(Antiatt. μ 13)
A. Main sources
(1) Antiatt. μ 13: μειζόνως· ἀντὶ τοῦ μεῖζον. Θουκυδίδης δ′, Πλάτων Πολιτείας γ′.
μειζόνως: Meaning μεῖζον. Thucydides in the fourth book (C.1), Plato in the third book of the Republic (C.3).
B. Other erudite sources
(1) Maximus Planudes Grammatica 75.9–16: ποιηταὶ δὲ τῇ ἑαυτῶν ἀδείᾳ καὶ πρὸς ταῦτα καταχρησάμενοι, καὶ συγκριτικὰ συγκριτικῶν ἔπλασαν, καὶ ἐξ ὑπερθετικῶν ὑπερθετικά· καὶ τότε ἄρειον ἀρειότερον προσεῖπον καὶ τὸ λῶιον λωίτερον καὶ τὸ μεῖζον μειζότερον καὶ μειζονώτερον – Αἰσχύλος – καὶ τὸ ὑπέρτερον ὑπερτερώτερον καὶ χερειότερον καὶ πλειότερον καὶ τὸ ῥᾶιον ῥηΐτερον.
The poets, applying their licence also to these words [comparatives and superlatives], even forged comparatives out of comparatives and superlatives out of superlatives: and so in addition to ἀρείων they said ἀρειότερος (‘better’), and λωίτερος for λωΐων (‘better’), as well as μειζότερος and μειζονώτερος for μείζων (‘greater’) [as in] Aeschylus (fr. 434 = frr. 683–7a Mette), ὑπερτερώτερος for ὑπέρτερος (‘higher’), χερειότερος [for χερείων ‘inferior’], πλειότερος [for πλείων ‘more’] and ῥηΐτερος for ῥᾴων (‘easier’).
(2) Anonymus Baroccianus 324.1–5: βαρεώτερος· ἀπὸ τῆς γενικῆς εἶπον βαρέως βαρεώτερος, σπανίως μέντοι· καὶ ἔτι Αἰσχύλος μειζονώτερος, ὑπερτερώτερός τε καὶ χερειότερος καὶ ῥηΐτερος καὶ πλειότερος. ὣς δὲ καὶ τοῦ ὑπερθετικοῦ τὸ πρώτιστος· εἵλκυσαν εἰς τὸ πρώτιστον.
βαρεώτερος: From the genitive βαρέως [the ancients] derived βαρεώτερος, though seldom. And Aeschylus (fr. 434 = frr. 683–7a Mette) too [uses] μειζονώτερος, ὑπερτερώτερoς, χερειότερος, ῥηΐτερος and πλειότερος. Similarly, the superlative πρώτιστος [for πρῶτος]: εἵλκυσαν εἰς τὸ πρώτιστον ‘they dragged to the forefront/to the very first (?)’.
C. Loci classici, other relevant texts
(1) Thuc. 4.98.7: […] τούς τε νεκροὺς πολὺ μειζόνως ἐκείνους ἀντὶ ἱερῶν ἀξιοῦντας ἀποδιδόναι ἀσεβεῖν […].
[The Athenians declared] that they (the Boeotians) were impious in a much greater way since they demanded to exchange the dead for the temples […].
(2) Hdt. 2.161.3: ἐπεὶ δέ οἱ ἔδεε κακῶς γενέσθαι, ἐγένετο ἀπὸ προφάσιος τὴν ἐγὼ μεζόνως μὲν ἐν τοῖσι Λιβυκοῖσι λόγοισι ἀπηγήσομαι, μετρίως δ’ ἐν τῷ παρεόντι.
But when it was fated that he should be ruined, it happened for a cause which I will relate at a greater length in the Libyan chapters, and briefly now.
(3) Pl. R. 422e.4–6: μειζόνως, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, χρὴ προσαγορεύειν τὰς ἄλλας. ἑκάστη γὰρ αὐτῶν πόλεις εἰσὶ πάμπολλαι ἀλλ’ οὐ πόλις […].
And I said: a greater name must be given to the other [states]. For each of them consists in many cities, not one city […].
(4) Eur. Hec. 1120–1:
Ἑκάβη με σὺν γυναιξὶν αἰχμαλωτίσιν
ἀπώλεσ’, οὐκ ἀπώλεσ’ ἀλλὰ μειζόνως.
Hecuba, with captive women, has destroyed me – not destroyed, but much more than that.
(5) [Eur.] Rh. 849–50:
ἡμεῖς δὲ καὶ τετρώμεθ’, οἱ δὲ μειζόνως
παθόντες οὐχ ὁρῶσιν ἡλίου φάος.
Indeed we were wounded but others, having suffered a much greater evil, no longer see the light of the sun.
(6) EA 13 (1989) 68.12 [Sebastopolis, imperial period]: Λεοντεῖνον τ[ὸν] | καὶ Λόγγον Κορ|βούλωνος τοῦ | Στατίου Λόγγου υἱ|όν, σωφροσύνης ἕ|νεκα καὶ εὐκοσμία[ς] | καὶ τῆς περὶ παιδείαν | φιλοτειμίας καὶ τῆς | ἄλλης ἀρετῆς ἣν μει|ζόνως τῆς ἡλικίας κομι|[δ]ῇ νέος ὢν ἐπετήδευσεν, | [ἄξι]ον παρέχων ἑαυτὸν τῆς | [μεγίστης τιμῆς(?) ․․․]
Leontinus Longus, son of Corbulon, grandson of Statius Longus, for his wisdom, good conduct, and love of erudition and all his other virtues which he thoroughly pursued, though being young, in a greater degree than his age, making himself worthy of [the greatest honour? …].
(7) NT 3 Ep.Ιo. 4: μειζοτέραν τούτων οὐκ ἔχω χαράν, ἵνα ἀκούω τὰ ἐμὰ τέκνα ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ περιπατοῦντα.
I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my sons walk in verity.
(8) Ephr.Syr. De conversatione fratrum 281.8–9 διατί ὑπήκουσας τῷ Σατανᾷ, ὁπότε ἰσχυρότερος [ἐστι], καὶ ἀναγκαστική τις δύναμις, ὑπόστασιν μειζονοτέραν καὶ ἰσχυροτέραν αὐτὸν τῆς ψυχῆς ἐποίησας, καὶ ἐντέλλῃ μοι τούτῳ με ὑπακούειν;
Why did you listen to Satan at the moment when he was a very strong and coercive power, and made him a greater and stronger substance than the soul, and [now] command that I listen to him?
D. General commentary
The lemma of the Antiatticist (A.1) concerns the comparative adverb μειζόνως. This is an irregular and analogical formation: the neuter comparative μεῖζον, which would be the correct adverbial form, is re-characterised through the adverbial suffix ‑ως (μειζόν-ως). The Antiatticist shows a special interest in analogical adverbial comparatives in ‑ως, which include ἀμεινόνως (Antiatt. α 40: see entry ἀμεινόνως), ἀληθεστέρως and καταδεεστέρως (Antiatt. α 39 and Antiatt. κ 48 respectively: see entry ἀληθεστέρως, καταδεεστέρως), and ἐχθροτέρως (Antiatt. ε 21: see entry ἐχθροτέρως, ἐπιτηδειοτέρως). In some cases, it may be possible to assume that in assembling this specialist morphological information, the lexicon relies upon earlier collections: Philoxenus’Philoxenus treatise On comparatives is a likely candidate for some forms in ‑έστερος (see Tribulato 2021, 578–80 for a discussion).
μειζόνως also partakes in a more general tendency towards the replacement of primary comparatives (both adjectives and adverbs) with more transparent forms (see Seiler 1950, 124; CGMEMG vol. 2, 820), which are also the object of other entries in Atticist lexica (see entries ἀμεινόνως; ἀμεινότερος, ῥᾳότερος; ἀγαθώτερος). Concerning μείζων μεῖζον specifically, this tendency also included the creation of a re-characterised comparative, μειζονότερος (first attested in the 4th century CE: see C.8), alongside another and more frequent analogical form: μειζότερος (first attested in the New Testament, see C.7). While focusing on μειζόνως, we shall also consider the occurrences of μειζονότερος, as in Greek erudition the treatment of this new comparative sometimes crosses paths with that of μειζόνως.
The morphology of μείζων is the trigger for its later re-characterisation. μείζων is one of the surviving Greek comparatives to employ the primary suffix ‑ιων-/‑ιον- (on the origin, distribution, and development of the suffix in Greek, see Barber 2013). Τhe encounter between the voiced velar stop of the root μεγ‑ and the /i/ of the comparative suffix produces palatalisation, leading to the comparative stem being μεζ- in most Greek dialects and, in Attic, μειζ- (where /ei/ is the result of lengthening: see Barber 2013, 164). Because in μείζων the root μεγ- was no longer recognisable and the connection with μέγας was not transparent, μείζων was flanked by secondary and apparently more regular formations, re-characterised through the suffix ‑(ό)τερος: μειζονότερος/μειζότερος, where the original comparative suffix became part of a new ‘stem’, and μεγαλώτερος (see E.), based on the stem of the oblique cases of μέγας (the same process led up to the by-form μεγάλος, which survives in Modern Greek). Late Byzantine erudition (Maximus Planudes’ Grammar, B.1, and the so-called Anonymus Baroccianus, B.2) also credits AeschylusAeschylus with the comparative μειζονώτερος, which Aeschylus could have used as a poetic form (for this interpretation, see the ampler discussion on the use of analogical comparatives in Greek poetry provided in the entry ἀμεινότερος, ῥᾳότερος; on these two late sources and the text of the Aeschylean fragment, see F.1). Thus, it seems that Greek created an analogical derivational system based on the stem μειζονο-: this is likewise suggested by the existence of the noun μειζονότης ‘magnitude’ attested in Iamblichus (VP 26.115)Iamb. VP 26.115.
The Antiatticist identifies Thucydides (C.1, see also 4.19.4) as the first classical author to use μειζόνως, though it should be noted that the Ionic form μεζόνως already occurs in Herodotus (C.2, and five other occurrences). The Antiatticist also quotes Plato (C.3), probably following its predilection for this author (the Republic being the most cited Platonic work in the lexicon), but perhaps also on account of the special frequency of μειζόνως in the Platonic corpus (thirteen attestations). Before Plato, the adverb is found in tragedy (see C.4, C.5) and Isocrates (e.g. 15.39)Isoc. 15.39. Both the tragic passages – the only poetic texts to use μειζόνως – convey the idea of suffering a greater evil than any other man (Liapis 2012, 295). Commentators on the Hecuba (C.4) and the Rhesus (C.5) do not usually pick on this adverb, except for Fantuzzi (2020, 573), who deems it a prose word which ‘suits the rhetoric of simplicity that the charioteer favours’, and Fries (2014, 431), who, following Schwyzer (1939, 621 n. 8), considers μειζόνως an Ionic form (though it is unclear on what grounds) and notices the rarity of such analogical formations in poetry. These include the much rarer ἀμεινόνως (Ar. fr. 353) and μειόνως (Soph. OC 104).
The ample use of μειζόνως in writing from Attic classical prose down to Byzantine texts does not warrant the conclusion that this analogical form originated in a specific dialect, be it Attic or Ionic. μειζόνως is pervasive in Greek texts of different registers (the TLG gives 1,799 attestations), including Atticising authors such as Aristides (see Schmid Atticismus vol. 2, 129–30). μεῖζον, however, remains the more common form. This distribution is also confirmed by inscriptions, where the only attestation of μειζόνως appears in an imperial honorific from Sebastopolis (C.6), while in papyri it is only found twice in copies of Philodemus’ De diatribis. The aim of the Antiatticist’s entry therefore may have been twofold. On the one hand, the lexicon implicitly signals that the morphologically standard form is μεῖζον. On the other hand, it traces the development of the analogical adverb, widespread in Greek (especially from the Hellenistic period onwards), back to the classical age. It is therefore likely that this entry did not have a pronounced puristic or antipuristic agenda.
E. Byzantine and Modern Greek commentary
In Byzantine texts, μείζων and its analogical adverb μειζώνως are common. Adverbs in ‑ως, which Medieval Greek progressively eliminates in favour of those in ‑α, retain a certain prestige in high-register language (CGMEMG vol. 2, 842). However, lower-register texts also employ the regularised analogical formations in ‑τερος, as part of the tendency to eliminate forms employing the suffix ‑ίων, ‑ίον (see ἀμεινότερος, ῥᾳότερος). The oldest of these is μειζότερος, already found in the New Testament (C.7) and later attested in late-Hellenistic/early imperial epigrams from Side (I.Side 3), in papyri of the Roman period (see Gignac 1981, 158), and mostly in mid-register texts, often those of a religious nature. μειζότερος also survives in texts in Medieval Greek (Kriaras, LME s.v. μείζων, CGMEMG vol. 2, 826). The second form, which is much rarer, is μειζονότερος, already attested in Ephraem Syrus (4th century CE, C.8) and later also found in Ducas, Historia Turcobyzantina 27.2.8 (15th century). In Medieval Greek, these analogical comparatives are accompanied by the new regular forms based on the positive stem μεγαλ-: μεγαλώτερος/μεγαλότερος, μεγαλιώτερος/μεγαλιότερος and μεγαλύτερος (CGMEMG vol. 2, 820–1). The latter is the only comparative of μεγάλος surviving in Modern Greek.
F. Commentary on individual texts and occurrences
(1) Maximus Planudes Grammatica. 75.9–16 (B.1), Anononymus Baroccianus 324.1–5 (B.2)
Planudes (B.1) and the Anonymus Baroccianus (B.2) are the only two sources that credit Aeschylus Aeschylus with the use of the analogical μειζονώτερος. However, schol. (ex.) Hom. Il. 2.248 (bT)schol. Hom. Il. 2.248, χερειότερον· ὡς καὶ βελτιώτερον, provide indirect evidence that μειζονώτερος could have been the correct form in Aeschylus. Although Erbse prints the form μειζότερον, the transmitted reading is in fact μειζονώτερον (see Erbse ad loc.). Mette (ad Aesch. frr. 683–7a) took the testimonies of Planudes and the Anonymus Baroccianus seriously and went as far as to imply that, together with μειζονώτερος, the forms ὑπερτερώτερος, χερειότερος, πλειότερος, and ῥηΐτερος may also have belonged to Aeschylus’ text. This is openly stated by the Anonymus, though it is more likely that it results from his misinterpretation of earlier sources. Against Mette’s view, other scholars have limited the number of forms attributable to Aeschylus. Weil, Nauck, and Dindorf deemed only μειζονώτερος and ὑπερτερώτερος authentic, while Hermann, followed by Radt (ad Aesch. fr. 434, where all these opinions are cited) vouches for μειζονώτερος alone. This is indeed the safest option on textual grounds, as further confirmed by the indirect evidence of the Homeric scholia. Ιt may also be noted that, following these sources, Weil (1858, 40) proposed emending ὑπερβαρωτέρα at Aesch. A. 428Aesch. A. 428 into ὑπερτερωτέρα (on this form, see too Hsch. υ 474: ὑπερτερ[ε]ώτερος· νεώτεροςHsch. υ 474). The emendation, however, is unnecessary. As stated by Fraenkel (1950 vol. 1, 223), ‘the bold and forceful ὑπερβαρωτέρα should not be questioned’ (see too Medda 2017 vol. 2, 269).
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Olga Tribulato, 'μειζόνως (Antiatt. μ 13)', in Olga Tribulato (ed.), Digital Encyclopedia of Atticism.
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