Tuesday, 12 May 2015

More on the dual

Sometimes a dual refers to a 'dynamic duo' rather than to a pair of instances of the noun in the dual (e.g. ὄσσε, πόδε, χεῖρε).

The two Ajaxes (the Telamonian son (from Salamis) and the Locrian son of Oileus: Il.2.406 and E.IA.192; Il.2.527 for the latter, 528 for the former) and the Ajax-pair of Telamonian Ajax and his half-brother-comrade Teucer (Il.4.273, 280 [both Αἰάντεσσι], 13.197 [but, cf. 13.203]) are examples of each type.

In Vedic Sanskrit, the theonym Mitrá has a dual Μitrā́, which refers to Mitra and his 'companion' Varuna. 

In Latin, the plural form Castorēs, refers not to several Castor(e)s, but to the twins, Castor and Pollux (OLD s.v. Castor^2, 2. Therein are cited: Plin.Nat.10.121, 35.27, Apul.Met.10.31, and cf. Stat.Silv.4.6.15-16 alter | Castor). CIL I 582.17 (s.v. 1 b) refers to the temple of the Diosco(u)ri together: <pro ae>de Castorus (for the gen.sg., cf. CIL I 586.1 Kastorus).

The closest equivalent in English might be the Thom(p)son Twins, as a less than dynamic duo, but the Tintin characters were properly Thomson and Thompson (or, in the Latin versions, Clodius and Claudius: *Clodio?).

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