Koine and Biblical and Medieval Greek • απο +*θεν

The adverbial construction απο + adverb with suffix -θεν (απο μακροθεν, απο πριωθεν, απο εμπροσθεν etc.) occurs about 20 times in LXX; in the NT απο μακροθεν 12 times, once απο ανωθεν in Mk 15:38), and in some Churchfathers.

In Homer (Iliad 12:205 and 24:492) απο Τροιηθεν, and in Hesiod απο κρηθεν (downward from the head).

In the Papyri it is rare, but (as far as I could check: Papyri.info, Mayser, Preisigke) not attested BCE.

In TLG I just found the examples of Homer and Hesiod, LXX and Christian texts. I didn’t find examples in other Greek BCE-texts.

Some “biblical” Grammars (Robertson 1930, page 300, Buttmann, 1850, page 62 and the German Blass-Debrunner-Rehkopf 1975 Par. 104 note 3) suppose, the construction - in fact pleonastic - might be due to either a “weakened sense of -θεν” or a “fuller expansion” of the meaning of this suffix.

That explanation might be true, but why then is this construction well attested in the LXX, but neither in Greek Papyri BCE, nor - as it seems - in non-biblical/christian Greek texts? Wouldn’t this explanation go as well for non biblical-christian texts?

If not a weakening of the sense or an enhanced meaning of the adverbial expression is the reason, could then maybe the underlying Hebrew text be the origin of the απο-construction?

Statistics: Posted by Jean Putmans — Wed Apr 10, 2024 3:34 pm

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