ἤκουσεν ἐν Ῥώμῃ καὶ ἀρσένων ἑταιρίαν εἶναι -> he heard that there was also a fellowship of males in Rome (Severius, commentary on Romans 1:27)

jtownsle

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Οὐχ ἁπλῶς δὲ τῆς τοιαύτης ἀσχημοσύνης μέμνηται, ἀλλ’ ὅτι ἤκουσεν ἐν Ῥώμῃ καὶ ἀρσένων ἑταιρίαν εἶναι.

I'm tracking down ancient Greek commentaries on Romans 1.27 in an attempt to see patterns in how the early church talked about this verse.  One fragment I found is from Severius (Severianus in TLG) of Gabala, late 300s, early 400s from Syria.  Since it's a fragment there is no larger extant context, other than our general knowledge about Paul's letter to the Romans.  Bray and Oden (Romans, 1998; p. 46) translate this verse as "Paul did not say this lightly, but because he had heard that there was a homosexual community at Rome."  

However, that doesn't seem like a very good translation--it seems there's a lot of imputation, especially regarding the phrase "ἀρσένων ἑταιρίαν."  What about this for a more literal translation of the second clause:
"but because he heard about men in the Roman community."
« Last Edit: 26 Aug, 2010, 21:00:58 by billberg23 »


oberonsghost

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This phrase is constructed as indirect speech, so the subject of what is reported is written in the accusative and the verb for the phrase is written in the infinitive.

You'd translate ἤκουσεν ἐν Ῥώμῃ καὶ ἀρσένων ἑταιρίαν εἶναι as "he heard that there is also a community of men in Rome". 

Perhaps Bray and Ogden are imputing the "homosexual" from the ἀσχημοσύνης, which they haven't included in their translation and from the wider context of Paul's letter.  The LSJ gives this definition for ἀσχημοσύνη in the context of Paul's letter:

II. in moral sense, indecorum, obscene or disgraceful conduct, Ep.Rom.1.27: in pl., Ph.1.78, Vett.Val.61.31. (http://bit.ly/chgVvb)


:)

Good luck with your research.
Πουλιὰ τὸ βάρος τῆς καρδιᾶς μας ψυλὰ μηδενίζοντας καὶ πολὺ γαλάζιο ποὺ ἀγαπήσαμε!  (Ἐλύτης)



jtownsle

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Thanks, that's very helpful--it makes more sense that way.

Here's another, which should probably be a different thread, but let's try it here.

διὸ καὶ μεταλάττουσι τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν αἱ δοκοῦσαι παρθένοι τῶν εἰδώλων.
My translation: "Therefore it seems those virgins of the idols changed the natural use into the unnatural." 

This one is another fragment, so again no context.  It's Origen's Commentary on Romans, most of which we just have in the Latin from Rufinus, but here's a bit of the Greek that Staab found (1928) that relates to my research--by the numeration it's a comment on Rom 1:26.  Unfortunately Rufinus cut out a lot of the original when he translated it, so I don't find anything like this in his reworking of Origen's Commentary.

What I'm struggling with is the last phrase, αἱ δοκοῦσαι παρθένοι τῶν εἰδώλων.  I can't find this construction from any other ancient sources--the closest I've found (from TLG) is from Procopius' Commentary on Isaiah (500s?), εἰδωλολατρείας παρθένος, which I assume is something like "the women in service to idols,"  but I'm hesitant to automatically impute the same intent back onto Origen (230CE), although it doesn't seem like an unreasonable translation.

I thought perhaps παρθένοι τῶν εἰδώλων maybe a reference to the Vestal Virgins, although Plutarch calls them παρθένος ἱέρεια.




 

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