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Old Georgian phrases and sentences 43 (on natural transformations)   1 comment

I was first led to a sentence in the passage below thanks to a citation in the Georgian dictionary of Sarjveladze and Fähnrich (2005), 632, s.v. მბუვარეჲ, “Insekt”, the sentence coming from the Georgian version of Basil’s nine homilies on the Hexaemeron, ed. Ilia Abuladze — უძველესი რედაკციები ბასილი კესარიელის «ექუსთა დღეთაჲსა» და გრიგოლ ნოსელის თარგმანებისა «კაცისა აგებულებისათჳს» X-XIII სს-ის ხელნაწერთა მიხედვით / Древнейшие Редакции «Шестоднева» Василия Кесарийского и Толкования «Об Устроении Человека» Григория Нисского по Рукописям X-XIII вв. (The Oldest [Georgian] Versions of the Hexaemeron of Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa’s De Natura Hominis in 10th-13th -century Manuscripts) — p. 121.3-7. (S. & F. translate the sentence in question, “Man berichtet uns über den Wurm Indiens, der Hörner hat, daß sie zuerst Würmer sind und dann Insekten werden.”) Here now is that sentence with its fuller context, together with the Greek text, and, as usual, Georgian lexical and grammatical aids. The Greek (§ 8.8.12-25) is from S. Giet, Basile de Césarée. Homélies sur l’hexaéméron, 2nd edn., Sources chrétiennes 26 bis (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1968), the 19th-cent. ET of which will be found here and elsewhere online. The Georgian text, from which here p. 121.1-11, is available at TITUS here. (NB a typo in the first two lines there: განცხადები. სათჳს > განცხადებისათჳს.)

Τί φατε, οἱ ἀπιστοῦντες τῷ Παύλῳ περὶ τῆς κατὰ τὴν ἀνάστασιν ἀλλοιώσεως, ὁρῶντες πολλὰ τῶν ἀερίων τὰς μορφὰς μεταβάλλοντα;

რასა იტყჳთ, რომელნი-ეგე უარ-ჰყოფთ პავლეს განცხადებისათჳს აღდგომისა, რაჟამს იხილნეთ განახლებად მრავალნი ცხოველნი ჰაერისანი?

  • ი-ტყუ-ი-თ pres 2pl სიტყუა to say, speak
  • უარ-ჰ-ყოფ-თ pres 2pl უარ-ყოფა to deny, disbelieve
  • განცხადებაჲ revelation (also Epiphany)
  • აღდგომაჲ resurrection
  • ი-ხილ-ნ-ეთ aor 2pl N ხილვა to see
  • განახლება to renew
  • ცხოველი living
  • ჰაერი air

Ὁποῖα καὶ περὶ τοῦ Ἰνδικοῦ σκώληκος ἱστορεῖται τοῦ κερασφόρου· ὃς εἰς κάμπην τὰ πρῶτα μεταβαλὼν, εἶτα προϊὼν βομβυλιὸς γίνεται,

ვითარცა-იგი გუაუწყებენ ჩუენ მატლისა მისთჳს ჰინდოეთისა, რომელსა-იგი ასხენ რქანი, რომელი-იგი პირველ არიან მატლ, და შემდგომად მისა იქმნის იგი მბუვარე,

  • გუ-ა-უწყებ-ენ pres 3pl O1pl(inclusive) უწყება to tell, inform
  • მატლი worm. In this sentence the word serves both for Greek σκώληξ “worm” and κάμπη “caterpillar”.
  • ჰინდოჲ Indian, Ethiopian
  • ა-სხ-ენ pres 3pl (ind. vb.) სხმა to have
  • რქაჲ horn
  • არ-ი-ან pres 3pl ყოფა to be. I am not sure why this should be plural. Note that the A ms (see the apparatus) here has არ-ნ iter pres 3sg after მატლი.
  • ი-ქმნ-ი-ს iter aor 3sg ქმნა to make
  • მბუვარეჲ (buzzing) insect (cf. Rayfield, et al., Dictionary, vol. 2, 873a)

καὶ οὐδὲ ἐπὶ ταύτης ἵσταται τῆς μορφῆς, ἀλλὰ χαύνοις καὶ πλατέσι πετάλοις ὑποπτεροῦται.

და არცაღა ამას სახესა ზედა დაადგრის, არამედ ფრინავნ იგი ფრთითა ლბილითა და ვრცელითა.

  • სახეჲ nature, circumstance, thing
  • და-ა-დგრ-ის pres 3sg დადრომა to remain, stay
  • ფრინ-ავ-ნ iter pres 3sg ფრინვა to fly
  • ფრთეჲ/ფრთაჲ wing
  • ლბილი smooth, soft
  • ვრცელი wide, broad (as adj); muscle (as noun)

Ὅταν οὖν καθέζησθε τὴν τούτων ἐργασίαν ἀναπηνιζόμεναι, αἱ γυναῖκες, τὰ νήματα λέγω ἃ πέμπουσιν ὑμῖν οἱ Σῆρες πρὸς τὴν τῶν μαλακῶν ἐνδυμάτων κατασκευὴν,

ჵ დედანო, რაჟამს დასხდეთ რცხად სთულისა მის თქუენისა, რომელი-იგი გიქმნის თქუენ ჭიამან ყაჭისამან საქუსლად სამოსლისა ლბილისა,

  • და-სხდ-ე-თ aor 2pl დასხდომა to sit
  • რცხა to wash, clean. Greek ἀναπηνίζεσθαι means “to unwind”. Did the Georgian translator read a form of ἀπονίζειν instead (ἀπονιζόμεναι)?
  • სთული thread, string
  • გ-ი-ქმნ-ი-ს iter aor 3sg O2 ქმნა to make
  • ჭიაჲ worm. Greek Σῆρες may either be “Chinese (people)” or “silkworms”; the Georgian translator took it to be the former here, and with a generic singular rather than a plural.
  • ყაჭი silk
  • საქუსალი The lexicon in Abuladze’s edition, p. 252, cites from Orbeliani the definition ქსელი საქსოვი warp (for weaving); the form საქსუსალი (with additional -ს-) is in Rayfield, et al., Dictionary, vol. 2, p. 1166, “web, weft, woof”. Cf. also the verb ქუსვა to braid, weave. It must function here almost like a v.n. for “to weave”.
  • სამოსელი garment, clothing

μεμνημέναι τῆς κατὰ τὸ ζῷον τοῦτο μεταβολῆς, ἐναργῆ λαμβάνετε τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἔννοιαν, καὶ μὴ ἀπιστεῖτε τῇ ἀλλαγῇ ἣν Παῦλος ἅπασι κατεπαγγέλλεται.

მოიჴსენეთ თქუენ განახლებაჲ ცხოველისაჲ მის და მოიპოვეთ ჭეშმარიტი განზრახვაჲ განახლებისათჳს აღდგომისა და გრწმენინ განახლებაჲ იგი, რომელ თქუა პავლე.

  • მო-ი-ჴსენ-ე-თ aor imv 2pl მოჴსენება to remember
  • მო-ი-პოვ-ე-თ aor imv 2pl მოპოვნება to get, acquire, earn
  • ჭეშმარიტი true. Greek ἐναργής means “clear, manifest, distinct”.
  • განზრახვაჲ thinking, reasoning (v.n.)
  • გ-რწმენ-ინ aor imv 3sg O2 (ind. vb.) რწმენა to believe, trust
  • თქუა aor 3sg თქუმა to speak, say

Finally, for what it’s worth, here is an ET of the Georgian text:

What do you say, you who deny Paul concerning the revealing of the resurrection, when you see many living things of the air being renewed? As they tell us about that worm of the Indians [or Ethiopians] that has horns, the one which at first is a worm and afterward becomes a buzzing insect. And it does not remain in this shape, but flies with soft and broad wings. O women, when you sit to wash your thread, which the silk worm makes for you to weave soft garments, remember the renewal of that which is living, acquire the true conception concerning the renewal of the resurrection, and believe in that renewal that Paul speaks of!

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Old Georgian phrases and sentences 42: Purim edition, Esther 7:7-10   Leave a comment

Since we are at Purim’s doorstep, here are a few verses from Esther in Old Georgian with vocabulary and some notes. The only version of the book accessible and known to me is that in the so-called Mcxeta Bible, more varied and more lately compiled than the Oshki/Jerusalem text and the old lectionaries. (An electronic edition of the Mxceta Bible is available at TITUS here.)

The book of Esther in the Greek Bible is known not only for having six parts that do not correspond to anything in the Masoretic text, but also for having two distinct versions, the “LXX” or “Old Greek” version and the “alpha text”. For some details, including edition history, see D.J.A. Clines, The Esther Scroll, chapters 6, 7, and the appendix, parts of which should be available for some people, at least, here. See also Swete, Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, pp. 257-259, and T.M. Law, When God Spoke Greek, pp. 63-64. Hanhart’s Göttingen edition of Esther includes both texts, as do the Cambridge Septuagint and Lagarde, Librorum veteris testamenti canonicorum pars prior graece. The NETS English version of both texts is available here.

The passage we are concerned with is numbered 7:7-10 in (at least most) English Bibles and in the Georgian edition referred to above. The two Greek texts are numbered differently from each other in all of the editions I have looked at (and NETS), but they will be found in Hanhart’s ed. on pp. 183-185, in the Cambridge Septuagint here and here, and in Lagarde here. For a few more notes, see Field here. (If you’d like a visual aid for the biblical scene just before this one, see Ernest Normand’s here and Doré’s here. A 14th-century miniature from Vind. Pal. 1191 with Haman hanging is available through HMML’s Vivarium here, and Barry Moser’s rendering of Haman standing before the gallows is here.)

I had not read any of Esther in Georgian until recently and when comparing the Georgian text of the Mcxeta Bible with the two Greek versions I was struck by how much this Georgian version is an amalgamation of the two Greek texts: it follows neither absolutely. Before any conclusion about this can be reached, the entire book must be studied, of course, alongside the Greek texts and the thick apparatūs critici of the aforementioned editions, as well as the Armenian version. But for now, we can confirm that at least for this passage, the Georgian version was not based on a text cleanly and simply like either the LXX Esther or the alpha-text Esther, but it shows features of both. Indeed, a color-coded edition — one much simpler than that recently executed for Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury; see also here and here — would show how apparently amalgamated this Georgian translation is.

Here, accompanied by some notes for vocabulary and grammar, is the text from TITUS, but with two places that seem to need correction in verse 7: ახლდნა > ახლდა and ევედრებთდა > ევედრებოდა.

7 და ზე ახლდა სმისაგან, განვიდა მტილად. ხოლო ამანს შეეშინა და შეუვრდა ფერჴთა დედოფლისათა. და დავარდა ცხედარსა მისსა ზედა. და ევედრებოდა დედოფალსა, რამეთუ ჰხედვიდა თავსა თჳსსა ბოროტსა შინა.

ზე up | ახლდ-ა aor 3sg ახლდომა to jump up | სმაჲ drinking, getting drunk | გან-ვიდ-ა aor 3sg განსლვა to go out, go forth | მტილი garden | შე-ე-შინ-ა aor 3sg (indir. vb) შეშინება to be afraid | შე-უ-ვრდ-ა aor 3sg შევრდომა to fall down | და-ვარდ-ა aor 3sg დავრდომა to fall down | ცხედარი bed | ე-ვედრებ-ოდ-ა impf 3sg ვედრება to ask, beg, implore | ჰ-ხედვ-ი-დ-ა impf 3sg ხედვა to see

8 ხოლო მეფემან მოაქცია მიერ მტილით სასმურადვე და იხილა ამან ცხედარსა ზედა დავრდომილი და ევედრებოდა დედოფალსა. ჰრქუა მეფემან: ვერ კმა-გეყოა შენ შეცოდება მეფისა, არამედ ცოლსაცა ჩემსა ჰმძლავრებ ჩემ წინაშე სახლსა შინა ჩემსა? ამანს რაჲ ესმა ესე; ჰრცხვენა პირსა წინაშე

მო-ა-ქცი-ა aor 3sg მოქცევა to (re)turn | სასმური drinking-place | ი-ხილ-ა aor 3sg ხილვა to see | დავრდომილი ptcp დავრდომა to fall down | კმა-გ-ე-ყო-ა aor 3sg O2 (+ interr ptcl) კმა-ყოფა to be enough for, satisfy | შეცოდება to sin against | ჰ-მძლავრებ pres 2sg მძლავრება to use force, violence with | ესმა aor 3sg (indir. vb) სმენა to hear | ჰ-რცხვენ-ა aor 3sg O3 რცხჳნება to shame | პირი face (here, the king’s); apparently reading Greek διετράπη τῷ προσώπῳ as “he was confounded at (his) face”

9 და თქუა ბუგათან, ერთმან მონათგანმან მისმან, საჭურისმან: აჰა, ძელი ეზოსა შინა მისსა, რომელი მომზადა ამან ერგასის წყრთა, რამეთუ მოეკვეთა იგი, რათა აღაგოს მარდოქე, რომელი იტყოდა მეფისათჳს კეთილსა. და თქუა მეფემან: დამოჰკიდეთ იგი მას!

საჭურისი eunuch | ძელი tree | ეზოჲ court, yard, house | მო-მზად-ა aor 3sg მომზადება to prepare | ერგასისი fifty | წყრთაჲ cubit | მო-ე-კვეთ-ა aor 3sg მოკვეთა to cut off, sever | აღ-ა-გ-ო-ს aor conj 3sg აღგება to put up (The word usually means to make, create; prepare; or load. It apparently corresponds to ἵνα κρεμάσῃ, but this is not the regular word for hanging. Cf. the following vocabulary word.) | დამო-ჰ-კიდ-ე-თ aor imv 2pl O3 დამოკიდება to hang (tr.)

10 და მოაბეს ამან მასვე ძელსა, რომელიცა მზა-ეყო მარდოქესთჳს. და* მიაქცია ღმერთმან ზრახვა მისი მისავე და სახლსა ზედა მისსა. და წარიჴადა** მეფემან ბეჭედი თჳსი ჴელისაგან მისისა და დაბეჭდეს ყოველსა საცხორებელსა ამანისასა. და მაშინ დასცხრა მეფე გულისწყრომისა მისისაგან

*On the following sentence, see the note below.

**For წარიჴადა მეფემან ბეჭედი თჳსი ჴელისაგან მისისა, cf. Gen 41:42.

მო-ა-ბ-ეს aor 3pl მობმა to fasten, bind on | მზა-ე-ყო aor 3sg მზა-ყოფა to prepare | მი-ა-ქცი-ა aor 3sg მიქცევა to turn back | ზრახვა sight, thought, intention | წარ-ი-ჴად-ა aor 3sg წარჴდა to pull off | ბეჭედი (signet-)ring | და-ბეჭდ-ე-ს aor 3pl დაბეჭდვა to seal | საცხორებელი possession(s) | და-ს-ცხრ-ა aor 3sg დაცხრომა to relax, let o.s. go | გულისწყრომაჲ anger

Note. Concerning the explanatory sentence და მიაქცია ღმერთმან ზრახვა მისი მისავე და სახლსა ზედა მისსა in verse 10, as far as I can tell, there is nothing in any Greek (or Armenian) witness to correspond to it. We might translate it, “And God returned his intention upon him and his household,” the pronominal references, I think, being for Haman, that is, God brought Haman’s plan to pass on himself and his own family. The language is familiar from at least a few other places:

Gen 8:11 JerLect
და მიაქცია მისავე ტრედმან მან
καὶ ἀνέστρεψεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ περιστερὰ

1 Kg 13:6 Mcx
მოიქცა ჴელი მეფისა მისავე
ἐπέστρεψεν τὴν χεῖρα τοῦ βασιλέως πρὸς αὐτόν

2 Kg 1:5 Mcx
მიიქცეს მოციქულნი იგი მისავე
ἐπεστράφησαν οἱ ἄγγελοι πρὸς αὐτόν

Est 10:8
ღმერთმან მიაქცია ბოროტი მისი მისავე
God returned his evil to him (≈ nothing exactly in Greek Esther here)

The Pericope adulterae in Old Georgian   Leave a comment

Just over a year ago I wrote on the Pericope adulterae in an East Syriac manuscript in our collections (CCM 64; see here). I’ve recently read over the passage in the two Old Georgian versions that include it (Pre-Athonite and Athonite; not in Adishi). Birdsall wrote on it, and Chris Keith discusses the passage in Georgian a little, especially its placement, in his 2009 book (pp. 124-126). As far as I know, the texts have never been published together, nor is any English translation available, so I have prepared a document with a synoptic presentation of each verse of the passage in Greek (NA27) and the two Georgian versions together with some verse-by-verse vocabulary and grammatical notes (file here). I offer no full textual commentary, but some sense of the distinctive readings of each version compared with each other (and with Greek) will also be evident in the English translation of each Georgian version I give below. These English translations are literal, but nevertheless not every difference between the two versions can be indicated.

Bibliography

J. Neville Birdsall, “The Pericope Adulterae in Georgian,” Studia Patristica 39 (2006): 185–92.

Chris Keith, The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus (Leiden, 2009).

(See some artwork from HMML collections related to the scene here, here, here, and here.)

English translation

PA 7:53 And each one left for his home.
At 7:53 And each one left for his home.

PA 8:1 But Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives.
At 8:1 But Jesus left for the Mount of Olives.

PA 8:2 And the next day [OR in the morning] he went again to the temple, and all the people were coming to him, and he was teaching them.
At 8:2 And at dawn he went again to the temple, and all the people were coming to him, and he sat down and was teaching them.

PA 8:3 The high priests and Pharisees brought a woman and stood her in their midst.
At 8:3 But the scribes and Pharisees brought him a woman, who was caught in adultery openly before the people, and they stood her in their midst.

PA 8:4 And they said, “Teacher, this woman was caught seen in adultery.
At 8:4 And they said, because they were testing him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery openly.

PA 8:5 And in the Law of Moses, for such [women] he commands us to throw stone[s]. Now, what do you say?“
At 8:5 And Moses commanded us in the Law to throw stone[s] at such [women]. What, then, do you say?“

PA 8:6 But they said this and were testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of, but Jesus was looking downward and was marking on the ground with his finger.
At 8:6 But they said this and were testing him, that they might have [something] to accuse him of, but Jesus bent down to the ground, was marking on the ground with his finger, and he was saying nothing.

PA 8:7 And when they stood there a while and were looking at him, then he straightened up and said to them, “Whoever among you is sinless, let him first throw a stone at that [woman].”
At 8:7 And when they stood there a while and were looking at him, he straightened up and said to them, “Whoever of you is sinless, let him first throw a stone at that [woman].”

PA 8:8 And he again bent down to the ground.
At 8:8 And he again bent down and was marking on the ground.

PA 8:9 But when they heard it, the elders and scribes began, and one by one they were going away, and he himself was left alone, and the woman stood before Jesus.
At 8:9 But when they heard it, exposed from their conscience, they were going away one by one. They began from the elders, until he himself was left alone, and the woman stood in the midst.

PA 8:10 And Jesus looked and said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? No one accuses you?”
At 8:10 And Jesus straightened up and saw no one except the woman, and he said to her, “Where are your accusers? No one accused you?”

PA 8:11 But she said, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said to her, “I don’t accuse you either. Go, and from now on don’t sin.”
At 8:11 But she said, “No one, Lord!” But Jesus said to her, “I don’t accuse you either. Go, and from now on don’t sin.”

A lone Georgian word in a Greek manuscript   2 comments

It doesn’t take long studying manuscripts before you learn that straightforward categories like genre, language, and even script are not always uniform across an individual manuscript’s contents. And when we include in those contents the evidence of use, such as notes, by its handlers and readers, a manuscript may appear even more motley.

BL Add. 39602 is a late tenth-century Gospel lectionary (Gregory-Aland l 181) written in Cappadocia. (See Scrivener, Contributions to the Criticism of the Greek New Testament, pp. 50-52.) Here is the colophon:

BL Add. 39602, f. 220v

BL Add. 39602, f. 220v

Ἐγράφη τὸ τίμιον καὶ ἅγιον εὐαγγέλιον ἐπὶ Στεφάνου τοῦ θεοφίλου ἐπισκόπου Κισκίσσης· μηνὶ ιουνίῳ ἰνδικτιῶνος ηʹ ἔτους ϛυπη γραφὲν διὰ χειρὸς νικ. ϗ τ. (?)

This honored and holy Gospel-book was written for Stephanos the god-loving bishop of Kiskissa, in the month of June, in the 8th [year of the] indiction, in the year 6488 [anno mundi], by the hand of Nik. and …

This comes to the year 980. It was renewed in the next century, as a note on the following folio tells us. The original scribe named in the colophon could be Nikon, Nikolaos, or Nikētas. The manuscript eventually made its way to Mount Athos, the Monastery of Caracalla, whence Robert Curzon acquired it in 1837. (On this monastery and Curzon’s visit there, see his Visits to Monasteries in the Levant (1849), ch. 25, beg. p. 377.). It is probably there that some Georgian monk had written the word discussed below. (See the bibliography at the end of the post for just a few sources on Georgian connections to Mount Athos.)

On f. 1r (see the full page here), below the left column, which ends with John 1:7 in Greek, stands an abbreviated Georgian word.

BL Add. 39602, f. 1r

BL Add. 39602, f. 1r

The word is written small in nusxuri script ⴑⴞⴐⴁⴢ, with an abbreviation mark; in full it would be ⴑ(ⴀ)ⴞ(ⴀ)ⴐ(ⴄ)ⴁ(ⴀ)ⴢ, in mxredruli სახარებაჲ. It’s the common word for Gospel, derived from ხარება, “to rejoice, hear good news; tell, announce”. If there are other Georgian notes recorded in this manuscript, I’ve not found them yet. Who knows why we have the word written here? Anyone with even a smattering of Greek would be able to tell that this is a Gospel-book, so it is likely not just a mere identifying label for those more familiar with Georgian than Greek. It may be that a Georgian reader simply appreciated the connection made between himself and this book and realized that connection by penning the word “Gospel” in his own language onto the manuscript’s first page of text, where John’s Gospel begins. Whatever the reason the word appears, we have it as a reminder of the sometimes miscellaneous quality of what a manuscript may present to us as we study it, and a reminder of the various readers, like ourselves, that may have come across it.

Bibliography

(See also a few more sources listed here from the Library of Congress.)

Blake, R. P. (1929a). The Athos Codex of the Georgian Old Testament. The Harvard Theological Review, 22: 33–56.

Blake, R. P. (1929b). The Georgian Version of Fourth Esdras from the Athos Manuscript. The Harvard Theological Review, 22: 57–105.

Blake, R. P. (1931). Catalogue des manuscrits géorgiens de la bibliothèque de la Laure d’Iviron au Mont Athos. Revue de l’Orient Chrétien, 28: 289–361.

Blake, R. P. (1933). Catalogue des manuscrits géorgiens de la bibliothèque de la Laure d’Iviron au Mont Athos. Revue de l’Orient Chrétien, 29: 114–159, 225–271.

Brosset, M.-F. (1862). Explication de quelques inscriptions, photographiées par Sévastianof, au mont Athos. Bulletin de l’Académie Impériale Des Sciences de St. Pétersbourg, 4: 1–16. Available here.

Ebanoidze, M., & Wilkinson, J. (2001). Timothy Gabashvili. Pilgrimage to Mount Athos, Constantinople and Jerusalem, 1755-1759. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon.

Marr, N. Y. (1901). Агіографическіе матеріалы по грузинскимъ рукописямъ Ивера (Hagiographical Material from Georgian Mss on Mt. Athos, Iveron). St. Petersburg.

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 37 (Visramiani § 14)   Leave a comment

The following selection from the Visramiani (on which see briefly in this earlier post) is a list of gifts. As such, it’s good for vocabulary, and simple on grammar. No verbs this time.

Visramiani, § 14 (p. 68.34-39)

მრავალი ბროლისა ჯამი, ტაბაკნი და ოქროისა ჭურჭელი, ყუელა თუალითა შეკაზმული და მრავალთერი სურნელი და ყუელასთანა ტყავი და მრავალნი მონა-მჴევალნი: ბერძენნი, ჩინელნი, [პირ-მთუარენი] ყუელანი კეკლუცნი, ვითა ველურნი თხანი სიქსუითა და ჯერეთ სიქალითა და სიშუენიერითა, ვითა ფარშამანგნი, ლამაზნი.

Vocabulary

  • ბროლი crystal (cf. βήρυλλος)
  • ჯამი bowl
  • ტაბაკი serving dish
  • ოქროჲ gold
  • ჭურჭელი vessel, container
  • თუალი precious stone (also, eye)
  • შეკაზმული prepared, fixed up, dressed
  • მრავალთერი of many kinds
  • სურნელი scent, aroma (სურნელობა to smell)
  • ტყავი skin, hide, fur
  • მონა-მჴევალი (male and female) servants, attendants, slaves (a dvandva compound: მონაჲ + მჴევალი, the latter specifically for females, but the rest of the passage speaks only in terms of women)
  • ბერძენი Greek
  • ჩინელი Chinese
  • პირ-მთუარეი with moon-like face (cf. several sim. compounds in Persian: māh-paikar, māh-čihr, māh-sīmā, māh-liqā, māh-dīdār, qamar-čihra)
  • კეკლუცი pretty, lovely
  • ველური wild, rough, raw
  • თხაჲ goat
  • სიქსუეჲ wildness
  • ჯერეთ yet
  • სიქალეჲ womanliness (< ქალი woman)
  • სიშუენიერეჲ beauty
  • ფარშამანგი peacock (cf. Middle Persian fraš(a)murw, [MacKenzie, A Concise Pahlavi Dictionary, p. 33])
  • ლამაზი beautiful

Wardrop, translating from a slightly different text, has the following (p. 57):

…many a cup of crystal, trays, and golden vessels, all inlaid with jewels; and scents of many kinds and withal furs; and many slaves and handmaidens Greeks, Chinese, and Balkhians, all pretty and untamed as wild goats, and yet as fair as peacocks in womanliness and beauty.

“With the jawbone of an ass…”   Leave a comment

Many years ago I read F.F. Bruce’s In Retrospect, and among the anecdotes he relates that for some reason or other have remained in my memory is one about W.M. Edward of Leeds University. Bruce says (pp. 106-107),

My new chief, Professor W.M. Edwards of the Chair of Greek in Leeds, was an unusual man. He had been born into a military family and himself embarked on a military career, being an officer in the Royal Garrison Artillery until his later thirties. He then went to Oxford as an undergraduate, taking his B.A. at the age of forty and becoming a Fellow of Merton College the same year. Three years later he was appointed Professor of Greek in Leeds. He was an accomplished linguist, speaking Welsh, Gaelic, Russian and Hebrew as well as the commoner European languages. … On another occasion he came into my room to see me about something or other, and found me reading the Hebrew text of Judges. Immediately he threw back his head and recited in Hebrew, Samson’s song of victory, “With the jawbone of an ass…”

The Samson story is a good one, and well known. Students making their first forays into classical Hebrew prose rightly learn it thoroughly, and these two lines in verse 15:16 (בלחי החמור חמור חמרתים בלחי החמור הכיתי אלף איש), with the word play and the rhythm, make a good inhabitant of the memory’s palace. For fun, here they are in a few more languages, and some vocabulary in case students of any of these languages are reading.

Poster for Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949). Source.

Poster for Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah (1949). Source; cf. this one.

Aramaic (Targum) בלועא דחמרא רמיתנון דגורין דלועא דחמרא קטלית אלף גברא

  • לווּעָא jaw
  • חמָרָא ass
  • דְּגוֹר heap

Greek Ἐν σιαγόνι ὄνου ἐξαλείϕων ἐξήλειψα αὐτούς, ὅτι ἐν σιαγόνι ὄνου ἐπάταξα χιλίους ἄνδρας.

Syriac (Pesh.) ܒܦܟܐ ܕܚܡܪܐ ܟܫܝ̈ܬܐ ܟܫܝܬ ܡܢܗܘܢ. ܒܦܟܐ ܕܚܡܪܐ ܩܛܠܬ ܐܠܦ ܓܒܪ̈ܝܢ܀

  • pakkā jaw, cheek
  • ḥmārā ass
  • kšā to pile up, heap (both verb and pass. ptcp. here)

Armenian ծնօտի́ւ իշոյ ջնջելով ջնջեցի́ զն(ո)ս(ա), զի ծնօտիւ իշոյ կոտորեցի հազա́ր այր։

  • ծնօտ, -ից jaw, cheek
  • իշայր, -ոյ wild ass
  • ջնջեմ, -եցի to destroy, exterminate
  • կոտորեմ, -եցի to shatter, destroy, massacre
  • հազար thousand

Georgian (Gelati; only the first half translated, and no mention of the ass!) ღაწჳთა აღმოჴოცელმან აღვჴოცნე იგინი

  • ღაწუი cheek
  • აღჴოცა to kill off (participle აღმოჴოცელი and finite verb both in the sentence)

Arabic (from the London Polyglot; there are other versions)

judges_15_16_london_polyglot

  • ṭaraḥa (a) to drive away, repel
  • ʕaẓm bone
  • ḫadd cheek
  • ḥimār ass
  • tulūl is a pl. of tall hill, but here, heap
  • fakk jawbone (cf. Syriac above)

Gǝʕǝz በዐጽመ ፡ መንከሰ ፡ አድግ ፡ ደምስሶ ፡ ደምሰስክዎሙ ፡ እስመ ፡ በዐጽመ ፡ መንከሰ ፡ አድግ ፡ ቀተልኩ ፡ ዐሠርተ ፡ ምእተ ፡ ብእሴ ።

  • መንከስ፡jaw, jawbone (√näkäsä to bite, like näsäkä, with cognates in many Semitic languages)
  • አድግ፡ ass
  • ደምሰሰ፡ to abolish, wipe out, destroy

NB: In Islamic tradition, it is not the jawbone of an ass, but that of a camel (laḥy baʕīr), that Samson employs:

وكان اذا لقيهم لقيهم بلحي بعير

(J. Barth & Th. Nöldeke, Annales quos scripsit Abu Djafar Mohammed Ibn Djarir At-Tabari, 1.II.794.7-8 [1881-1882]; available here) [More broadly, see Andrew Rippin, “The Muslim Samson: Medieval, Modern and Scholarly Interpretations,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 71 (2008): 239-253.]

Old Georgian phrases and sentences 36 (Bas. Hex., on dogs and speechlessness)   1 comment

I stumbled upon the sentence below in Sarjveladze and Fähnrich’s Altgeorgisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch, 1213a. (I’m told that it’s National Dog Week. If so, this is a fitting sentence to read!) It comes from Basil’s Hexaemeron, homily 9.

The Greek (ed. Giet, SC 26, 2d ed., Hom. 9.4.43) is as follows:

Λόγου μὲν ἄμοιρος ὁ κύων, ἰσοδυναμοῦσαν δὲ ὅμως τῷ λόγῳ αἴσθησιν ἔχει.

And the Georgian text (ed. Abuladze, 129.28-29) is:

ძაღლი უსიტუელ არს, არამედ აქუს მას გრძნობაჲ, რომელი შეეტყუების ძალსა სიტყჳსასა.

Vocabulary

  • ძაღლი dog
  • უსიტყუელი without speech, unable to speak
  • აქუს to have (see previously in OGPS here and here)
  • გრძნობაჲ sense, feeling
  • შე-ე-ტყუებ-ი-ს 3sg pres შეტყუება to correspond to
  • ძალი power, force
  • სიტყუაჲ speech, language, words

Sarjveladze and Fähnrich translate, “Der Hund ist nicht fähig zu sprechen, doch er besitzt Gefühl, das der Kraft des Wortes entspricht.” In English we might say,

A dog is without the capacity to speak, but it has a faculty of perception that corresponds to the power of speech.

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