Molon labe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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** /Molon labe/ **

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For the Kenneth W. Royce book, see Molon Labe!.
The words ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ as they are inscribed on
the marble of the 1955 Leonidas Monument at Thermopylae.

/*Molon labe*/ (Greek: μολὼν λαβέ /molṑn
labé/; Ancient Greek: [molɔːn labé]; Modern Greek: [moˈlon
laˈve]), lit. "come and take", is a classical expression of defiance
reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army's
demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of
Thermopylae. It is an exemplary use of a laconic phrase.

*Contents*

· 1 Grammar
· 2 History
· 3 Modern usage
· 4 See also
· 5 References

*Grammar[edit]*

The first word, μολών /molōn/, is the aorist active
participle (masculine, nominative, singular) of the Greek verb
βλώσκω /blōskō/ "to come", meaning "having
come".^[1] The root is evidently ΜΟΛ, so that
βλώ-σκ-ω is apparently a contraction for
μολώ-σκ-ω^[2] (the suffix -σκ, being a common
specialized present stem inchoative suffix^[3]). The form λαβέ
/labe/ is the aorist active imperative (second person singular) of the verb
λαμβάνω /lambanō/, translated as "you take" with an
emphasis since it is in the imperative form. That is to say, it is better
represented in English as, "Take!" (with /you singular/ understood, "you
take").

The two words function together in a grammatical structure (not as common
in English as in Greek) called the circumstantial participle.^[4] Where
English would put two main verbs in two independent clauses joined by a
conjunction: "come and take", a strategy sometimes called paratactic,
ancient Greek, which is far richer in participles, subordinates one to the
other, a strategy called hypotactic: "coming, take". The first action is
expressed with a participle with adverbial force. In this


Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molon_labe


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