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Headword: Μιαιγαμίαι
Adler number: mu,1037
Translated headword: polluted marriages, incestuous marriages
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
"Let the sons of Seth, both Enos and Enoch, be considered[1] sons of God, who, overcome by licentiousness, came in to the daughters of Cain. From them, of the repeated[2] polluted union, are born the Giants, who are strong and very huge because of their just [ancestor] but wicked and very evil because of the unjust and unhallowed one."
Greek Original:
Μιαιγαμίαι: οἱ τοῦ Σὴθ καὶ Ἐνὼς καὶ Ἐνὼχ παῖδες υἱοὶ θεοῦ νοείσθωσαν: οἵτινες ἁλόντες ἀκολασίᾳ πρὸς τὰς θυγατέρας Κάϊν εἰσῆλθον: ἐξ ὧν οἱ τῆς καταλλήλου μιαιγαμίας γίνονται γίγαντες, διὰ μὲν τὸν δίκαιον ἰσχυροὶ καὶ μέγιστοι, διὰ δὲ τὸν ἄδικον καὶ βέβηλον πονηροὶ καὶ κάκιστοι.
Notes:
This extract is taken from the life of Seth in the Chronicles (sigma 295) of George the Monk (Georgius Monachus, Chronicon 44.11-16, Chronicon breve 110.88), with certain omissions: an alternative "or sons of the gods, according to Symmachus" (found at sigma 295) and the names of the unjust ancestor, Cain, and the just one, Seth.
This tale seems to originate either in an unknown passage of Symmachus (OCD(4) 1417) or in the Chronologica of Joannes Malalas (p.7.7 Dindorf, 1831), who, as usual, has "Greek mythology incorporated within a framework of Hebrew affairs" (OCD(4) 890). The ancestry of the Giants in Greek theogonies is here fitted to the Bible story of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve (Genesis 4-5) and thus the grandson of God. In fact, Enos is there the son of Seth, and Enoch the son of Cain, a fact that is confused in the Greek sources here under discussion. Enoch is an example of virtue in the Bible. Cain has no daughters mentioned in the Bible; thus the incestuous marriage must derive from Greek mythology.
The word μιαιγαμία is a bizarre late compound from the same root for pollution as miasma (mu 1028) and μιαίνω (web address 1), followed by the root for marriage. Outside the passages above, it is known to us only in two passages of Clemens Romanus. The only similar compounds are three words related to murder (μιαιφονία, μιαιφονέω, μιαίφονος ). Normal derivatives are in mia-, e.g. μιαρός , or mian-.
[1] Notice the (post-classical) third person plural of the aorist imperative passive of νοέομαι . This imperative is used frequently in treatises on mathematics, where we might in English use "Take... as" or "Let... stand for."
[2] Editors of these texts assume that this is a false reading for ἀκαταλλήλου 'unhallowed', which makes more sense.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: Christianity; chronology; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; gender and sexuality; historiography; mythology; religion; women
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 4 February 2002@19:21:55.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 12 September 2002@05:25:42.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 31 January 2005@15:04:10.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 11 November 2005@06:03:43.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 22 May 2013@08:10:06.
David Whitehead (updated some refs) on 2 August 2014@09:24:15.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 8 November 2014@12:13:36.

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