What Is a Byzantine Catholic?

A follower of one of the Eastern Catholic Churches. These churches are doctrinally Roman Catholic, but their ritual practice is a continuation of Eastern Christian practice (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and the Church of the East).

Byzantine Catholic in particular refers to a follower of a church that is doctrinally Catholic, but whose ritual is derived from the Byzantine rite Eastern Orthodox church. The Eastern Catholic Churches also include practitioners of other rites—West Syrian, East Syrian, Armenian, and Alexandrian.

The Eastern Catholic Churches churches are commonly known as Uniate, but the term has been rejected by the followers as derogatory. By far the largest congregation of Byzantine Catholics is the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; runners up are the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and the Ruthenian Catholic Church.

Does Italian administration in the Dodecanese prevent the expulsion of Muslim citizens, contrary to Crete?

Self-evidently yes.

The population exchanges of 1923 dictated that all Muslims in Greece move to Turkey, with the exception of Thrace, and that all Greek Orthodox in Turkey move to Greece, with the exception of Istanbul, Imbros and Tenedos.

In 1923, Crete was part of Greece—though the Muslims of Crete were already fleeing the island after autonomy was granted in 1897. So the Muslims of Crete left for Turkey.

In 1923, the Dodecanese were under Italian administration, and were not part of Greece. Therefore a small Muslim population remains to this day, in Rhodes and Kos.

After marriage, why do women have to change their surname?

Hm. Surprised at the low level of anthropology here. Lots of value judgements on both sides, but not a whole lot of history.

OK. The answer is tied up with patrilocality. See for example Why did society shift to patrilocality after the Neolithic agricultural revolution? And Patrilocal residence on Wikipedia.

Patrilocality is the arrangement where, when a woman marries a man, they don’t go off and make their own household: they stay with the household the man belongs to.

If you’ve just invented agriculture, and you rely on access to land for subsistence, then patrilocality makes a lot of sense. You don’t want to keep splitting up the family farm with every generation of kids, until it’s down to a postage stamp; and you don’t want to give a bit of the farm away to someone who isn’t going to stick around and help farm it. Patrilocality makes a lot of economic sense; it’s only in the modern, post-agricultural West that it makes any sense for new families to establish their own households.

Of course, patrilocality is not the only way of resolving the issue of how to keep the family farm in one piece. You can also have Matrilocal residence, where the couple stays with the household the woman belongs to. But that doesn’t mean that matrilocal societies are feminist paradises. From what Wikipedia tells me, in many matrilocal societies, the husband stays with his family, and only visits the wife “in their spare time” (so he can still tend to his parents’ farm). The father is disinherited from his own children (who stay with the mother)—but brings up his sister’s children (who are staying with their mother); so the family farm still stays together.

In any case, even if these practices start out because they make economic sense, they are perpetuated as tradition and value judgements. When Bing Sanchez (who lives in Greece) told me she was going to ask a variant of this question, I asked her to ask around for the definition of a sogambros.

Greece is traditionally a patrilocal society. A sogambros, literally an “inside son-in-law”, is matrilocal: he’s someone who’s living with his wife’s kin, instead of his own.

Traditionally, this is considered embarrassing.

There’s nothing rational about the embarrassment in modern society; in fact, there’s nothing rational about it even in traditional society. But the social pressure helps maintain patrilocality, and having either consistent patrilocality or consistent matrilocality is rational: everyone knows the rules, no scope for inheritance disputes (which would turn deadly in a subsistence economy), and the family farms stay intact.

What’s all that got to do with surnames?

The group identity of an extended family originates in the bunch of people who have the family farm in common, through inheritance. In patrilocal societies, that inheritance is from father to son.

Ditto surnames. Having the same surname means you’re part of the group who gets to farm the same family farm.

It’s as simple as that. And if you’re getting married into the family farm as a woman, you take the family’s surname, because you too will be tending to the family farm.

Why doesn’t the verb take a third person singular form in past tense?

Brian is of course right, but I think he’s explained it a bit too quickly.

Armed only with Old English grammar and Middle English from Wikipedia, behold the past tenses of verbs in action.

I’m only going to pay attention to weak verbs, because that’s the pattern that has prevailed.

Old English:

  • Present
    • ic hǣl-e “I heal”
    • þū hǣl-st “thou healst”
    • hē/hit/hēo hǣl-þ “he healeth”
    • wē/gē/hīe hǣl- “we/you/they heal”
  • Past
    • ic hǣld-e “I healed”
    • þū hǣld-est “thou healdest”
    • hē/hit/hēo hǣld-e “he healed”
    • wē/gē/hīe hǣld-on “we/you/they healed”

What do we see?

  • The present tense has third person singular marking. It also has second person singular marking, and plural marking.
  • The past tense has all of the above. But the first and third person singular mark is just an -e. And English is notorious for no longer pronouncing its final e’s.

Middle English:

  • Present
    • ich baþ-e
    • þu baþ-est
    • he/sche/hit baþ-
    • we/ȝe/þei baþ-en
  • Past
    • ich baþed-e
    • þu baþed-est
    • he/sche/hit baþed-e
    • we/ȝe/þei baþed-en
  • The endings are pretty much the same, except that the plural ending has now been mooshed into the same –en for both present and past.

Now, to get to Modern English, we do the following:

1. Get rid of pronouncing the final –e, in late Middle English (though we’ll keep it in the spelling of this verb’s present tense):

  • Present
    • ich bathe
    • thu bath-est
    • he/sche/hit bath-eth
    • we/ye/thei bath-en
  • Past
    • ich bathed
    • þu bathed-st
    • he/sche/hit bathed
    • we/ye/thei bathed-en

2. Get rid of the plural agreement ending (Brian’s step 2):

  • Present
    • ich bathe
    • thou bath-est
    • he/sche/hit bath-eth
    • we/ye/thei bathe
  • Past
    • ich bathed
    • thou bathed-st
    • he/sche/hit bathed
    • we/ye/thei bathed

3. Get rid of the thou forms completely:

  • Present
    • I bathe
    • he/she/it bath-eth
    • we/ye/they bathe
  • Past
    • ich bathed
    • he/she/it bathed
    • we/ye/they bathed

4. Switch the -(e)th ending to -s (Brian’s step 1):

  • Present
    • I bathe
    • he/she/it bathe-s
    • we/ye/they bathe
  • Past
    • ich bathed
    • he/she/it bathed
    • we/ye/they bathed

Shazam, Modern English.

And that’s why there’s no third person ending on the past tense. Because the original third person ending was just an -e.

In fact, in Old English and Middle strong verbs, there wasn’t even the final -e: they had no third person ending from the very beginning:

  • Old English
    • ic stel-e “I steal”
    • ic stæl “I stole”
    • he stæl “he stole”
    • we stǣl-on “we stole”
  • Middle English
    • ich sing-e “I sing”
    • ich sang “I sang”
    • he sang “he sang”
    • we song-en “we sang”

What is the Modern Greek equivalent of the English phrase “I know, right?”

Good question. The English phrase expresses acknowledgement of the interlocutor’s surprise at something the speaker has just said.

The Greek idiomatic equivalent, I’d say, is Είδες; “See?”

How is “o po po” written in Greek?

Ω πω πω. You will also see ωπωπω, and πω πω πω and πωπωπω are more frequent. They’re interjections, so their spacing has not been normalised.

The initial ω is so spelled by analogy with ancient Greek ὦ “O!”, though it’s not strictly speaking the same thing. No idea why πω has an omega, maybe the vague notion that it’s a long drawn out exclamation (so it needs what was in antiquity a long vowel). The unrelated (?) babytalk word ποπός “bum, bottom” is spelled with an omicron.

Babiniotis’ dictionary, god bless it, has a lot of idiosyncratically antiquarian orthography, and it chooses to spell πωπω as ποπό, with reference to the ancient exclamation πόποι! Inasmuch as exclamations can reasonably have etymologies, that is not an insane analogy to do. But Babiniotis is a hundred years too late in trying to revise Greek spelling. And if you spell it ο ποπο, people will rightly assume you’re talking about bottoms.

EDIT: to my astonishment, the more orthographically prudent Triantafyllidis dictionary also has ποπό: Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής.

I know why Triantafyllidis, as opposed to Babiniotis, did this: orthographic simplification. If you can’t find an omega in Ancient Greek, don’t use one in Modern Greek.

Google ποποπο and πωπωπω, and you’ll see that the people aren’t buying the orthographic simplification: people still write πωπωπω. Here’s a forum post on why the simplification sucks: πω πω! πωπώ! ποπό! (μπλιαχ) πο-πό! (ακόμα πιο μπλιαχ)

How does the Modern Greek pronoun το modify verbs?

As a pronoun, το is the clitic accusative neuter third person pronoun, and it corresponds to “that” or “it”. So, ξέρω “I know”; το ξέρω “I know that”.

Which means that, in the first instance, το is not modifying the meaning of a verb; it is completing it by providing an explicit object.

You could argue that in this context, το is pretty vague, and it is. Moreover, “know” is a transitive verb—you always know something.

The distinction here is subtle. “I know that” is explicitly referring back to something just said. By not giving an object, “I know” implies a more generic statement (and therefore is somewhat more defensive): “I know stuff (including that)”, “I am clueful in general”.

On the other hand, if you’re answering a question, such as “what time is it?”, you would answer δεν ξέρω “I don’t know”, just as in English, and not δεν το ξέρω “I don’t know that”. The pronoun does not refer readily to indirect questions. You would answer δεν το ξέρω referring to a specific entity; e.g. ξέρεις το τραγούδι που λέει ο Αστερίξ; “Do you know the song Asterix sings?”

Has Pauline Hanson ever been abroad?

In addition to Jason Li’s answer, I find from the archives of Woman’s Day that she has been at least twice to New Zealand: 2004 and 2010. And her time in prison caused her immigration hassles the second time.

Pauline Hanson’s travel nightmare

Can someone translate from Greek the phrase “apeasa vrohe ston dromo, ke agao then stathika, san poli stin agallia sou, irtha ke zastathika”?

I commend your taste in music, Anon, though not your transcription skills.

stixoi.info: Το σακάκι μου κι αν στάζει, 1970. Lyrics: Akos Daskalopoulos. Music: Stavros Kouyoumtzis.

Μ’ έπιασε βροχή στο δρόμο μα εγώ δε στάθηκα
σαν πουλί στην αγκαλιά σου ήρθα και ζεστάθηκα

Κι αν με χτύπησε τ’ αγιάζι το σακάκι μου κι αν στάζει
σου το λέω δε με νοιάζει μια και είμαστε μαζί

I got caught by the rain on my way, but I did not stand still.
Like a bird I came into your embrace and warmed myself.

Even though I got hit by the frost, even though my coat is dripping,
I tell you I don’t care, because we’re together.

What are some of the names of the most important Ancient Greek newspapers?

Ah, Anon, Anon…

A newspaper by any modern understanding of the concept presupposes widespread literacy, and, you know, paper. The Roman Acta Diurna were a daily gazette of government decisions published, Asterix style, in stone, and there may even have been equivalents in Greece for publishing what the assemblies had decided that day; but they really aren’t quite what you’re after.

Newspapers hit the Greek-speaking world at the end of the 18th century. Wikipedia credits Efimeris (1790) as the first; Hermes o Logios was certainly the first influential one. And newspapers flourished during the Greek War of Independence (the first newspaper in Greece started August 1, 1821 in Kalamata: Σάλπιγξ Ελληνική). Those papers were not in the vernacular—nothing was; but neither were they in Ancient Greek: they were in Katharevousa, because someone other than classicists had to be able to read them. And I’m reasonably sure that’s been the case throughout the 19th century, and up until the 60s. (What was the last Katharevousa holdout, Estia, is now the last polytonic holdout.)

The most excellent and commendable Akropolis World News is probably what you’re after: it’s a weekly post of a paragraph of world news, in actual Ancient Greek.