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Headword: Atta
Adler number: alpha,4304
Translated headword: whichever, some
Vetting Status: high
Has four meanings.[1] Meaning as many as or whichever in Antiphon, but meaning some or some kind of in Demosthenes in the Philippics.[2] But sometimes atta is redundant.
In the speech On the Fraudulent Embassy Demosthenes used the expression as equivalent to o(/sa;[3] one of the comic poets applied atta to number, another to time. *Atta [sc. means] tina/ ["some"] or a(/tina ["whichever"], or a few similar.
Antiphon uses a(/tta instead of a(/tina in the Defence of Murros: "for I had not suffered these things, which now I have suffered at this man's hands".[4] And elsewhere: "for whatever things they see with their sight, men judge to be more reliable than those things for which the proof of truth has come in secrecy".[5]
Damascius [writes]: "Isidore concerned himself with some works of poetry, not as much as he was able, but as much as he had desire. He had very little appreciation of them, as they did not seize his soul, but reached only to his imagination and his tongue".[6]
The adverb a)/te ["as"] has smooth breathing.[7]
Greek Original:
Atta: d# sêmainei. anti men tou hosa ê hatina para Antiphônti, anti de tou tina ê poia tina para Dêmosthenei en Philippikois. eniachou de parelkei to atta. en de tôi Parapresbeias Dêmosthenês epi tou hosa elabe tên lexin: tôn de kômikôn tis to atta epi arithmou etaxen, heteros de epi chronou. Atta, tina ê hatina, ê paraplêsia oliga. Antiphôn tôi hatta kechrêtai anti tou hatina en têi Apologiai tou Murrou. ou gar egô epeponthein tauta, hatta nun pepontha hupo toutou. kai authis: hoi gar anthrôpoi, hatta an horôsi têi opsei, pistotera hêgountai ê hois eis aphanes hêkei ho elenchos tês alêtheias. Damaskios: ho de Isidôros emeleta atta tôn poiêtikôn, ouch hoson dunameôs, all' hoson orexeôs eichen. eiche de ep' elachiston tês pros auta sumpatheias, hate ouch haptomena tês psuchês, alla mechri phantasias kai glôttês histamena. to ate epi epirrêmatos psiloutai.
The first paragraph here is abridged from Harpokration s.v.
cf. omicron 147.
[1] There are two different words, a)/tta with smooth breathing, Attic form for a)/ssa as indefinite pronoun, and a(/tta (or a(/ssa) with rough breathing, equivalent to a(/tina the indefinite relative. See alpha 4122, pi 1528, and web address 1 (Smyth sections 334, 339).
[2] Antiphon fr. 28 Sauppe; Demosthenes 4.50 (web address 2).
[3] Demosthenes 19.304 (web address 3).
[4] Antiphon fr.35 Sauppe.
[5] Antiphon fr. 36 (cf.178) Sauppe.
[6] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr.112 Zintzen (61 Asmus, 48A Athanassiadi); cf. delta 1572, epsilon 2043.
[7] This adverb has rough breathing: see alpha 4328.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: biography; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; poetry; rhetoric
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 13 January 2001@00:20:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 14 January 2001@09:30:39.
Catharine Roth (Added link.) on 9 February 2001@18:39:57.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 26 August 2002@09:31:05.
David Whitehead (augmented note) on 26 August 2002@09:32:52.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, augmented reference) on 21 February 2003@11:27:14.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 12 February 2004@01:10:43.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 1 July 2011@03:36:53.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 1 July 2011@16:35:07.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 5 March 2012@17:54:04.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 24 January 2014@09:38:12.
Catharine Roth (reordered links) on 6 December 2015@22:27:18.


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