Don Level 03
  • from Ohio
  • Member since Feb 25th 2020

Posts by Don

    btw, definitely knocking down the "7th day of the month of Gamelion" is taking longer to pull together all the references, images, etc. than I expected. I think it is a strong case (especially with Alpers and other scholars weighing in since the 1960s) but I want to be sure to cover all the bases. Basically, so that if someone wants to argue, they aren't arguing with just little old me but with several decades of established scholarship!

    Knocking down Gamelion 10 and supporting Gamelion 20 are going to go much faster!

    Just a status report on that mythical paper I've claimed to be writing (all physical evidence to the contrary) ^^

    an indepth article well linked and very findable to short-circuit the question next time it is asked

    LOL! Be careful what you ask for! ^^ I'm in the process of working on a semi-formal paper consolidating all this information about the controversy among Gamelion 7, 10, and 20 with links in the PDF plus image snippets from the manuscripts and a bibliography of sources. Hopefully it'll be complete in the next day or so to get some feedback and then polish.

    What I really appreciate is that – even with the sincere investigation and really trying to come up with a meaningful date – it is all more in the nature of fun, rather than fundamentalism.

    Thanks! That was certainly the spirit.

    I do have a prophecy, however. This will not be the last year of discussion on the matter – whatever date you hit upon: you all would just miss the sheer pleasure of it too much! :D :love:

    ^^ I hear you, but, honestly, I'm getting pretty confident and satisfied with what we've come up with on this thread. Besides there are *plenty* of other obscure details that I want to sink my research teeth into including pinpointing the location of the Garden. Currently, I'm eyeing the site of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Athens:

    Church of the Holy Trinity at Kerameikos · Pireos, Athina 105 53, Greece
    ★★★★★ · Greek Orthodox church

    for various reasons... but that all will be for another thread!

    There's also the on-going look at Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics... and I'm also curious to go through the texts to pick out specific foods mentioned in reference to the Epicureans. It goes beyond "bread and water" and cheese.

    As for me and Epicurus's Birthday, put me down as a firm "Twentyer" or, in Ancient Greek, ΕΙΚΑΔΙΣΤΗΣ (Eikadistes).

    Kalosyni and Joshua inspired me to poke around, too. Found this one:

    Kepos: Garden Spaces in Ancient Greece: Imagination and Reality
    A number of images have been removed from the electronic copy of this thesis for copyright reasons. A list of the removed images is available below.

    Note: Only 1 mention of "Epicurean" but remember that The Garden was just outside the Dipylon Gate in the Kerameikos district... And lots on that!

    I had commented on this very topic quite some time ago when I was sharing my thoughts on DeWitt's book. Here's the pertinent excerpt from that earlier post:

    p.101 of Epicurus and his Philosophy has:


    There is, however, still something to be added. During the first three centuries of Christianity the representations of Christ exhibit a youthful and beardless face, not unlike that of Apollo. The bearded portraits began to appear at a later date and simultaneously with the absorption of the Epicurean sect into the Christian environment. These new pictures of Christ exhibit a similarity to those of Epicurus, then growing obsolete. This similarity is such as to be manifest to the most disinterested observer.

    No, I don't buy this, and it's not "manifest to the most disinterested observer." For one glaring difference, the earliest "portraits" of a bearded Jesus have very long hair. The Wikipedia article on the depiction of Jesus shows one of the earliest bearded images from the late 4th century. The long flowing locks are quite visible. That's not Epicurus. The article does a fairly good job of outlining the various theories of where this bearded depiction comes from, and it's not copies of Epicurus. The references in that article, too, also point to numerous options for where the bearded depiction comes from.

    For sources and further explanation, feel free to read through this thread. To summarize the current understanding:

    - The are good reasons to believe that the reference to Apollodorus' Chronicle in Diogenes Laertius, Book 10.14 should be translated "he was born in the seventh month of Gamelion" and NOT "the seventh day of Gamelion."

    - It is confirmed that the reference to the "earlier tenth of Gamelion" in Epicurus's Will refers to the 20th day of the lunar cycle in the ancient Athenian calendar.

    - For this reason, there is his reason to accept that Epicurus's Birthday was actually Gamelion 20, that it was the usual practice to celebrate it on that day, and that is why the monthly assembly of his school on the 20th was established.

    - Since the month of Gamelion most closely matches January in the current calendar (give or take a couple weeks), the best way in modern times to keep to the spirit of Epicurus's Will is to celebrate his Birthday on January 20 every year. (It is to this "Annual 20th" that Philodemus was inviting Piso.)

    - We can also create a "movable feast day" using a reconstructed Ancient Athenian calendar but we should use Gamelion 20 as the day.

    Okay, so even though everyone has the Wikipedia calculations (and I must be clearly wrong) -- I made a graphic to explain (the colored text is only to make it more readable).

    What I am saying is that you only count the increase or the decrease of the shape of the moon.

    OH! I see what your referring to. Thanks for graphic.

    From my understanding, the moon is always either waxing, full, waning or new.

    If I read the Wikipedia table right, There are only 30 days in the cycle from one new moon to the next, so they're counting every day between new and new.

    Let me see if I can convey what I'm thinking using this table and the moon chart

    "when the first sliver of moon was visible" -- by my method that would 1st day waxing

    Right. Using the Nov/Dec calendars above, to my understanding:

    The noumenia or the first sliver of waxing would be Nov. 24 or 25.

    The 10th would be Dec. 3

    The 20th or "earlier 10th" would be Dec. 13 or 14.

    Then the final 10 waning days count down toward the next noumenia.

    So the 20th day of the lunar month would always look the same.

    By my counting then, the 20th (which would be the 2nd 10th) would fall on the last day of a visible waning crescent.

    Wouldn't the "earlier tenth" (20th) look like the moon on the above charts on Dec. 13 or 14th? The Noumenia seems to have started when the "first sliver" of the new moon was visible.

    Noumenia - Wikipedia

    btw, I really like this line of thinking of Kalosyni and the graphics that Nate has been working up!!

    Let's pare that pertinent sentence down to its bare bones:

    Ἐγεννήθη δέ, φησὶν Ἀπολλόδωρος ἐν Χρονικοῖς, κατὰ τὸ τρίτον ἔτος τῆς ἐνάτης καὶ ἑκατοστῆς Ὀλυμπιάδος ἐπὶ Σωσιγένους ἄρχοντος μηνὸς γαμηλιῶνος ἑβδόμῃ,

    Ἐγεννήθη "he was born"

    φησὶν Ἀπολλόδωρος ἐν Χρονικοῖς

    Apollodorus says in (his) Chronicle

    δέ is just the conjunction "and, so, etc."

    κατὰ τὸ τρίτον ἔτος τῆς ἐνάτης καὶ ἑκατοστῆς Ὀλυμπιάδος

    during the 3rd year (τὸ τρίτον ἔτος) of the 109th Olympiad

    ἐπὶ Σωσιγένους ἄρχοντος

    in the archonship of Sosigenēs

    μηνὸς γαμηλιῶνος ἑβδόμῃ,

    μηνὸς "month" noun singular masculine genitive of μήν

    γαμηλιῶνος "Gamelion" noun singular masculine genitive

    ἑβδόμῃ "seventh" adjective singular *feminine* dative

    ἑβδόμης adjective singular *feminine* genitive

    ἑβδόμη adjective singular *feminine* nominative

    Words in ancient Greek have to agree with each other in number, case, and gender. Every permutation I've seen of "seventh" is *feminine*. There's no word in that sentence that seems to fit with being modified by a feminine adjective. There has to be a seventh something. However, used by itself it can mean "the seventh one" as in

    ἡ ἑβδόμη "the seventh day". So, my theory continues to be "of (the) month of Gamelion, (the) seventh one (i.e., seventh month).

    Just this morning, I had a thought on codex Parisinus gr. 1759 (14th c.) known as P.

    Look at that manuscript, and it looks like the actual spelling of the word that everyone just translates as "seven/th". To me it looks like:

    ευδομ(*superscript*) and not εβδομ/. Well, lol and behold, according to LSJ "εὕδομος" is Boeotian for ἕβδομος!

    Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, ε , εὐδιά-φθαρτος , εὕδομος

    And Boeotia didn't use Gamelion as the name of a month. So, here's my scenario: Somewhere along the line, Apollodorus's work was copied by a scribe from Boeotia who didn't think his readers would know what Gamelion was, so he decided to put in the word "seventh" in his dialect as opposed to "standard" Greek to make sure to specify Gamelion was the seventh month.

    All this is wild conjecture on my part, but I've seen academic theories built on less ^^