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Greek Lyric, Tragedy, and Textual CriticismCollected Papers$
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W. S. Barrett and M. L. West

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199203574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199203574.001.0001

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A Detail of Tragic Usage: The Application to Persons of Verbal Nouns in -μα *

A Detail of Tragic Usage: The Application to Persons of Verbal Nouns in -μα *

(p.351) 16 A Detail of Tragic Usage: The Application to Persons of Verbal Nouns in -μα*
Greek Lyric, Tragedy, and Textual Criticism

W. S. Barrett

Oxford University Press

This chapter justifies an observation made discussing Th. 1022 (in the edict forbidding the burial of Polyneikes) μήθ' όμαρτείν τυμβοχόα χειρώματα. It argues that the only meaning the writer could have intended is ‘no slaves shall go with him to heap a mound’; and that this use of χειρώματα as a designation is one which has no adequate parallel in tragedy. ‘Although it is common [in tragedy] for verbal nouns in -μα to be used of persons, they appear in general not to be used (as χειρώματα would be here) to designate them, but only to characterize them, or to predicate something of them, when they are already designated by other means’. It is this that this chapter seeks to justify.

Keywords:   verbal nouns, burial, Polyneikes, excursis

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