PURA. Purism In Antiquity: Theories Of Language in Greek Atticist Lexica and their Legacy

Lexicographic entries

ἀφθονέστερον, ἀρχαιέστερον
(Antiatt. α 74, Antiatt. α 75)

A. Main sources

(1) Antiatt. α 74: ἀφθονέστερον· Πίνδαρος Ἐπινικίοις.

ἀφθονέστερον Bekker (1814–1821 vol. 1, 80 l. 7) : ἀφθονέστε/ cod. (cf. Valente 2015, 104).

ἀφθονέστερον (‘more generous’): Pindar [uses this form] in the Epinicians (O. 2.94 = C.1).


(2) Antiatt. α 75: ἀρχαιέστερον· Πίνδαρος Ὕμνοις.

ἀρχαιέστερον (‘more ancient’): Pindar [uses this form] in the Hymns (fr. 45 Snell–Maehler = C.2).


B. Other erudite sources

(1) Et.Gen. AB α 1468 (= Philox.Gramm. fr. 332 ~ EM α 449; cf. Eust. in Il. 2.699.6–7, Eust. in D.P. 172): ἀφθονέστατον· ἰστέον ὅτι τὸ ἀρχέστατον, ὡς παρ’ Αἰσχύλῳ ἐν τῇ Πηνελόπῃ, οἷον ‘ἐγὼ γένος μέν εἰμι Κρὴς ἀρχέστατον’ καὶ τὸ αἰδοιέστατον, ὡς παρ’ Ἀλκμᾶνι, οἷον· †συοῖσικ’ ἀνθρώποισιν αἰδοιέστατοι, καὶ τὸ ἀφθονέστερα, οἷον· †ὅρα σε κρήνης ἀφθονέστερα† λιβάσιλ( ), ταῦτα ποιητικά εἰσι κατ’ ἔθος Ἰώνων γινόμενα· τὰ γὰρ διὰ τοῦ ο συγκριτικὰ οὗτοι διὰ τοῦ ες προφέρουσι, οἷον δικαιέστερος καὶ ἀρχέστερος λέγοντες· ὤφειλεν γὰρ τὰ προειρημένα δικαιότερος εἶναι καὶ αἰδοιότερος καὶ ἀφθονώτερος. οὕτως Φιλόξενος εἰς τὸ Περὶ συγκριτικῶν.

†συοῖσικ’ ἀνθρώποισιν αἰδοιέστατοι A, Lasserre–Livadaras : ναοῖσι ἀνθρώποισιν αἰδοιέστατον B : σιοῖσι κἀνθρώποισιν αἰδοιεστάτοι Page ad Alcm. fr. 2.ii PMG | †ὅρα σε κρήνης ἀφθονέστερα† λιβάσιλ( ) A, Lasserre–Livadaras, omitted in B : †ὅρα σε† κρήνης ἀφθονεστέρα λιβάς Radt ad Aesch. fr. 72 : λιβὰς Ἡλ<ίασιν> Reitzenstein.

ἀφθονέστατον: One should know that ἀρχέστατον – as in Aeschylus, Penelope (fr. 187 = C.5) ‘Ι am a Cretan of very ancient stock’ – and αἰδοιέστατον – as in Alcman (fr. 2.ii PMG) ‘most revered by gods and men’ – and ἀφθονέστερα – like ‘†see [that] you† of the fountain more abundantly the flow’ (Aesch. fr. 72 = C.2) – all such forms are poetic, formed according to the Ionic fashion. For they (the Ionians) form the comparatives in ‑ο‑ with ‑εσ‑, saying for instance δικαιέστερος and ἀρχέστερος. The forms mentioned before should have been δικαιότερος, αἰδοιότερος, and ἀφθονώτερος. Thus says Philoxenus in his On comparatives (fr. 332).


(2) Phot. α 3349: ἀφθονεστέραν εἶπεν Αἰσχύλος, ἀφθονώτερος καὶ ἀφθόνως Δημοσθένης, ἀφθόνητος δὲ Πίνδαρος.

Aeschylus (fr. 72 = C.3) used ἀφθονεστέραν (‘more abundant’), Demosthenes (18.89) ἀφθονώτερος (‘more abundant’) and ἀφθόνως (‘abundantly’, Epist. 2.25), and Pindar (O. 11.7, 13.25) ἀφθόνητος (‘unbegrudging’).


(3) Et.Gen. B α 179 (= Philox.Gramm. fr. 331 ~ Et.Sym. α 247, 249, EM α 449; cf. Eust. in Il. 2.699.6–7, Eust. in D.P. 172): αἰδοιέστατον· ἰστέον, ὅτι τὸ ἀρχέστατον, ὡς παρ’ Αἰσχύλῳ ἐν τῇ Πηνελόπῃ, οἷον· ‘γένος μέν τ’ εἰμι Κρὴς ἀρχέστατον’· καὶ τὸ αἰδοιέστατον καὶ ἀφθονέστατον ποιητικά εἰσι κατ’ ἔθος Ἰώνων γενόμενα· τὰ γὰρ διὰ τοῦ ο συγκριτικὰ οὗτοι διὰ τοῦ εσ προφέρουσιν, οἷον δικαιέστερος καὶ ἀρχαιέστερος.

διὰ τοῦ ο Theodoridis ad Philox.Gramm. fr. 331 : διὰ τοῦ † ου Lasserre–Livadaras | ἀρχαιέστερος Lasserre–Livadaras : ἀρχεέστερος B : ἀρχέστερος Theodoridis ad Philox.Gramm. fr. 331 | προφέρουσιν is the reading of Et.Sym. and Gaisford’s edition of the EM : προσφέρουσιν Et.Gen. B, cod. C of the Et.Sym., cod. D of the EM.

αἰδοιέστατον (Pi. O. 3.42): One should know that ἀρχέστατον – as in Aeschylus, Penelope (fr. 187 = C.5) ‘I am a Cretan of very ancient stock’ – and αἰδοιέστατον, and ἀφθονέστατον are poetic, formed according to the Ionic fashion. For they (the Ionians) form the comparatives in ‑ο‑ with ‑εσ‑, for instance δικαιέστερος and ἀρχαιέστερος.


(4) Et.Gen. AB α 900 (= Philox.Gramm. fr. 339 ~ Et.Sym. α 1053, EM α 1428, Eust. in Il. 2.699.3–9; cf. Apollon. Lex. 36.17): ἀνιηρέστερον· ‘αὐτῷ μέν οἱ πρῶτον ἀνιηρέστερον ἔσται’· πῶς οὐκ ἀνιαρώτερον εἴρηται; ἀνιαρός γὰρ τὸ πρωτότυπον· καὶ ἰστέον, ὅτι τὰ εἰς ος λήγοντα ὀνόματα, ὅσα οὐδετέροις παρασχηματίζονται, ἤγουν τριγενῆ ὄντα, ταῦτα καὶ συγκριτικὰ ποιοῦσιν, οἷον ἐλαφρός ἐλαφρή καὶ τὸ ἐλαφρόν, καὶ τὸ συγκριτικὸν ἐλαφρότερος, ἁγνός ἁγνή ἁγνόν ἁγνότερος, λευκός λευκή λευκόν λευκότερος· οὕτως οὖν καὶ ἀνιαρός ἀνιαρή ἀνιαρόν ἀνιαρότερον ὤφειλεν εἶναι. ἀλλ’ ἔστιν εἰπεῖν ὅτι παρὰ τὸ ἀνιαρός γίνεται παρώνυμον ἀνιαρής, ὥσπερ ὁμαλός ὁμαλής, γυμνός γυμνής, ἀργός ἀργής· καὶ ἐπειδὴ τὰ εἰς ης λήγοντα τριγενῆ ὑπέρθεσιν δέχονται καὶ σύγκρισιν, οἷον εὐτυχής ἡ εὐτυχής καὶ τὸ εὐτυχές, καὶ τὸ συγκριτικὸν εὐτυχέστερος, εὐγενέστερος, εὐμελέστερος, ὑγιέστερος, σαφέστερος, πληρέστερος, εὐωδέστερος, ἐμβριθέστερος, προγενέστερος· Καλλίμαχος <…> ‘ἠὲ νέων ἀνδρῶν ἢ οἳ προγενέστεροί εἰσιν’· οὕτως οὖν καὶ ἀνιαρής καὶ ἡ ἀνιαρής καὶ τὸ ἀνιαρές, καὶ ἀνιαρέστερον τὸ συγκριτικόν· καὶ κατ’ ἔκτασιν ἀνιηρέστερον. ἁμαρτάνουσιν ἄρα οἱ προφερόμενοι πενέστατος· ἀπαρασχημάτιστον γὰρ τὸ πένης ὄνομα τῷ οὐδετέρῳ. ἔδει δὲ καὶ παρὰ τὸ κλέπτης καὶ ψευδής μηδόλως σχηματίζεσθαι συγκριτικόν, οἱ δὲ Ἀττικοὶ κλεπτίστατον καὶ ψευδίστατον εἰπόντες τὰ συγκριτικὰ ἥμαρτον· ἀντὶ γὰρ τοῦ κλεπτέστατον καὶ ψευδέστατον. οὕτως Φιλόξενος εἰς τὸ Ῥηματικὸν αὑτοῦ.

Καλλίμαχος <…> Theodoridis ad Philox.Gramm. fr. 339 : †Καλλίμαχος (Hom. β 29) Lasserre–Livadaras | Ῥηματικὸν Lasserre–Livadaras : ρη A (B omits the whole sentence from οὕτως onwards) : Reitzenstein attributed the quotation to Philoxenus’ Περὶ συγκριτικῶν (cf. Theodoridis’ apparatus ad Philox.Gramm. fr. 339, and p. 44).

ἀνιηρέστερον: ‘For him in the first place it will be more grievous’ (Hom. Od. 2.190). Why is it not ἀνιαρώτερον, given that the primitive word (on which the comparative is based) is ἀνιαρός? One should know that those adjectives that end in ‑ος and are declined [also] in the neuter, i.e. have three genders, form their comparatives in the same way (i.e. with three genders): for instance [from] ἐλαφρός, ἐλαφρή, ἐλαφρόν [one has] the [three‑gendered] comparative ἐλαφρότερος; [from] ἁγνός, ἁγνή, ἁγνόν [one has the three‑gendered] ἁγνότερος, [from] λευκός, λευκή, λευκόν [one has the three‑gendered] λευκότερος. So, also ἀνιαρός, ἀνιαρή, ἀνιαρόν should have been ἀνιαρότερος. But it should be said that from ἀνιαρός the derivative ἀνιαρής derives, like [from] ὁμαλός [derives] ὁμαλής, [from] γυμνός [derives] γυμνής, [from] ἀργός [derives] ἀργής. Since adjectives in ‑ης have the superlative and comparative with three genders – for instance [from] εὐτυχής [of which the feminine is] ἡ εὐτυχής [and the neuter] εὐτυχές, [one has the three‑gendered] comparative εὐτυχέστερος; [and similarly for] εὐγενέστερος, εὐμελέστερος, ὑγιέστερος, σαφέστερος, πληρέστερος, εὐωδέστερος, ἐμβριθέστερος, προγενέστερος. Callimachus <…>. [And Homer, Od. 2.29]: ‘either among young men, or those who are older’. So in the same way [from] the [two‑gendered] ἀνιαρής, ἀνιαρές [one has] the comparative ἀνιαρέστερον and, with lengthening [of alpha into eta] ἀνιηρέστερον. Those who say πενέστατος are wrong. For the noun πένης does not build a neuter form. From the nouns κλέπτης and ψευδής one should never derive a comparative; Attic‑speakers, when they used the comparatives (i.e., the superlatives) κλεπτίστατος and ψευδίστατος, made a mistake. For [these are used] instead of κλεπτέστατος and ψευδέστατος. Thus Philoxenus in his On the verb (more probably On comparatives, see apparatus).


(5) Et.Gen. B s.v. εὐνούστατον (= Philox.Gramm. fr. 344 ~ EM 394.5–26): εὐνούστατον· πᾶν ὄνομα εἰς ους λῆγον τὸ παρακείμενον συγκριτικόν τε καὶ ὑπερθετικὸν προσθέσει τοῦ τος ἀποτελεῖ, οἷον ἁπλούστατος εὐχρούστατος. ζητητέον δὲ τί δήποτε εὔνους ἐστὶν τὸ ἁπλοῦν <καὶ εὔνοος> καὶ τὸ συγκριτικὸν εὐνοώτερος, τὸ δὲ συνῃρημένον σχῆμα εὐνούστερος καὶ οὐχὶ εὐνούτερος. ῥητέον οὖν ὅτι ὅσα μὲν τῶν πρωτοτύπων βραχυκαταληκτεῖ, ταῦτα οὐκ ἔχει σύμφωνον ἐν τῷ συγκριτικῷ καὶ ὑπερθετικῷ, οἷον ταχὺς ταχύτερος καὶ ταχύτατος· ὅσα δὲ μακροκαταληκτεῖ ταῦτα μετὰ συμφώνου ἐν τοῖς συγκριτικοῖς ἐκφέρονται καὶ ὑπερθετικοῖς, οἷον εὐγενὴς εὐγενέστερος εὐγενέστατος καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ὁμοίων ὡσαύτως. τὸ δὲ εὐνούστατος, ὅτε μέν ἐστιν ἀπὸ τοῦ εὔνοος, δεῖ εἶναι εὐνοώτερος, ὅτε δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ εὔνους, εὐνούστερος. ἰστέον ὅτι τὰ μετὰ συμφώνου γινόμενα ἐν τοῖς συγκριτικοῖς βραχύνεται κατὰ τὰ φωνήεντα, οἷον σωφρονέστατον ὑγιέστερον. τὸ οὖν εὐνούστερον ἢ περισσὸν οἰητέον ἔχειν τὸ σ ἢ ὀφείλει βραχύνεσθαι κατὰ τὴν τρίτην ἀπὸ τέλους. ὥστε τὸ μὲν εὐνούστερος ἡμάρτηται, ὑγιῶς δὲ ἔχει τὸ εὐνοώτερος Φιλόξενος.

Every adjective that ends in ‑ους [forms] the comparative appropriate [to its inflectional paradigm] (i.e. with ‑oυσ‑), as well as the superlative, which adds ‑τος [to ‑oυσ‑], as in ἁπλούστατος [and] εὐχρούστατος. The question arises why, [since] the simple form (i.e., the positive grade) is εὔνους <and εὔνοος>, the comparative is εὐνοώτερος – or, according to the above‑mentioned rule, εὐνούστερος – and not εὐνούτερος. It must be said that all those forms which end in a short syllable in the positive grade do not have a consonant (i.e., σ) in the comparative and superlative, like ταχύς, ταχύτερος and ταχύτατος. But those which end in a long syllable are pronounced with a consonant in comparative and superlative forms, like εὐγενής, εὐγενέστερος εὐγενέστατος, and similarly in forms of this kind. [The comparative corresponding to the superlative] εὐνούστατος, when it does not derive from [the uncontracted adjective] εὔνοος, must be εὐνοώτερος; when it derives from [the contracted adjective] εὔνους [is] εὐνούστερος. One should know that adjectives [formed with] a vowel shorten it in the comparative, like σωφρονέστατον and ὑγιέστερον [from σώφρων and ὑγιής]. Therefore, either one thinks that εὐνούστερον has a superfluous σ or it should shorten the third syllable from the end. That is why εὐνούστερος is a mistake and Philoxenus (fr. 344) considers εὐνοώτερος correct.


(6) Ath. 10.424d (= Philox.Gramm. fr. *338 ~ Eust. in Il. 2.699.3–9): τῷ δὲ ἀκρατέστερον Ὑπερείδης κέχρηται ἐν τῷ κατὰ Δημοσθένους γράφων οὕτως· ‘εἰ μέν τις ἀκρατέστερον ἔπιεν, ἐλύπει σέ’. τούτῳ ὅμοιόν ἐστι τὸ ἀνιηρέστερον καὶ τὸ ἐν Ἡλιάσιν Αἰσχύλου ‘ἀφθονέστερον λίβα’. καὶ Ἐπίχαρμος δὲ ἐν Πύρρᾳ εὐωνέστερον ἔφη. καὶ ἐν τῷ κατὰ Δημάδου δὲ ὁ Ὑπερείδης εἴρηκε ‘ῥᾳδιεστέραν τὴν πόλιν’.

Hyperides uses the word ἀκρατέστερον in his Against Demothenes (fr. 54 Jensen), where he writes as follows: ‘If anyone drank ἀκρατέστερον (‘purer [wine]’), it upset you’. The form ἀνιηρέστερον (‘more troublesome, more annoying’) is similar to this, as is the phrase ‘an ἀφθονέστερον (‘less begrudging’) stream’ in Aeschylus’ Daughters of the Sun (fr. 72 = C.3). So too Epicharmus in Pyrrha (fr. 119) used the word εὐωνέστερον (‘cheaper’), while Hyperides in his Against Demades (fr. 86 Jensen) describes the city as ῥᾳδιεστέρα (‘more easy‑going’). (Transl. Olson 2009, 23).


C. Loci classici, other relevant texts

(1) Pi. O. 2.92–4:
αὐδάσομαι ἐνόρκιον λόγον ἀλαθεῖ νόῳ,
τεκεῖν μή τιν’ ἑκατόν γε ἐτέων πόλιν
φίλοις ἄνδρα μᾶλλον
εὐεργέταν πραπίσιν ἀφθονέστερόν τε χέρα
Θήρωνος.

I will speak with true mind a word bound by an oath: no city for a hundred years has given birth to a man more beneficent with his heart towards his friends and more generous with his hand than Theron.


(2) Pi. fr. 45 Snell–Maehler = Antiatt. α 75 re. ἀρχαιέστερον (A.2).

More ancient.


(3) Aesch. fr. 72:
†ὅρα σε† κρήνης ἀφθονεστέρα λιβάς. (cf. Et.Gen. AB α 1468, B.1, cf. B.2)

†ὅρα σε† Radt : ὅρα σε Et.Gen. A (text omitted in B) : †ὅρα σε Lasserre–Livadaras : †ὤρουσε Reitzenstein | ἀφθονεστέρα Radt, Phot. α 3349 : ἀφθονεστερα Et.Gen. A (text omitted in B) : ἀφθονέστερα Lasserre–Livadaras : ἀφθονέστερον Ath. 10.424d (B.6) | λιβάς Radt, Reitzenstein : λιβάσιλ( ) Et.Gen. A (text omitted in B), Lasserre–Livadaras : λίβα Ath. 10.424d (B.6).

†Look you† of the fountain more abundant the flow.


(4) Eup. fr. 330:
πόλιν γε θεοφιλεστάτην
οἰκοῦσιν ἀφθονεστάτην τε χρήμασιν.

They live in a city that is very loved by the gods and very abundant in riches.


(5) Aesch. fr. 187:
ἐγὼ γένος μέν εἰμι Κρὴς ἀρχέστατον (cf. Et.Gen. AB α 1468, B.1, Et.Gen. B α 179, B.3).

I am a Cretan of very ancient stock.


(6) Thuc. 2.15.4: τὰ γὰρ ἱερὰ ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἀκροπόλει † καὶ ἄλλων θεῶν ἐστὶ καὶ τὰ ἔξω πρὸς τοῦτο τὸ μέρος τῆς πόλεως μᾶλλον ἵδρυται, τό τε τοῦ Διὸς τοῦ Ὀλυμπίου καὶ τὸ Πύθιον καὶ τὸ τῆς Γῆς καὶ τὸ <τοῦ> ἐν Λίμναις Διονύσου, ᾧ τὰ ἀρχαιότερα Διονύσια [τῇ δωδεκάτῃ] ποιεῖται ἐν μηνὶ Ἀνθεστηριῶνι […].

For the sanctuaries on the Acropolis itself are of other gods (as well as Athena) and those which are outside are situated more in that part of the city: that of Olympian Zeus, and that of Pythian (Apollo) and that of Earth and that of Dionysus in Limnae, for whom are celebrated the more ancient Dionysia [on the twelfth] of the month of Anthesterion […].


(7) Ar. Av. 467–70:
                ὑμεῖς
πάντων ὁπόσ’ ἔστιν, ἐμοῦ πρῶτον, τουδί, καὶ τοῦ Διὸς αὐτοῦ,
ἀρχαιότεροι πρότεροί τε Κρόνου καὶ Τιτάνων ἐγένεσθε
καὶ Γῆς.

You are more ancient than all that exists, firstly than me and this man, and even Zeus himself: you were born before Cronus or the Titans or the Earth.


(8) X. HG 5.1.15: ὥστε ὅταν ὑμεῖς πλήρη ἔχητε τὰ ἐπιτήδεια, τότε καὶ ἐμὲ ὄψεσθε ἀφθονώτερον διαιτώμενον.

Therefore, when you have provisions in abundance, then you will see me, too, living more generously.


(9) Pl. R. 460b: καὶ τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς γέ που τῶν νέων ἐν πολέμῳ ἢ ἄλλοθί που γέρα δοτέον καὶ ἆθλα, ἄλλα τε καὶ ἀφθονεστέρα ἡ ἐξουσία τῆς τῶν γυναικῶν συγκοιμήσεως […].

And to those among the young men who are good at war, indeed, or at other things, honours and prizes must be given, and among other things also more liberal freedom concerning intercourse with women […].


D. General commentary

These two consecutive entries of the Antiatticist concern the irregular comparatives of ἄφθονος and ἀρχαῖος, i.e. ἀφθονέστερος and ἀρχαιέστερος. Both forms are characterised by the analogical use of the ‑εσ‑ suffix, typical of sigmatic stems: the regular comparatives of thematic stems end in ‑οτερος (ἀφθονώτερος, ἀρχαιότερος). The phenomenon affects a handful of adjectives in classical Greek (some lists in Nauck 1848, 46 n. 53, and K–B vol. 1, 562–3). It is not clear why ‑εσ‑ spread to comparatives and superlatives outside of sigmatic stems. Wackernagel (1897, 12) identified the trigger of the analogical process in the adjective εὐδιεινόςεὐδιεινός ‘calm’. Since this is a ‘Caland’ sigmatic stem (*εὐδιεσ‑νός), it forms the comparative εὐδιέστερος based on the sigmatic stem εὐδιεσ‑. According to Wackernagel, εὐδιέστερος was later reinterpreted as the comparative of the synonym εὔδιος, leading to the spread of ‑εσ‑ to other thematic stems. On the other hand, Schwyzer (1939, 535) appeals to the influence of antonyms or synonyms in ‑ής on thematic adjectives. He mentions the case of Hdt. 1.196Hdt. 1.196.2, where the regular superlative εὐειδεστάτη ‘most beautiful’, repeated three times, is followed by the analogically formed antonym ἀμορφεστάτη ‘ugliest’ (a similar analogical process is also suggested for some forms by Wackernagel 1897, 13).

ἀφθονέστερος and ἀρχαιέστερος are rare forms. Apart from the two loci classici quoted by the Antiatticist (C.1, C.2), ἀφθονέστερος occurs in Aeschylus (C.3; Eupolis [C.4] uses the superlative ἀφθονέστατος) and is later employed by Libanius, Stobaeus, John Moschus, Theodorus Studites and once by Photius in the Bibliotheca. ἀρχαιέστερος further occurs once in Aristophanes (C.7) and later only in erudite sources. Clearly, the regular forms in ‑οτερος were the norm. ἀφθονώτερος (or ‑ώτατος) is first attested in Xenophon some dozen times (e.g. C.8), while ἀρχαιότερος is first found in Thucydides (C.6): both remain common in later Greek. Note that metrical constraints could be a reason for the use of the analogical form only in the case of ἀρχαιέστερος and ἀρχαιότερος, but not of ἀφθονέστερος and ἀφθονώτερος, which scan in the same way.

The two lemmas of the Antiatticist are noteworthy for several reasons. First, the Antiatticist is the only Atticist lexicon to reflect on the problematic formations in ‑εσ‑, which receive no comment in Phrynichus, Pollux and Moeris. Although the specific comparatives ἀφθονέστερος and ἀρχαιέστερος are almost entirely absent in Attic prose (one may note here the interesting exception of Pl. R. 460b.2, C.9, with its ἀφθονέστερος), the same is not true of analogical ‑εσ‑ forms as a whole. We see, for instance, ῥᾳδιέστεροςῥᾴδιος in Hyperides, and ἐπιπεδέστεροςἐπίπεδος and ἡρεμέστεροςἥρεμος in Xenophon. It is noteworthy that the occurrence of these formations in Attic prose did not catch the attention of other lexicographers.

Secondly, the Antiatticist preserves information that has not survived in the other sources focusing on formations in ‑εσ‑. Both entries quote PindarPindar, thereby preserving the first known occurrence of each comparative. Clearly, the criterion that informs the selection of loci classici in these lemmas is one of historical precedence and not one of canonicity. Thirdly, these two entries on analogical comparatives in ‑εσ‑ are part of the Antiatticist’s more general interest in irregular comparative formations (see too ε 17 on ἐλεημονέστατονAntiatt. ε 17), which also includes analogical adverbs (see entry ἀληθεστέρως, καταδεεστέρως and entry ἀμεινόνως).

The Antiatticist is part of a wider network of grammatical sources which deal, in various ways, with comparatives and superlatives in ‑εσ‑ and which use information going back to Philoxenus’ On comparativesPhiloxenus). According to two very similar entries in the Etymologicum genuinum (B.1, B.3), Philoxenus defined analogical forms in ‑εσ‑ as poetic and specifically IonicIonic (ποιητικά εἰσι κατ’ ἔθος Ἰώνων γενόμενα). The main lemma of the first entry in the Genuinum is the superlative ἀφθονέστατον. ἄφθονος and its derivations often feature in erudite sources: apart from B.1, B.3 and their lexicographical parallels, which all focus on comparatives and superlatives, Photius (α 3349, B.2) also draws attention to ἀφθόνητοςἀφθόνητος, itself the object of a lemma in the AntiatticistAntiatt. α 50 (α 50: see Tribulato 2021b on the possible semantic interest of this verbal adjective). Finally, in his Grammar (73.18–22) PlanudesMaximus Planudes Grammatica 73.18–22 too discusses ἀφθονέστερος, together with ὑγιεινέστερος, as examples of analogical ‑εσ‑ formations (ἔστι δ’ ὅτε καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν εἰς ος οὐ μόνον διὰ τοῦ ωτερος, ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ τοῦ εστερος ἐκφέρεται· ὡς ἄφθονος, ἀφθονώτερος καὶ ἀφθονέστερος· καὶ ὑγιεινός, ὑγιεινότερος, καὶ ὑγιεινέστερος ‘This (i.e., ‑εσ‑ comparatives) is also possible when forming [adjectives] in ‑ος: not only [a comparative] in ‑ωτερος, but also one in ‑εστερος, as in ἄφθονος, ἀφθονώτερος or ἀφθονέστερος, and ὑγιεινός, ὑγιεινότερος or ὑγιεινέστερος’).

Another entry in the Genuinum (B.4) focuses on the Homeric ἀνιηρέστερος (from ἀνιαρόςἀνιαρός ‘grievous’) and attempts to offer a rule for the formation of such comparatives based on the principles of analogy. Since the correct comparative for an adjective in ‑ος should end in ‑oτερος, the existence of a ghost s‑stem adjective ἀνιαρής is posited to explain ἀνιηρέστερος. The entry also seems to proscribe the derivation of comparatives and superlatives from nouns: πενέστατος ‘very poor’ and κλεπτίστατος ‘very thievish’ from πένηςπένης and κλέπτηςκλέπτης respectively, to which the Genuinum adds ψευδίστατος ‘very false’, treating ψευδήςψευδής as a noun. It also incoherently defines the Attic superlatives in ‑ισ‑ as incorrect and recommends using those in ‑εσ‑.

A further entry of the Genuinum (B.5) instead focuses on those analogical comparatives in ‑εσ‑, like εὐνοέστερος, deriving from adjectives of the contracted thematic declension (εὐνοῦςεὐνοῦς), ultimately rejecting them as irregular (for a grammatical overview of such forms, see Schwyzer 1939, 535). The discussion of forms like εὐνοέστερος is of interest for our purposes because εὐνοέστερος itself occurs in Herodotus and may have contributed to the classification of comparatives in ‑εσ‑ as Ionic. Finally, in a section of the Deipnosophists devoted to unmixed wine (B.6, with parallels; see also entry ζωρότερος, εὔζωρος, εὐζωρότερος), Athenaeus mentions further comparatives in ‑εσ‑: ἀκρατέστεροςἄκρατος (with a reference to Hyperides, though it is also employed in Attic comedy), εὐωνέστεροςεὔωνος ‘cheaper’ (Epich. fr. 119), and ῥᾳδιέστεροςῥᾴδιος ‘more easy‑going’.

No source explains on what grounds Philoxenus attributed these forms to IonicIonic. This may have depended on two facts. First, analogical forms in ‑εσ‑ feature in Homer (ἀνιηρέστερος), Herodotus (e.g. εὐνοέστερος, ἀμορφέστατος) and Hippocrates (see K–B vol. 1, 562–3): the ancients saw these authors as models of the Ionic dialect. Secondly, ‑εσ‑ forms are concentrated in poetry (Homer, Alcman, Pindar), including Attic tragedy (Aeschylus) and Doric and Attic comedy (Epicharmus, Eupolis). Philoxenus (fr. 337) explicitly considered only the comparatives and superlatives in ‑ισ‑ as typically Attic and therefore he may have needed to justify the presence of ‑εσ‑ formations in Attic poetry by appealing to Ionic. This may also explain why no other Atticist lexicon apart from the Antiatticist focuses on ‑εσ‑ forms.

E. Byzantine and Modern Greek commentary

N/A

F. Commentary on individual texts and occurrences

(1)    Aesch. fr. 72 (C.3 = B.1, B.6; cf. B.2)

This fragment is transmitted in its entirety by the Etymologicum Genuinum B (B.1) and by Athenaeus (B.6), but Photius (B.2) also seems to depend on it when he mentions that the feminine accusative ἀφθονεστέραν was used by Aeschylus. In keeping with their methodological criterion, in their edition of B.1 Lasserre and Livadaras maintain the text as transmitted in cod. B, with the first part between obeli (†ὅρα σε κρήνης ἀφθονέστερα† λιβάσιλ: the λ is added supra lineam in the manuscript). However, they interpret the unaccented ἀφθονεστερα of the manuscript as a neuter plural.

Before Lasserre and Livadaras, Reitzenstein (1890–1891, 6) had suggested emending the text into ὤρουσε κρήνης ἀφθονέστερον λιβάς (‘a flow rose, more abundantly than a fountain’ – a reference to the tears of the daughters of the Sun, the protagonists of the tragedy). Reitzenstein therefore read the comparative adverb ἀφθονέστερον (which would have the backing of the same reading in Athenaeus, B.6), the feminine nominative λιβάς as the subject of ὤρουσε, and the letters ιλ as a trace of the title of the play in the dative (Ἡλιάσιν), transmitted by Athenaeus (ἐν Ἡλιάσιν). In TrGFr, ad Aesch. fr. 72, Radt instead prefers to consider the beginning of the line irretrievable. He keeps the reading of cod. B for the comparative and edits it as the feminine ἀφθονεστέρα, in agreement with λιβάς (this would find a backing in Photius’ ἀφθονεστέραν). In his apparatus Radt annotates Richard Kannicht’s proposal for a different reading, namely the accusative singular ἀφθονεστέραν λίβα: this reading is accepted by Sommerstein (2008, 73).

(2)    Aesch. fr. 187 (C.5 = B.1, B.3)

Et.Gen. AB α 1468 (B.1) and Et.Gen. B α 179 (B.3) are the only sources for the text of Aeschylus’ fr. 187. Together with Antiatticist α 75 (A.2), they are also the only sources that testify to the existence of the analogical comparative ἀρχαιέστερος. In both entries of the Genuinum the superlative attributed to Aeschylus is ἀρχέστατος, a form preserved by Lasserre and Livadaras (and already by Reitzenstein 1890–1891, 5), as well as by Radt ad Aesch. fr. 187. However, the two entries differ as regards the treatment of the comparative ἀρχαιέστερος, quoted in the final parts of both texts. In B.1, the comparative features as ἀρχέστερος, while in B.3 the reading in the manuscript is ἀρχεέστερος. Lasserre and Livadaras correct the latter into ἀρχαιέστερος, while Theodoridis (Philox.Gramm. fr. 331) corrects it into ἀρχέστερος, based on the transmitted superlative ἀρχέστατος. The trustworthiness of the forms ἀρχέστερος and ἀρχέστατος seems dubious to me, even if one follows Nauck (1848, 46 n. 53) in considering them as based on ἀρχός and not ἀρχαῖος (cf. K–B 1890, 563). Given the erroneous reading ἀρχεέστερος of B, one could speculate that these readings originated from the medieval pronunciation of ἀρχαιέστερος and ἀρχαιέστατος (with αι coinciding with ε). A better option, therefore, would be to emend the forms ἀρχεέστερος, ἀρχεέστερος and ἀρχέστατος into the regular ἀρχαιέστερος and ἀρχαιέστατος.

Bibliography

Nauck, A. (1848). Aristophanis Byzantii grammatici Alexandrini fragmenta. Halle.

Olson, D. S. (2009). Athenaeus. The Learned Banqueters. Edited and translated by S. D. Olson. Vol. 5: Books 10.420e–11. Cambridge, MA.

Reitzenstein, R. (1890–1891). ‘Inedita poetarum Graecorum fragmenta’. Index lectionum in Academia Rostochiensi, 1890–1891, 2–18.

Schwyzer, E. (1939). Griechische Grammatik. Allgemeiner Teil, Lautlehre, Wortbildung, Flexion. Munich.

Sommerstein, A. H. (2008). Aeschylus. Fragments. Edited and Translated by Alan H. Sommerstein. Cambridge, MA.

Tribulato, O. (2021b). ‘ἀφθόνητος αἶνος. Su tre lemmi pindarici dell’Antiatticista’. Prodi, E. E.; Vecchiato, S. (eds.), ΦΑΙΔΙΜΟΣ ΕΚΤΩΡ. Studi in onore di Willy Cingano per il suo 70° compleanno. Venice, 564–84. DOI: http://doi.org/10.30687/978-88-6969-548-3/035.

Valente, S. (ed.) (2015). The Antiatticist. Introduction and Critical Edition. Berlin, Boston.

Wackernagel, J. (1897). ‘Vermischte Beiträge zur griechischen Sprachkunde’. Programm zur Rektoratsfeier der Universität Basel 1897, 3–62 (= Id., Kleine Schriften vol. 1, 764–823).

CITE THIS

Olga Tribulato, 'ἀφθονέστερον, ἀρχαιέστερον (Antiatt. α 74, Antiatt. α 75)', in Olga Tribulato (ed.), Digital Encyclopedia of Atticism.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.30687/DEA/2021/01/003

ABSTRACT
This article deals with the irregular comparatives ἀφθονέστερον and ἀρχαιέστερον, discussed in the Atticist lexica Antiatt. α 74 and Antiatt. α 75.
KEYWORDS

AdjectivesAnalogyComparativesSuperlatives

LAST UPDATE

2022-10-04 19:52:50