Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-546b4f848f-zwmfq Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-01T13:49:47.123Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

1 - Greek Divination as the Transformation of an Indo-European Process

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2022

Roger D. Woodard
Affiliation:
State University of New York, Buffalo
Get access

Summary

The title of this chapter is an adaptation of the title of an important book about linguistic structures and processes of early Indo-European as they experienced transformed expression in the evolved, and evolving, linguistic structures of ancient Greek.1 Like that work, this study is concerned with the diachronic and synchronic intersection of structures. But while that work chiefly and expansively addresses morpho-phonological matters of dialect development, this one is a much more modest lexical study (a set of fairly fine-grained lexical analyses) of specific elements of Greek divination, one that finds particular inspiration in Benveniste’s (1969) Le vocabulaire des institutions indo-européennes. What follows is a study of linguistic and cultural structures in which I hypothesize (1) that deliberate intellectual or cognitive engagement is the expected response to the production of Greek prophetic signs and (2) that this state of affairs continues, at least in part, idealized practices of ancestral Indo-European cult. Given that the idea that oracles are puzzles in search of a solution is fundamental to the ancient literary presentation of Greek divination, the first half of this hypothesis may appear trivial; however, what I hope to show is that intellectual engagement with an oracle is a cult act of a more “requisite” nature and attitude than perhaps typically imagined – it is the religiously right response – and that this is so (part two of the hypothesis) for reasons having to do with inherited religious structures (the appearance of the forest may not be substantially changed, but some new understanding of the trees may possibly present itself). I begin with Roman Jakobson, a master analyst of linguistic and cultural structures.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×