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All Greek to me

Discussion in 'General Genealogical Queries' started by peter, May 13, 2020.

  1. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I came across this wording in a 17th century parish register. It's a long time since I studied Ancient Greek so could do with some help....

  2. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    It's all Greek to me too, but I consulted my resident linguist who knows some Greek and he offers the following:

    It starts with "These were sought"
    and ends with "and they were not found"
    The 3rd & 4th words may be "of their writings" followed by "the genealogists", which is the subject of the sentence.

    So overall possibly something along the lines of "The genealogists who wrote these things were sought but not found".

    Does that fit with the context?
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It appears below baptism entries for 1672-74. Turning the page I found some more Greek at the top of the following page:

  4. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    That's a quote from the Gospel of John, part of Chapter 19 Verse 35 - translated in the New International Version as "The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true."
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The plot thickens!
  6. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Without having seen the register, I wonder if the first comment might relate to entries which had been copied into it from some rough notes or someone's memory where the writer had been unable to verify the information or its source. Then the second comment relates to events he has witnessed and so can verify the entries to be correct.

    Why the comments were written in Greek is anybody's guess!
  7. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    Possibly because clergymen would have had a grounding in both Latin and Greek and were familiar with the Greek New Testament.
  8. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Yes, but why choose to use Greek here?
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Probably so that only those with a classical education, ie clerics, could read it?
    • Agree Agree x 1

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