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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.


  • 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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