Sunday, November 25, 2007

Philotas and the Macedonian language

One of the questions that arises out of Curtius' inflated account of the Philotas affair is
Where did Curtius find all this information, with all its details and melodrama?

Were records of the trial's proceedings available, which could have been used by Curtius' source(s) or Curtius himself ?

and I am explain

In Arrian (3.26.1-4), the Philotas-Parmenion affair is only 36 lines + 2 words long
Plutarch yields 86 LCL lines + 3 words to the Philotas-Parmenion affair
Curtius' account of the Philotas affair, on the other hand, amounts to 619 LCL lines + 81 words, or about 4537.8 words (6.7-1 1.40).

In any event, to comprehend as best as possible Curtius' account of the Philotas affair it becomes necessary to dissect its structure in a synoptic style. This will bring forth the steps involved in the construction of the details and dramatic techniques therein. One such dramatic technique is when Alexander, unexpectedly so-to-speak, asks Philotas whether hz (Philotas) was to defend himself in the putrius senno, because the Makedones were to pass judgement on him.

Curtius does not specify in what language Alexander addressed Philotas, but it has been inferred that it was in the koine. This is, of course, arbitrary inference, as Philotas, too, does not indicate in what language Alexander addressed him, although from the context neither of them was speaking in the pasrius senno of therein.

Alexander's question to Philotas whether the latter was to address the Makedones in the patrius senno (6.9.34) and Philotas' reply (below) to Alexander's accusation that he (Philotas) hated the putrius sem and did not learn it (ibid. 9.36) are in themselves contradictory. When Alexander asked Philotas about the patrius sem , Philotas responded that he was going to speak in the same language as Alexander, presumably the koine because, besides the Makedones, there were also many others present and because Alexander's language was understood a pluribus (ibid. 9.35).

This response by Philotas would imply that there was a putrius senno and that Philotas knew it, but he preferred to speak in the language Alexander had used for greater comprehension, unless this was a ploy on the part of Philotas to cover up his not knowing the putnus senno, as accused by Alexander and later by Bolon.

The contradiction in the pazrius senno motif shows up later, too, when Philotas in defending himself (6.10.23) says that the parrills sernlo had become obsolete because of the intercourse with other nations (lam pndem nativus ille sermo commercio aliarum gerzrium exolevit) , with the comment tam victoribus, quam victis peregrina lingua disceitda esr, which may be rendered into Greek as kathaper nikosin,osautos kai httimenoi xenis glossan mathitea.

How could Philotas state in the contio when the patrirrs sermo was no longer spoken, if it was still in vogue as suggested by Alexander's question?

How could Alexander pose such a question if the patrius sem was no longer spoken as Philotas declared?

The above article basing in the essay of Professor Elias Kapetanopolos wih the title.....Alexander's Patrius Sermo in the Philotas Affair : Patrius Sermo/Philotas

Access in the web page of the Professor here

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