Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Diathesis (diáthesis), Ancient Theories of
(2,255 words)


In the ancient grammatical sphere, diáthesis indicated mainly the verbal voice, although the term, attested originally in the field of philosophy and medicine, never acquired a univocal technical meaning. The earliest distinction was between active and passive, used to classify verbs expressing an action or a condition resulting from an action, respectively. The first attestation of the concept of middle voice is found in P.Rain. I 19. In Apollonius Dyscolus, diáthesis has a multiplicity of meanings, referring to characte…

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Lara Pagani, “Diathesis (diáthesis), Ancient Theories of”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 27 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000098>
First published online: 2013

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