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RE: [Synoptic-L] *Ornatus* and the Synoptic Problem

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  • Richard H. Anderson
    Leonard Maluf wrote ... of speech, discussed in the manuals, with considerable self-consciousness. He certainly knew, e.g., that he was using litotes where he
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 2, 2003
      Leonard Maluf wrote
      >It is also reasonable to suppose that Luke employed some standard figures
      of speech, discussed in the manuals, with considerable self-consciousness.
      He certainly knew, e.g., that he was using litotes where he does so in Acts,

      >and it is hardly accidental that that figure is missing from his Gospel.

      Missing, what about Luke 1.37 For nothing is impossible with God.
      also Lk 1:5. Not many days hence (\ou meta pollas tautas hˆmeras\). A neat
      Greek idiom difficult to render smoothly into English: "Not after many days
      these." The litotes (not many=few) is common in Luke (Lk 7:6, And when he
      was now not far from the house; 15:13, And not many days after)

      Richard H. Anderson




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    • John C. Poirier
      ... Richard, From my understanding of litotes, these are not examples: they are all intended literally. John C. Poirier Middletown, Ohio Synoptic-L Homepage:
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 3, 2003
        Richard H. Anderson wrote:

        >Missing, what about Luke 1.37 For nothing is impossible with God.
        >also Lk 1:5. Not many days hence (\ou meta pollas tautas h^meras\). A neat
        >Greek idiom difficult to render smoothly into English: "Not after many days
        >these." The litotes (not many=few) is common in Luke (Lk 7:6, And when he
        >was now not far from the house; 15:13, And not many days after)
        >
        >Richard H. Anderson
        >
        Richard,

        From my understanding of litotes, these are not examples: they are all
        intended literally.


        John C. Poirier
        Middletown, Ohio



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      • John C. Poirier
        ... Leonard, I completely agree, and I guess that what I m driving at is a sort of middle solution with two items: (1) among writers in general, one finds a
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 3, 2003
          Maluflen@... wrote:

          >If an author seems to show knowledge of classical sources, in terms of substance and motifs, it is prima facie likely that that author would have been aware of compositional techniques common to that literature, whether or not he was conversant in the doctrine of specific handbooks. . . .
          >

          Leonard,

          I completely agree, and I guess that what I'm driving at is a sort of
          middle solution with two items: (1) among writers in general, one finds
          a lot of fairly genuinely freestyle rhetoric that looks like textbook
          rhetorical techniques, simply because those techniques take universal
          conventions of good style for their starting point, and (2) to some
          degree, there is probably no such thing as *purely* freestyle rhetoric
          (in the sense in which there's no such thing as solitary genius),
          because good writing skills are picked up from other writers, and the
          techniques of rhetorical handbooks will be diffuse within those other
          writers. (I should mention that I used "handbooks" in my previous post
          as a shorthand for "professionally prescribed"--Damm's article did not
          use the word "handbooks" as often as I did.)

          I should also add that if I went looking for signs of a technical
          knowledge of rhetoric in the New Testament, that I would certainly begin
          with Luke-Acts. Yet I remain dubious of the degree to which some
          scholars find this technical knowledge within the New Testament,
          especially with respect to Paul.


          John C. Poirier
          Middletown, Ohio



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        • Richard H. Anderson
          John C. Poirier From my understanding of litotes, these are not examples: they are all intended literally. Litotes is a rhetorical device of understatement
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 3, 2003
            John C. Poirier
            From my understanding of litotes, these are not examples: they are all
            intended literally.



            Litotes is a rhetorical device of understatement used in some languages
            in which a positive statement is intended by stating the opposite of
            its negative, for example, saying "not many" for the meaning "a few".
            Therefore my examples are valid.

            Richard H. Anderson



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          • John C. Poirier
            ... Richard, Your definition of litotes took me by surprise, since I always thought that litotes was deliberate understatement, to accentuate the superlative
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 3, 2003
              Richard H. Anderson wrote:

              >Litotes is a rhetorical device of understatement used in some languages
              >in which a positive statement is intended by stating the opposite of
              >its negative, for example, saying "not many" for the meaning "a few".
              >Therefore my examples are valid.
              >
              Richard,

              Your definition of "litotes" took me by surprise, since I always thought
              that litotes was deliberate understatement, to accentuate the
              superlative (e.g., saying "It's a little chilly" when it's really 30
              below zero). I therefore did a search on "litotes" and found that there
              are two very different definitions out there (yours and mine). I wonder
              if one definition is a corruption of the other. (Does anyone on the
              list happen to know, and [esp.] does anyone know which is correct for
              ancient Greek rhetoric?)


              John C. Poirier
              Middletown, Ohio




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            • Maluflen@aol.com
              In a message dated 12/3/2003 4:43:03 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... I think John Poirier may be right here, and that you may be missing a slight nuance in the
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 3, 2003
                In a message dated 12/3/2003 4:43:03 AM Pacific Standard Time, randerson58@... writes:


                Litotes is a rhetorical device of understatement used in some languages
                in which a positive statement is intended by stating the opposite of
                its negative, for example, saying "not many" for the meaning "a few".
                Therefore my examples are valid.



                I think John Poirier may be right here, and that you may be missing a slight nuance in the definition of litotes, which is the element of irony and understatement (in addition to stating what is intended in a negative formulation). On the other hand, some of the cases you brought up in Lk (particularly 15:13) may indeed have this element sufficiently to qualify. Actually, I didn't intend to make a major issue of the non-presence of litotes in Luke, although my statement itself seems to imply this. A more qualified statement would perhaps be more accurate: Luke uses litotes more frequently (and with a more classical flourish) in Acts than in his Gospel. The point of this observation is to confirm the fact that Luke adjusts his style consciously to suit his material, and that in general he writes with stylistic consciousness. As the Gospel begins to move into the Greco-Roman world with the preaching of Paul, Luke begins to write more pointedly for a Greco-Roman audience. To a great extent he abandons his LXX-imitation style, and even his literary models tend to be taken more from the classical writings of Greece and Rome. Speaking of which, did anyone attend the paper at the SBL meeting by Dennis Macdonald on "Paul as Theomachus: Imitation of Euripides' Bacchae in Acts"?

                Leonard Maluf
                Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                Weston, MA
              • John Lupia
                According to Ad Herennium 4.38.50 deminutio (diminutio) is the lessening of one s accomplishments as a form of modesty (pudica) in a text or speech in order
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 3, 2003
                  According to Ad Herennium 4.38.50 "deminutio"
                  (diminutio) is the lessening of one's accomplishments
                  as a form of modesty (pudica) in a text or speech in
                  order to gain the admiration of the audience. This
                  rhetorical form (figure of ethos)was one of two key
                  types used by speakers or authors (the other being
                  anamnesis) to establish authority with the audience.
                  This is very different from a mere deliberate
                  understatement by disproportionate characterization as
                  a lesser nature or kind, which, in rhetoric is
                  "meiosis". The opposite of this latter form is
                  overstatement or "hyperbole".

                  > > Litotes is a rhetorical device of understatement
                  > used in some languages
                  > > in which a positive statement is intended by
                  > stating the opposite of
                  > > its negative, for example, saying "not many" for
                  > the meaning "a few".
                  > > Therefore my examples are valid.




                  =====
                  John N. Lupia, III
                  Toms River New Jersey 08757 USA
                  Phone: (732) 505-5325
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News/
                  God Bless America

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