4 Maccabees, Information Structure & Style

As I’m finishing up my work on 4 Maccabbees (I hope to be done by Tuesday), I’ve noticed some patterns in terms of our author’s favorite ways to draw his audience’s attention to certain constituents via syntactic structure. I realized how common it was anecdotally, and only just did a search to see exactly how common.

The structure is οὐ / μὴ μόνος ἀλλὰ καὶ …, which occurs a total of 14 times [15 with οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ] in the course of the books 18 chapters. In a technical sense, this is a Contrastive Focus, but it really isn’t contrastive in the normal sense. Its more adding and replacing. Adding and replacing – those two words fit nicely with the functions of ἀλλὰ and καὶ more generally as well. Basically, the structure says, “Replace the one thing I said previously with both these elements together.”

My favorite of these is at 14:9, where the author uses not only οὐ μόνον, but also οὐδὲ μόνον in conjunction with ἀλλὰ καὶ.

4 Macc 1:11 – θαυμασθέντες γὰρ οὐ μόνον ὑπὸ πάντων ἀνθρώπων ἐπὶ τῇ ἀνδρείᾳ καὶ ὑπομονῇ, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν αἰκισαμένων, αἴτιοι κατέστησαν τοῦ καταλυθῆναι τὴν κατὰ τοῦ ἔθνους τυραννίδα νικήσαντες τὸν τύραννον τῇ ὑπομονῇ ὥστε καθαρισθῆναι δἰ αὐτῶν τὴν πατρίδα.
For the admiration felt for their courage and endurance, not only by the world at large but [also] by their very executioners, made them the authors of the downfall of the tyranny under which our nation lay, they defeating the tyrant by their endurance, so that through them was their country purified.

4 Macc 2:4 – καὶ οὐ μόνον δὲ τὴν τῆς ἡδυπαθείας οἰστρηλασίαν ὁ λογισμὸς ἐπικρατεῖν φαίνεται, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάσης ἐπιθυμίας.
Not only is reason proved to rule over the frenzied urge of sexual desire, but also over every desire.

4 Macc 4:20 – ὥστε μὴ μόνον ἐπ̓ αὐτῇ τῇ ἄκρᾳ τῆς πατρίδος ἡμῶν γυμνάσιον κατασκευάσαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ καταλῦσαι τὴν τοῦ ἱεροῦ κηδεμονίαν.
so that not only was a gymnasium constructed at the very citadele of our native land, but also the temple service was abolished.

4 Macc 5:27 – τυραννικὸν δὲ οὐ μόνον ἀναγκάζειν ἡμᾶς παρανομεῖν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐσθίειν, ὅπως τῇ ἐχθίστῃ ἡμῶν μιαροφαγίᾳ ταύτῃ ἐπεγγελάσῃς.
It would be tyrannical for you to compel us not only to transgress the law, but also to eat in such a way that you may deride us for eating defiling foods, which are most hateful to us.

4 Macc 6:35 – καὶ οὐ μόνον τῶν ἀλγηδόνων ἐπιδείκνυμι κεκρατηκέναι τὸν λογισμόν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ἡδονῶν κρατεῖν καὶ μηδὲν αὐταῖς ὑπείκειν.
I have proved not only that reason has mastered agonies, but also that it masters pleasures and in no respect yields to them.

4 Macc 8:5 – Ὦ νεανίαι, φιλοφρόνως ἐγὼ καθ̓ ἑνὸς ἑκάστου ὑμῶν θαυμάζω, τὸ κάλλος καὶ τὸ πλῆθος τοσούτων ἀδελφῶν ὑπερτιμῶν οὐ μόνον συμβουλεύω μὴ μανῆναι τὴν αὐτὴν τῷ προβασανισθέντι γέροντι μανίαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ παρακαλῶ συνείξαντάς μοι τῆς ἐμῆς ἀπολαύειν φιλίας,
Young men, with favorable feelings I admire each and every one of you, and greatly respect the beauty and the number of such brothers. Not only do I advise you not to display the same madness as that of the old man who has just been tortured, but [also] I also exhort you to yield to me and enjoy my friendship.

4 Macc 8:15 – Οἱ δὲ ἀκούσαντες ἐπαγωγὰ καὶ ὁρῶντες δεινὰ οὐ μόνον οὐκ ἐφοβήθησαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀντεφιλοσόφησαν τῷ τυράννῳ καὶ διὰ τῆς εὐλογιστίας τὴν τυραννίδα αὐτοῦ κατέλυσαν.
But when they had heard the inducements and saw the dreadful devices, not only were they not afraid, but they also opposed the tyrant with their own philosophy, and by their right reasoning nullified his tyranny.

4 Macc 9:10 – Ταῦτα αὐτῶν εἰπόντων οὐ μόνον ὡς κατὰ ἀπειθούντων ἐχαλέπαινεν ὁ τύραννος, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὡς κατὰ ἀχαρίστων ὠργίσθη.
When they had said these things, the tyrant was not only indignant, as at those who are disobedient, but also infuriated, as at those who are ungrateful.

4 Macc 14:1 – προσέτι καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν αἰκισμὸν ἐποτρύνοντες, ὡς μὴ μόνον τῶν ἀλγηδόνων περιφρονῆσαι αὐτούς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν τῆς φιλαδελφίας παθῶν κρατῆσαι.
Furthermore, they encouraged them to face the torture, so that they not only despised their agonies, but also mastered the emotions of brotherly love.

4 Macc 14:9 – νῦν ἡμεῖς ἀκούοντες τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν νεανιῶν ἐκείνων φρίττομεν, οἱ δὲ οὐ μόνον ὁρῶντες, ἀλλ̓ οὐδὲ μόνον ἀκούοντες τὸν παραχρῆμα ἀπειλῆς λόγον, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάσχοντες ἐνεκαρτέρουν, καὶ τοῦτο ταῖς διὰ πυρὸς ὀδύναις,
Even now, we ourselves shudder as we hear of the suffering of these young men; they neither only saw what was happening, not merely heard the direct word of threat, but also bore the sufferings patiently, and in agonies of fire at that.

4 Macc 16:2 – ἀπέδειξα οὖν ὅτι οὐ μόνον ἄνδρες τῶν παθῶν ἐκράτησαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ γυνὴ τῶν μεγίστων βασάνων ὑπερεφρόνησεν.
Thus I have demonstrated not only that men have ruled over the emotions, but also that a woman has despised the fiercest tortures.

4 Macc 17:20 – καὶ οὗτοι οὖν ἁγιασθέντες διὰ θεὸν τετίμηνται, οὐ μόνον ταύτῃ τῇ τιμῇ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ δἰ αὐτοὺς τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν τοὺς πολεμίους μὴ ἐπικρατῆσαι
These, then, who have been consecrated for the sake of God,e are honored, not only with this honor, but also by the fact that because of them our enemies did not rule over our nation,

4 Macc 18:2 – γινώσκοντες ὅτι τῶν παθῶν ἐστιν δεσπότης ὁ εὐσεβὴς λογισμὸς καὶ οὐ μόνον τῶν ἔνδοθεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ἔξωθεν πόνων.
knowing that devout reason is master of all emotions, not only of sufferings from within, but also of those from without.

4 Macc 18:3 – Ἀνθ̓ ὧν διὰ τὴν εὐσέβειαν προέμενοι τὰ σώματα τοῖς πόνοις ἐκεῖνοι οὐ μόνον ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐθαυμάσθησαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ θείας μερίδος κατηξιώθησαν.
Therefore those who gave over their bodies in suffering for the sake of religion were not only admired by mortals, but also were deemed worthy to share in a divine inheritance.

There is also the very similar construction that does not use μόνος, but still has essentially the same meaning:

4 Macc 15:9 – οὐ μὴν δὲ ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ τὴν καλοκἀγαθίαν τῶν υἱῶν καὶ τὴν πρὸς τὸν νόμον αὐτῶν εὐπείθειαν μείζω τὴν ἐν αὐτοῖς ἔσχεν φιλοστοργίαν.
Not only so, but also because of the nobility of her sons and their ready obedience to the law, she felt a greater tenderness toward them.

Note: Depending on how the translation renders the word, I’ve alternated between the NRSV & the Charles Translation. I’ve also emended a few verses where I saw fit.

Finally, our author likes to use ἀλλὰ καὶ by itself for other purposes to introduce larger discourse chunks, though the meaning of the construction isn’t really different. We just see it functioning at a different level.

4 Maccabees 1:4 (LXX)

ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν τῆς δικαιοσύνης ἐμποδιστικῶν παθῶν κυριεύειν ἀναφαίνεται, οἷον κακοηθείας, καὶ τῶν τῆς ἀνδρείας ἐμποδιστικῶν παθῶν, θυμοῦ τε καὶ φόβου καὶ πόνου.
But also it is clear that it masters the emotions that hinder one from justice, such as malice, and those that stand in the way of courage, namely anger, fear, and pain.

4 Maccabees 1:12 (LXX)

ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ τούτου νῦν αὐτίκα δὴ λέγειν ἐξέσται ἀρξαμένῳ τῆς ὑποθέσεως, ὅπερ εἴωθα ποιεῖν, καὶ οὕτως εἰς τὸν περὶ αὐτῶν τρέψομαι λόγον δόξαν διδοὺς τῷ πανσόφῳ θεῷ.

I shall shortly have an opportunity to speak of this; but, as my custom is, I shall begin by stating my main principle, and then I shall turn to their story, giving glory to the all-wise God.

4 Maccabees 15:12 (LXX)

ἀλλὰ καὶ καθ̓ ἕνα παῖδα καὶ ὁμοῦ πάντας ἡ μήτηρ ἐπὶ τὸν τῆς εὐσεβείας προετρέπετο θάνατον.
But each child separately and all of them together the mother urged on to death for religion’s sake.

7 thoughts on “4 Maccabees, Information Structure & Style

  1. οὐ μόνον … ἀλλὰ καὶ … is pretty common since classical Attic. LSJ s.v. μόνος:

    οὐ μόνον . . , ἀλλὰ καὶ . . Ar. Eq. 1282, X.Cyr.1.6.17, etc.; οὐ μ., ἀλλὰ . . S.Ph.555: μόνον is sts. omitted, μὴ τοὺς ἐγγύς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς ἄπωθεν Th.4.92, cf. E.Hipp.359, Ph.1480 (lyr.).

  2. Yay! Someone else blogs about αλλα!

    Heckert does discuss ου μονον .. αλλα και in his book on connectives in the Pastorals. The structure (ου|μη) .. μονον .. αλλα (και) is also common in the Apostolic Fathers:

    1Cl 4.13; 7.1; 12.8; 19.1; 35.6; 43.5; 47.7 (all ου μονον).
    2Cl 3.4 (μη μονον); 13.1 (μη .. μηδε μονον); 13.4 (ου μονον .. ουκ); 17.3 (μη μονον).
    Ign Magn 4.1 (μη μονον)
    Ign Trall 13.3 (ου μονον)
    Ign Rom 3.2 (μη μονον 2x)
    Ign Smyrn 4.1 (ου μονον .. μη .. μηδε)
    Poly Phil 9.1
    Mart Poly 1.2 (μη μονον 2x); 12.1 (ου μονον μη); 19.1 (ου μονον)
    Herm Vis I, iii, 2; II, ii, 2 (μονον μη); III, ix, 2 (μη μονοι); Mand IV, i, 9 (ου μονον)
    EpDiog 2.1 (μη μονον); 8.7 (ου μονον)

    I never got into this idiom in my paper on αλλα. The NT, as I recall, only has ου μονον. But as you can see authors of the AF material have several variations.

      1. Fair point — I forgot what my own paper was about. I defined “non-negative” as simply having a negator, whether or not the effective context was negative or positive. The motive for this was expedience.

        Much of my initial research and thinking was just on αλλα itself, despite any negative or non-negative context. And I think what I came up with applies to αλλα generally, not just non-negative contexts — that’s just the harder context for the correction/replacement view to be applied.

        And I remember being enamored with the “not only/but also” as I worked through the instances, and smiled when I saw your post about 4 Macc.

        I did examine each instance of αλλα in the NT and Apostolic Fathers in order to determine what the non-negatives were, and it is from those notes that I culled the above list.

        1. Well, the “adding and replace” was definitely a nod in not only your direction, but also Steve’s with his thematic addition description of καί.

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