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φαινομενου αστερος

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by Thomas_help, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Thomas_help New Member

    Google Translate translates "φαινομενου αστερος" to English as "phenomenon starfish"
    -- is that possibly close?
    Especially, is the "fish" possibly a part of it?

    Also, and possibly relatedly, is this construction "
    τεχθεις" possibly related to the word for the constellation Pisces "Ιχθείς" -- the spelling of the two is very close.

    Thank you for any comments.
  2. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    Hello there Thomas and welcome to the forum. Are we talking about Mathew 2:7 here? Context is really important you know ;)
  3. Thomas_help New Member

    Hello ireney, Thanks for your reply. The first term is in Matthew 2:7 and the second term I noted is in Matthew 2:2.
    But I am aware of the various translations into English of course. I asked the question without referencing Matthew because I want people to take a fresh look at it, without the baggage of Biblical authorities. Just maybe, the translators into English did not mention that possibility because of interpretive biases of their own?
  4. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    OK then

    To begin with, google translate is a valuable service that makes many, many mistakes. Some of them hilarious. In addition, it's a service that translates modern Greek and there are enough differences between ancient a modern to make its translations even less trustworthy in this case.
    Now as it happens, for your first example modern vs ancient Greek is pretty irrelevant :)
    We call "starfish" "αστερίας", a word closely resembling our word for star (αστήρ in AG, αστέρι in MG) for a good reason since it does look like a star (the reason for "starfish" too)

    Now "φαινόμενου" can mean either "shining" or "appearing". In this case, going by the context, I'd say "appearing".

    As for "τεχθείς" (and, as a moderator, I would ask you in the future to ask different questions in different threads because, even if they seem closely related they may not be) no, it has nothing to do with Pisces. It's the participle of the passive aorist of the verb "τίκτω" which means (to give birth). So it means "the born".
  5. Thomas_help New Member

    Hi ireney,
    Thanks for the reply. So, recapping your reply for myself:
    1) The literal translation of "αστερίας" is actually "starfish", more so than only "star" -- correct?
    2) Regarding
    "τεχθείς" the Wescott&Hort interlinear translation describes it very similarly as you do (I tried to post a link, but not allowed) except the lexicon-concordance says it is "a strengthened form of the primary teko..."
    I hope I don't sound pushy to ask again, as I respect your opinion on the translation -- which is probably correct. But I want to know if it is possible that "τεχθείς" was originally intended to be related to either "Ιχθείς" Pisces or any meaning related to "fish" or "fish symbol" -- perhaps "appearing into the fish sign" or something like that. Especially when it is considered the original was written without spaces between words, "λεγοντεςπουεστινοτεχθεις" ?

    Note: early interpreters of Matthew believed that the author of Matthew would not have been aware of the constellation Pisces. But recent analyses of Babylonian cuneiform Mul.Apin star catalog, 1000 BCE, shows definitively that they did label a star grouping in what we call Pisces with a word meaning "fish".
  6. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    Hello again Thomas and thank you for your kind words

    1) Αστερίας does mean starfish. I'm afraid though that I wasn't clear; The word in the text, "αστέρος" is the genitive of "αστήρ" (star) not of "αστερίας" (genitive "αστερίου").

    2) (In the near future I'm going to split this discussion in a separate one by the way :) )
    The form "τίκτω" is the "strengthened form" of "τέκω". To put it very, very simply, "τέκω" has two forms.
    Now, while the "-χθεις" part is indeed the same, it doesn't really mean anything. In the case of "τεχθείς" it's just the ending of the nominative of the masculine passive participle (well, the "-θεις" part; the chi appears in all cases when the verb stem ends in "κ, γ, χ" so, λύω - λυθείς but λέγω- λεχθείς).
    Note that the difference in spelling (ypsilon vs epsilon iota) meant different pronunciation (ypsilon being one of the few letters whose pronunciation remained distinct till much, much later).

    Whether the star in this cases was part of the Pisces constellation is another point of course, a non linguistic one though I'm afraid.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  7. Thomas_help New Member

    OK, thanks again. So, to sum it up even more simply, for the linguistically impaired like me ;-) ...
    There is no possibility of "fish" or "fishiness" in the original intent of either phrase?

    Alright, letting the cat out of this bag, I a have background in astronomy (actually astrophysics) and I am writing a little essay on astronomical interpretations for Matthew chapter 2. So I am trying to get clear on all the nuances of the mentions of "star". Star, or a star-like term occurs four times in Matthew 2. I think tomorrow I will start a new thread, and quote my effort at describing those nuances in the uses of "star" in Matthew, to see if I can make sense to people here. My essay is intended for readers who, like me are total non-linguists, but do understand a little about astronomy. Thanks again for your explanations!
  8. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    Yes, there's nothing fishy with these phrases.

    You're welcome to open as many threads as you want of course and I'll be more than happy to explain linguistic matters in a simplified way just as long as you do the same for astrophysics :)

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