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Pobrecito Marquitos!

11 Jun

From this blog:

That Μαρκίων is a diminutive of Μαρκος, I conclude also from the relation of Εὔρυτος to Εὐρυτίων, (vgl. Phil. Griech. Gramm. 21. Aufl. S. 119, Anm. 12), κοδράτίων (from Philostratus vit. sophist. II, 6 p. 250) to κοδράτος (vgl. W. H. Waddington, Memoire sur la Chronologie de la vie du rheteur Aristide, 1867, p. 32). So also I think κάλλιστος, the Roman Bishop (217 – 222) against whom the author of the Philosophumena shows such hostility, is behind Rhodon’s reference to κάλλιστίωνι προσφωνων (Eusebius, Church History V, 13, 8). Stronger still is the case for the Μαρκιανοί – which Justin Dial c. Tr. c. 35 p. 253 mentions before the Valentinians, Basilideans, Satornillians, etc – being a reference to Marcionites. Similarly, one will have to read the Muratorianum Z 82-84: quia etiam librum novum psalmorum Marciani (= Marcionitae conscripserunt).

I always thought there was some relationship between Mark[os] and Markion (Marcion). Here is what Wikipedia says about diminutives:

Diminutives are often used for the purpose of expressing affection (see nickname and hypocoristic). In many languages, the meaning of diminution can be translated “tiny” or “wee”, and diminutives are used frequently when speaking to small children; adult people sometimes use diminutives when they express extreme tenderness and intimacy by behaving and talking like children.

[…]

Greek [Diminutives]:

Several diminutive derivational suffixes existed in Classical Greek. The most common ones were -ι-, -ισκ-, -ιδι-, -αρι-.

Diminutives are also very common in Modern Greek. Literally every noun has its own diminutive. They express either small size or affection: size -aki (σπίτι/spiti “house”, σπιτάκι/spitaci “little house”; λάθος/lathos “mistake”, λαθάκι/lathaci “negligible mistake”) or affection -ula (μάνα/mana “mother”, μανούλα/manula “mommy”). The most common suffixes are -άκης/-acis and -ούλης/-ulis for the male gender, -ίτσα/-itsa and -ούλα/-ula for the female gender, and -άκι/-aci for the neutral gender. Several of them are common as suffixes of surnames, originally meaning the offspring of a certain person, e.g. Παπάς/Papas “priest” with Παπαδάκης/Papadacis as the surname.

Nothing here about adding ίων to make a diminutive of a masculine noun. But then again, there’s nothing here about what diminutive suffixes were extant in Koine Greek. One diminutive in Mark 3:9 is “little boat” / πλοιαριον which ends in -ιον but not ιων. Ironically, the difference between the two is between a little o (o micron) and a big o (o mega).

This, however, is from a Perseus Project website:

The comparative suffix (earlier -iōs) is akin to the Greek -ίων, or the Sanskrit -iyans.

Which is also corroborated by this Google Books page. -ίων is a “lesser known” comparative suffix than -οτερος.

In other words, it seems as though ίων might be added to denote a comparative (i.e. Μαρκίων is “something or other” than Μαρκος) and not a diminutive.

Nominative Diminutive Comparative Superlative
Adjective πτωχός / poor πτωχάκης / little poor one (i.e. “pobresito”) πτωχότερος / poorer πτωχότατος / poorest
Noun Μαρκός Μαρκάκης (?) Μαρκίων Μαρκίστος

The name “Mark” itself seems to come from Mars (and his month March), the god of war.

Maybe this moniker was added to differentiate between “orthodox” Mark and “heretical” Mark? Like Paul and Simon Magus, Jesus called BarAbba and Jesus called Christ? It might be that “Markion” actually was the author of Mark and they are really one and the same person. I can’t help but think it has something to do with the word ετερός, meaning “other” (but of a different kind) which sounds pretty close to the comparative suffix οτερος. Markion was the “other, different” Mark. Μαρκός ετερός > Μαρκότερος > Μαρκίων.

Regardless, it seems as though Mark and Markion are the same name. The really fishy thing being that they are both charged as being gospel authors. One orthodox, and one heterodox (ετερος).

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2 Comments

Posted by on June 11, 2010 in gospel of mark, marcion

 

2 responses to “Pobrecito Marquitos!

  1. Stephan Huller

    June 12, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Hi. I am the original blogger. Thanks for linking to my site. It might have been useful to tell your readers that the original source of the quotation was the GREAT Protestant scholar Adolf Hilgenfeld. If he said that Marcion was a diminutive form of Mark he meant 'it was a diminutive form of Mark' and not anything else.

    I know that -ion forms diminutive names from my days in university. It was a Semitic language professor who explained Marcion as a diminutive of Mark. There are lots of references on line. Go to Google books:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=UKAkAAAAMAAJ&q=%22ion%22+diminutive+named+greek&dq=%22ion%22+diminutive+named+greek&ei=iEYTTOfnMIS6lATf4virCQ&cd=1

    http://books.google.com/books?id=OGwrSciQGvsC&pg=PA92&dq=%22ion%22+diminutive+named+greek&ei=iEYTTOfnMIS6lATf4virCQ&cd=9#v=onepage&q=%22ion%22%20diminutive%20named%20greek&f=false

    http://books.google.com/books?id=RJXJyZFPAysC&pg=PA78&dq=%22ion%22+diminutive+named+greek&lr=&ei=NEcTTKfVAYTulQTm2oyNCQ&cd=11#v=onepage&q=%22ion%22%20diminutive%20named%20greek&f=false

    I could go on and on but there is nothing about 'Marcion' that suggests that he could not be the evangelist. Indeed Hippolytus (Ref. 7.18) witnesses a contemporary report that Marcion wrote the gospel of Mark.

    Thanks for coming to my site!

     
  2. J. Quinton

    June 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Well it depends on what you mean when you write (in English) -ion. Whether you spell it iota omicron nu (ιον) or iota omega nu (ιων) — which I referenced in my post in regards to the “little boat” at Mark 3:9.

    You can't just substitute omicrons with omegas in Greek. If Markion's name was spelled ΜΑΡΚΙΟΝ instead of ΜΑΡΚΙΩΝ then it would be diminutive. Iota omicron nu (ιον) is what your Google books references are talking about, and is indeed a diminutive, not iota omega nu (ιων).

    So “little poor one” could also be written as πτωχιον.

    The other problem is that “Mark” is not a Semitic name. It is a Latin name. This isn't saying that the two names aren't related, it's just that one being a diminutive of the other isn't likely the relationship.

     
 
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