(Phryn. PS 7.7–9)
A. Main sources
(1) Phryn. PS 7.7–9: ἄτεγκτος παρηγορήμασιν· Αἰσχύλος δοτικῇ ἀντὶ γενικῆς Ἀττικῷ ἐχρήσατο ἔθει. Πλάτων <δὲ> γενικῇ κέχρηται· ‘μὴ τέγγεσθαι ὑπὸ κακοδοξίας’.
ἄτεγκτος παρηγορήμασιν: Aeschylus (fr. 348 = C.1) uses the dative instead of the genitive according to the Attic custom. But Plato uses the genitive: ‘not being made weak by bad reputation’ (R. 361c.7 = C.2).
B. Other erudite sources
(1) Σb α 2328 (= Phot. α 3064 = Su. α 4329, ex Σ´): ἄτεγκτος ἄνθρωπος παρηγορήμασιν· ὁ μὴ βρεχόμενος μήτε προσιέμενος παραμυθίαν, ἀλλὰ σκληρὸς ὢν ὡς ἡ πέτρα ἢ ἄλλο τι τῶν σκληρῶν, ὡς μηδὲ ὑπὸ ὕδατος βρέχεσθαι.
Photius omits παρηγορήμασιν || ὡς μηδὲ Σb and Su. : ὡς μὴ Phot.
ἄτεγκτος ἄνθρωπος παρηγορήμασιν: A man who is not soaked [with tears] nor welcomes consolation, but who is as stiff as a stone or some other stiff thing, to the point that it is not even soaked by water.
(2) Phryn. PS fr. *361 (= Phot. τ 98): τεγχθέντων· ἀντὶ τοῦ εἰξάντων. ἔνθεν καὶ ὁ ἄτεγκτος. <Πλάτων> Πολιτείας βʹ τὸ ‘μὴ τέγγεσθαι ὑπὸ κακοδοξίας’.
τεγχθέντων (Pl. Lg. 880e.3): Meaning εἰξάντων (‘giving way to’, i.e. emotions, passions, etc.). From here ἄτεγκτος too [derives]. In the second book of the Republic (361c.7) Plato [says] ‘not being made weak by bad reputation’ (R. 361c.7 = C.2).
C. Loci classici, other relevant texts
(1) Aesch. fr. 348 = Phryn. PS 7.7–9 re. ἄτεγκτος παρηγορήμασιν (A.1).
(2) Pl. R. 361c.5–8: μηδὲν γὰρ ἀδικῶν δόξαν ἐχέτω τὴν μεγίστην ἀδικίας, ἵνα ᾖ βεβασανισμένος εἰς δικαιοσύνην τῷ μὴ τέγγεσθαι ὑπὸ κακοδοξίας καὶ τῶν ἀπ’ αὐτῆς γιγνομένων.
Although he (i.e. the just person) does not do anything wrong, let him have the worse reputation [of committing injustice], so that he be put to test as regards [his sense of] justice by not being weakened by bad reputation and from the things which derive from it (cf. A.1, B.2).
(3) Plu. Alc. 24.5: ταῖς δὲ καθ’ ἡμέραν ἐν τῷ συσχολάζειν καὶ συνδιαιτᾶσθαι χάρισιν οὐδὲν ἦν ἄτεγκτον ἦθος οὐδὲ φύσις ἀνάλωτος.
No human character was unsoftened by the everyday grace of spending time and living together [with him], nor any human nature was unassailable [by it].
(4) Clem.Al. Strom. 22.214.171.124: ἡ δὲ δι’ αὑτὴν αἱρετὴ σωφροσύνη […] κύριον καὶ αὐτοκράτορα τὸν ἄνδρα κατασκευάζει, ὡς εἶναι τὸν γνωστικὸν σώφρονα καὶ ἀπαθῆ, ταῖς ἡδοναῖς τε καὶ λύπαις ἄτεγκτον.
Wisdom, [which is] to be chosen because of itself, […] makes the man powerful and in control of himself, so that one who knows it (i.e. virtue) is wise and free from emotion [and] cannot be weakened by pleasure and pain.
(5) Clem.Al. Strom. 126.96.36.199: οὐ γὰρ ἔστιν ὅπως ὑπὸ τοιούτων παιδευθείη ποτ’ ἂν ὁ γνωστικὸς ἢ τερφθείη, ἐκ προαιρέσεως καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθὸς εἶναι συνασκήσας καὶ ταύτῃ ἄτεγκτος ἡδοναῖς γενόμενος.
It is impossible that one who knows it (sc. virtue) be educated or delighted by such things, since he professedly practices being beautiful and good and thus cannot be weakened by pleasures.
(6) Nicetas Eugenianus Monodia in Theodorum Prodromum 458.22–4: οὕτως ἐγώ μου τὴν καρδίαν ἐσκλήρυνα καὶ ἀτεχνῶς φαραωνῖτιν εἰργασάμην καὶ θείοις λόγοις ἄτεγκτον ἔδειξα.
Thus, I hardened my heart and made it utterly pharaonic and showed that it is unsoftened by the words of God.
(7) Eust. in Il. 3.799.15–6: οὐκ ἦν δὲ ἄλλως ἁπαλυνθῆναι τὸ ἄτεγκτον τοῦ Ἀχιλλέως, εἰ μὴ τοιούτοις δάκρυσι.
It was otherwise impossible that Achilles’ hard-hearted character be softened if not by such tears.
(8) Eust. in Il. 4.961.17–20: τὸ δὲ ‘λαοὺς ἐποίησεν’ ὁ Ζεύς, ἀντὶ τοῦ λιθίνους τὰς ψυχὰς ἐκείνους ἀπέδειξε καὶ σκληροὺς καὶ ἀσυμπαθεῖς. ἄτεγκτοι γάρ, φασίν, ἦσαν τῇ Νιόβῃ, ὀργιζόμενοι αὐτῇ, ἐπεὶ διὰ τὴν αὐτῆς ἀσέβειαν μικροῦ δεῖν πάντες ἂν ἀπώλοντο λοιμῷ.
The fact that Zeus ‘made them into stone’ [means] that he made them like stone in their souls and stiff and unsympathetic. For, they say, they were unsoftened by Niobe, being angry with her because on account of her impiety they all almost died from a pestilence.
D. General commentary
Phrynichus’ gloss (A.1) centres on the construction of the verbal adjective ἄτεγκτος with the dative of agent Dative of agent, a construction the lexicographer draws from a passage of Aeschylus (C.1, ‘one who cannot be softened by consolations’). As far as we can judge from the text of the epitome of the PS, this lemma has no prescriptive or proscriptive intent, but probably aims instead to recommend the use of a stylistically noteworthy expression. Phrynichus certainly draws his idea that ἄτεγκτος παρηγορήμασιν is an Attic construction from the fact that in Attic literature, τέγγομαι is regularly construed with the dative of agent (see, e.g., [Aesch.] Pr. 1008, Soph. Ai. 1209, Eur. Hipp. 302–3 and 854, etc.). The agent expressed by ὑπό + genitive, however, is only attested in a passage of Plato’s Republic (C.2).
The verbal adjectiveVerbal adjectives ἄτεγκτος derives from τέγγω. Besides the concrete meaning ‘to moisten’, it also developed a new metaphorical meaning in the passive, namely, ‘to be softened, weakened’, in the sense of being convinced (beside C.2, see [Aesch.] Pr. 1008, Eur. Hipp. 302–3 and 854, Ar. Lys. 550, Pl. Lg. 880e.3). This metaphorical meaning is inherited by ἄτεγκτος, but the evidence is found in two usage contexts. In some circumstances, ἄτεγκτος describes the character of a person who cannot be softened by external forces, as in Aeschylus’ fragment (C.1) and a few other tragic passages (see Soph. OT 336, Eur. Herc. 833 and fr. 122.1047; see also Finglass 2018, 279).Tragedy In texts of a technical nature, ἄτεγκτος indicates the physical properties of metals that are not affected by water (see Arist. Mete. 385a.13, 385b.13, and 385b.16). It is not uncommon for words initially belonging to the vocabulary of poetry to be used as technicisms as well (for an overview of the interactions between epic, tragic, and scientific language, see Langslow 1999, 184–6).
In imperial prose ἄτεγκτος is well-documented with the meaning ‘unsoftened’, and over twenty occurrences can be counted in the time span between Dionysus of Halicarnassus and Philostratus.Plutarch Plutarch seems to have been particularly fond of this word, in that he alone uses it twelve times in his writings. This marks a sharp contrast with earlier sources, considering that before imperial times ἄτεγκτος was either a poeticism used by tragic poets or an element of technical vocabulary. This increasing popularity provides a context for Phrynichus’ interest in the adjective. However, Phrynichus’ recommended construction of ἄτεγκτος with the dativeDative is only rarely attested – after Aeschylus, it only appears again in Plutarch and Clemens of Alexandria (C.3, C.4, C.5). Moreover, we also have evidence for an innovative construction of ἄτεγκτος with πρός + accusative to indicate what one is ‘unsoftened’ in relation to (J. AJ 20.255, Plu. De recta ratione audiendi 44a.7–8, Synes. Epist. 132.48–50). As the πρός + accusative construction may be later than the version with theDative dative, we might speculate that Phrynichus is perhaps tacitly discouraging his readers from using it when he recommends the more classical construction using the dative of agent. Regarding the technical use of ἄτεγκτος to indicate metals unaffected by water, besides the evidence from the ancient commentaries on Aristotle and from Galen (2x in 12.186.3–7 Kühn), this use is also attested in documentary sources (see P.Ryl. 4.592.4–6 [= TM 7707, origin unknown, late 3rd century BCE]).
E. Byzantine and Modern Greek commentary
In late-antique and Byzantine writers, ἄτεγκτος remains a common word, although it is mostly limited to high-register writers. The construction with the dative of agent, as recommended by Phrynichus, did enjoy some popularity among Byzantine authors using high language (C.6, C.7, C.8; see also Phot. Epistulae 283.483–91 and Arethas Opera minora 14.143.12–7). We occasionally have evidence for the construction with πρός + accusative as well (Arethas Opera minora 10.110.18–9). An influence exerted by Atticist lexicography, perhaps Phrynichus himself, on Byzantine authors is not to be completely ruled out, though it remains inevitably speculative.
F. Commentary on individual texts and occurrences
(1) Phryn. PS 7.7–9 (A.1)
Two parallel sources from the lexicographical tradition invite further reflection on the epitomisation process that ultimately shaped Phrynichus’ lemma (A.1).
Phrynichus’ gloss is closely connected with Σb α 2328 (= Σ´) (B.1), where the object of interest is the adjective's semantics rather than its syntax. Phrynichus and the gloss in the first expansion of the Synagoge (Σ´) that can be reconstructed from the agreement between Photius and the Suda implicitly share the same locus classicus, Aeschylus (though the author is not mentioned in the Synagoge). One option is that a fuller version of Phrynichus’ PS is the source of the first expansion of the Synagoge. In such a case, the epitome of the PS would only preserve the information regarding the construction of ἄτεγκτος with the dative, whereas the Synagoge tradition preserves just the discussion concerning the meaning of the adjective. One might then tentatively blend the two entries and imagine what the gloss of Phrynichus’ PS might have originally looked like. Alternatively, the same locus classicus may have been the object of independent lexicographic entries. ἄτεγκτος is quite often the object of interest in ancient lexicography, and it is not impossible that Aeschylus’ fragment was also the locus classicus of more than one lexicographical entry (other glosses concerning ἄτεγκτος are Hsch. α 8032, Hsch. α 8033, Hsch. α 8034, Σ α 1039 [= Σb α 2326 = Phot. α 3063 = Su. α 4329], Σb α 2327 [=Lex. rhet. V 218.22–6 Bekker = Phot. α 3065 = EM 163.33–6, ex Σ´´´]).
Since the passage of Plato’ Republic quoted by Phrynichus (A.1) is also in Phot. τ 98 (B.2), de Borries suggested that Photius’ lemma too could derive from the PS, and so he edited Photius’ passage as Phryn. PS fr. *361 (Theodoridis, ad Phot. τ 98 comments that this is perhaps correct). Be that as it may, it does not automatically follow that Phrynichus’ fragment would belong with Phryn. PS 7.7–9 (A.1) and (possibly) Σb α 2328 (= Σ´) (B.1).
Finglass, P. J. (2018). Sophocles. Oedipus the King. Edited with Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Cambridge.
Langslow, D. R. (1999). ‘The Language of Poetry and the Language of Science. The Latin Poets and ‘Medical Latin’’. Adams, J. N.; Mayer, R. G. (eds.), Aspects of the Language of Latin Poetry. Oxford, 183–225.
Federico Favi, 'ἄτεγκτος (Phryn. PS 7.7–9)', in Olga Tribulato (ed.), Digital Encyclopedia of Atticism.
Dative of agentTragedyTragic languageVerbal adjectives-τος