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Aspects of the Vocabulary of Chariton of Aphrodisias*

  • Consuelo Ruiz-Montero (a1)

There has been little research on the vocabulary of the Greek novelists. Gasda studied that of Chariton in the last century. He compared some of his terms with those of other authors and he concluded he should be placed in the sixth century A.D. Then Schmid considered that Chariton's language was not Atticist, and dated his novel in the second century or beginning of the third. In 1973 Chariton's language was studied by Papanikolaou. His research dealt above all with several syntactic aspects and the use of some vocabulary, which led him to conclude that this language was closer to the koiné than that of the other novelists. But Papanikolaou went further in his conclusions: finding no trace of Atticism in Chariton, he considered him a pre-Atticist writer and, using extra-linguistic data, such as the citing of the Seres, the Chinese (6.4.2), placed him in the second half of the first century B.C. This chronology has been accepted by some, but already Giangrande has observed that this lack of Atticisms could have been intentional, in which case that date would be questionable.

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1 Gasda A., Quaestiones Charitoneae (Diss. Olesnae, 1860), which includes some data on syntax and textual criticism.

2 See ‘Chariton’, RE iii.2.2168–70.

3 Papanikolaou A., Chariton–Studien (Göttingen, 1973).

4 See his review of Papanikolaou in JHS 94 (1974), 197–8.

5 MacDougall J. I., Lexicon in Diodorum Siculum (Hildesheim, 1983); Mayer G., Index Philoneus (Berlin, 1974); Rengtorg K. H., A Complete Concordance to Flavius Josephus, 4 vols. (Leiden, 19731983); Koolmeister R.Tallmeister T., An Index to Dio Chrysostomus (Uppsala, 1981); Wyttenbach D., Lexicon Plutarcheum, 2 vols. (Hildesheim, 1962). I have used Blake's edition, Charitonis Aphrodisiensis, De Chaerea el Callirhoe amatoriarum narrationum libri octo (Oxford, 1938). I have also checked, where necessary, the recent Chariton. Le roman de Chairéas et Callirhoé, texte établi et traduit par G. Molinié, revisé par A. Billault (Paris, 1989).

6 See Sandmel S., ‘Philo Judaeus: An Introduction to the Man, his Writings, and his Significance’, ANRW ii.21, 2 (Berlin–New York, 1984), pp. 346; Conley T. M., ‘Philo's Rhetoric: Argumentation and Style’, ANRW iii.343–71; Pelletier A., Flavius Josephe, adaptateur de la lettre d'Aristée (Paris, 1962); Feldman L. H., ‘Flavius Josephus Revisited: the Man, his Writings and his Significance’, ANRW iii.763862; Weissenberger B., Die Sprache Plutarchs (Würtzburg, 1895); Schmid W., Der Atticismus, 4 vols. (Hildesheim, 1964).

7 See Palm J., Über Sprache und Styl des Diodors von Sizilien (Lund, 1955); Lasserre F., ‘Prose grecque classicisante’ in Le classicisme à Rome, ed. Flashar H. (Vandoeuvres–Genève, 1979), pp. 135–63; here 169.

8 See Bauer W., Griechisch–deutsches Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments6 (Berlin, 1988). Cf. also Preisigke F., Wörterbuch des griechischen Papyrusurkunden, 3 vols. (Berlin, 19251931); Liddell H. G.Scott R.Jones H. S., A Greek–English Lexicon (Oxford, 1968); Sophocles E. A., Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods2 (New York, 1983). I have also used Ibycus Computer System. On Atticist lexica see Lara C. Hernandez, ‘Rhetorical Aspects in Chariton of Aphrodisias’, paper presented at the Dartmouth Conference, in GIF 42 (1989), 267–74.

9 Op. cit. (n. 3), pp. 161–2.

10 Schmid, op. cit. (n. 6), iv.597ff.; Thumb A., Die griechische Sprache im Zeitalter des Hellenismus (Berlin–New York, 1974), pp. 206ff.

11 Op. cit. (n. 3), pp. 30ff.

12 See his paper mentioned above, note 8.

13 Evidence of the optative in papyri raises a similar question: see Anlauf G., Standard Late Greek oder Attizismus? (Diss. Köln, 1960), pp. 122ff. Atticism, as a whole, should be revised. I hope to focus on this field in the near future.

14 Char. 3.3.11; 4.9; Th. 7.12.3.

15 Char. 1.1.7. Papanikolaou, op. cit. (n. 3), p. 29; Schmid, op. cit. (n. 6), iii.204; iv.306.

16 Boulanger A., Aelius Aristide et la Sofistique dans la province d'Asie au IIe siècle de notre ère (Paris, 1968).

17 Op. cit. (n. 3), pp. 27–9.

18 On poeticisms in the koiné see Thumb, op. cit. (n. 10), pp. 221–5; on Ionicisms, ibid., pp. 209ff.

19 See Thumb, op. cit. (n. 10), pp. 225–6.

20 νταμεβομαι appears in papyri.

21 A. Ag. 1195; S. O.C. 1097; E. Or. 1667. It is found also in Hdt. 4.69.

22 See Thumb, ibid., pp. 225–6.

23 See Higgins M. J., ‘The Renaissance of the First Century and the Origin of Standard Late Greek’, Traditio 3 (1945), 49100; Rydbeck L., Fachprosa, vermeintliche Volkssprache und Neues Testament (Uppsala, 1967). Unfortunately, and in spite of its title, the recent work by Bubenfk V., Hellenistic and Roman Greece as a Socio-Linguistic Area (Amsterdam-Philadelphia, 1989), does not help us in this matter.

24 Lasserre, art. cit., pp. 147, 158; Thumb pointed out the close ties of Flavius Josephus with the koiné (op. cit. (n. 10), p. 212), following the study of Schmidt W., De Flavii Josephi elocutione (Leipzig, 1894).

25 I have drawn the same conclusion by comparing the novel of Chariton with its social and cultural environment: see my ‘Caritón de Alfrodisias y el mundo real’, in Piccolo mondo antico, ed. Furiani P. Liviabella and Scarcella A. M. (Naples, 1989), pp. 107–49. My attention has been drawn to the fact that Marie-France Baslez proposed a Hadrianic date for Chariton at the Colloque in Paris (December 1987); this is possible, but cannot yet be considered as proved.

* Paper presented at the international conference The Ancient Novel: Classical Paradigms and Modern Perspectives, held at Dartmouth College, Hanover (U.S.A), 23–29 July 1989.

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