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Headword: Χθές
Adler number: chi,323
Translated headword: yesterday
Vetting Status: high
Plato [uses this word] taking off the epsilon at the beginning.[1] The [word] χθές [is derived] from to run out [ἐκθεῖν ], which is to pass by.[2]
Note that Plato has "I went down" first and "yesterday" second.[3]
The Theologian had "yesterday" to catch the eye, and then "on the bright day of lights" parenthetically.[4] Therefore each had a preference, and it was that that he put forward.[5]
Greek Original:
Χθές: τὸ κατ' ἀρχὴν ε ἀφελὼν λέγει ὁ Πλάτων. τὸ δὲ χθὲς παρὰ τὸ ἐκθεῖν, ὅ ἐστι παρελθεῖν. ἰστέον δὲ ὅτι ὁ μὲν Πλάτων προὔργου εἶχε τὸ κατέβην, τὸ δὲ χθὲς πάρεργον. ὁ δὲ Θεολόγος τὸ χθὲς εἶχε σκοπόν, τὸ δέ, τῇ λαμπρᾷ τῶν φώτων ἡμέρᾳ, παρέλκον. ὃ οὖν ἕκαστος εἶχε προηγούμενον, ἐκεῖνο προύτρεψε.
[1] That is, another form is ἐχθές ; see LSJ s.v. χθές (web address 1 below). Cf. Hesychius, and Etymologicum Magnum 405.22.
[2] A false etymology; compare Sanskrit hyás, Latin heri.
[3] This refers to the order of the first two words of Plato's Republic 1.327A (web address 2 below), a word-order which he famously agonised over.
[4] Gregory of Nazianzus (PG 36.377bc), with scholion; cf. alpha 2921.
[5] The point here may be that the position of χθές within a clause depends on its importance to the author: Plato uses it post-positively because his emphasis is on "I went down" [καταβην ] whereas Gregory places it first and the appositive phrase "on the bright day of lights" follows it.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: Christianity; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; history; philosophy; religion; rhetoric
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 30 March 2008@02:51:05.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (x-ref; another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 30 March 2008@08:42:39.
David Whitehead on 11 November 2013@09:04:11.


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