ἱστορίης (genitive of ἱστορίη) -> of research (Herodotus 1.1)

J Kau · 4 · 1165

Offline J Kau

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Greetings,

The Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herodotus) for Herodotus's Histories, quoting the introduction of the text, seems to give ἱστορίης as the word for "histories" or "researches". However, the following page at the Internet Sacred Texts Archive gives a slightly different version: ἱστορίης. Either way, using various online transliteration tools to get a Latin-alphabet version of the word, I've gotten contradicting results. What is the proper transliteration version, using the ISO system?

--Justin Kau
« Last Edit: 30 Sep, 2013, 05:20:09 by billberg23 »


Online billberg23

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The word ἱστορίης that you see in the text of Herodotus is actually in the genitive case, literally "of research / of investigation."  So Herodotus introduces his work as an "exposition of research" (ἱστορίης ἀπόδεξις).  The word that we render as "history" is (in the nominative case) ἱστορίη in Herodotus' Ionic dialect, or ἱστορία in standard Greek.  Cf. Liddell & Scott's comprehensive Greek Lexicon:
 
ἱστορ-ία, Ion. -ιη, ἡ,
inquiry, ἱστορίῃσι εἰδέναι τι παρά τινος Hdt.2.118, cf. 119; ἡ περὶ φύσεως ἱ. Pl.Phd.96a; αἱ περὶ τῶν ζῴων ἱ. Arist.Resp.477a7,al.; ἡ ἱ. ἡ περὶ τὰ ζῷα Id.PA674b16; ἡ ζωικὴ ἱ. ib.668b30; περὶ φυτῶν ἱ., title of work by Theophrastus; systematic or scientific observation, Epicur.Ep.1p.29U.: abs., of science generally, ὄλβιος ὅστις τῆς ἱ. ἔσχε μάθησιν E.Fr.910 (anap.); of geometry, Pythag. ap. lamb.VP18.89: in empirical medicine, body of recorded cases, Gal.1.144; mythology, Ἡσίοδον πάσης ἤρανον ἱστορίης Hermesian.7.22.
knowledge so obtained, information, Hdt.1 Praef., Hp.VM20; ὄψις ἐμὴ καὶ γνώμη καὶ ἱ. Hdt.2.99; πρὸς ἱστορίαν τῶν κοινῶν for the knowledge of . . , D.18.144; ἡ τῆς ψυχῆς ἱ. Arist.de An.402a4.
written account of one's inquiries, narrative, history, prob. in this sense in Hdt.7.96; αἱ τῶν περὶ τὰς πράξεις γραφόντων ἱ. Arist.Rh.1360a37, Po.1451b3, Plb.1.57.5, al.; ἐκ τῶν ἱστοριῶν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἄλλων μαρτυριῶν OGI13.12 (iii B.C.); αἱ Μαιανδρίου ἱ. Inscr.Prien.37.105; κοινὴ ἱ. general history, D.H.1.2; ἱ. Ἑλληνική, Ῥωμαϊκή, Plu.2.119d; restricted by some to contemporary history, Lat. rerum cognitio praesentium, Verr.Flacc. ap. Gell.5.18: generally, story, account, Call.Aet.3.1.7.


If you want to transliterate the word using Roman letters, you have the choice of either transliterating from Herodotus' own dialect (historiē) or from standard Greek (historiā).
« Last Edit: 30 Sep, 2013, 05:21:53 by billberg23 »



Offline J Kau

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Thank you so much for the quick reply. So, I suppose that the title in the Ionic dialect is more appropriate. However, I'm confused by the common translation of the word as "histories," which seems over time to have become favored over "history."

Also, the Internet Sacred Texts Archive link that I mentioned but forgot to include: The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek Index

Perhaps someone can clarify another thing I find confusing. I see from Loeb Classical Library books presenting the Greek original and English translation side by side that the Greek titles of, for example, the Euripides play commonly called The Suppliants is printed as Ἱκέτιδες, or The Bacchae/ Bacchanals as Βάκχαι. I just want to confirm that in ancient Greek there is no article in the title, similar perhaps to a French work called L'Amour being entitled in English merely, Love.


Online billberg23

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We need to distinguish Herodotus' description of the nature of his work (ἱστορίη, research, investigation) from what later generations assigned as a title to the sum total of nine books of his work (ἱστορίαι, researches, "histories").  Each of the books, by the way, had its own title in ancient times, corresponding to the names of the nine Muses:  Book I was called "Clio," Book II "Euterpe" — all the way down to Book IX, "Calliope."  And this may go back to Herodotus himself.

As for titles of ancient Greek works, it's probably enough to say that no definite article was needed.  Not exactly parallel to French vs. English practice, which is more an issue of abstract nouns rather than titles: in French, "love" is l'amour, whether or not it's a title.
« Last Edit: 01 Oct, 2013, 04:48:14 by billberg23 »



 

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