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Headword: *au)qe/nths
Adler number: alpha,4426
Translated headword: perpetrator
Vetting Status: high
The one [doing something] with his own hand, or the one who kills himself. Hence in Isocrates perpetrator.[1]
Lysias applies it in a special sense to the 30, even though they had their murders committed by others. For 'the actual perpetrator' always denotes the one who does it with his own hand.[2]
Also [sc attested is the related participle] au)qenth/santa, [meaning him] having gained control. "It would do him no good to have gained control of the ones in uniform to keep them together."[3]
"Mithridates had given commands that the Romans be killed and had sent letters bearing the royal seal to the cities instructing that the messages be read and carried out on the same day so that certain people would not be forewarned and take precautions, for he had ordered them to kill each and every Roman they could find. And to increase the multitude of corpses he proposed rewards not only for those of them who were to be the perpetrators, but also to the people among whom they happened to die, and specified a serious penalty for those who spared any of them."[4]
*au)qenths is derived as follows. There is a verb fw=, [meaning] 'I slaughter',[5] out of which fo/nos ["slaughter"] also [comes]. Out of this, alteration produces fe/nw with the epsilon; by aphaeresis of the phi, e)/nw. Out of this [comes] e)/nths and with the pronoun au)to/ ['self', 'very'], au)toe/nths. And since smooths leads smooths and roughs roughs, by change of the tau into theta, au)qe/nths, 'the one who does it with his own hand'.[6] But habit has taken over and uses the word as a synonym for 'master' -- which is a soloecism.
Greek Original:
*au)qe/nths: o( au)to/xeir, h)\ o( au(to\n a)nairw=n. dio\ par' *)isokra/tei au)qe/nths. *lusi/as i)di/ws au)to\ e)/tacen e)pi\ tw=n l#: kai/toi di' e(te/rwn ei)rga/zonto tou\s fo/nous. o( ga\r au)qe/nths a)ei\ to\n au)to/xeira shmai/nei. kai\ *au)qenth/santa, ku/rion geno/menon. mh\ o)fei/lein au)to\n au)qenth/santa tou\s u(po\ zw/nhn sune/xein. o(/ti *miqrida/ths dieta/cato tou\s *(rwmai/ous a)nairei=n kai\ e)/pemye gra/mmata ei)s ta\s po/leis, to\ basiliko\n sfra/gisma e)/xonta, mia=| te h(me/ra| ta/cas a)nagnw=nai kai\ paraxrh=ma ta\ gegramme/na pra=cai, o(/pws mh\ promaqo/ntes tine\s fula/cwntai. a)poktei=nai ga\r au)toi=s e)ke/leuse pa/nq' o(/ntina *(rwmai=on eu(/rwsi: kai\ a)=qla ou) mo/non toi=s au)toe/ntais sfw=n e)some/nois, a)lla\ kai\ toi=s dh/mois, par' oi(=s a)\n a)poqa/nwsi, pro\s to\ plh=qos tw=n teleuthsa/ntwn e)/qhke: timwri/an te toi=s feisome/nois tino\s au)tw=n mega/lhn w(/rise. para/getai de\ au)qe/nths ou(/tws. e)/sti r(h=ma fw=, to\ foneu/w: e)c ou(= kai\ fo/nos. e)k tou/tou kata\ paragwgh\n fe/nw dia\ tou= e yilou=, a)fai- re/sei tou= f e)/nw. e)c au)tou= e)/nths kai\ meta\ th=s au)to\ a)ntwnumi/as au)toe/nths. kai\ e)pei\ yila\ yilw=n h(gei=tai kai\ dase/a dase/wn, troph=| tou= t ei)s q, au)qe/nths, o( au)to/xeir. e)pekra/thse de\ h( sunh/qeia kai\ ke/xrhtai tw=| o)no/mati a)nti\ tou= despo/ths: o(/per e)sti\n a)kuroleci/a.
[1] What this four-word statement means is less than self-evident. However, since the present headword does not occur in the extant works of Isocrates, whereas the first glossing term au)to/xeir does (4.111, 5.150, 14.29, 19.19), its likeliest meaning would seem to be 'hence in Isocrates au)to/xeir is used in the sense of au)qe/nths.
[2] This paragraph derives from Harpokration s.v., where Lysias fr. 125 Sauppe (now 481 Carey OCT) is quoted.
[3] Quotation unidentifiable (but late). (For "those in uniform" cf. zeta 141.)
[4] For Mithridates/Mithradates see mu 1044. The present quotation was tentatively assigned by Adler to John of Antioch, but now Favuzzi [see under alpha 1596] 209-210 finds vocabulary-based grounds for an attribution to Cassius Dio. (Contrast xi 130.)
[5] There was a theory, promoted by Philoxenos of Alexandria (phi 394), that the Greek vocabulary was based on a core of monosyllabic verbs: see Dickey, 3.1.10 (p. 85). Hence the alleged verb fw= may be regarded as a hypothetical reconstruction. It is mentioned in other lexica as related to fhmi/, fai/nw, or foneu/w.
[6] The discussion of au)toe/nths has parallels in other lexica; the word itself appears at Hesychius alpha8413 Latte and in scholia on Homer and Apollonius Rhodius.
Eleanor Dickey, Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period. American Philological Association Classical Resource Series. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007
Keywords: biography; clothing; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; historiography; history; law; military affairs; politics; rhetoric
Translated by: William Hutton on 26 March 2002@06:00:11.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 11 April 2002@10:06:28.
Catharine Roth (added betacode, augmented note, added keywords and bibliography) on 7 May 2008@11:00:38.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr; augmented and modified n.1) on 8 May 2008@03:10:15.
David Whitehead (x-ref; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 1 July 2011@04:31:30.
David Whitehead (expanded n.4) on 4 June 2013@05:38:00.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 18 December 2013@01:15:22.
Catharine Roth (expanded notes) on 22 December 2015@12:37:48.


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