Thursday, October 09, 2008



I've noticed some examples of asyndetic, privative adjectives in Greek magical papyri. The Greek texts are from Karl Preisendanz, ed. Papyri Graecae Magicae, vol. 1 (Leipzig: Teubner, 1928), abbreviated PGM, and the English translations are from Hans Dieter Benz, ed. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986). I've altered the translations where conjunctions, absent in Greek but added in English, obscure the asyndeton. One of the examples is due to a conjectural emendation.

PGM I.165 (tr. E.N. O'Neil):
boundless, undefiled, indescribable

ἀπέραντον, ἀμίαντον, ἀδιήγητον
PGM IV.267 (tr. E.N. O'Neil, revised):
obscure [literally = unclear], irresistible

ἄδηλον, ἀμήχανον

ἄδηλον Kroll: ΔΗΛΟΝ P
PGM IV.1063-1064 (tr. W.C. Grese, revised):
unharmed, not plagued by ghosts, free from calamity, without terror

ἀσινῆ, ἀνειδωλόπληκτον, ἄπληγον, ἀθάμβητον
PGM IV.1776 (tr. E.N. O'Neil):
lawless, implacable, inexorable, invisible, bodiless

ἄνομε, ἀνίλαστε, ἀλιτάνευτε, ἀϊδῆ, ἀσώματε

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