Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Greek inscription Quiz: Text?

15 Comments:

P J Williams said...

Looks to me like it's on the same construction as the Hebrew inscription.

Tze-Ming Quek said...

Great... I've just spent the past hour on this, which I could have used on my "real" work. And I still can't work it out...

Anonymous said...

There's too much glare to the right. Enlarging didn't help at all.

Photoshop might clear it up enough to read.

Randall Buth said...

well, can't pass up a puzzle, but don't have time either.
The Hebrew one took about 1.5 seconds, about the time for the image to come into focus. But that was a known text. I feel like I've seen it before somewhere.

The greek one looks like a misspelled "...they were able to remain single"
... [η]δυναντω μοναζειν.
This would not be from the NT.

Maybe this will let tze-ming check LXX or other sources for a quote.

Randall Buth said...

on second thought, looking at the nice line up of letters on the left,
perhaps the dun- word is

δυναμεθα
μοναζειν

we are able
to be alone

Randall Buth said...

δυσκολον
ομον
επικινειν
δυναμεθα
μοναζειν

difficult
together
to go forward
we are able
to remain alone

a strange proverb, if correct.

Daniel Buck said...

Randall,
I'll accept your take on the second and fifth word, and even on the second vowel of the fourth, but I don't see through the glare quite like you seem to.
I get:
duskwXXX
omon
epikwXX
dunanXXd
monazein

Christian Askeland said...

δυοκ[...]
ομου[...]
επικω̣[..]
δυναντο
μον.ζειν

??

I like using Google's free tool "Picasa". Try opening this image with it. Go to effects and hit sharpen a couple of times.

Peter M. Head said...

Two points: the white area is not glare from a flash but corrosion.
There are also some letters, a name perhaps, to the left of the scroll.

Peter M. Head said...

OK. I searched MONAZEIN on TLG and came up with a match:

DUSKOLON
OMOU KAI
EPIKIN
DUNON TO
MONAZEIN

This might be a better proverb than the brilliant one that Randall Buth came up with: 'It is difficult and dangerous to be alone.'


Basil of Caesarea quotes this twice:

Basilius Caesariensis Theol., Asceticon magnum sive Quaestiones (regulae fusius tractatae). {2040.048} Volume 31 page 901 line 19. and Volume 31 page 928 line 27t.

There is no other plausible match in TLG (assuming MONAZEIN).

Daniel Buck said...

Now how about some paleography?
This is not your typical minuscule script. Rare enough it is to find such curved strokes in an inscription, but to find them lower-case and unattached--this doesn't leave us much to go on for dating purposes, does it?

Randall Buth said...

Shalom Peter,
Thank you for the TLG reading.
DUSKOLON
OMOU KAI
EPIKIN
DUNON TO
MONAZEIN
that's close enough for me without seeing the stone. On translation, without a context, I would be inclined to read a little differently:

"difficult together,
and dangerous to be alone"

That is, it is difficult to live or work together with someone, but it is dangerous to be alone.

Daniel Buck said...

Given that translation, I'd expect this inscription to grace the walls of a monastery somewhere.

Peter M. Head said...

Thanks Randall,

There is a usage of OMOU KAI meaning 'in like manner as, just like, as' (LSJ). This would suggest continuity rather than discontinuity. But I shall try to find some context!

P

Anonymous said...

So what's the answer to the quiz?