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Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late use of Basileos Megas

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  • amedeo giampaglia
    I cannot say much on this topic, but uniformity would be better: when we write Strabo and Strato (following the latin declension: this is the latin
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 1, 2005
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      I cannot say much on this topic, but uniformity would be better: when we write Strabo and Strato (following the latin declension: this is the latin nominative), analogically we must write Thraso. If we write Thrason (using a greek nominative transliterated), accordingly we should write Strabon and Straton.

      Sorry David, but there is not a movable "nu" in Greek III declension (if I did not misunderstand your message). The presence or absence of "n" is due to the fact that you are using the greek or the latin form.

      As to BASILEOS MEGAS, it is a mistake which should be corrected on Wikipedia: BASILEOS is a genitive, MEGAS is a nominative and they do not make sense together.
      The title is BASILEUS MEGAS (nominative; BASILEOS MEGALOU being its genitive).

      Best regards,
      Amedeo Giampaglia

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: David MacDonald
      To: seleukids@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 4:01 AM
      Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late use of Basileos Megas


      In ancient Greek, either Thraso or Thrason is correct. The "nu movable"
      can be added or omitted from any name ending in -o.

      Mac





      At 07:36 PM 7/31/2005, you wrote:
      >This message is just to say that I have substituted "Thrason"
      >for "Thraso" on Wikipedia's homepage of Indo-Greek kings.
      >
      >Thraso, being known from only a single coin, was introduced by R.C.
      >Senior in 1982 and thereafter mentioned by Bopearachi in his standard
      >work "Monnaies Greco-Bactriennes et Indo-Greqcues". He is scarcely
      >mentioned on-line and there is IMHO still time to correct his English
      >mistranslation: like "Strabonos" becoming Strabo and "Stratonos"
      >becoming Strato, "Thrasonos" should be shortened Thraso, not Thrason.
      >
      >Thraso deserves his place in history as a curiousity: though
      >obviously amongst the most insignificant rulers ever, he actually
      >seems to have re-introduced the title "Basileos Megas" which has been
      >discussed earlier on this page. He is dated by Bopearachis c95-80
      >BCE, and uses the Athena reverse of the type made famous by Menander
      >I. IMHO, this late use of the title Megas is no sign of territorial
      >conquest by merely a response to the nomad kings like Maues and Azes
      >I, who caused a most severe inflation of titles by naming
      >themselves "Basileos Basileon Megas". The nomads, less
      >philosophically skilled than the Greeks, were prone to such
      >exaggerations, little aware of abstract concepts as titles losing
      >their value. Under those circumstances, the last Indo-Greek kings of
      >any stature (Apollodotus II and Hippostrates use the title as well)
      >had to respond: they could not be content with calling themselves
      >simply "Basileos" but added "Megas".
      >
      >My personal guess is that Thraso was a brother and brief co-regent of
      >Apollodotus II.
      >
      >By using the same analysis of titles as I suggested above, one might
      >seriously re-valuate the inscription of the late Indo-Greek king
      >Artemidorus, who according to another of Senior's coins claims to be
      >son of the Scythian Maues. Much has been said about transient
      >ethnical identities of Greeks and nomads, based on the inscription on
      >this coin.
      >
      >If Artemidorus had indeed been a son of the Scythian king, why
      >wouldn't he at least to some extent have adopted his father's titles?
      >Namely, with his father being a great king of kings, Artemidorus
      >should have been little inclined to call himself only king. Nay, IMHO
      >Artemidoros simply paid homage to his suzerain by the title "son".
      >Had he been a real son, he would have called himself "Basileos
      >Basileon Megas Philopator" or something like that.
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • David MacDonald
      I stand corrected. Still, I find both Stato and Straton frequently. Mac ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 1, 2005
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        I stand corrected. Still, I find both "Stato" and "Straton" frequently.

        Mac


        At 06:00 AM 8/1/2005, you wrote:
        >I cannot say much on this topic, but uniformity would be better: when we
        >write Strabo and Strato (following the latin declension: this is the latin
        >nominative), analogically we must write Thraso. If we write Thrason (using
        >a greek nominative transliterated), accordingly we should write Strabon
        >and Straton.
        >
        >Sorry David, but there is not a movable "nu" in Greek III declension (if I
        >did not misunderstand your message). The presence or absence of "n" is due
        >to the fact that you are using the greek or the latin form.
        >
        >As to BASILEOS MEGAS, it is a mistake which should be corrected on
        >Wikipedia: BASILEOS is a genitive, MEGAS is a nominative and they do not
        >make sense together.
        >The title is BASILEUS MEGAS (nominative; BASILEOS MEGALOU being its genitive).
        >
        >Best regards,
        >Amedeo Giampaglia
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: David MacDonald
        > To: seleukids@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 4:01 AM
        > Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late use of Basileos Megas
        >
        >
        > In ancient Greek, either Thraso or Thrason is correct. The "nu movable"
        > can be added or omitted from any name ending in -o.
        >
        > Mac
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > At 07:36 PM 7/31/2005, you wrote:
        > >This message is just to say that I have substituted "Thrason"
        > >for "Thraso" on Wikipedia's homepage of Indo-Greek kings.
        > >
        > >Thraso, being known from only a single coin, was introduced by R.C.
        > >Senior in 1982 and thereafter mentioned by Bopearachi in his standard
        > >work "Monnaies Greco-Bactriennes et Indo-Greqcues". He is scarcely
        > >mentioned on-line and there is IMHO still time to correct his English
        > >mistranslation: like "Strabonos" becoming Strabo and "Stratonos"
        > >becoming Strato, "Thrasonos" should be shortened Thraso, not Thrason.
        > >
        > >Thraso deserves his place in history as a curiousity: though
        > >obviously amongst the most insignificant rulers ever, he actually
        > >seems to have re-introduced the title "Basileos Megas" which has been
        > >discussed earlier on this page. He is dated by Bopearachis c95-80
        > >BCE, and uses the Athena reverse of the type made famous by Menander
        > >I. IMHO, this late use of the title Megas is no sign of territorial
        > >conquest by merely a response to the nomad kings like Maues and Azes
        > >I, who caused a most severe inflation of titles by naming
        > >themselves "Basileos Basileon Megas". The nomads, less
        > >philosophically skilled than the Greeks, were prone to such
        > >exaggerations, little aware of abstract concepts as titles losing
        > >their value. Under those circumstances, the last Indo-Greek kings of
        > >any stature (Apollodotus II and Hippostrates use the title as well)
        > >had to respond: they could not be content with calling themselves
        > >simply "Basileos" but added "Megas".
        > >
        > >My personal guess is that Thraso was a brother and brief co-regent of
        > >Apollodotus II.
        > >
        > >By using the same analysis of titles as I suggested above, one might
        > >seriously re-valuate the inscription of the late Indo-Greek king
        > >Artemidorus, who according to another of Senior's coins claims to be
        > >son of the Scythian Maues. Much has been said about transient
        > >ethnical identities of Greeks and nomads, based on the inscription on
        > >this coin.
        > >
        > >If Artemidorus had indeed been a son of the Scythian king, why
        > >wouldn't he at least to some extent have adopted his father's titles?
        > >Namely, with his father being a great king of kings, Artemidorus
        > >should have been little inclined to call himself only king. Nay, IMHO
        > >Artemidoros simply paid homage to his suzerain by the title "son".
        > >Had he been a real son, he would have called himself "Basileos
        > >Basileon Megas Philopator" or something like that.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
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      • grahamshipley
        [Composed just before Amedeo s helpful message---but here s my 2 penn orth anyway.] . Assuming Thrason is a Greek name, then Thrason is the most Greeklike
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 1, 2005
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          [Composed just before Amedeo's helpful message---but here's my 2
          penn'orth anyway.]

          . Assuming Thrason is a Greek name, then 'Thrason' is the most
          Greeklike transliteration; 'Thraso' is a Latinlike transliteration.
          The 'o' in the termination will be a 'long o' (ô, omega). English-
          writing scholars increasingly use (as I do) the more Greeklike forms.
          Neither system is 'correct' or 'incorrect'; both are valid options.
          . If scholars do use Greeklike forms, they should, for
          consistency, also use Greeklike forms where a masculine name ends in -
          os (with a short o, omicron): therefore Apollodotos rather than
          Apollodotus, Artemidoros rather than Artemidorus. (But a few
          masculine names end in -ôs, omega sigma, such as Tachôs. They keep
          the 'o' even in the Latinlike forms: e.g. Tachos not Tachus.)
          . However, famous persons and authors like Strabon (that's the
          nominative case, or dictionary form, in Greek; Strabonos is the
          genitive case) are often well established among anglophone scholars
          in Latinlike forms: Strabo, Plato (Platon in Greek), Strato
          (Straton), Philo (Philon), etc. (However, some personal names
          actually end in -ô (omega) not -ôn. The examples that occur to me are
          all female, such as the poet Sappho. They keep the 'o' even when one
          is using Latinlike transliteration.)
          . Other personal names end in -on (with short o, omicron). These
          are neuter names, given (I think) to persons of low status, such as
          slaves of either sex.
          . The title of a king will be 'basileus' (nominative) not basileos
          (the genitive of basileus), though what appears on a coin may
          be 'basileôs' (with omega), meaning the coin is 'of king so-and-so'.
          His name and titles (unless abbreviated) will all be in the genitive,
          e.g. (hypothetically) Thrasôn Basileus Megas would become Thrasônos
          Basileôs Megalou.
          . 'King of kings' translates Basileus Basileôn (not Basileos
          Basileon); in the genitive, this phrase becomes Basileôs Basileôn.
          . The numismatist is not Bopearachi but Bopearachchi.

          Graham Shipley
        • amedeo giampaglia
          David, Graham s message about the double consuetude among English speaking scholars, can explain why you found both forms. In Italian we translate all greek
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 1, 2005
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            David,
            Graham's message about the double consuetude among English speaking scholars, can explain why you found both forms.
            In Italian we translate all greek and latin names, thus no problem re. uniformity can arise (but it's a nightmare when we come to oriental names which are not attested in both greek and latin).

            Amedeo

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: David MacDonald
            To: seleukids@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 2:26 PM
            Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late use of Basileos Megas


            [...] Still, I find both "St[R]ato" and "Straton" frequently.
            Mac

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David MacDonald
            Never expect consistency from English speakers! It is a maddening language, inconsistent in its very nature! Mac ... [Non-text portions of this message have
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 1, 2005
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              Never expect consistency from English speakers! It is a maddening
              language, inconsistent in its very nature!

              Mac

              At 09:00 AM 8/1/2005, you wrote:
              >David,
              >Graham's message about the double consuetude among English speaking
              >scholars, can explain why you found both forms.
              >In Italian we translate all greek and latin names, thus no problem re.
              >uniformity can arise (but it's a nightmare when we come to oriental names
              >which are not attested in both greek and latin).
              >
              >Amedeo
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: David MacDonald
              > To: seleukids@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 2:26 PM
              > Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late use of Basileos Megas
              >
              >
              > [...] Still, I find both "St[R]ato" and "Straton" frequently.
              > Mac
              >
              >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
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            • Jim Webster
              ... From: David MacDonald To: Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 6:03 PM Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 1, 2005
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "David MacDonald" <djmacdo@...>
                To: <seleukids@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 6:03 PM
                Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late use of Basileos Megas


                >
                > Never expect consistency from English speakers! It is a maddening
                > language, inconsistent in its very nature!
                >

                combine a language that will borrow a useful word from absolutely anyone,
                with a people who will then proceed to pronounce it in a way
                incomprehensible to the people we borrowed the word off in the first place.
                But actually it doesn't matter because we have probably changed the meaning
                as well and in some cases even managed to give the new word back to them
                ;-))

                Jim
              • David MacDonald
                And that from a man named Webster! ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 1, 2005
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                  And that from a man named Webster!


                  At 12:32 PM 8/1/2005, you wrote:

                  >----- Original Message -----
                  >From: "David MacDonald" <djmacdo@...>
                  >To: <seleukids@yahoogroups.com>
                  >Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 6:03 PM
                  >Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late use of Basileos Megas
                  >
                  >
                  > >
                  > > Never expect consistency from English speakers! It is a maddening
                  > > language, inconsistent in its very nature!
                  > >
                  >
                  >combine a language that will borrow a useful word from absolutely anyone,
                  >with a people who will then proceed to pronounce it in a way
                  >incomprehensible to the people we borrowed the word off in the first place.
                  >But actually it doesn't matter because we have probably changed the meaning
                  >as well and in some cases even managed to give the new word back to them
                  >;-))
                  >
                  >Jim
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                • Jim Webster
                  ... From: David MacDonald To: Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 8:26 PM Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 1, 2005
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "David MacDonald" <djmacdo@...>
                    To: <seleukids@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 8:26 PM
                    Subject: Re: [seleukids] Thraso / Late use of Basileos Megas


                    > And that from a man named Webster!
                    >

                    Ah but in England, Websters are Brewers, not the publishers of a dictionary
                    ;-)))

                    Jim
                  • egil4870
                    Thanks for your interesting feedback! Yes, English inconsistency can drive a man to tears. That Homerian voyager, for instance, is a strange hybrid of the
                    Message 9 of 11 , Aug 24, 2005
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                      Thanks for your interesting feedback!

                      Yes, English inconsistency can drive a man to tears. That Homerian
                      voyager, for instance, is a strange hybrid of the Latin form Ulixes
                      with the Greek "s" thrown in for good measure. I wonder what the
                      Greek edition of James Joyce's novel is called?

                      Also, thanks for the correction of "Basileos Megas". I guess that
                      this hybrid form is a "hypercorrection" which has arisen to avoid the
                      form Basileus, which is identical with a Romanised form of the
                      title/name (even though the Anglo-Roman form is Basil). The ypsilon
                      is not a Roman u. So to those who are not skilled in old Greek
                      grammatics but only know the general os/us-rule, this form looks like
                      a hybrid.

                      I am ambigious whether to change the phrase in Wikipedia. It serves
                      as a good representation of the two titles Basileos and Megas and
                      this is almost the only example when two Greek titles are presented
                      in a coherent phrase in running text.

                      It simplifies matters a bit to write that "Apollodotos II was the
                      first king to take the title Basileos Megas after Eucratides",
                      instead of saying that "Apollodotos II called himself Basileos
                      Megalou, which is another grammatic form of the title Basileus Megas
                      used by Eucratides", especially when Eucratides with c is a Latin
                      form and Apollodotos a Greek. And even more especially when the
                      titles probably have different meanings (see original post).

                      But then again, I am a teacher and look for simplifications when
                      writing for a layman audience. The comment is indeed correct.
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