of s-stem neuters during the history of Greek,3 probably Hellenistic back-formations such as μενοινή ‘plan, desire’ (A.R. 7×, only at verse-end), found also in Call. Jov. 90 ἐνέκλασσας δὲ μενοινήν#, AP 11.350 (Agath.) σῇ τε μενοινῇ#, etc., while in Homer only the derived verb μενοινάω occurs, and secondary analogical formations such as the accusative πάϊν (1.276, 4.697; also in AP 3.8, 9.125, Opp. Cyn. 3.218 and Christian authors) instead of Homeric παῖδα after the model of disyllabic root-accented dental stems such as ἔρις (gen ἔριδος), acc ἔριν : πάϊς, x=πάϊν. Other forms attested so far only in the Argonautica may have been coined by A.R. himself, e.g. θελήμων ‘voluntary’4 beside ἐθελημός5 and ἐθελήμων in Pl. Cra. 406a given as etymology of Λητώ. “Post-Homeric” attestation does of course not always equal “recent formation”: the poetae docti of Hellenistic times sometimes preserve ancient material unattested (for whatever reason) in Homer such as ἔαρ ‘blood’, first attested in Call., Nic., etc., the etymological match of Hitt. ešḫar, Skt. ásr̥-k, Arm. ar-iwn, etc. An instance relevant for A.R. may be ὑδέω ‘sing, tell of, call’ (2×)6 also attested in Nic. (Al. 46 ὑδεῦσι) and Call. (Jov. 76 ὑδείομεν) and glossed by Hesychius as ὑδεῖν· ὑμνεῖν, [αἰδεῖν] ᾄδειν, λέγειν (cf. also ὕδης· συνετός, ἢ ποιητής). Since an inner-Greek model which would explain this form as secondary is not available, it is likely to be inherited.7

  • 8 E.g. ὀκρυόεις ‘chilly’ 2× H. and A.R., but A.R. does not simply copy Homeric usage, but introduces (...)
  • 9 Cf. Hesychius παραβλήδην· ἀπατητικῶς and παραβόλος ‘with a side-meaning, deceitful’, h.Merc. 56 ἠΰτ (...)

3As a poet-cum-philologist of the Homeric texts, preying especially on hapax and dis legomena (some of which are consciously used either once or twice only),8 A.R. frequently shows his acquaintance with the various interpretamenta that have been given for Homeric words. In some cases this interpretation coincides with the contemporary use of the form itself or a related form, e.g. the Homeric hapax παραβλήδην, used by A.R. exclusively in the same metrical position, which was understood either as ‘maliciously, deceitfully’ or ‘in response, answering’:9

[1] Il. 4.5 αὐτίκ’ ἐπειρᾶτο Κρονίδης ἐρεθιζέμεν Ἥρην
  κερτομίοις ἐπέεσσι παραβλήδην ἀγορεύων

“And immediately the son of Cronos attempted to provoke Hera with mocking words, and said with malice/in reply.”

4Either meaning may be supposed for various passages in A.R., which are likely to play with the ambiguity of the Homeric attestation, e.g.

  • 10 1.835 αὐτὰρ ὁ τήνγε παραβλήδην προσέειπεν “And he said to her in reply.”, 2.60 αὐτὰρ ὅγ' οὔ τι παρ (...)
[2] 2.621 αὐτὰρ ὁ τόνγε / μειλιχίοις ἐπέεσσι παραβλήδην προσέειπεν “But Jason addressed him with gentle words in reply.” (Race[Loeb])/ „Der jedoch sprach täuschend zu ihm mit freundlichen Worten.“ (Dräger) / “Mais Jason, en réponse, lui adressa ces douces paroles.” (Delage, ed. Vian).10

5In Hellenistic times the base verb παραβάλλω is attested with the meaning ‘to answer’, cf.

[3] Philodemus, Περὶ ὀργῆς (P. Herc. 182, reliqua fragmenta). 17.48.4 τῶι πρώτωι τοιγαροῦν π̣α̣ρ̣αβληθήσεται τοιοῦτος λόγος ‘Because in reply to the first argument the following things will be said.’

6Hence, one of the interpretations of the Homeric form attested by its use in A.R. coincides with the Hellenistic usage contemporary to the Argonautica. As will be shown below, this (re-)interpretation of Homeric material is not restricted to the lexicon.

7Another example is ἄμοτον meaning ‘incessantly, insatiably’ both in Homer and in A.R., cf.

  • 11 Cf. also Forssman B., „Homerisch ἄμοτον“, O-o-pe-ro-si: Festschrift für Ernst Risch zum 75. Gebur (...)
[4] Il. 4.440 Ἔρις ἄμοτον μεμαυῖα “Strife who rages incessantly11
  • 12 idem: 2.665 αὐτὰρ ἀυτμὴ αὐαλέη στομάτων ἄμοτον βρέμει “and parched breath incessantly thunders fro (...)
[5] 1.513 τοὶ δ’ ἄμοτον λήξαντος ἔτι προύχοντο κάρηνα / πάντες ὁμῶς ὀρθοῖσιν ἐπ’ οὔασιν ἠρεμέοντες “But they, although he had ceased, still leaned their heads forward longingly, one and all, with intent ears, immobile with enchantment.” (Delage: avidement).12

8In a single instance, however, it seems to be used with a different meaning:

[6] 2.78 στῆ ῥ᾿ ἄμοτον καὶ χερσὶν ἐναντία χεῖρας ἔμιξεν. “He stood without wavering and returned blow for blow.”/„[Er] stand […] stille und schlug seine Hände gegen dessen Hände.“/“Il prit position résolument et rendit coup pour coup.”
  • 13 Fränkel H., Noten zu den Argonautika des Apollonios, München, Beck, 1968, p. 159.
  • 14 “Sonst hat bei ihm ἄμοτον die korrekte Bedeutung.” This interpretation is adopted in A. Rengakos o (...)

9Fränkel13 assumes that the meaning ‘stood stillʼ is based on Il. 22.36 ἑστήκει ἄμοτον μεμαώς, which A.R. misunderstood by relating the adverb to ἑστήκει and not to ἄμοτον.14 But one may suppose that this is not a simple slip of attention (aliquando bonus dormitat Apollonius), but that an author dealing with his reference text in such a meticulous manner had a model for this different interpretation, too. At least two Homeric scholia may be relevant for this:

[7] (Il. 4.440) ex. <ἄμοτον:> †ἄτρωτον. “ἄμοτον=unwounded, unharmed, invulnerable”
[8] (Od. 3.486) B.P. ἄμοτον δὲ γίνεται ἐκ τοῦ α στερητικοῦ μορίου καὶ τοῦ μότος τὸ μοτάριον. ἄμοτον γὰρ τὸ ὑγιὲς τὸ μὴ δεχόμενον μότον. “ἄμοτον is composed of the privative particle α and μότος, a little plaster. For ἄμοτον means ‘healthy, sound’, without a plaster.’

10With this background, it seems noteworthy that in the immediate context of 2.78 A.R. uses ἀνούτατος ‘unharmed’. The passage describes the fist-fight between Amykos and Polydeukes:

[9] 2.74 ὧς ὅγε Τυνδαρίδην φοβέων ἕπετ' οὐδέ μιν εἴα
  δηθύνειν, ὁ δ' ἄρ' αἰὲν ἀνούτατος ἣν διὰ μῆτιν
  ἀίσσοντ' ἀλέεινεν. ἀπηνέα δ' αἶψα νοήσας
  πυγμαχίην, ᾗ κάρτος ἀάατος ᾗ τε χερείων,
  στῆ ῥ' ἄμοτον καὶ χερσὶν ἐναντία χεῖρας ἔμειξεν.
  “Τhus did he pursue the son of Tyndareus to frighten him and allowed him no respite. But Polydeuces, ever uninjured, kept evading his onslaught through his skill. But once he had sized up the other’s brutal style of boxing—where he was invincible in his strength and where weaker—he stood without wavering? and returned blow for blow.”
  • 15 This technique of creating contexts interpretable as a commentary and paraphrase of one of the mea (...)

11One may hypothesize that ἄμοτον is used here in the meaning ‘unharmed’: Polydeukes keeps evading Amykos’ blows and after having got to know his style of fighting, takes a stand (στῆ), being unharmed, and starts to attack him. Under this interpretation, A.R. would have put ἀνούτατος as an explanans for ἄμοτον, showing once more his acquaintance with the scholiast tradition.15

  • 16 Fränkel H., Apollonii Rhodii Argonautica. Recognovit brevique adnotatione critica instruxit, Oxfor (...)

12The imitation and variation of Homeric features of course also extends to metrical structures, as discussed e.g. by Giangrande Aspects p. 276 concerning Arg. 3.15 μειλιχίοις; ἦ γὰρ ὅ γ’ ὑπερφίαλος πέλει αἰνῶς with a disconcerting long α in γάρ, which has prompted proposals to change the text, e.g. to ἦ μὲν γὰρ ὑπερφίαλος in Fränkel’s edition.16 However, this line is likely to be an allusion to Il. 1.342 τοῖς ἄλλοις· ἦ γὰρ ὅ γ’ ὀλοιῇσι φρεσὶ θύει with the identical sequence |οις ἦ γὰρ ὅ γ’| with γᾱρ. This preference for rare and debated Homeric passages probably explains the lack of the imitation of lengthening in front of δήν from earlier *δϝήν in A.R., precisely because it is regular and frequent in Homer, e.g. 9× ἔτι δήν (◡––) vs A.R. οὐκέτι δήν (1×), μηκέτι δήν (2×), ἐπὶ δήν (◡◡–, 2×). That this is a feature of the early epic language A.R. failed to notice is disproved by his use of the derived from δηναιός – a Homeric hapax, Il. 5.407 ὅττι μάλ’ οὐ δηναιὸς ὃς ἀθανάτοισι μάχηται – in 2.183 τῶ καί οἱ γῆρας μὲν ἐπὶ δηναιὸν ἴαλλεν with ἐπὶ δην° ◡–– alluding to and at the same time shunning the well-known Homeric phonetic sequence ἔτι δήν ◡––, and following the Hellenistic canon of avoiding the “mere imitation of the obvious” (Giangrande Aspects p. 277-278), cf. Callimachus’ dictum Epigr. 30.4 σικχαίνω πάντα τὰ δημόσια “I loathe all common things.”

3. The genitive in Apollonius Rhodius

3.1. Definitions and functional developments

  • 17 Carlier A./Goyens M./ Lamiroy B., “De: A genitive marker in French? Its grammaticalization path fr (...)

13The complex situation of imitating and varying the traditional epic language and of introducing features of contemporary Hellenistic Greek, be it overtly or covertly, is also reflected in case syntax. More specifically, the history of the Greek genitive may be taken as an indicator of the interplay between conservatism and innovation. Its development may be described as one from a polysemous marker of adnominal, adpositional, adverbal (i.e. argumental) and adverbial relations to a purely adnominal syntactic / structural case, similar to developments in other languages such as French, whose genitive in de developed from a marker of ablatival local relations to one of possession in Old French and a semantically void adnominal marker in the modern language.17

  • 18 Nikiforidou’s account is directed both against what she calls the “abstractionist hypothesis” assu (...)
  • 19 According to Nikiforidou, one of the reasons for assuming possession as the basic meaning is diach (...)

14In the following discussion of the functions of the genitive attested in A.R., we will follow Nikiforidou’s discussion of the Greek genitive as a network of functions interrelated by metaphorical extensions of the basic possessive meaning.18 The meanings indented in the following list are those classified by N. as peripheral:19

(1) possessor: Σωκράτους οἶκος ‘Socrates’ house’

(2) experiencer: θυμὸς Ἀχιλλῆος ‘Achilles’ anger’

(3) kinship: Περικλέους υἱός ‘Pericles’ son’

(4) material: κώπη ἐλέφαντος {stick (made) of ivory’

(5) cause: ὀργὴ τῶν πραττομένων ‘anger due to/because of (his) actions’

(6) partitive: ἔνιοι τῶν ἀνθρώπων ‘some of the people’

(7) attribute: ἀνὴρ μεγάλης εὐφυίας ‘man of great genius’

(8) patient: φόνος τῆς μητρός ‘the killing of the mother’

(9) "attributive": Ἀφροδίτης κάλλος ‘Aphrodite’s beauty’

(10) comparative: ἀμείνων Πλάτωνος ‘better than Plato’

  • 20 If “origin” is one of the “natural” meanings of the genitive, the Greek syncretism of the inherite (...)

(11) origin (ablative): παῖς Κορίνθου ‘a youth from Corinth’20

(12) whole-part/inalienable possession: χεὶρ Διός ‘the hand of Zeus’

3.2. Core functions

15These are well attested in A.R., cf.

(1) possessor ✓

[10] 2. 776 Δασκύλου ἐν μεγάροισι ‘in Daskylos’ palace’

(2) experiencer ✓

[11] 4.740 χόλον Αἰήταο ‘Aietes’ anger’

(3) kinship ✓

[12] 1.331 Αἴσονος υἱός ‘Aison’s son’

(6) partitive ✓

[13] 1.299 τῶν μοῖραν ‘a share of them (i.e. the woes meted out by the gods to men)’ 2.821-822 οὐδέ τις ἀνδρῶν ἠείδει ‘And none of the men knew it.’, etc.

16Note, however, the alternative construction with preposition, e.g. in

[14] 2.452 αἰὲν ὁμῶς φορέοντες ἑῆς ἀπὸ μοῖραν ἐδωδῆς ‘without fail bringing a portion of their food’

17The prepositional construction becomes more frequent in later Greek and is the norm beside juxtapposition of two NPs in Modern Greek, cf. e.g.

  • 21 Further examples in Blass F./Debrunner A., Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch, Göttingen, (...)
[15] NT John 7.25 τινες ἐκ τῶν Ἱεροσολυμιτῶν ‘some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem”21
  • 22 D. Mertyris, op. cit., p. 60.
[16] δύο λίτρα νερό ‘two litres of water’, σωρός (από) βιβλία ‘a pile of books’.22

(8) patient (gen. objectivus) ✓

[17] 3.738, 766 θελκτήρια φάρμακα ταύρων ‘drugs for charming the oxen’
[18] 4.1504 οὐ γάρ τις ἀποτροπίη θανάτοιο ‘There is no averting death.’
[19] 4.541 παίδων … φόνον ‘the slaying of his children’

(9) attributive (“Aphrodite's beauty”)✓

  • 23 = ‘Heracles’; imitating Homeric diction. Note, however, that Homer has 7× βίη Ἡρακλείη vs 1× βίη Ἡρ (...)
[20] 1.122 βίην Ἡρακλῆος, 1.531 σθένος Ἡρακλῆος ‘Heracles’ strength’23
[21] 3.1314 θαύμασε δ' Αἰήτης σθένος ἀνέρος ‘Aeetes was astonished at the man’s strength.’

(12) inalienable possession

[22] 1.886 χεῖρας ἑλοῦσα / Αἰσονίδεω ‘She grasped Jason’s hands.’

3.3. Peripheral functions

18In the peripheral functions the genitive generally competes with alternative constructions:

19(4) material:

  • 24 Cf. Linsenbarth, op. cit., p. 28.

20While there are incontrovertible instances of the genitive of material such as 2.1170-72 ἐσχάρη ... στιάων ‘an altar made of pebbles’, 3.232 στιβαροῦ ἀδάμαντος ἄροτρον ‘a plough made of strong adamant’,24 A.R. seems to prefer adjectives denoting material. Furthermore, in some instances the occurrence of the genitive seems to be due to a direct Homeric model. Thus, while the ‘golden fleece’ (1.4 χρύσειον κῶας) is never ‘the fleece of gold’ (not only in A.R.), the Homeric ‘golden sceptre’ (Il. 1.15 χρυσέῳ ἀνὰ σκήπτρῳ) is echoed by a ‘sceptre of gold’ in 4.1178 σκῆπτρον χρυσοῖο. Together with 4.1190 μείλια χρυσοῖο ‘gifts of gold’, these are the only two instances of χρυσοῖο in A.R. against 35 cases of the adjective χρύσειος. The deviation from the Homeric model is perhaps, as so often in A.R., not fortuitous. One may note that another deviation concering σκῆπτρον is the use of the adjective πατρώϊον in Homer vs the genitive τοῦ πατρός or of a personal name in A.R.:

[23] Il. 2.46, 186 σκῆπτρον πατρώϊον ἄφθιτον αἰεὶ
[24] A.R. 1.891 σκῆπτρά […] πατρὸς ἐμεῖο, 1.642 σκῆπτρον […] Ἑρμείαο / σφωιτέροιο τοκῆος, 3.198 Ἑρμείαο σκῆπτρον

21Probably, then, this is another case of variation of epic diction (in this case imitatio per contrarium), and if, on the one hand, the genitive of material is rare, the use of σκῆπτρον with a dependent possessive genitive may have licensed a genitive of material with the same word. The absence of genitives of material in other instances where there actually was a Homeric model may be seen as a corroboration of this, e.g. in the case of ‘silver’ (H. ἀργύρου 3× beside the adjective ἀργύρεος 38× : A.R. only adjective: 2.678 ἀργύρεον βιόν, cf. Il. 1.49 ἀργυρέοιο βιοῖο, 4.972 ἀργύρεον χαῖον) or ‘enamel, lapis lazuli’: (H. 3× Il. 11.24 οἶμοιμέλανος κυάνοιο, 11.35 ὀμφαλοὶ… μέλανος κυάνοιο, Od. 7.87 θριγκὸς κυάνοιο : A.R. only adj. κυάνεος 8×). Again, while the adj. χάλκε(ι)ος ‘bronze’ occurs 21× in A.R., the only instance of the genitive is a metonymy for ‘sword’, 3.848 χαλκοῖο τυπῇσιν ‘with strokes of bronze’ which copies Il. 5.887 χαλκοῖο τυπῇσι, the only attestation of χαλκοῖο in Homer, hence a case of hapax-imitation in A.R. The genitive ὀρειχάλκοιο in 4.973 dependent on another Homeric hapax καλαύροπα (Il. 23.845) ‘shepherd’s staff’ (in both cases in a bucolic scene) may be modelled on that of σκῆπτρον discussed above. Finally, there are doubtful cases such as 4.605 ἠλέκτρου λιβάδας ‘drops of amber’ which may also be understood as partitive and 1.526ff./4.582f. δόρυ … Δωδωνίδος … φηγοῦ ‘(the ship’s) beam (that Athena had fashioned) from Dodonian oak’ which may rather be a genitive of origin, since the point here is that the beam has prophetic powers, speaking with a human voice, as it stems from Dodona. A.R.’s preference for the adjective instead of the genitive of material may thus be seen as part of the general loss of this case function in Hellenistic and later Greek, where it starts to be replaced by prepositional phrases, e.g.

[25] Paus. 4.31.11 ἡ δὲ εἰκὼν τοῦ Ἐπαμινώνδου ἐκ σιδήρου τέ ἐστι ‘The statue of Epaminondas is of iron.’
  • 25 Bortone P., Greek prepositions: from Antiquity to the present, Oxford, OUP, 2010, p. 148; D. Mertyr (...)
[26] John Chrysostomus In psalmos 101-107 [vol. 55, p. 656, l. 64] τὰ ἐκ σιδήρου δεσμά ‘iron fetters’25

(5) cause:

  • 26 Nikiforidou, op. cit., p. 176.

22The genitive indicating cause as found e.g. in X. Cyr. 3.3.53 ἀπὸ τῶν πολεμίων φόβου “the fear caused by/due to the enemies26 is attested in A.R., too, but it competes with PP, cf.

[27] 4.318 νηῶν φόβῳ ‘in fear of the ships’
[28] 4.615 ἐκ πατρὸς ἐνιπῆς ‘at (=due to) his father’s rebuke’
  • 27 gen Il. 8.33 Δαναῶν ὀλοφυρόμεθ' αἰχμητάων, 202 ὀλλυμένων Δαναῶν ὀλοφύρεται; acc Od. 19.522 παῖδ' ὀ (...)
  • 28 itr. 1.250 ἄλλη δʼ εἰς ἑτέρην ὀλοφύρετο, 4.29 ἀδινῇ δʼ ὀλοφύρατο φωνῇ, 4.1738 ὀλοφύρετο; acc 3.72 (...)

23It seems noteworthy that such genitives occurring as arguments of verbs in the Homeric language are either not attested in A.R. or allow for a different interpretation. Thus, while in Homer ἄχνυμαι ‘be grieved’ is used with a genitive, e.g. Il. 8.125 ἀχνύμενός περ ἑταίρου ‘grieving for his comrade’, A.R. does imitate the form ἀχνύμενος (-οι 2.834, -ους 4.1345, 1423), but uses it only as intransitive verb. Similarly, ὀλοφύρομαι ‘lament, bewail’ with an accusative or genitive in Homer,27 is itr. or tr. in A.R., always without a genitive.28 Finally, in the case of τίνω where a genitive does occur, it is interpretable as adnominal depending on the concurrent direct object: While the Homeric structure as e.g. in

[29] Od. 12.382 τίσουσι βοῶν ἐπιεικέ᾿ ἀμοιβήν ‘They will pay fit atonement for the cattle.’
  • 29 Cf. already in Homer Il. 21.134 τίσετε Πατρόκλοιο φόνον ‘You will pay for Patroclus’ murder’.
  • 30 1.619 φόνου τίσειαν ἀμοιβήν ‘pay retribution for/of the murder’; 2.475 τίνεσκεν ἀμοιβὴν / ἀμπλακίη (...)

24may be understood as containing a verb with both an accusative and a genitive argument (acc of what is paid, gen of reason for payment), i.e. τίνω [ἀμοιβήν] [βοῶν], the same surface structure may have been parsed as τίνω [ἀμοιβήν [βοῶν]]29 in Hellenistic times. In fact, there are no instances in A.R. that cannot be interpreted in this way, and no cases of τίνω with a dependent genitive only.30

25With the decline of this function of the genitive, prepositional phrases start to occur in the adverbial and adnominal domain, cf. ἕνεκα and ἀμφί + gen in

[30] 2.261 ὡς οὔ τις θεόθεν χόλος ἔσσεται εἵνεκ' ἀρωγῆς “that there will be no anger from the gods because of your help” – i.e. not *χόλος ἀρωγῆς ‘anger due to/caused by the help’
[31] 2.967 καί οἱ ἄποινα / Ἱππολύτη ζωστῆρα παναίολον ἐγγυάλιξεν / ἀμφὶ κασιγνήτης ‘And Hippolyte gave him her glistening belt as ransom for her sister.’
  • 31 Cf. E. Schwyzer/A. Debrunner, op. cit,. p. 130.

26The last example is notable for its difference to the Homeric syntax with ἄποινα + gen ‘ransom for somebody’, e.g. Il. 1.111 κούρης Χρυσηΐδος ἀγλά' ἄποινα, 2.230 υἷος ἄποινα, etc.31

(7) attribute:

  • 32 Cf. Kühner R., Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache. Zweiter Teil: Satzlehre, Hannover, (...)
  • 33 E. Schwyzer/A. Debrunner, op. cit., p. 121.
  • 34 1.104 καμάτοιο τέλος ‘the accomplishment of their toil’, 1.249, 4.1600 νόστοιο τέλος ‘the fulfillm (...)

27The genitive denoting a “distinctive property” (Nikiforidou op. cit. 182-183), a salient attribute of the referent, e.g. a piece of great value (which is better than *a piece of value), is rare in Greek anyway,32 and consequently one does not expect to find many instances of it in A.R. But also the near-tautological “genitivus appositivus”33 of the type τέλος θανάτοιο ‘the end of (=consisting in) death’, common in Homer, does not seem to occur in A.R..34 With city names, i.e. the type the city of Troy, both the genitive and apposition are used (1.186 πτολίεθρον Μιλήτοιο, 2.654, 2.1093 πτόλιν Ὀρχομενοῖο, 2.1186, 3.265 πόλιν Ὀ.; 1.411 πόλιν Αἰσωνίδα, 4.525 πόλιν Ἀγανὴν Ὑλληίδα).

(10) comparative:

  • 35 Cf. Schwyzer E./ Debrunner, A., Griechische Grammatik. Bd. 2: Syntax und syntaktische Stilistik, M (...)

28A.R. only uses gen for the standard, although already in Classical Greek PPs occur and this is the norm in Modern Greek for NPs (από + acc) beside the gen for pronouns, e.g.35

[32] 1.197 … τοῦ δ’ οὔ τιν’ ὑπέρτερον ἄλλον ‘any other man … superior to him.’
[33] Hdt. 1.62 τοῖσι ἡ τυραννὶς πρὸ ἐλευθερίης ἦν ἀσπαστότερον ‘(those) who loved the rule of one more than freedom’, ‘to whom tyranny was more agreeable than freedom
[34] D.S. 12.12.4 Ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ ἕτερον νόμον πολὺ* τούτου κρείττονα ‘Charondas also wrote another law which is far superior to the one just mentioned.’ (*πολύ Hertlein : ἀπό mss.)
[35] αυτή την εποχή ο σολομός είναι ακριβότερος από τον μπακαλιάρο ‘At this time of the year salmon is more expensive than cod.
[36] Η Ελένη είναι κατά πολύ μεγαλύτερή του. ‘Helen is far older than him.’

(11) origin/ablative:

  • 36 O. Hoffmann/A. Debrunner/A. Scherer, op. cit., p. 111. In Modern Greek the ablatival and comparati (...)

29This function is gradually replaced by PP in Koiné Greek,36 cf. the variation in Polybius, the New Testament and the Septuagint with ἀπαλλοτριόω ‘estrange, alienate’:

[37] Plb. 21.20.8 τὰς πρότερον ἀπηλλοτριωμένας ἀφ' ἡμῶν πόλεις ‘the cities he had formerly alienated from me’
[38] Plb. 1.79.6 Ἡ μὲν οὖν Σαρδὼ ἀπηλλοτριώθη Καρχηδονίων ‘Thus was Sardinia lost to the Carthaginians.’
[39] NT Eph 2.12 ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι τῆς πολιτείας τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ ‘alienated from the commonwealth of Israel’
[40] LXX Ezechiel 14.5 τὰς καρδίας αὐτῶν τὰς ἀπηλλοτριωμένας ἀπ' ἐμοῦ ‘their hearts who are all estranged from me’
  • 37 1.118 Ἀργόθεν αὖ Ταλαὸς καὶ Ἀρήιος, υἷε Βίαντος, / ἤλυθον “From Argos in turn came Talaus and Arei (...)

30While this type of genitive is generally well attested in A.R. both as adjunct and argument,37 there are some notable exceptions to Homeric usage, e.g. ἀκούω with PP instead of the genitive to indicate the source of the audio signal and/or the topic of the utterance:

[41] Od. 17.114 αὐτὰρ Ὀδυσσῆος ταλασίφρονος οὔ ποτ᾿ ἔφασκεν, / ζωοῦ οὐδὲ θανόντος, ἐπιχθονίων τευ ἀκοῦσαι ‘Yet of steadfast Odysseus, whether living or dead, he said he had heard nothing from any man on earth.’
[42] 1.766 ἐλπόμενος πυκινήν τιν᾿ ἀπὸ σφείων ἐσακοῦσαι / βάξιν ‘expecting to hear some wise pronouncement from them’

3.4. intermediate summary

31This short and probably incomplete review of the usage of the genitive in A.R. seems to indicate that the core functions as defined by Nikiforidou are still nearly completely functional (but at least for the partitive use PP phrases are also possible), while in the peripheral area alternative constructions compete with the simple case marking:

core meanings                peripheral meanings

1, 2, 3, 6(✓), 8, 9, 12✓ 4(✓), 5?, 7(✓), 10✓, 11(✓)

(✓)=alternative constructions attested

32By this count – four out of twelve uses –, one may take the data of the Argonautica as an indication of functional attrition by 1/3.

3.5. Morphological innovations

3.5.1. Forms in -θεν

33Beside the reinterpretation of epic forms on the semantic level, as discussed above, Hellenistic use also extends to grammatical forms no longer present in contemporary Greek. The first example to be given for this is the adnominal use of pronominal genitives in -θεν with possessive function, cf.

[43] 2.438 Ἦ ἄρα δή τις ἔην, Φινεῦ, θεός, ὃς σέθεν ἄτης / κήδετο λευγαλέης ‘Assuredly there was then, Phineus, some god who cared for your bitter woe.’
  • 38 Further instances: 3.730 ὧς δὲ καὶ αὐτὴ / φημὶ κασιγνήτη τε σέθεν κούρη τε πέλεσθαι ‘So do I decla (...)
[44] 3.330 οὔνομά τε Φρίξοιο περικλεὲς εἰσαΐοντες / ἠδʼ αὐτοῖο σέθεν ‘when they heard the illustrious name of Phrixus and your own’38
  • 39 Chantraine P., Grammaire Homérique. Tome I: Phonétique et morphologie. Nouvelle édition revue et c (...)
  • 40 Cf. Petit D., *sue- en Grec ancien, la famille du pronom réfléchie: linguistique grecque et compar (...)

34Chantraine39 is quite clear on this point: In Homer, the forms in -θεν are used with prepositions, adverbs, as complements of verbs and comparatives and with absolute participles, but “ces formes ne fournissent jamais de génitif possessif.” This, then, seems to be an overt case of reanalysis based on Hellenistic usage, a μετάληψις (‘substitution’) as described in Homeric scholia, i.e. the transfer of contemporary patterns onto Homeric forms, such as Aristarchus’ teaching that the reflexive form Homeric ἑ (3rdsg) must be spelt unaccented when it could be replaced by contemporary αὐτοῦ and accented (ἕ) when replaceable by ἑαυτοῦ.40

3.5.2 Reflexive and possessive reflexive pronouns

  • 41 G. Marxer, op. cit., pp. 61-65.

35While possessive -θεν forms seem to be a case of absolute innovation, the following may be a gradient phenomenon, which, however, also shows the preference given in Hellenistic poetry to rare features of the epic language and at the same time common in contemporary use (at least in this case): A.R. regularly uses 3rd person reflexive and possessive pronouns with reference to the 1st and 2nd person sg and pl, e.g. in41

  • 42 Further instances are, e.g., (3rd > 1st) 4.1014 πατρὶ ‘my fatherʼ, (> 1st pl) 4.203 παῖδας ἑοὺς (...)
[45] 2.633 σὺ δ’ εὐμαρέως ἀγορεύεις, / οἶον ἑῆς ψυχῆς ἀλέγων ὕπερ· αὐτὰρ ἐγώ γε / εἷο μὲν οὐδ’ ἠβαιὸν ἀτύζομαι. ‘You speak easily, since you are concerned with your own life alone, whereas I am not in the slightest distraught about mine.’42

36The Homeric model for this may have been (3rd > 1stsg):

  • 43 Less certain is Od. 9.28 … οὔ τι ἐγώ γε / ἧς γαίης δύναμαι γλυκερώτερον ἄλλο ἰδέσθαι “And for myse (...)
[46] Od. 13.320 ἀλλ’ αἰεὶ φρεσὶν ᾗσιν ἔχων δεδαϊγμένον ἦτορ / ἠλώμην ‘No, I kept wandering on, bearing in my breast a stricken heart.’43

37Equally important is the fact that this usage is frequent in later Greek and has become the norm e.g. in New Testament Greek, where the sg forms ἐμαυτο-, σ(ε)αυτο- still occur, but the plurals ἡμῶν/ὑμῶν αὐτῶν ‘of ourselves’, etc., are next to non-existent and usually replaced by ἑαυτο-, αὑτο- etc., cf.

  • 44 Earlier, Polybius (2nd c. BC) presents a similar picture (cf. D. Petit, op. cit., p. 381): 14× gen (...)
[47] Luke 17.3 προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς ‘Pay attention to yourselves!’44

38Furthermore, we learn from scholia that Alexandrian scholars (probably Zenodotus) assumed that Homer had a general reflexive pronoun, i.e. a form indifferent to person and number, and accordingly changed passages in their version of the text, introducing forms of the reflexive and possessive reflexive pronouns, or preferred such variants if attested in their mss. For A.R. this means that passages like Od. 13.320 φρεσὶν ᾗσιν, the work of Homeric scholarship at his own time and the Hellenistic development of the 3rd person reflexive forms as indifferent to person allowed the frequent use of such forms for the 1st and 2nd person in contemporary epic. While in Homer this use is manifest only for the possessive forms, A.R. also uses the reflexive pronoun in this way (cf. 2.633, ex. [45]), i.e. this is a Hellenistic use of the reflexive pronoun copied onto Homeric forms, similar to the use of the genitives in -θεν.

3.6. Syntactic developments of genitive arguments and adjuncts

3.6.1. Genitive arguments

  • 45 1.920 οἳ λάχον ὄργια κεῖνα, 1.1226 ὅσαι σκοπιὰς ὀρέων λάχον, 2.257 ἴστω δὲ δυσώνυμος, ἥ μʼ ἔλαχεν, (...)

39The more restricted use of the genitive in the Argonautica in comparison to the earlier epic language also applies to verbal arguments, e.g. with verbs of consumption such as ἐσθίω ‘eat’ and πίνω ‘drink’ occurring with genitive (i.e. semantically partitive) arguments in Homer, e.g. Od. 9.94 λωτοῖο φάγοι, 102 λωτοῖο φαγών and Od. 22.11 πίοι οἴνοιο, but only with direct objects in A.R.: ‘eat’ 2× acc 1.1074 ἄφλεκτα διαζώεσκον ἔδοντες, 4.265 φηγὸν ἔδοντες, ‘drink’ 2× acc 1.473 πῖνε … μέθυ, 4.1448 ῥωγάδος ἐκ πέτρης πίεν ἄσπετον “He drank a huge quantity from the cleft rock.” Similarly, λαγχάνω ‘get a share, receive by lot’ attested in Homer both with gen and acc arguments, is restricted to the use with the latter case in A.R..45 For ἀνάσσω ‘rule’, there is a strong preference in Homer for using genitive arguments referring to land and dative arguments referring to people (i.e. semantically speaking a partitive genitive denoting the part of the world over which the rule extends and a dative denoting the experiencer affected by it), cf. the following table:

Table 1: distribution of dative and genitive arguments of ἀνάσσω in Homer

total [Iliad/Odyssey] person land
genitive 2 [1/1] 5 [2/3]
dative 44 [29/15] 1
PP 2 [0/2] 2 [1/1]

40In contrast to this, A.R. uses the dative (4×) also with land, probably exploiting the one Homeric example for this [Il. 2.108 πολλῇσιν νήσοισι καὶ Ἄργεϊ παντὶ ἀνάσσειν] following his inclination for Homeric hapaxes and rarities, cf.

[48] land: 1.49 Φεραῖς Ἄδμητος ἐυρρήνεσσιν ἀνάσσων ‘Admetus, who ruled sheep-rich Pherae
[49] person: 1.507 μακάρεσσι θεοῖς Τιτῆσιν ἄνασσον; 4.305 οἷσιν ἄνασσεν / Ἄψυρτος; 4.765 Αἴολον, ὅς τʼ ἀνέμοις αἰθρηγενέεσσιν ἀνάσσει

41And vice versa the genitive (3×) for both land and person:

[50] 4.1559 ἀνάσσω / παρραλίης ‘I rule over the shore.’, 2.1232 ἐν Ὀλύμπῳ / Τιτήνων ἤνασσεν ‘He ruled over the Titans on Olympus.’, 4.804 ἀνάσσοι / ἀθανάτων ‘rule over the immortals’
  • 46 The passive, which implies a direct object in the active voice, occurs once in A.R., probably mode (...)

42Hence, the rather clear Homeric distribution of these two cases which may be based on their respective semantic features is no longer present in A.R., who seems to use genitive and dative as functionally equivalent forms. The Homeric model is copied and varied only in terms of frequency.46

3.5.2 Genitive adjuncts

  • 47 And relatively more frequent in A.R. than in Homer, cf. for more details G. Vasilaros, op. cit. [n (...)
  • 48 Originally probably a partitive use ‘at a certain moment of the night’, cf. Chantraine P., Grammai (...)
  • 49 1.1015 ἰούσης νυκτὸς ‘when night came’; 3.1171 κνέφας ἔργαθε νυκτός ‘the dark of night restrained (...)
  • 50 νύκτωρ 3.293, 4.101, 4.495, νύκτας 4.624 νύκτας δ’ αὖ γόον ὀξὺν ὀδυρομένων ἐσάκουον / Ἡλιάδων λιγέ (...)
  • 51 ἠοῦς: Il. 8.470 ἠοῦς … ὄψεαι ‘in the morning you will see’. But A.R. 1.1360 ἠοῦς τελλομένης ‘when (...)
  • 52 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 111. Cf. also in his commentary (H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 318): “[Platt, (...)
  • 53 Vian F., Apollonios de Rhodes. Les Argonautiques, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1974.

43The behaviour of genitive adjuncts seems to be similar to this: while the genitive absolute is fully functional (as it is in Hellenistic Greek generally),47 other adverbial uses of the genitive are conspicuously absent or at least not frequent in A.R., e.g. temporal genitives, as stated already by Linsenbarth op. cit. 42: “Genetivi temporis, quales apud Homerum exstant […] et apud alios scriptores cum vinctae tum solutae orationis non raro obvii fiunt, in Apollonii poemate prorsus desunt.” This applies, e.g., to the genitive νυκτός48 used by A.R. only adnominally or in absolute constructions.49 Instead of temporal νυκτός ‘at night’ A.R. uses νύκτωρ or the acc pl νύκτας as temporal adjuncts.50 The same applies to other Homeric temporal genitives such as ἠοῦς ‘in the morning’, χείματος ‘in winterʼ, etc.51 If one can generalize form these cases, this has a bearing on textual criticism, e.g. one might be inclined to prefer the reading of mss. LSG νύκτας in 4.624 against APE νυκτός and leave the temporal acc ἕσπερον ‘in the evening’ attested in the mss. at 2.1251 unchanged, even though the correction into ἑσπέρου proposed by Platt and Madvig has been adopted in Fränkel’s edition,52 while Race’s Loeb volume and Vian53 print the accusative ἕσπερον:

[51 ] (αἰετόν:) τὸν μὲν ἐπ’ ἀκροτάτης ἴδον ἕσπερον ὀξέι ῥοίζῳ / νηὸς ὑπερπτάμενον νεφέων σχεδόν ‘They saw it at dusk flying with a loud whirr above the top of the ship near the clouds.’
  • 54 νειοῖο ‘on the field’ in the same context of ploughing: Il. 10.353 ἑλκέμεναι νειοῖο βαθείης πηκτὸν (...)

44A similar situation obtains with locatical genitives: Linsenbarth op. cit. 41-42 reports that “genitivi loci nude positi apud Apollonium multo rarius quam apud Homerum et tragicos poetas occurrunt”. The instances he has gathered all reflect a clear imitation of Homeric phraseology and do not prove an independent use of this type of genitive.54

4. Summary

  • 55 D. Holton et al., op. cit., p. 21.

45The genitive case of Modern Greek is defined by Holton et al.55 in the following terms:

The dependent noun phrase may be in the genitive to indicate possession […] or it may be in the same case as the main noun to indicate content:

το σπίτι του Γιάννη ‘John’s house’
ένα κιλό πατάτες ‘a kilo of potatoes’

  • 56 For more details on later developments cf. D. Mertyris, op. cit., and id., The Loss of the Genitiv (...)

46Thus the trajectory of this case from Classical to Modern Greek is characterized by the gradual loss of semantic features and the reduction to a purely adnominal form indicating possession56. Hellenistic Greek shows an intermediate stage of this development. However, Apollonius’ use of the epic language is not simply a repetition of Homeric use, often cherry picking hapax forms to show off his erudition, etc., but a readjustment of earlier linguistic features to the new, Hellenistic environment: a) epic forms that fit Hellenistic use are continued; b) Hellenistic use is extended to epic forms not showing the respective feature originally. In both cases, reinterpretation of linguistic structure occurs, either latent (a) or patent (b).

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Notes

1 Unless indicated otherwise, English translations are taken from the Loeb series (HUP).

2 Studies on A.R.’s language include Rzach A., Grammatische Studien zu Apollonios Rhodios, Wien, 1878; Bolling G., “The Participle in Apollonius Rhodius”, Studies in honor of Basil L. Gildersleeve, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1901, pp. 449–470; Marxer G., Die Sprache des Apollonius Rhodius in ihren Beziehungen zu Homer, Zürich, Leemann, 1935; Giangrande G., Zu Sprachgebrauch, Technik und Text des Apollonius Rhodios, Amsterdam, Hakkert, 1973; Giangrande G., “Aspects of Apollonius Rhodius’ language”, PLLS - Papers of the Liverpool Latin Seminar 1, 1976, pp. 271–291. On the genitive in Greek in general cf. Giannarēs A., An Historical Greek Grammar Chiefly of the Attic Dialect, London, 1897 [repr. Hildesheim, Olms, 1987]; Thumb A., Handbuch der neugriechischen Volkssprache: Grammatik, Texte, Glossar, Strassburg, Trübner, 1910; Chatzidakis G., “Συμβολή εις την ιστορίαν της ελληνικής γλώσσης. περί της γενικής”, Αθηνα 40, 1928, pp. 56–71; Nikiforidou K., “The Meanings of the Genitive: A Case Study in Semantic Structure and Semantic Change”, Cognitive Linguistics 2, 1991, pp. 149–205; on the genitive in A.R. cf. Linsenbarth O., De Apollonii Rhodii casuum syntaxi comparato usu Homerico, Lipsiae, Typis R. Voigtlaenderi, 1887; Vasilaros G., Der Gebrauch des Genetivus absolutus bei Apollonius Rhodius im Verhältnis zu Homer, Athen, Nationale und Capodistrianische Universität, 1993.

3 Cf. Stüber K., Die primären s-Stämme des Indogermanischen, Wiesbaden, Reichert, 2002; Meissner T., S-Stem Nouns and Adjectives in Greek and Proto-Indo-European: A Diachronic Study in Word Formation, Oxford, OUP, 2005. The immediate model for A.R. may have been A. Ag. 285 Ἀθῶιον αἶπος, 309 Ἀραχναῖον αἶπος → A.R. 2.505 Μυρτώσιον αἶπος.

4 2.557 θελήμονα, 4.1657 θελήμονες.

5 Hes. Op. 118 οἳ δ' ἐθελημοί# may also be read οἳ δὲ θελημοὶ which, beside the general variation of θέλω/ἐθέλω, may have triggered the form without ἐ-. Call. Dian. 31 ἐθελημός#, A.R. 2.656 ἐθελημός.

6 2.528 καὶ τὰ μὲν ὣς ὑδέονται “And thus the story is told.”, 4.264 ᾿Αρκάδες, οἳ καὶ πρόσθε σεληναίης ὑδέονται / ζώειν, φηγὸν ἔδοντες ἐν οὔρεσιν “Arcadians who are said to have lived in the mountains eating acorns even before the moon existed.”

7 The traditional connection with Gk. αὐδή ‘voice’, Ved. vádati ‘speaks’, ptc uditá-, is difficult for phonological reasons: the zero-grade of the root *h2u̯edH- which seems to be presupposed by αὐδή if from *h2udeh2 would have two different outcomes αὐ- and ὑ- under unclear conditions (cf. for a discussion of various solutions Peters M., Untersuchungen zur Vertretung der indogermanischen Laryngale im Griechischen, Wien, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1980, and Blanc A., “Disguised Compounds in Greek: Homeric ἀβληχρός, ἀγαυός, ἄκμηνος, τηλύγετος and χαλίφρων”, TPhS 100[2], pp. 169–184). Since in most instances of *HuC > Gk. VuC- the root structure is Hu̯eC-/HuC- (ἀέξομαι, αὔξομαι , etc.) the outcomes Vu̯eC vs uC- may have been remade into Vu̯eC /Vu̯C. The pair αὐδή : ὑδέω might then either be an archaism without this remodelling or ὑδέω may belong to a different root. In the latter case one may think of PIE *Heu̯d- ‘to weave’ (Lith. áusti, áudžia), e.g. *Hud-ei̯e/o-, based on the metaphor ‘weave → sing, tell’ as in Lat. texo ‘weave’: textus, OAv. ufiiā ‘I sing’ < *u̯ebh- ‘weave’. Cf. Kölligan D., „Expressivität oder Lautgesetz? Drei griechische Etymologien“, IJDL 14, 2017, pp. 31–49.

8 E.g. ὀκρυόεις ‘chilly’ 2× H. and A.R., but A.R. does not simply copy Homeric usage, but introduces variation, in this case by the combination of ὀκρυόεις with φόβος, which does not occur in Homer. The model may be Il. 13.48 κρυεροῖο φόβοιο, 9.2 φόβου κρυόεντος. Cf. also Kyriaku P., Homeric hapax legomena in the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius: a literary study, Stuttgart, Steiner, 1995; Keil D., Lexikalische Raritäten im Homer: ihre Bedeutung für den Prozeß der Literarisierung des griechischen Epos, Trier, Wiss. Verlag Trier, 1998.

9 Cf. Hesychius παραβλήδην· ἀπατητικῶς and παραβόλος ‘with a side-meaning, deceitful’, h.Merc. 56 ἠΰτε κοῦροι / ἡβηταὶ θαλίηισι παραιβόλα κερτομέουσιν “as young men at dinners make ribald interjections”, and Schol. in Il. 4.2 [παραβλήδην] τὸ παραβλήδην ἐπίρρημά ἐστι. λέγεται δὲ ὅταν τις παραβάλῃ τὴν ἀρχὴν τοῦ λόγου πρὶν ἐκεῖνον ἀποσιωπῆσαι.

10 1.835 αὐτὰρ ὁ τήνγε παραβλήδην προσέειπεν “And he said to her in reply.”, 2.60 αὐτὰρ ὅγ' οὔ τι παραβλήδην ἐρίδηνεν “But the other replied with no taunt at all.”, 2.448 Ὧς τώγ' ἀλλήλοισι παραβλήδην ἀγόρευον “Thus the two men spoke and answered each other.”, 3.107 ἦκα δὲ μειδιόωσα παραβλήδην προσέειπεν “with a gentle smile [she] said in reply”, 3.1078 τοῖον δὲ παραβλήδην ἔπος ηὔδα “And he answered in these words.”, 4.1563 τοῖα παραβλήδην προσέειπεν “and said the following in reply”, 4.1608 ἀμφὶς ὀδακτάζοντι παραβλήδην κροτέονται “and the gleaming bit clanks about its mouth as it champs it from side to side” Cf. also Rengakos A., Apollonios Rhodios und die antike Homererklärung, München, Beck, 1994, pp. 125-126.

11 Cf. also Forssman B., „Homerisch ἄμοτον“, O-o-pe-ro-si: Festschrift für Ernst Risch zum 75. Geburtstag, A. Etter (ed.), Berlin/New York, de Gruyter, 1986, pp. 329–339: from μένος, μαίνομαι, i.e. *n̥-mn̥-to-?

12 idem: 2.665 αὐτὰρ ἀυτμὴ αὐαλέη στομάτων ἄμοτον βρέμει “and parched breath incessantly thunders from their mouths”; 3.1253 αὐτὰρ ὁ τοῖς ἄμοτον κοτέων Ἀφαρήιος Ἴδας “but nursing his implacable grudge against them”; 4.8 στυγερῷ ἐπὶ θυμὸν ἀέθλῳ Αἰήτης ἄμοτον κεχολωμένος “violently angry in his heart at the appalling contest”; 4.210 ἐπείγετο δ' εἰρεσίῃ νηῦς σπερχομένων ἄμοτον ποταμοῦ ἄφαρ ἐκτὸς ἐλάσσαι. “as they strained unceasingly to propel it clear of the river as quickly as possible”; 4.1418 ᾧ ἀπὸ δίψαν / αἰθομένην ἄμοτον λωφήσομεν “with which we may relieve our endlessly burning thirst”; 4.923 τῇ δ’ ἄμοτον βοάασκεν ἀναβλύζουσα Χάρυβδις “while on the other [side] Charybdis was roaring incessantly as she gushed forth”.

13 Fränkel H., Noten zu den Argonautika des Apollonios, München, Beck, 1968, p. 159.

14 “Sonst hat bei ihm ἄμοτον die korrekte Bedeutung.” This interpretation is adopted in A. Rengakos op. cit., p. 48.

15 This technique of creating contexts interpretable as a commentary and paraphrase of one of the meanings supposed in the scholarly tradition for Homeric forms has been noted ever since the 19th century, cf. Merkel R./ Keil H., Apollonii Argonautica, Lipsiae, Teubner, 1854; G. Marxer, op. cit., pp. 19-20, A. Rengakos, op. cit., p. 13 fn. 6: “Es ist eine typisch philologische Vorliebe des Apollonius, homerischen Wörtern, deren Sinn in jener Zeit nicht mehr ganz durchsichtig war und von den verschiedenen Grammatikern verschieden erklärt wurden, einen Zusammenhang zu geben, der fast als Kommentar dienen konnnte, und sie sogar nach den verschiedenen Erklärungen in verschiedenen Bedeutungen anzuwenden.” Etymologizing itself is part of the epic tradition, hence also in this respect A.R. follows his archaic models, cf. e.g. Hesiod’s explanation of Aphrodite’s name in Th. 195ff. Cf. also Woodhead W., Etymologizing in Greek literature from Homer to Philo Judaeus, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1928; Louden B., “Categories of Homeric Wordplay”, TPhS 125, 1995, pp. 27–46; Peraki-Kyriakidou H., “Aspects of Ancient Etymologizing”, CQ 52(2), 2002, pp. 478–493.

16 Fränkel H., Apollonii Rhodii Argonautica. Recognovit brevique adnotatione critica instruxit, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1961.

17 Carlier A./Goyens M./ Lamiroy B., “De: A genitive marker in French? Its grammaticalization path from Latin to French”, in The Genitive, A. Carlier/J.-Ch. Verstraete (eds.), Amsterdam/Philadelphia, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2013, pp. 141–216.

18 Nikiforidou’s account is directed both against what she calls the “abstractionist hypothesis” assuming that the genitive has a very general basic meaning or no semantic core at all and against the traditional approach of homonymy grouping various sets of meanings together without explaining their relation. Case, she argues, should rather be understood as an abstraction of individual relations in favour of a generalized set of interrelated meanings. This is also the basis of a synchronic argument for assuming such a semantic map: similar sets of meanings are found in various languages with a “genitive” case, i.e. there is probably a cognitive foundation for these recurrent combinations.

19 According to Nikiforidou, one of the reasons for assuming possession as the basic meaning is diachrony, since in various cases an originally polysemous case is reduced to this function only. The underlying assumption here is that in the course of time the case is reduced to its “core” function. Cf. also Mertyris D., The loss of the genitive in Greek - A diachronic and dialectological analysis, Melbourne, La Trobe University, 2014, p. 19.

20 If “origin” is one of the “natural” meanings of the genitive, the Greek syncretism of the inherited ablative and genitive is unproblematic: it simply means that the genitive is generalized for contexts where both cases could be used, cf. Luraghi S., On the meaning of prepositions and cases: the expression of semantic roles in ancient Greek, Amsterdam, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2003, p. 50.

21 Further examples in Blass F./Debrunner A., Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1961, p. 90; Hoffmann O./Debrunner A./Scherer, A., Geschichte der griechischen Sprache, 2: Grundfragen und Grundzüge des nachklassischen Griechisch, Leipzig, Göschen, 1969, p. 111.

22 D. Mertyris, op. cit., p. 60.

23 = ‘Heracles’; imitating Homeric diction. Note, however, that Homer has 7× βίη Ἡρακλείη vs 1× βίη Ἡρακλῆος (Il. 18.117 οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐδὲ βίη Ἡρακλῆος φύγε κῆρα), so A.R. as usually prefers the less frequent Homeric phrasing.

24 Cf. Linsenbarth, op. cit., p. 28.

25 Bortone P., Greek prepositions: from Antiquity to the present, Oxford, OUP, 2010, p. 148; D. Mertyris, op. cit., p. 51-52.

26 Nikiforidou, op. cit., p. 176.

27 gen Il. 8.33 Δαναῶν ὀλοφυρόμεθ' αἰχμητάων, 202 ὀλλυμένων Δαναῶν ὀλοφύρεται; acc Od. 19.522 παῖδ' ὀλοφυρομένη Ἴτυλον φίλον.

28 itr. 1.250 ἄλλη δʼ εἰς ἑτέρην ὀλοφύρετο, 4.29 ἀδινῇ δʼ ὀλοφύρατο φωνῇ, 4.1738 ὀλοφύρετο; acc 3.72 γρηὶ δέ μʼ εἰσαμένην ὀλοφύρατο, 3.806 αἴνʼ ὀλοφυρομένης τὸν ἑὸν μόρον.

29 Cf. already in Homer Il. 21.134 τίσετε Πατρόκλοιο φόνον ‘You will pay for Patroclus’ murder’.

30 1.619 φόνου τίσειαν ἀμοιβήν ‘pay retribution for/of the murder’; 2.475 τίνεσκεν ἀμοιβὴν / ἀμπλακίης ‘pay the penalty for/of the mistake’; 3.351 ἄξια τίσειν / δωτίνης (“to give worthy recompense for the gift”/ “recompense worthy of the gift”). acc only: 2.799 τῖσαι χάριν, 3.594 μείλια τίσειν, 4.1327 τίνετ᾿ ἀμοιβὴν, 4.1353 τῖσαι ἀμοιβήν. The same is true for the middle forms: Homer ‘punish someone (acc) for something (gen)’, Il. 3.366 τίσασθαι Ἀλέξανδρον κακότητος ‘get one’s revenge on Alexander for his wickedness’, A.R. acc only, 4.742 τισόμενος φόνον υἷος ‘avenging the murder of his son’, 4.234 τίσασθαι τάδε πάντα ‘to punish all these deeds’.

31 Cf. E. Schwyzer/A. Debrunner, op. cit,. p. 130.

32 Cf. Kühner R., Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache. Zweiter Teil: Satzlehre, Hannover, Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1898, vol. 1, p. 333: “Ein Genetiv der Eigenschaft nach Art des lat. vir magni ingenii kommt nur selten und nur in Verbindung mit εἶναι vor”, e.g. X. Oec. 1, 2 Δοκεῖ γοῦν, ἔφη ὁ Κριτόβουλος, οἰκονόμου ἀγαθοῦ εἶναι εὖ οἰκεῖν τὸν ἑαυτοῦ οἶκον “I suppose that the business of a good estate manager is to manage his own estate well.”

33 E. Schwyzer/A. Debrunner, op. cit., p. 121.

34 1.104 καμάτοιο τέλος ‘the accomplishment of their toil’, 1.249, 4.1600 νόστοιο τέλος ‘the fulfillment of the return’, 1.834 φόνου τέλος ‘act of murder’, 4.1202 γάμου τέλος ‘the consummation of their marriage’, 4.1281 ἢ πολέμοιο / ἢ λοιμοῖο τέλος ‘the end of war and famine’, pace Linsenbarth, op. cit., p. 28f. who classifies φόνου, νόστοιο τέλος as appositive.

35 Cf. Schwyzer E./ Debrunner, A., Griechische Grammatik. Bd. 2: Syntax und syntaktische Stilistik, München, Beck, 1950, pp. 99-100; Holton D./Mackridge, P./Philippaki-Warburton, I., Greek. An Essential Grammat of the Modern Language, London, Routledge, 2004, pp. 234-235.

36 O. Hoffmann/A. Debrunner/A. Scherer, op. cit., p. 111. In Modern Greek the ablatival and comparative functions are taken over by ἀπό + acc.

37 1.118 Ἀργόθεν αὖ Ταλαὸς καὶ Ἀρήιος, υἷε Βίαντος, / ἤλυθον “From Argos in turn came Talaus and Areius, Bias’ two sons.”, 3.784 λωφήσειν ἀχέων ‘to find relief from anguish’, 3.785 ὅτε ζωῆς ἀπαμείρεται ‘when he is deprived of life’, 3.906 ὀλοῶν ῥύσασθαι ἀέθλων ‘save him from the deadly contest’, 4.598 Φαέθων πέσεν ἅρματος ᾿Ηελίοιο ‘Phaethon fell from Helios’ chariot.’

38 Further instances: 3.730 ὧς δὲ καὶ αὐτὴ / φημὶ κασιγνήτη τε σέθεν κούρη τε πέλεσθαι ‘So do I declare myself to be your sister, and your daughter too.’; 3.733 κασιγνήτην (τε) σέθεν; 4.747 οὐ γὰρ ἔγωγε / αἰνήσω βουλάς τε σέθεν καὶ ἀεικέα φύξιν ‘for never will I approve your counsels and your shameful flight’; 4.279 οἳ δή τοι γραπτῦς πατέρων ἕθεν εἰρύονται ‘They preserve the writings of their fathers.’; 4.1470 μέμβλετο γάρ οἱ / οὗ ἕθεν ἀμφ᾿ ἑτάροιο μεταλλῆσαι τὰ ἕκαστα. ‘For he was determined to ask him everything about his comrade.’ It does not occur with ἐμέθεν (4×): PP: 1.901 ... τύνη δ’ ἐμέθεν πέρι θυμὸν ἀρείω / ἴσχαν “But concerning me have greater confidence.”; 4.30 τόνδε τοι ἀντ᾿ ἐμέθεν ταναὸν πλόκον εἶμι λιποῦσα “I go, leaving you this long tress in my stead.”; 3.903 τὰ δὲ σῖγα νόῳ ἔχετ᾿ εἰσαΐουσαι / ἐξ ἐμέθεν “But what you hear from me keep silently in your minds.” Also with verb of hearing, but without preposition: 3.352 ἀίων ἐμέθεν μέγα δυσμενέοντας / Σαυρομάτας “having heard from me that the Sauromatae are bitter enemies of yours”, cf. Od. 19.99 ἐπακούσῃ / ὁ ξεῖνος ἐμέθεν “that the stranger may listen to me”.

39 Chantraine P., Grammaire Homérique. Tome I: Phonétique et morphologie. Nouvelle édition revue et corrigée par Michel Casevitz, Paris, Klincksieck, 2013, pp. 237-238 (§110).

40 Cf. Petit D., *sue- en Grec ancien, la famille du pronom réfléchie: linguistique grecque et comparaison indo-européenne, Leuven, Peeters, 1999, p. 48-49.

41 G. Marxer, op. cit., pp. 61-65.

42 Further instances are, e.g., (3rd > 1st) 4.1014 πατρὶ ‘my fatherʼ, (> 1st pl) 4.203 παῖδας ἑοὺς ‘our children’, (> 2nd pl) 3.265 μητέρ᾿ ἑὴν ‘your motherʼ, (> 3rd pl) 4.484 ἑὴν … νῆα ‘their own ship’. More examples are given in G. Marxer loc. cit.

43 Less certain is Od. 9.28 … οὔ τι ἐγώ γε / ἧς γαίης δύναμαι γλυκερώτερον ἄλλο ἰδέσθαι “And for myself no other thing can I see sweeter than one’s own land.” which could be interpreted as referring to the 1st person sg, but which is more likely to be a generalizing statement, cf. D. Petit, op. cit., p. 339: “Je ne puis rien voir de plus doux que le fait de voir sa terre.” This is taken up a few lines later 9.34–36 with a clearly general statement ὣς οὐδὲν γλύκιον ἧς πατρίδος οὐδὲ τοκήων / γίγνεται, εἴ περ καί τις ἀπόπροθι πίονα οἶκον / γαίῃ ἐν ἀλλοδαπῇ ναίει ἀπάνευθε τοκήων “So true is it that nothing is sweeter than a man’s own land and his parents, even though it is in a rich house that he dwells afar in a foreign land away from his parents.” Since two more instances in the Homeric text allow a different contextual interpretation (Il. 9.455, 7.153), there is only one secure case in Homer, which might be an archaism, cf. discussion in D. Petit loc. cit.

44 Earlier, Polybius (2nd c. BC) presents a similar picture (cf. D. Petit, op. cit., p. 381): 14× generalized plural reflexive pronouns (e.g. 1.3.5 τῆς αὑτῶν πραγματείας = ἡμῶν αὐτῶν) vs 2× sg. I.e. αὑτῶν, -οῖς, -ούς first ceased to be morphologically transparent.

45 1.920 οἳ λάχον ὄργια κεῖνα, 1.1226 ὅσαι σκοπιὰς ὀρέων λάχον, 2.257 ἴστω δὲ δυσώνυμος, ἥ μʼ ἔλαχεν, κὴρ, 2.881 οἱ μὲν γάρ ποθι τοῦτον, ὃν ἔλλαχον, οἶτον ὄλοντο.

46 The passive, which implies a direct object in the active voice, occurs once in A.R., probably modelled on the single occurrence of this construction in the Odyssey: 4.265 οὐδὲ Πελασγὶς / χθὼν τότε κυδαλίμοισιν ἀνάσσετο Δευκαλίδῃσιν “Nor at that time was the Pelasgian land ruled by the glorious sons of Deucalion” : Od. 4.176 μίαν πόλιν ἐξαλαπάξας, αἳ περιναιετάουσιν, ἀνάσσονται δ’ ἐμοὶ αὐτῷ “Driving out the dwellers of some one city among those that lie round about and obey me myself as their lord.”

47 And relatively more frequent in A.R. than in Homer, cf. for more details G. Vasilaros, op. cit. [non vidi].

48 Originally probably a partitive use ‘at a certain moment of the night’, cf. Chantraine P., Grammaire Homérique. Tome II: Syntaxe. Nouvelle édition revue et corrigée par Michel Casevitz, Paris, Klincksieck, 2013, p. 76.

49 1.1015 ἰούσης νυκτὸς ‘when night came’; 3.1171 κνέφας ἔργαθε νυκτός ‘the dark of night restrained them’; 4.437 νυκτός τε μέλαν κνέφας ‘the deep darkness of night’. However, adverbial νυκτός ‘at night’ is not obsolete in Hellenistic Greek, cf. Plb. 1.21.7 ὃς ἐπιπλεύσας νυκτὸς ἐν τῷ λιμένι “He sailed into the harbour at night.”, NT John. 3.2 οὗτος ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτὸν νυκτὸς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ “This one came to him at night and said to him.”

50 νύκτωρ 3.293, 4.101, 4.495, νύκτας 4.624 νύκτας δ’ αὖ γόον ὀξὺν ὀδυρομένων ἐσάκουον / Ἡλιάδων λιγέως “at night they heard the piercing lament of the loudly wailing Heliades”, 3.1079 καὶ λίην οὐ νύκτας ὀίομαι οὐδέ ποτ᾿ ἦμαρ / σεῦ ἐπιλήσεσθαι “Truly I do not think I shall ever, night or day, forget you.”, etc.

51 ἠοῦς: Il. 8.470 ἠοῦς … ὄψεαι ‘in the morning you will see’. But A.R. 1.1360 ἠοῦς τελλομένης ‘when dawn rose’, 4.670 ἐπιπλομένης ἠοῦς (genitive absolute), 3.1341 λείπεται ἐξ ἠοῦς (prepositional), 4.111 φάος ἠοῦς (adnominal). Only ἠῶθεν 6×. Homeric χείματος ‘in winter’: Od. 7.118 χείματος οὐδὲ θέρευς ‘in winter or in summer’ vs A.R. 2.1086 χείματος ὥρη ‘the time of winter’, 2.1183 ἐξεσάωσεν / χείματος οὐλομένοιο ‘(Zeus) he saved you from the deadly storm’ (adverbial).

52 H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 111. Cf. also in his commentary (H. Fränkel, op. cit., p. 318): “[Platt, ] dem […] die schlagende Besserung in Vs 1251 verdankt wird: der überlieferte Kasus von ἔσπερος ist an sich falsch.”

53 Vian F., Apollonios de Rhodes. Les Argonautiques, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1974.

54 νειοῖο ‘on the field’ in the same context of ploughing: Il. 10.353 ἑλκέμεναι νειοῖο βαθείης πηκτὸν ἄροτρον, 18.547 ἱέμενοι νειοῖο βαθείης τέλσον ἱκέσθαι: A.R. 3.1056 ᾗ κεν ὀρινομένους πολέας νειοῖο δοκεύσῃς; στηθέων ‘in the breast’: 3.954 ἦ θαμὰ δὴ στηθέων ἐάγη κέαρ ‘and often her heart would break in her breast’, cf. Homer (1×) Il. 10.94 κραδίη δέ μοι ἔξω / στηθέων ἐκθρῴσκει, both contexts of excitement and despair; χθονός in 4.1478 ἀπειρεσίης τηλοῦ χθονὸς ‘far away in that endless land’ may be a combination and variation of two Homeric noun-epithet formulas, cf. Il. 20.58 γαῖαν ἀπειρεσίην and Od. 13.249 τήν περ τηλοῦ φασὶν Ἀχαιίδος ἔμμεναι αἴης ‘which, they say, is far from this land of Achaea’.

55 D. Holton et al., op. cit., p. 21.

56 For more details on later developments cf. D. Mertyris, op. cit., and id., The Loss of the Genitive in Greek: A Diachronic and Dialectological Analysis (La Trobe University, 2014), Journal of Greek Linguistics 15(1), 2015, pp. 159-169.

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Daniel Kölligan, « Remarks on the genitive in Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica », Aitia [En ligne], 9.2 | 2019, mis en ligne le , consulté le 17 septembre 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/aitia/5312 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/aitia.5312

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