Thursday, 2 June 2016

(-)θηκ- and fēc-

There are places in which τίθημι (better ἔ-θηκ-α) has the sense of its Latin cognate faciō (better fēcῑ). As LSJ s.v. B puts it 'put in a certain state or condition, much the same as ποιεῖν, ποιεῖσθαι, and so often to be rendered by our make:'.

Or, as Geoff Horrocks put it in his discussion of ἤθηκη in SEG XLVI 1313, the verb can mean 'make someone happy', but it cannot mean 'make a crown out of a lump of gold' (as facio can). The latter, as he notes, seems to be required in that inscription.

The point is underlined by a 'quotation' from Isaiah 5:20 in Mark the Deacon's Life of Porphyrius, 90:
Οὐαὶ τοῖς ποιοῦσι τὸ γλυκὺ πικρὸν καὶ τὸ πικρὸν γλυκύ,
τοῖς τιθεῖσι τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος.

Ralhfs' edn. has the nominative masculine plural participle τίθεντες in both places and after οὐαί has οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, κτλ.

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