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Greek Ethnic Terminology$

P. M. Fraser

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264287

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264287.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.321) Conclusion
Source:
Greek Ethnic Terminology
Author(s):

P. M. Fraser

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264287.003.0017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts from the author. The analysis of the use of ethnics across a wide range of literary and documentary sources, alongside the investigation of the text of the Epitome of Stephanus shows that, as full an understanding as is possible of the use of ethnics over more than a millennium must be based on the use of material from both sources. Stephanus illuminates constantly the varying history of the ethnic through the ages, even though his evidence is linguistic and literary. It is also evident that although Stephanus quotes the varying views of grammarians, notably Herodian, for the true accentuation of ethnics, on the whole he does not commit himself on this topic, and in a great many cases makes no comment of his own.

Keywords:   Stephanus, Epitome, ethnics, Herodian

THE ANALYSIS OF THE USE OF ETHNICS across a wide range of literary and documentary sources, alongside the investigation of the text of the Epitome of Stephanus, shows that, in the last resort as full an understanding as is possible of the use of ethnics over more than a millennium must be based on the use of material from both sources. stephanus illuminates constantly the varying history of the ethnic through the ages, even though his evidence is linguistic and literary. He may be demon-strably wrong in a large number of cases, in specific rather than general terms, that is, as relating to a single ethnic rather than to a whole category of forms, but he also frequently confirms such forms. Moreover, comparison both with the extracts made by Eustathius, and with that section of the full text preserved in one Paris manuscript (seguerianus; Coislianus 228),1 and with the quotations from Classical and post-Classical writers, suggests that while the Epitomator(s) frequently operated in an irregular and capricious manner they(?) probably removed legend and myth (while preserving a limited amount of historical data, drawn from a variety of different categories of sources) rather than linguistic formulae and quotations of ethnic forms. We have also seen cases in which an entry in stephanus which shows confusion between particularly ethnic and ktetic and other possessive forms coincides with the use of alternative forms in documentary sources.

At a deeper level it is evident that although stephanus quotes the varying views of grammarians, notably Herodian, for the true accentuation of ethnics, on the whole he does not commit himself on this topic, and in a great many cases makes no comment of his own. This may reflect his use, in the original Conclusion of grammatical sources of the pre-Aristarchean period, in the same way that he uses geographical, historical, and poetical texts from Homer onwards, but rarely, with one or two exceptions, historians or poets of the later imperial period, and then only for specific purposes, for example uranius on Arabia. A notable exception in poetry is provided by Dionysius the Periegete, the author of the (p.322) Conclusion and—of more importance for us—by the commentary of Eustathius on his Conclusion Stephanus’ sources for metonomasies of the mythological period are frequently unrecorded, but when they are, they may be either Hellenistic poets (notably Euphorion, Callimachus, Lycophron, and Apollonius Rhodius), and the large-scale prose geographers and mythographers, especially, in their respective fields, Apollodorus of Athens and Strabo, the ‘Old Man of Amaseia’. However, he does not name his sources for the Hellenistic and imperial metonomasies, and we are permitted to suppose that some at least of these late entries come from the Notitiae, the Acta of the Councils, and similar sources which would have been available in Constantinople if Stephanus chose to use them, though the text of the Epitome does not refer to them. It is noteworthy that the nearer we come to Stephanus’ own day the more difficult it becomes to determine his sources, which, for the most part, he leaves (or perhaps it would be more correct to say ‘finds’) anonymous for this later period. It does not seem likely that the Epitomator expressly excised the names of these late sources as part of his exercise in epitomisation.

The only direct link between forms attested documentarily and those used in the Epitome lies in the Conclusion of Krateros. Once more the situation repeats itself: we are largely dependent on Stephanus himself for our knowledge of this work, and what he quotes consists simply of individual names and not of continuous text. If, however, it is true that Krateros’ work contained the names of the members of the First Athenian Empire at the time of the first assessment of tribute, it is likely that Stephanus owes to him the early material relating to the communities listed in that assessment, though it is to be observed that although he quotes Krateros from time to time he never refers to Athenian (or indeed any other) documents of any period, at least directly. Moreover Krateros was probably not his only direct contact with documentary evidence. He has numerous quotations from Pausanias, and although in their existing form these appear to be largely concerned with myth, it is possible that he derived from him the names of Olympic victors based on his autopsy of statues and other monuments. Again, the various lists of names with ethnics which occurred in, or formed, various Conclusion may go back to, for example, the Marmor Parium and the Lindian Chronicle. These, whether with a local or a wider focus, though surviving themselves only in epigraphical form, made substantial use of written historical sources, in the same way as the inscribed story of the foundation of Magnesia-on-Maeander, and this was no doubt also true (p.323) of material to be found in Polemon, whom, however, the surviving version quotes only three or four times. It was certainly natural for Stephanus and his predecessors, such as Herennius Philon, to use a literary rather than an epigraphical source. Similarly ktisis-literature was no doubt the prime source of much early legend, especially that relating to colonial foundations, though there can be no doubt that genealogical material of this type remained available (no doubt frequently fabricated) well into the Byzantine age—witness Synesius’ reference to the inscribed list of thirty generations of his own direct line back to the founders of Sparta, which recalls the inscribed Chian gravestone of the fifth century BC containing the list of the fourteen direct ancestors of Heropythos of Chios.2 The numerous local histories which Stephanus quotes were probably also sources for such early material; the roll-call of these works and their authors is long—the Conclusion of Demosthenes, the Conclusion of Theagenes, the Conclusion of Philistos and others, the works of Rhianos, whose Conclusion and Conclusion are all quoted by Stephanus, the Conclusion of Xenion, and the verse Conclusion and Conclusion of Apollonius of Rhodes (for both of which Stephanus is our only source), the Conclusion of Apollonius of Aphrodisias, and the Conclusion and other works, part of a much larger oeuvre of Alexander Polyhistor. This local material plays a small role in comparison with the main geographical sources, Strabo, in first place, and next to him Artemidorus of Ephesus and his Epitome, called Conclusion Conclusion(the number of books in the original work of Artemidorus), and Marcianus of Heraclea (perhaps his near contemporary), and, of historians and logographers, facile princeps, Hecataeus, and, next, Hellanicus and Herodotus, and to a less extent, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Polybius. Many of these quotations can be compared with the manuscript tradition of the authors in question, and we can appreciate, even through the medium of the Epitome, how accurately for the most part Stephanus transmitted their texts.

To this literary material is to be added the grammatical work of Herodian (whose epitomator, Arcadius, is also quoted)—certainly the most influential grammarian in later antiquity, and much quoted by Stephanus for his orthographic and prosodiacal opinions.

From this arsenal of relevant but heterogeneous literature Stephanus, at first, second, third, and even fourth hand, compiled the Ethnika, of which the Epitomator has left us the dry bones. Finally, then, we are left (p.324) with the question we can never answer in toto, and only very occasionally in individual instances: are we to suppose that all this material was simply taken from Herennius Philon and Oros, to name the two most significant intermediaries? It is hard to accept this. Let the reader consider a few of the more detailed entries of the Epitome, for instance s.vv. Conclusion (probably a special case, and in any case unique in form), Conclusion (where the Epitome can be supplemented by Eustathius’ commentary on Dionysius the Periegete), and Conclusion (in the cod. Seguerianus). Consider, as the last of all our hypotheses, the entry regarding Paros, where the Epitome seems free from corruption, and the text is not supplemented by any external information. In it he quotes (1) Archilochus Conclusion Conclusion perhaps from the Monumentum Archilochi; (2) Callimachus (fr. 710 Pfeiffer); (3) Nikanor Conclusion (fr. 6); (4) Conclusion Conclusion Apollonius; (5) Ephorus, Book 10; (6) ‘Ps.-Scymnus’ (ll. 733, 952 Diller). It is difficult to believe that a single earlier author could have collected these sources on a comparable scale. That Herennius Philon and Oros should be the ultimate, exclusive sources of such an entry, in whatever combination of transmission we choose to imagine their use, seems unbelievable, however important they may be for certain entries; and if that judgement is true of them, it is a fortiori true of all other possible candidates for a similar role.

Notes:

(1) Cf. Honigmann, RE, s.v. Stephanos (12), col. 2396, [S].

(2) See JHS 123 (2003), 33 and n. 33, discussing SGDI 5656.