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Re: [John_Lit] architriklinos once more

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    ... (With thanks to Terrence Lockyer) Heliodoros identity - like his date - is problematic. It is the lay church-historian Sokrates (Socrates Scholasticus),
    Message 1 of 39 , Jul 1, 2002
      Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

      > Greetings, friends,
      > Some time ago, I expressed my doubt that the word architriklinos (Jn 2:8)
      > was a very common Greek word, and was even used before its use in the
      > Fourth Gospel. In reply, Jeffrey Gibson objected that this word is in fact
      > found in Heliodorus _Aethiopica_ 7.27.7, the citation that I previously
      > missed.
      > At the time, I failed to follow up this reference. But, more recently,
      > I've looked into this author, and found out that he in fact wrote well
      > after the time when the Fourth Gospel was written. As I understand it,
      > nowadays scholars generally date Heliodorus to third or fourth century CE.
      > And some even think that he was a Christian bishop in Thessaly!
      > http://www.rarebooks.nd.edu/exhibits/durand/epic/heliodorus.html

      (With thanks to Terrence Lockyer) Heliodoros' identity - like his date - is
      problematic. It is the lay church-historian Sokrates (Socrates Scholasticus),
      in his Historia Ekklesiastika (a continuation of Eusebius of Caesarea) 5.22
      (specific reference from OCD3) who claims he was a bishop of Trikka in
      Thessaly and insisted upon celibacy for the clergy. There is a Byzantine
      tradition that he preferred to resign his bishopric rather than disown his
      novel. But most scholars doubt the identification and the story. The brief
      sphragis at the end of Aithiopika 10.41, incidentally, identifies the author
      as Heliodoros, son of Thedosios, and as a Phoenician
      from the city of Emesa, but this has not so far proved helpful in identifying
      either him or him dates.

      > So it seems like we are still lacking any use of architriklinos in Greek
      > before Jn was written.

      You forgot the epigraphical material such as BCH11.385, 15.186, 204

      > In my view, as I've already argued on this list, the original version of
      > Jn 2:1-11 did not yet feature the figure of an architriklinos. I suggest
      > that this term was introduced by a later editor, in the process of a major
      > re-editing of the whole story. In the original text, rather than
      > architriklinos, the story most likely featured "the master of the house",

      And what is the Greek or Latin or Hebrew/Aramaic term that stands behind this
      "master of the house"?

      > a figure with a significantly higher social standing. This is what the
      > Diatessaronic texts indicate.

      Really? Please see below on what the epigraphical, literary, and social
      scientific evidence indicates regarding the social standing of the

      > A triclinium is generally believed to be a small dining area, with space
      > perhaps for 6 people.

      Um .. believed by whom? What is your source for such an assertion? To my
      knowledge, and as a host of reference works indicate, a triclinium had to be
      able to accommodate a minimum of **nine** people, not including servants or


      > So one wonders if the term archi-triklinos could be
      > such a useful and meaningful term, even on the surface of it.

      Useful? Meaningful?

      > At best, the
      > job of being in charge of a triclinium should have been reserved for a
      > rather lowly servant or slave. But this is not how this gentleman is
      > portrayed in Jn.

      I guess that's why the term is used as the title of an imperial official in
      CIL3.536, right? See also CIL 06, 00966* = ILMN-01, 00636)

      Aponiae Successae /
      a tutul() ornatr(ici) /
      C(aius) Batonius Epigonus /
      atriensis //
      Ti(berius) Laius Paratus /
      a corinthis //
      Blicio Aborten/nio tricliniarch(o) //
      Nymphe habe Hel/vius Aug(usti) lecticar(ius)

      CIL 05, 07894 = IANice 046.
      Placidia Prima [L(ucio?)] An[ic]/io
      Tertio marito suo / et M(arco) Anicio Alpino /
      filio suo
      pientissimo / militi [e]t tricl(i)n(iarcha?) /
      cocho(rtis) XIIII / urbanae
      |(centuria) Q(uinti) / Volusi Severi / [f(aciendum)]

      In any case, your supposition that the job of being in charge of a triclinium
      would "at best" be something that should (?) have been reserved for a rather
      **lowly** servant or slave not only ignores what LSJ and Lewis and Short say
      about the term and its Latin equivalent (he is a **major domo** or **head
      butler** at feats, a director of [and never a server at] a feast and the term
      is a title "directorship of feats" not necessarily held in a triniculum), but
      also (a) the fact that, as Peck notes, the Tricliniarcha was someone whose
      role was that of a superintendent who took great care that everything was
      called for at a feast was done correctly and proceeded in through slaves who
      were **subordinate to him** (think Alan Bates in Gosford Park) and (b) the
      social importance dinner parties held with in a triclinium had for those who
      threw them. Since these were held to impress others and often to advance the
      social standing of the one who held the party and/or to create ties of
      obligation between the host and his guests, a poorly run dinner party, let
      alone one overseen by "lowly" slaves, would not only ruin the hosts chances of
      obtaining the goals for which the dinner party was thrown and bring shame upon
      him, but would be an affront to his guests.

      > Also I've now looked up this word in the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, but I
      > didn't see it cited any time before the Fourth Gospel was written.

      Umm ... Petronius 22??!!

      > So is there any indication at all that this word was common before Jn was
      > written?

      Since it appears in inscriptions without explanation and since Petronius
      assumes that the character of the tricliniarches is a familiar one, the answer
      is yes.

      > What am I missing?

      Probably how to search the TLL properly? And access to the epigraphical
      data?. And the fact that your usual "sources" -- i.e., Google and Perseus --
      are not, as you seem to think, the only tools that those committed to the sort
      of "rigorous and stringent critical analysis" that you claim stands behind
      your "research", and for which you excoriate the NT guild for hardly ever
      undertaking, should use?

      Also, have you consulted Forcellini's Lexicon? his indicates further
      inscriptional evidence for
      tricliniarcha/es at Orelli 2952 (as well as 794), at Henzen 6337, and at
      Gruter 474.4, 578.1, and 579.7.


      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
      Floor 1
      Chicago, Illinois 60626
      e-mail jgibson000@...
    • heronblu
      ... Michael, I am more of a student than a scholar of the fourth gospel. Nevertheless, even (maybe, especially) students have opinions, too. It would indeed
      Message 39 of 39 , Jul 9, 2002
        --- In johannine_literature@y..., michael Hardin <michael1517@y...>
        > For some time now I have been studying the usage of
        > words with 'double meanings' in 4G. I am curious to
        > know if others have also found the 'author's' use of
        > words that have a double meaning to be of value . . . .

        Michael, I am more of a student than a scholar of the fourth
        gospel. Nevertheless, even (maybe, especially) students have
        opinions, too. It would indeed be an interesting and controversial
        study to tabulate and classify the most obvious ones. The most
        frequent reason I can see for the double (and sometimes more)
        meanings is in support of the Johannine technique I call "dialogues
        with dummies." The poor sap who is shown as questioning Jesus almost
        always misunderstands what Jesus is telling him and, regarding words
        with more than one possible meaning, only gets the infelicitous one
        and is blind to what Jesus is actually saying. Jesus is then given
        the opportunity to explain further for the benefit of the intended
        audience. (The dummy is almost never shown as ever getting the
        point.) I think this goes so far as to include instances in which
        both meanings have to be in the listener/reader's mind in order to
        have any hope of following Jesus. Perhaps the most obvious example
        is John 3:3. Nicodemus interprets *gennhth anwthen* as meaning
        only "born again." The usually excellent NAB makes the opposite
        error, interpreting the words as meaning only "born from above." A
        proper understanding, in my opinion, requires that Jesus be
        understood as meaning both things. One must be reborn in the Spirit
        in order to see the kingdom of God.

        To say the same thing with different words, I think that the author
        wants his or her audience to think and not to merely swallow dogma.
        He is as much as saying that just as Jesus is more than appears on
        the surface, Jesus' message is more profound than surface appearances
        might lead one to believe.
        Yours in Christ,
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