Greek Noun Phrase Word Order

I came across an ordering I had never seen in a Hellenistic text:

τῆς ἐκείνου μεγαλειότητος Diogn 10.5

Has anyone else seen this order before with the demonstrative appearing between the article and the noun?

Did this happen in Classical Greek?

UPDATE: Stephen was kind enough to point out my silly error in the most cordial way possible. For some reason  I missed the gender difference between ἐκείνου and μεγαλειότητος. Oh dear…

7 thoughts on “Greek Noun Phrase Word Order

  1. I don’t think ἐκείνου is a demonstrative adjective here. Its gender is different than τῆς μεγαλειότητος, so the whole phrase means, “of his majesty” or “of its majesty.” In other words, I don’t think it breaks the normal rules for demonstrative adjectives, because here it’s being used a substantive.

    1. Ahh, good point Stephen. I should have caught that – note though, I wouldn’t call any demonstrative a demonstrative adjective. They’re syntactically distinct compared to adjectives.

  2. All I know from my reading through the Apostolic Fathers is that the Greek in Diognetus is funky (to use a technical term) in comparison to the Greek of the balance of the Apostolic Fathers (and the NT, for that matter). Meecham translates the last portion of the verse as “Nay, these things are outside his majesty” (agreeing with Stephen’s comment above). In his comments, he focuses on μεγαλειοτητος:

    For the ‘majesty’ of God cf. Ign., ad Rom. (heading); also Josephus, Con.Apion. ii, 168, and 2Pe 1.16. The suggestion is that the majesty of God is the majesty of love. Cf. the use of the ter in the story of the healing of the demoniac child (Lu 9.43). (Meecham, 134).

    1. Yeah, I do think “funky” is the technical term. Definitely.

      Its interesting that Diogenetus uses εκεινος to refer to God. John does that quite a bit in his letters as well.

  3. On this exact phrase, check 2Pe 1.16 (which I just happened across in a completely different context and thought of your post).

    ἀλλʼ ἐπόπται γενηθέντες >>τῆς ἐκείνου μεγαλειότητος<<

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