(Αntiatt. α 72)
A. Main sources
(1) Antiatt. α 72: αἰδέσεως· ἀντὶ τοῦ αἰδοῦς. Δημοσθένης ἐν τῷ Κατὰ Μειδίου.
αἰδέσεως: Instead of αἰδοῦς. Demosthenes in Against Midias (21.43 = C.1).
B. Other erudite sources
(1) Σb α 626 (= Phot. α 550, ex Σ′′′): αἰδέσεως: Δημοσθένης ἐν τῷ κατὰ Μειδίου· ‘τοὺς δὲ ἀκουσίως αἰδέσεως καὶ φιλανθρωπίας πολλῆς ἠξίωσαν’. ὁ αὐτὸς δὲ καὶ αἰδέσεται φησιν ἀντὶ τοῦ αἰδοῦς καὶ τιμῆς ἀξιώσας οἰκτείρει καὶ ἐξιλασθῇ ἐν τῷ Πρὸς Πανταίνετον, ἀντὶ δὲ τοῦ ἐξιλάσηται ἐν τῷ Κατὰ Ἀριστοκράτους εἶπεν· ‘καὶ φεύγειν ἕως ἂν αἰδέσηταί τινα τῶν προσγενῶν τοῦ πεπονθότος’.
τοὺς δὲ ἀκουσίως […] ἠξίωσαν […] αἰδέσηται […] οἰκτείρῃ are the readings in Demosthenes (C.2) and are restored by Reitzenstein and Theodoridis in the text of Phot. α 550 : τοῦ δὲ ἀκουσίως […] ἠξίωσεν […] αἰδέσεται […] οἰκτείρει are the transmitted readings in Σb, where they are retained by Cunningham, and in Photius’ codd. bz. | The part from καὶ ἐξιλασθῇ until the end is missing in the manuscript of the Synagoge (cod. Par. Coisl. 345) and is restored by Cunningham from Phot. | ἐξιλάσηται Cunningham : ἐξιλάσεται Phot. | αἰδέσηταί τινα in D. 23.72 (C.3) deemed corrupt by Butcher : αἰδέσηταί τις <αὐτόν> Dilts (see F.1) | προσγενῶν Phot. : γένει D.
αἰδέσεως: Demosthenes in Against Midias (21.43 = C.1) [says]: ‘[the laws on homicide] consider those [who kill] involuntarily worthy of pardon and much sympathy’. The same [Demosthenes] in Against Pantaenetus (37.59 = C.2) also uses [the verb] αἰδέσηται (‘he pardons’, subjunctive) to mean ‘he pities [someone], deeming [that person] worthy of respect and honour’ and ‘he is pardoned’, while [he uses it] in Against Aristocrates (23.72 = C.3) to mean ‘he propitiates [one of the relatives of the deceased for forgiveness]’ (ἐξιλάσηται, subjunctive), he says ‘[the man who is convicted of involuntary homicide] shall remain in exile until one of the relatives pardons him’.
(2) Schol. D. 21.131: αἰδέσεως· οἷον ἀξιώσεως. εἰ γὰρ δεηθείη τινὸς τῶν συγγενῶν τοῦ ἀνῃρημένου, εἶτα ἐκεῖνος ἐπιτρέποι, καταλύεται ὁ φόνον ἀκούσιον δράσας. (TBcFj)
αἰδέσεως: Meaning ‘thinking one worthy’ (ἀξίωσις). For if an appeal is made to one of the relatives of the deceased and that person agrees, then the accidental murderer is acquitted.
(3) Lex.Patm. 148.12–3: ὥρισται δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ δικαστηρίῳ τούτῳ φυγὴ καὶ αἴδεσις. αἴδεσις δ’ ἔστι τὸ δυσωπῆσαι ἱκετείᾳ καὶ χρήμασι τοὺς οἰκείους τοῦ πεφονευμένου.
Exile and pardon (αἴδεσις) are decided in this court (i.e. the Palladion). αἴδεσις is the act of persuading the relatives of the deceased with supplications and money.
(4) P.Oxy. 17.2087.col.ii.13 (= TM 63597) [2nd century CE]: αἴδ(ε)σ̣ι̣ς̣ . . . [αἴ]δ̣(ε)σ̣ις· δόσις κ(αὶ) φιλανθρωπία.
αἴδ(ε)σ̣ι̣ς̣: [αἴ]δ̣(ε)σ̣ις: Giving (?) and benevolence.
C. Loci classici, other relevant texts
(1) D. 21.43: ἔπειθ᾽ οἱ φονικοὶ τοὺς μὲν ἐκ προνοίας ἀποκτιννύντας θανάτῳ καὶ ἀειφυγίᾳ καὶ δημεύσει τῶν ὑπαρχόντων ζημιοῦσι, τοὺς δ᾽ ἀκουσίως αἰδέσεως καὶ φιλανθρωπίας πολλῆς ἠξίωσαν.
Again, the laws of homicide punish wilful murder with death, perpetual exile, and confiscation of goods but consider those [who kill] involuntarily worthy of pardon and much sympathy.
(2) D. 37.59: καὶ τοῦθ᾽ οὕτω τὸ δίκαιον ἐν πᾶσιν ἰσχύει, ὥστ᾽ ἐὰν ἑλών τις ἀκουσίου φόνου καὶ σαφῶς ἐπιδείξας μὴ καθαρόν, μετὰ ταῦτ᾽ αἰδέσηται καὶ ἀφῇ, οὐκέτ᾽ ἐκβαλεῖν κύριος τὸν αὐτόν ἐστιν.
And this just principle is so binding among all men that if anyone, having convicted another of involuntary homicide and having shown him clearly to be polluted, should subsequently pardon him and release him, he has no longer the right to have the same person driven into exile. (Transl. adapted from Murray 1936).
(3) D. 23.72: τὸν ἁλόντ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀκουσίῳ φόνῳ ἔν τισιν εἰρημένοις χρόνοις ἀπελθεῖν τακτὴν ὁδόν, καὶ φεύγειν ἕως ἂν †αἰδέσηταί τινα† τῶν ἐν γένει τοῦ πεπονθότος.
[The law prescribes] that the man who is convicted of involuntary homicide shall, on certain appointed days, leave the country by a prescribed route and remain in exile until a member of the family of the deceased pardons [him]. (Transl. adapted from Vince 1935).
(4) Arist. Ath. 57.3: ἐὰν δὲ φεύγων φυγὴν ὧν αἴδεσίς ἐστιν, αἰτίαν ἔχῃ ἀποκτεῖναι ἢ τρῶσαί τινα, τούτῳ δ᾽ ἐν Φρεάτου δικάζουσιν, ὁ δ᾽ ἀπολογεῖται προσορμισάμενος ἐν πλοίῳ.
But if, when a man has taken refuge in exile after an offence that admits of pardon, he is charged with homicide or wounding, he is tried at the Precinct of Phreatus and delivers his defence from a ship anchored near the shore. (Transl. adapted slightly from Rackham 1935).
(5) Ph. Hypothetica 192.26–193.1: πότερον γάρ ποτε βούλει τῷ πλήθει τῶν σωμάτων ἔτι περιόντας, καίπερ εἰς τέλος κεκακωμένους, ὅμως δ’ ἰσχύοντας καὶ τὰ ὅπλα ἐν χερσὶν ἔχοντας, εἶτα κατὰ κράτος ἑλεῖν τὴν χώραν, Σύρους τε ὁμοῦ καὶ Φοίνικας ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἐκείνων γῇ μαχομένους νικῶντας, ἢ τοὺς μὲν ἀπολέμους καὶ ἀνάνδρους εἶναι καὶ παντελῶς ὀλίγους ὑποθώμεθα καὶ τῶν εἰς πόλεμον παρασκευῶν ἀπόρους, αἰδέσεως δὲ τυχεῖν παρὰ τούτοις καὶ τὴν γῆν λαβεῖν παρ’ ἑκόντων […];
Which alternative do you prefer? Were [the Jews] still superior in their number of fighting men, though they had fared so ill to the end, still strong and with weapons in their hand, and did they take the land by force, defeating the combined Syrians and Phoenicians when fighting in their own country? Or shall we suppose that they were unwarlike and feeble, quite few in numbers and destitute of warlike equipment, but won the respect of their opponents and received the land voluntarily from them […]? (Transl. adapted slightly from Colson 1941).
(6) D.C. 36.52.2: […] οὕτω δὴ τήν τε πόλιν αὐτῷ παρέδωκε καὶ ἐς τὸ στρατόπεδον αὐτοῦ ἐθελοντὴς ἧκεν, ἐν μέσῳ ἑαυτὸν ὅτι μάλιστα τοῦ τε προτέρου ἀξιώματος καὶ τῆς τότε ταπεινότητος σκευάσας, ὅπως αἰδέσεώς τε καὶ ἐλέου ἅμα ἄξιος αὐτῷ φανείη.
Then [Tigranes] surrendered the city to him and came voluntarily into [Pompey’s] camp. He had arrayed himself as much as possible in a manner midway between his former dignity and his present humbled state, in order that he might seem to him worthy both of respect and pity […]. (Transl. Cary 1914).
(7) Phot. Amphilochia 70.45–50: […] οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐδαμῶς οὗτος ἠγνόει τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς συκῆς φύλλα οἷς οἱ περὶ τὸν Ἀδὰμ τὴν ἀπὸ τῆς γυμνώσεως ἀσχημοσύνην εἰς τὸ εὔσχημον περιέστελλον, οὐδ’ ὅτι προφθάνει μὲν τὰ τῆς συκῆς φύλλα τῆς αἰδέσεως τὴν καταφυγὴν παρασχεῖν, οἱ δὲ χιτῶνες ὕστερον οἱ δερμάτινοι τὴν ἐκείνων κατὰ διαδοχὴν χρείαν ἀνεπλήρωσαν.
In no way did he (i.e. the theologian) ignore the fig leaves with which Adam [and Eve] covered the obscenity of their nakedness so that it was decent, nor that the fig leaves offered an initial remedy to shame and that later, with the passage of time, leather garments fulfilled the same function.
D. General commentary
The lemma of the Antiatticist (A.1) is concerned with the abstract nounAbstract nouns αἴδεσις, presented as a synonym of αἰδώς ‘respect’. To illustrate this meaning, the Antiatticist refers the reader to D. 21.43 (C.1), where αἴδεσις is used together with φιλανθρωπία ‘sympathy’ (for the interpretation of the passage, see below). In Attic, in fact, αἴδεσις usually means ‘pardon, reconciliation’, as testified in DemosthenesDemosthenes (C.1) and in Aristotle’s Athenian Constitution (C.4: on the background of this passage, see MacDowell 1963 82–4, Rhodes 1993, 645). Under the Athenian law on homicide, involuntary murder may be pardoned by the victim’s family, probably upon payment: αἴδεσις and its base-verb αἰδέομαι were the specialist terms for this type of pardon (a full discussion of this aspect of Attic law is available in Heitsch 1984; see also MacDowell 1963, 73–81, Harrison 1971, 78).
The more detailed entry of the Synagoge (B.1), which – together with a further expansion now missing in Σb – is the source of Photius, is also concerned with the verb αἰδέομαι, the technical meaning of which is illustrated through two quotations from Demosthenes (C.2, C.3). The Synagoge does not directly equate αἴδεσις with αἰδώς. Instead, it begins with a direct quotation from Demosthenes’ Against Midias (C.1), the same locus classicus that lies behind the Antiatticist’s entry. Based on this quotation, the Synagoge goes on to paraphrase the verb αἰδέσηται of D. 37.59 (C.2), the oration Against Pantaenetus, with αἰδοῦς καὶ τιμῆς ἀξιώσας οἰκτείρει ‘he pities [the involuntary murderer], deeming [him] worthy of respect and honour’. This paraphrase is not directly based on the passage of Against Pantaenetus but instead appears to take the nouns αἰδοῦς and τιμῆς from a loose rendering of αἰδέσεως καὶ φιλανθρωπίας ἠξίωσαν from Against Midias (C.1), as is revealed by its use of the same verb, ἀξιόω. Therefore, in spite of the superficial difference in the discussion, the Synagoge in fact draws the same inference as the Antiatticist – namely, that αἴδεσις is a synonym of αἰδώς in Demosthenes. It is possible that the longer entry of the Synagoge depends on an ampler version of the Antiatticist that is now lost to us.
The same interpretation of αἴδεσις in Demosthenes’ αἰδέσεως καὶ φιλανθρωπίας πολλῆς ἠξίωσαν is given in the modern translation of Vince (1935), who renders αἰδέσεως καὶ φιλανθρωπίας πολλῆς with ‘much consideration and charity’. He thus takes πολλῆς to modify both nouns and the whole expression as an explanation of the sentiments behind the attitude of Attic laws towards involuntary homicide. This, however, was not the original meaning. In this passage, Demosthenes uses αἴδεσις as technical term, and the whole sentence means ‘they deem accidental homicide worthy of pardon and much charity’, i.e. with only φιλανθρωπίας πολλῆς to describe the ethical attitude behind the law.
There is no other trace of this (incorrect) equation of αἴδεσις with αἰδώς in ancient scholarship. The scholia to Demosthenes (B.2) and the Lexicon Patmense (B.3) correctly define αἴδεσις in its Attic meaning of ‘pardon’. They likely drew upon sources which focused on Attic customs and technical language. The use of sources dealing more closely with rare -σις nouns should not be ruled out either. The lists of -σις nouns in Poll. 6.177–81Poll. 6.177–81 and Su. α 3614Su. α 3614 suggest that there may have been a special interest in abstract nouns that had little circulation outside Attic literature (Lobeck 1820, 351–2). αἴδεσις is part of the increase in abstract nouns that characterises Attic political and legal language (see Holt 1940, 152–64, Willi 2003, 76–7). This phenomenon sometimes led to the creation of technical by-forms of primary nouns (in this case αἰδώς). The base-verb of αἴδεσις, the denominative αἰδέομαι, is itself a by-form of the primary αἴδομαι (for a discussion of the origin of αἰδέομαι, see Meissner 2006, 151–2 and 176–8, who interprets it as a back-formation from ἀναιδής ‘shameless’).
The Antiatticist and the Synagoge fail to highlight the semantic specialisation of the Demosthenic αἴδεσις, focusing instead on its apparently less congruous synonymity with αἰδώς. Their misunderstanding can be explained by observing that, in its few post-classical attestations, αἴδεσις only occurs in two meanings: ‘respect, awe’ (e.g. C.5, the same meaning occurs slightly later in Philo’s Hypothetica at 193.7, and C.6) and ‘shame’ (C.7: the same meaning recurs slightly later at Phot. Amphilochia 70.57). The synonymity of αἴδεσις and αἰδώς in Post-classical Greek, which goes unnoticed in the LSJ, where αἴδεσις is only glossed with ‘forgiveness’ (compare the more complete lemma of the DGE), is a crucial explanatory factor in understanding the interpretation of the term in the Antiatticist and in the Synagoge. The misunderstanding of αἴδεσις in the Demosthenic passage is also a consequence of the rarity of its use as a legal term, no doubt posing the problem for later interpreters of Attic literature of how to explain it correctly. We have further traces of this uncertainty in two papyri.
In P.Lond. 1.131 (= TM 20004)P.Lond. 1.131 (= TM 20004), which transmits most of Aristotle’s Athenian constitution, the αἴδεσις of Arist. Ath. 57.3 (C.4) has a ρ written above it. This seems to suggest that the writer did not understand the term and sought to correct it (although the correction is unclear: ἄρεσις ‘favour’ and ἄφεσις ‘quittance’ have been suggested, as discussed by Rhodes 1993, 645–6). In the papyrus lexicon preserved in P.Oxy. 17.2087 (B.4), αἴδεσις is glossed with φιλανθρωπία. This interpretation is also influenced by a superficial understanding of D. 21.43 (C.1). φιλανθρωπία is a typical ‘hendiadys gloss’ (in the definition of Bossi, Tosi 1979–1980, 15). It is not a real synonym of αἴδεσις but a reflection of the pairing of αἰδέσεως and φιλανθρωπίας in the locus classicus. It is harder to ascertain whether the influence of the locus classicus, which leads to the banalising gloss φιλανθρωπία, is also responsible for the less perspicuous first gloss, δόσις (Grenfell and Hunt, commenting on P.Oxy. 17.2087, characterise it as ‘peculiar’). Unless one thinks that δόσις results from the corruption of an original αἰδώς, it may be an elliptical, compressed reference to the fact that pardon by αἴδεσις was sometimes induced by a payment (as explained in the Lexicon Patmense, B.3: αἴδεσις δ’ ἔστι τὸ δυσωπῆσαι ἱκετείᾳ καὶ χρήμασι).
The content of P.Oxy. 17.2087 does not allow us to settle the matter. Most of the lemmas, which begin with α and are partially alphabetised, are taken from prose authors (see Esposito 2005 and Esposito 2006 for analysis). The first ten lines refer to the suit for malversation (ἀδικίου γραφή, the reference being to Arist. Ath. 54.2). The following lemma, ἀειλογία, is also an Attic legal term; meaning ‘continual inquiry’, it is also used by Demosthenes (see LSJ s.v.). As in the case of αἴδεσις, the papyrus interprets it in a literal way (τὸ περὶ τοῦ αὐτοῦ πολλάκις λογίζεσθαι ‘to talk about the same thing many times’). Some of the following entries could also have a broadly legal or judiciary focus (see the gloss at l. 18, δίκ(ην) ἀ(να)γράφοντα, or the definition of ἄληκτα ‘undivided’ at l. 36, which mentions appointment by lot); note also that the explicit sources behind some of the other lemmas are texts such as Plato’s Laws (l. 26), Demosthenes (l. 32–3), and Aristotle’s Περὶ δικαιοσύνης (l. 44: see entry ἀναρριχάoμαι). It may also be useful to mention that the lexicon shows a tendency to ignore the poetic attestations of several of its lemmas (see entry ἀναρριχάoμαι), indicating that it was compiled with a view to prose usage.
In conclusion, the evidence of this papyrus, which is contemporary with the first Atticist lexica, shows that the banalising meaning of αἴδεσις (= αἰδώς) found in the Antiatticist is not the result of some later misunderstanding but must have belonged – in this form or another – to the original version of the Antiatticist.
E. Byzantine and Modern Greek commentary
There is no evidence for αἴδεσις in Medieval and Modern Greek, where only αἰδώς survives (see LKN s.v.: in Modern Greek, due to its archaic inflectional pattern, αἰδώς is a rare, very high-register term: its most frequent use is in the standard legal expression προσβολή της δημοσίας αιδούς, 'indecent exposure'. I thank Ioanna Manolessou for this reference). The adjective αἰδέσιμος ‘venerable’, which first appears in imperial prose and survives in Modern Greek, could be based on αἴδεσις and so indicate its familiarity, but equally it may be possible that αἰδέσιμος was synchronically derived from αἰδέομαι through the suffix ‑(σ)ιμος (see DELG s.v. αἴδομαι and, for the suffix, Chantraine 1933, 154–5 and Arbenz 1933; on the semantics of αἰδέσιμος, see Arbenz 1933, 95).
F. Commentary on individual texts and occurrences
(1) D. 23.72 (C.3)
This is a difficult passage, which lexicographical sources quote with several mistakes. The temporal clause ἕως ἂν †αἰδέσηταί τινα† τῶν ἐν γένει τοῦ πεπονθότος is marked as corrupt by most editors (see Dilts 2005, 284). The same corrupt text is transmitted by Phot. α 550 and printed by Cunningham in Σb 626 (see B.1 and its apparatus). The reason the passage is considered corrupt is syntactic. The subject of the whole sentence is the man who is convicted of involuntary homicide (τὸν ἁλόντ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀκουσίῳ φόνῳ, here in the accusative because it depends on ὁ νόμος κελεύει ‘the law commands’). The verb αἰδέσηται, which is deponent, cannot be rendered as a passive (‘until he is pardoned’), nor does its transitive meaning ‘to pardon’ (cf. C.2) make sense with the object ‘the relatives of the deceased’. A possible correction is αἰδέσηταί τις <αὐτόν> (‘until someone pardons him’), as suggested in the apparatus of Dilts (2005, 284), which would render the idea that the action of pardoning out of pity (αἰδέομαι) is performed by one of the relatives of the deceased. This expression finds a close parallel in C.2.
The only way to defend the text transmitted by the Demosthenic manuscripts, as well as by Photius and the Synagoge, would be to assume that Demosthenes used αἰδέομαι with a factitive force: ‘until [the murderer] makes one of the relatives pity/pardon him’. This interpretation is appealing because it is evoked by the paraphrase that we find in Photius, namely ἐξιλάσεται (which Cunningham corrects to the subjunctive ἐξιλάσηται). It seems that Photius here uses ἐξιλάσκομαι (a transitive deponent, whose normal meaning is ‘to propitiate’, usually a god) to mean ‘to propitiate the relatives of the deceased and [obtain] their forgiveness’. The same verb occurs as a passive earlier in Photius, where the meaning must be ‘he is pardoned’ (the passive forms of ἐξιλάσκομαι are rare but are first attested Pl. Lg. 862c.2 and four times in the Old Testament, e.g. Nu. 35.33). However, since the factitive usage of αἰδέομαι is unparalleled, this alternative interpretation remains doubtful.
Arbenz, C. (1933). Die adjective auf ‑ιμος. Ein Beitrag zur griechischen Wortbildung. Tübingen.
Bossi, F.; Tosi, R. (1979–1980). ‘Strutture lessicografiche greche’. BIFG 5, 7–20.
Cary, E. (1914). Dio Cassius. Roman History. Vol. 3: Books XXXVI–XL. Translated by E. Cary, H. B. Foster. Cambridge, MA.
Chantraine, P. (1933). La formation des noms en grec ancien. Paris.
Colson, F. H. (1941). Philo. Vol. 9: Every Good Man Is Free. On the Contemplative Life. On the Eternity of the World. Against Flaccus. Apology for the Jews. On Providence. Translated by F. H. Colson. Cambridge, MA.
Dilts, M. R. (ed.) (2005). Demosthenis Orationes. Vol. 2. Oxford.
Esposito, E. (2005). ‘P.Oxy. XVII 2087 e una citazione dal Περὶ δικαιοσύνης di Aristotele’. ZPE 154, 79–85.
Esposito, E. (2006). ‘Aristoteles 2’. CLGP 1.1.4, 250–2.
Harrison, A. R. W. (1971). The Law of Athens. Procedure. Oxford.
Heitsch, E. (1984). ‘Aidesis im attischen Strafrecht’. Abhandl. Akad. Wiss. Mainz 1, 1984 3–22. (Reprinted in E. Heitsch, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 3. Munich, Leipzig, 2003, 285–303).
Holt, J. (1940). Les noms d’action en ‑σις (‑τις). Aarhus.
Lobeck, C. A. (1820). Phrynichi Eclogae nominum et verborum Atticorum. Leipzig.
MacDowell, D. M. (1963). Athenian Homicide Law in the Age of the Orators. Manchester.
Meissner, T. (2006). S-Stem Nouns and Adjectives in Greek and Proto-Indo-European. A Diachronic Study in Word Formation. Oxford.
Murray, A. T. (1936). Demosthenes. Orations. Vol. 4: Orations 27–40. Private Cases. Translated by A. T. Murray. Cambridge, MA.
Rackham, H. (1935). Aristotle. The Athenian Constitution; The Eudemian Ethics; On Virtues and Vices. Translated by H. Rackham. Cambridge, MA.
Rhodes, P. J. (1993). A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia. 2nd revised edition. Oxford.
Vince, J. H. (1935). Demosthenes. Orations. Vol. 3: Orations 21–26. Translated by J. H. Vince. Cambridge, MA.
Willi, A. (2003). The Languages of Aristophanes. Aspects of Linguistic Variation in Classical Attic Greek. Oxford.
Olga Tribulato, 'αἴδεσις (Αntiatt. α 72)', in Olga Tribulato (ed.), Digital Encyclopedia of Atticism.
Abstract nounsDemosthenesHomicideLegal languagePardonαἰδέομαι
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