Kostes Palamas, Life Immovable. First Part [review-book]

David M. Robinson
1922 The Classical Weekly  
Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the mid--seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non--commercial purposes. Read more about Early Journal
more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. 92 THE CLASSICAL WEEKLY [VOL. XV, No. 12, WHOLE No. 408 hand, the changes in our beliefs about the pronunciation of Latin necessitated by the new evidence are at the most minimal. For instance, Seelmann (I885) was inclined to assume a difference in quality between a and a. Lindsay (I894) felt that the evidence was insufficient. Sommer (I9I4) and Professor Sturtevant now positively reject the assumption; but otherwise the vowel system is the same in all four authors. The progress here lies partly in details; the description of I given by Professor Sturtevant, for instance, is far superior to that of Lindsay. To take another example, we may note that Lindsay dated the confusion of u-consonant and b from the beginning of the second century A. D., while Professors Sommer and Sturtevant can now carry it back into the first century. In part also the progress lies in a better understanding of the reasons for our beliefs. One way in which this result is attained is the elimination of inconclusive argument-an important, if not obvious, matter. Sometimes one might wish that the author had gone farther in this direction: thus the assimilation (page 9I) im fronte is no proof that f was bilabial; nor is the close of a Lucretian line, siccare coepit (page 6o), any indication that oe was still a diphthong. The thing in the book which seems to me most questionable is the treatment of the pronunciation of the mutes (9I-IOI). This is largely reprinted from the author's article Tenuis and Media, in the Transactions of the American Philological Association 48.49-62 and turns on the idea that the Greek mediae were voiced fortes. Now it is doubtful whether "voiced fortes" in the sense necessary for the theory can be prodtuced at all-voiced mutes are to a certain extent necessarily lenes, for reasons explained by Sievers, Grundzuge5, ? 362. It would therefore have been well for the author to designate in some Modern language the sort of sound he had in mind. Then it would have been possible to discuss whether the assumption of such a sound is warranted by the designation mediae. Too much stress is not to be laid on such a term; it may very well mean no more than that ,B is not Xr nor 0, but resembles both of them. The same may be said of Quintilian's statement about the sound for which Claudius invented his letter. His words, medius est quidem u et i litterae sonus, are definite, but it would be rash to infer that the sound was a high, mixed, rounded vowel. Professor Sturtevant seems to favTor such an interpretation (29), but he should not then compare French u or German ui (these are front vowels). The author may be congratulated on his success in doing the thing he has chosen to do, but there arises the question whether there was not better to be done. T should answer that question in the affirmative. Like his predecessors, the author begins with each letter and discusses how it was pronounced; the best procedure would have been to draw up a list of the sounds in use at each place and period in which he was interested, and then discuss the method of representing them in writing. The result would have been, in my opinion, much greater clarity. The
doi:10.2307/4388264 fatcat:iarup2pkxfgafknq3x2dwzfl5m