Josephus Antiquities 9.1.1

John Milton

Active member
Ἰωσαφάτῃ δὲ τῷ βασιλεῖ παραγενομένῳ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀπὸ τῆς συμμαχίας τῆς πρὸς Ἄχαβον τὸν τῶν Ἰσραηλιτῶν βασιλέα, ἣν Ἄδερι τῷ Σύρων πολεμοῦντι βασιλεῖ παρασχὼν ἦν ὡς προειρήκαμεν.

"Which [alliance] against Aderi the warring king of the Syrians offering he was" --> Which he was providing against the actions of the Syrian king. Does the dative of (dis)advantage work here or is there a better explanation?
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
I think more likely a simple indirect object. The idea of "against' would then picked up from context more than any special usage of the dative.
 

John Milton

Active member
I think more likely a simple indirect object. The idea of "against' would then picked up from context more than any special usage of the dative.
Thank you for responding, Gryllus. Do you think Whiston's translation here is also possible?
WHEN[sic] Jehoshaphat the king was come to Jerusalem, from the assistance he had afforded Ahab, the king of Israel, when he fought with Benhadad, king of Syria
I'm asking because he was far more knowledgeable about Greek than I will ever be, but I don't see how πολεμοῦντι can be taken with anything other than βασιλεῖ. That most likely means I am wrong. What am I missing?
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
One too many datives, and it wasn't clear to me which you were referring to. By position (note the article), I would take πολεμοῦντι as attributive, Ἄδερι τῷ Σύρων πολεμοῦντι. This leaves Βασιλεῖ hanging. I supposed one could read it in apposition with ¨Αδερι, but that doesn't explain the attributive phrase well. However, πολεμέω regularly takes the dative complement, so that it should be rendered something like "which he furnished against Benhadad (king) of the Syrians who was making war with the king (of Israel)."

Just as a note on this, Josephus' Greek tends to be quite a bit more complicated than it needs to be (have a look at the entire sentence), to the point where he practically loses control of the sentence and it takes a bit to puzzle out exactly what he is saying. I've recently been revisiting Plato and am actually quite impressed with the relative simplicity of the syntax (Plato can be difficult, but usually not because of twisted and tortuous syntax).
 
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John Milton

Active member
One too many datives, and it wasn't clear to me which you were referring to. By position (note the article), I would take πολεμοῦντι as attributive, Ἄδερι τῷ Σύρων πολεμοῦντι. This leaves Βασιλεῖ hanging. I supposed one could read it in apposition with ¨Αδερι, but that doesn't explain the attributive phrase well. However, πολεμέω regularly takes the dative complement, so that it should be rendered something like "which he furnished against Benhadad (king) of the Syrians who was making war with the king (of Israel)."

Just as a note on this, Josephus' Greek tends to be quite a bit more complicated than it needs to be (have a look at the entire sentence), to the point where he practically loses control of the sentence and it takes a bit to puzzle out exactly what he is saying. I've recently been revisiting Plato and am actually quite impressed with the relative simplicity of the syntax (Plato can be difficult, but usually not because of twisted and tortuous syntax).
Thanks once again. I have been taking it as two different parts Ἄδερι and τῷ Σύρων πολεμοῦντι βασιλεῖ, but Whiston's translation made me hesitate. I recently decided to make Josephus this year's reading goal. I noticed this particular text while trying to decide where I wanted to start reading. I ultimately decided to start reading in Book 12, and to see how far I can get by the end of 2021. I figured I might as well tackle Greek study and New Testament background at the same time. From what I have seen so far, I think it will be challenging but not too bad.
 

τράπεζα

New Member
Thanks once again. I have been taking it as two different parts Ἄδερι and τῷ Σύρων πολεμοῦντι βασιλεῖ, but Whiston's translation made me hesitate. I recently decided to make Josephus this year's reading goal. I noticed this particular text while trying to decide where I wanted to start reading. I ultimately decided to start reading in Book 12, and to see how far I can get by the end of 2021. I figured I might as well tackle Greek study and New Testament background at the same time. From what I have seen so far, I think it will be challenging but not too bad.
Let me be the first to say יִשַּׁר כּוֹחַ yishar koaḥ [Hebrew Language Academy], to give it a Jewish label. Good on you! I'm glad to see you taking this step, and I do hope that your reading enriches your views and challenges you, helping you grow and improve in many and unintended ways. What I’ve seen from your contributions on the forum since its reestablishment has given me the impression that you’ve spent the recent months well. I’ve noticed the cogency of your arguments and the sense that you’ve evinced in your words.
 
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