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ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 47 (2010) 205-219 The Interchange of iand q in Spelling Xpto- in Documentary Papyri Walter Shandruk University of Chicago Abstract Review of the documentary evidence for words starting with Xptor-. Whereas Xptor6q (originating in "insider terminology") is almost always writtenwith iota, XptoTtavoq appears often enough as Xpqrntavoq (originating in "outsider terminology"). Given the semantic issues at play and early literary attestation to spelling confusion, Xpolrtav6 was likely an early and contemporary lexical alternative - if not the original spelling. 1. t and ri Interchange: Defining the Problem A widely recognized phenomenon in the spelling of Xptot6q ("Christ") and other words and names based on the root XptaT- is the alternative spelling with eta (xpqot-). Unfortunately, observations concerning this interchange have hitherto been limited largely to footnotes and commentaries,1 while a systematic collation and examination of the papyrus evidence is lacking. Fundamentally, that such an alternative spelling (xpqot-) developed at all has to do with the phonology of koine Greek. Francis Thomas Gignac states: "The process of itacism, which resulted in the eventual identification of the sounds originally represented by t, t, q, qt, ot, v and vt in /i/, was well advanced in Egypt by the beginning of the Roman period.'2 However, unlike most variants caused by such interchanges, the one of present concern, t > q, generates a completely good Greek adjective, Xpqo6q, whose general meaning, "useful, good of its kind, serviceable" (LSJ 1.1) and when specifically applied to persons, F. Blass, "Miscellen," Hermes 30 (1895) 467-470; G. Tibiletti, Le lettere private nei papiri greci del III e IV secolo d.C. (Milano 1979) 118, n. 31; G.H.R. Horsley, New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity 3 (Grand Rapids 1983) 129-130; A. Luijendijk, Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (Cambridge, MA, 2008) 140-141, especially n. 56. 2 F.T. Gignac, A Grammar of the Greek Papyri of the Roman and Byzantine Periods 1 (Milan 1976) 235.
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