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Medea

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Medea

Postby jeidsath » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Lines 28-33

........ ὡς δὲ πέτρος ἢ θαλάσσιος
κλύδων ἀκούει νουθετουμένη φίλων,
ἢν μή ποτε στρέψασα πάλλευκον δέρην
αὐτὴ πρὸς αὑτὴν πατέρ' ἀποιμώξηι φίλον
καὶ γαῖαν οἴκους θ', οὓς προδοῦσ' ἀφίκετο
μετ' ἀνδρὸς ὅς σφε νῦν ἀτιμάσας ἔχει.

As a rock or sea-wave she hears her friends, being rebuked, unless sometimes having turned her all-white neck, she cries out to herself over her beloved father and land and home (pl. indicates rooms?), which she deserted to go [arrive] with the man who now has permanently dishonored her.

I think that "she cries out to herself" captures αὐτὴ πρὸς αὑτὴν. But is αὐτὴ meant to be emphasis or something else?
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:45 pm

Lines 54-55

χρηστοῖσι δούλοις ξυμφορὰ τὰ δεσποτῶν
κακῶς πίτνοντα καὶ φρενῶν ἀνθάπτεται.

πίτνω is πίπτω.

For good slaves, the circumstances of their masters going badly also grab take them by the phrenes.

I wasn't sure about "for good slaves," signaled only by the dative here.
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μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: Medea

Postby Hylander » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:54 am

χρηστοῖσι δούλοις ξυμφορὰ [εστι] τὰ δεσποτῶν κακῶς πίτνοντα -- See LSJ πίπτω B.V:

V. of the dice, τὰ δεσποτῶν εὖ πεσόντα θήσομαι I shall count my master's lucky throws my own, A.Ag.32; “ἀεὶ γὰρ εὖ πίπτουσιν οἱ Διὸς κύβοι” S. Fr.895; “ὥσπερ οἱ κύβοι: οὐ ταὔτ᾽ ἀεὶ πίπτουσιν” Alex.34; ὥσπερ ἐν πτώσει κύβων πρὸς τὰ πεπτωκότα τίθεσθαι τὰ πράγματα according to the throws, Pl.R.604c ; ὄνασθαι πρὸς τὰ νῦν π. E.Hipp.718; πρὸς τὸ πῖπτον as matters fall out, Id.El.639 ; of tossing up with oystershells, “κἂν μὲν πίπτῃσι τὰ λεύκ᾽ ἐπάνω” Pl.Com.153.5 ; of lots, ὁ κλῆρος π. τινί or παρά τινα, Pl.R.619e, 617e; “ἐπί τινα” Act.Ap.1.26: Astrol., π. καλῶς ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης Vett. Val.7.15
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:16 am

Mastronarde mentioned that "the metaphor is from dice games" in the note (but no quotations). Your citation of the LSJ section reminds me that Fraenkel has a long section on A.Ag.32.

Mastronarde glossed "when they turn out bad" or "when they suffer reversals," but I thought (maybe incorrectly) that the present tense might mean that the metaphor was of a game still on-going, but badly.
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Re: Medea

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:21 am

jeidsath wrote:
I think that "she cries out to herself" captures αὐτὴ πρὸς αὑτὴν. But is αὐτὴ meant to be emphasis or something else?


Not sure what else it would be. αὐτός in the nominative by itself is nearly always emphasis.
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Re: Medea

Postby Hylander » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:26 am

αὐτὴ πρὸς αὑτὴν

οἴκους

Don't forget that this is poetry.

See LSJ :
pl. οἶκοι freq., = a single house,
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Re: Medea

Postby mwh » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:40 am

αὐτὴ πρὸς αὑτὴν Yes lit. “herself to herself.” The αὐτὴ is very weak but idiomatic with prepositional αὑτ-/ἑαυτ-.
ἀποιμώξηι implies cries of οἴμοι of course, in lament.
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Re: Medea

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:21 am

mwh wrote:αὐτὴ πρὸς αὑτὴν Yes lit. “herself to herself.” The αὐτὴ is very weak but idiomatic with prepositional αὑτ-/ἑαυτ-.
ἀποιμώξηι implies cries of οἴμοι of course, in lament.


What does "very weak" mean?
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Re: Medea

Postby mwh » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:56 pm

It means it doesn’t have its full force. It dances attendance on προς αὑτην, and wouldn’t be there at all if it weren’t for that.

ἀφίκετο. arrived i.e. here in Corinth.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:02 pm

{Πα.} ἤκουσά του λέγοντος, οὐ δοκῶν κλύειν,
πεσσοὺς προσελθών, ἔνθα δὴ παλαίτεροι
θάσσουσι, σεμνὸν ἀμφὶ Πειρήνης ὕδωρ,
ὡς τούσδε παῖδας γῆς ἐλᾶν Κορινθίας
σὺν μητρὶ μέλλοι τῆσδε κοίρανος χθονὸς
Κρέων. ὁ μέντοι μῦθος εἰ σαφὴς ὅδε
οὐκ οἶδα· βουλοίμην δ' ἂν οὐκ εἶναι τόδε.

I heard him speaking, [myself] not appearing to be paying attention, [myself] having visited the place for draughts, in fact there the older men lounge, about the sacred water of Peirene, [he was saying] that Creon ruler of this land meant to drive these children from Corinth with their mother. But the story, if it's true, I don't know. I would hope these things not be.

σεμνὸν ἀμφὶ Πειρήνης ὕδωρ -- I was confused by this until I realized that ἀμφί could go with σεμνὸν ὕδωρ.
ἔνθα δὴ -- Is this usually temporal?
οὐκ εἶναι -- If it's not just there to fit the metre, Mastronarde mentions this might be a "unitary concept." I think that I recall seeing something to that effect in Andocides.

There was a note on παλαίτεροι that mentioned that the manuscripts all have παλαίτατοι, but see Chr. pat. 1181. I looked the reference up, because I thought that παλαίτατοι seemed just fine, and that there was hardly a difference between the two. But after some searching I discovered the wonderful Christus patiens.

ΙΩΣΗΦ
Ἤκουσά του λέγοντος, οὐ δοκῶν κλύειν,
θώκους προσελθών, ἔνθα δὴ παλαίτεροι
θάσσουσι, σεμνὰν ἀμφὶ Σαλομὼν στοάν,
ὡς τόνδε νεκρὸν οὐκ ἐᾷ πρεσβυτέρων
ὄχλος, προσιὼν τῆσδε κοιράνῳ χθονός,
θάπτειν. Ὁ μέντοι μῦθος εἰ σαφὴς ὅδε,
οὐκ οἶδα, βουλοίμην δ’ ἂν οὐκ εἶναι τάδε.
Ἐμοὶ γὰρ αὐτὸν ἐξέδωκεν ὡς φίλῳ,
αὐτὸν δυσωπήσαντι λαβεῖν τὸν νέκυν.

Apparently there is also a Homerocentones. Pierson seems to have been the first to suggest παλαίτεροι in his Verisimilia (Piersoni Verisimilia). I couldn't find a PDF of it anywhere. Apparently another Pierson wrote a more famous Verisimilia about the New Testament in 1886, suggesting that none of the letters of Paul are genuine, and were in fact written by a bishop. But that's probably enough distraction.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:01 pm

{Τρ.} ὦ τέκν', ἀκούεθ' οἷος εἰς ὑμᾶς πατήρ;
ὄλοιτο μὲν μή· δεσπότης γάρ ἐστ' ἐμός·
ἀτὰρ κακός γ' ὢν ἐς φίλους ἁλίσκεται.

Oh children, you hear how your father is to you?
I would not have him destroyed, for he is my master,
But he is caught being evil to his dear ones.
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Re: Medea

Postby mwh » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:01 am

ἤκουσά του λέγοντος. Not “I heard him speaking” (αυτου): someone (του enclitic = τινός)

Homeric centos are ten a penny. The curiosity that is the Christus Patiens is not quite a cento but minimally adapts trimeters from a number of Euripides’ tragedies to the Passion story, and can occasionally enable better readings to be restored to Euripides’ text. (It’s particularly useful for the Bacchae, in the lacuna where the pieces of Pentheus’ dismembered body are being put together, the compositio membrorum.)
I always assumed cento was cognate with centum (100), but apparently not.
παλαιοτεροι is much better than the superlative, cf. oι νεωτεροι.

Nothing unusual about the word order of σεμνὸν ἀμφὶ Πειρήνης ὕδωρ. Less likely in prose though (but ἀμφὶ Πειρήνης ὕδωρ wd be normal enough in prose, apart from articles).

ἔνθα δὴ -- No not usually temporal, usually local, as here. But here “where” rather than “there.” The construction is continuous, ἤκουσά του λέγοντος … ως …, I overheard someone saying that ... Perhaps you realized that.

οὐκ εἶναι – “I hope it’s not the case.” “is not” rather than “not be”, which μη would suit better. It’s true that μη wd be more usual.

ὦ τέκν', ἀκούεθ' οἷος εἰς ὑμᾶς πατήρ; You hear what sort (of father) your father (is) to you?

ὄλοιτο μὲν μή. She curses him (ολοιτο) but immediately backs off from it (μεν μη).

—On that αυτη προς αὑτην cf. 51 αὐτη θρεομενη σεαυτῃ κακα, where again the presence of the intensive αυτη is conditioned by the reflexive.
Last edited by mwh on Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:02 am

From the scholia:

ἰώ μοί μοι: ἀσύμφωνα ταῦτ’ ἐστὶ τοῖς ὑπὸ τῆς πρεσβύτιδος εἰρημένοις ὅτι ἄφωνος κάθηται. καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ δὲ τῷ προλόγῳ “Μήδεια δ’ ἡ δύστηνος ἠτιμασμένη βοᾷ μὲν ὅρκους” καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς. εἶτα μετ’ ὀλίγα “κεῖται δ’ ἄσιτος, σῶμ’ ὑφεῖσ’ ἀλγηδόνι, οὔτ’ ὄμμ’ ἐπαίρουσ’ οὔτ’ ἀπαλλάσσουσα γῆς πρόσωπον.” ταῦτα δὲ λέγει ἔνδοθεν, καὶ οὐκ ἐν φανερῷ. ἡ δὲ φωνὴ μόνη ἐξάκουστος γίνεται.

Woe, woe to me: This is unharmonious with the words of the old lady that she sits mute. Even in the prologue itself, "dishonored, unhappy Medea cries oaths" and the following. A little after that "she sits without eating, having passively submitted her body to pains, not raising her eyes, nor freeing her face from the earth." She speaks these words from inside [the skene], and not in the open. Only her voice is audible.
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Re: Medea

Postby Hylander » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:26 am

του = τινος

θάσσουσι -- "frequent", "gather"

οὐ δοκῶν κλύειν -- just "not appearing to hear", i.e., eavesdropping

προσελθών -- "when/as I approached"

ἔνθα -- relative adverb of place here, "where"

δὴ -- here, "of course", maybe, not "in fact"

παλαίτεροι may once have been a variant reading in the Medea text (the date and provenance of Chr. Pat. is uncertain), or else it should be regarded as a happy conjecture. It's also adopted by Diggle and Kovacs. It's almost certainly right, I think. παλαίτατοι seems odd here because there's no reason here to stress that the "oldest" men gather at the boards, and "older men" seems just right. This Pierson was an 18th century scholar.

Edit: Sorry, I didn't see mwh's post above before I posted this.
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Re: Medea

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:23 pm

mwh wrote:I always assumed cento was cognate with centum (100), but apparently not.


cento, ōnis, m. [κέντρων], a garment of several bits or pieces sewed together, a rag-covering, patchwork, etc., Cato ap. Fest. s. v. prohibere, p. 234 Müll.; id. R. R. 2, 3; 10, 5; Lucil. ap. Non. p. 176, 1; Sisenn. ib. p. 91, 27; Caes. B. C. 2, 9; 3, 44 fin.; Dig. 33, 7, 12.—2. Esp., a cap worn under the helmet, Amm. 19, 8, 8.—B. Prov.: centones sarcire alicui, to impose upon by false-hoods, Plaut. Ep. 3, 4, 19.—II. The title of a poem made up of various verses of another poem, a cento; so the Cento Nuptialis of Ausonius (the thirteenth of his Idyls), etc., Isid. Orig. 1, 38, 25; Tert. Praescr. 39.

Lewis, C. T., & Short, C. (1891). Harpers’ Latin Dictionary (p. 316). New York; Oxford: Harper & Brothers; Clarendon Press.

κεντρων...piece of patch-work, rag, Bito 55.4, Heras ap.Gal.13.1044, Sch.Ar.Nu.449; perh. pen-wiper, POxy.326 (i A.D.): hence, copy of verses made up of scraps from other authors, Eust.1099.51, 1308 fin.

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 939). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
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Re: Medea

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:31 pm

mwh wrote:It means it doesn’t have its full force. It dances attendance on προς αὑτην, and wouldn’t be there at all if it weren’t for that.



I see, sort of like saying that in the sentence "I'm going to watch the president give his speech tomorrow" the word "the" wouldn't be there at all if it weren't for the word "president." I know I'm being a bit picky, but I find terminology such as "weak" or "full force" less than helpful in understanding the construction. Better I think to say that the the pronoun is called for by that construction, perhaps to give added emphasis in the context.
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Re: Medea

Postby Timothée » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:42 pm

Pok 567:

kenth(o)- ,Lumpen, Lappen‘; auch ket(h)-?
Ai. kanthā ,geflicktes Kleid‘; arm. k‘ot‘anak ,Kleid, Decke‘;
gr. κέντρων ,Rock aus Lumpen, Flickpoem‘ ist Bedeutungslehnw. aus dem Lat.;
lat. centō ,aus Lappen zusammengenähtes Kleid oder Decker, Flickwerk‘;
ohne Nasal ahd. hadara f. ,Lappen, Lumpen‘ (*haþrō, idg. *kotrā), nhd. Hadern; dazu mit l-Ableitung mhd. Hadel, ablaut. nhd. dial. Hudel, davon hudeln ,schmieren‘.

The last Germanic words here are doubtful in my opinion.
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Re: Medea

Postby mwh » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:51 pm

I’m sorry I mentioned my old misapprehension about “cento”! It's taken us far from the Medea.

And Barry, I’m sorry you found my reply to your question “less than helpful.” It happens. But I think you missed the point, and your amusing analogy with English “the” does not hold, for that, unlike αυτη, is not an independent word. I would not end a sentence with the. :)

You could start a new thread if you want to discuss the idiom further.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:31 am

..................ἀλλὰ φυλάσσεσθ'
ἄγριον ἦθος στυγεράν τε φύσιν
φρενὸς αὐθαδοῦς.

But beware the wild character and hateful nature of her self-willed mind.

Assuming that I've got this right (and the LSJ seems to confirm my taking φύσιν with
φρενὸς, glossing "of the mind, one's nature, character") should ἦθος and φύσιν make me think that this is also (or primarily) a comment about what sort of person Medea is, rather than her particular attitude after hearing bad news?
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Re: Medea

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:28 am

mwh wrote:I’m sorry I mentioned my old misapprehension about “cento”! It's taken us far from the Medea.

And Barry, I’m sorry you found my reply to your question “less than helpful.” It happens. But I think you missed the point, and your amusing analogy with English “the” does not hold, for that, unlike αυτη, is not an independent word. I would not end a sentence with the. :)

You could start a new thread if you want to discuss the idiom further.


No, and of course the vast majority of your comments are very helpful (really). My point is simply that, idiom or otherwise, the use of the pronoun is required by the context and the speakers intent, and perhaps would sound as awkward to a native speaker left out as if we left out "the" in my amusing comparison.
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Re: Medea

Postby mwh » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:19 pm

Joel, Yes. Given the context it will be taken as referring primarily to the present situation and M’s current state of mind (effectively translating into anapaests the thrust of the preceding iambics, 89-95), but it does serve to characterize Medea as she will be presented in the play. αγριος, στυγερος and αυθαδης are all key concepts for the play. Out of dramatic context altogether it could be a general maxim of which any Greek would approve.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:53 am

ἰώ μοί μοι, ἰὼ τλήμων.
τί δέ σοι παῖδες πατρὸς ἀμπλακίας
μετέχουσι; τί τούσδ' ἔχθεις; οἴμοι,
τέκνα, μή τι πάθηθ' ὡς ὑπεραλγῶ.
δεινὰ τυράννων λήματα καί πως
ὀλίγ' ἀρχόμενοι, πολλὰ κρατοῦντες
χαλεπῶς ὀργὰς μεταβάλλουσιν.
τὸ γὰρ εἰθίσθαι ζῆν ἐπ' ἴσοισιν
κρεῖσσον· ἐμοὶ γοῦν ἐπὶ μὴ μεγάλοις
ὀχυρῶς γ' εἴη καταγηράσκειν.
τῶν γὰρ μετρίων πρῶτα μὲν εἰπεῖν
τοὔνομα νικᾶι, χρῆσθαί τε μακρῶι
λῶιστα βροτοῖσιν· τὰ δ' ὑπερβάλλοντ'
οὐδένα καιρὸν δύναται θνητοῖς,
μείζους δ' ἄτας, ὅταν ὀργισθῆι
δαίμων οἴκοις, ἀπέδωκεν.

Woe, to me, to me, woe, wretched one. Why do the children share in the father's sin against you? Why do you hate these ones? Ah, children, let nothing bad happen to you, I would feel it so extremely. Terrible are the wishes of the powerful, and how little are they ruled, controlling much they alter their anger with difficulty. For it's better to have been accustomed to live among equals. For me at least then safely among those not mighty would I grow old. Of what is proportionate, he conquers to first call it by name, and then to live accordingly is the greatest good to men. But what is excessive brings about no advantage for mortal beings, but god returns greater ruin, whenever he is angered against a house.

This was a very difficult passage for me, but I thought it came together a little better when I understood it as Nurse considering Medea as one of the class of τυράννων. ὀλίγ' ἀρχόμενοι fits her, as does χαλεπῶς ὀργὰς μεταβάλλουσιν. Her excessive grief and anger, and coming ruin fit as well. On the other hand, the actual tyrant of the city has brought ruin on his house, and it might be to much of a stretch to say that "τυράννων" could include Medea.
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Re: Medea

Postby Hylander » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:58 pm

μή τι πάθηθ' ὡς ὑπεραλγῶ. -- μή τι πάθηθ' is subordinate to ὑπεραλγῶ, which is indicative.

πως is enclitic and not exclamatory (which would be ὡς) -- difficult to translate; here maybe "somewhat", "somehow", a slight qualification of the sentence.

ὀλίγ' ἀρχόμενοι, πολλὰ κρατοῦντες -- the contrast needs to be brought out. Without aiming at poetry: "subject to being ruled [by others] to [only] a small extent, and exercising control [over others] to a great extent, they suppress their anger with difficulty."

ἐπὶ μὴ μεγάλοις -- "in moderate circumstances" (Mastronarde)

τῶν γὰρ μετρίων πρῶτα μὲν εἰπεῖν τοὔνομα νικᾶι, χρῆσθαί τε μακρῶι λῶιστα βροτοῖσιν· -- this is very obscure and difficult to understand. You should read Mastronarde's note. As I understand him, he interprets τῶν γὰρ μετρίων . . . τοὔνομα as the subject of νικᾶι, meaning "wins out", "comes in first", "is best", with εἰπεῖν as an epexegetical infinitive: "First, the name/word of moderation is best to utter". Then χρῆσθαί τε μακρῶι λῶιστα βροτοῖσιν is similar in construction, with τα μετρια understood: "and moderation is by far best for mortals to practice". πρῶτα . . . τε seems to function like μεν . . . δε, with a contrast between word and deed. But this may not be the only way to interpret this obscure sentence. This is why I find commentaries necessary, especially for poetry.

ἀπέδωκεν -- perhaps "pays back"
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:56 pm

Thank you for the help. That clears up a few things.

Hylander wrote:ὀλίγ' ἀρχόμενοι, πολλὰ κρατοῦντες -- the contrast needs to be brought out. Without aiming at poetry: "subject to being ruled [by others] to [only] a small extent, and exercising control [over others] to a great extent, they suppress their anger with difficulty."


I thought that the primary contrasts were the internal, δεινὰ λήματα vs. ὀλίγ' ἀρχόμενοι, and πολλὰ κρατοῦντες vs. χαλεπῶς μεταβάλλουσιν. And the ὀλίγ' ἀρχόμενοι, πολλὰ κρατοῦντες contrast is external, by juxtaposition, and therefore not quite as strong. (They control others, but cannot control themselves. Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν, ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι.)

Hylander wrote:ἐπὶ μὴ μεγάλοις -- "in moderate circumstances" (Mastronarde)


It also echos ἐπ' ἴσοισιν, I would think.

Hylander wrote:τῶν γὰρ μετρίων πρῶτα μὲν εἰπεῖν τοὔνομα νικᾶι, χρῆσθαί τε μακρῶι λῶιστα βροτοῖσιν· -- this is very obscure and difficult to understand. You should read Mastronarde's note.


I did, and I couldn't make the first explanation make sense to myself on re-reads of the section in Greek. Mastronarde also offers a second analysis, where the infinitives are taken as subjects. But when I read it through the Greek again, I thought that εἰπεῖν sounded more adverbial, with χρῆσθαί a subject, and so that's what I wrote down.

Mastronarde pooh-poohs the γάρ in line 122 (Denniston doesn't really go as far), but I thought this whole section was very tightly put together. In this line, however we are to take the infinitives, she/Euripides is praising/justifying her wish ἐπὶ μὴ μεγάλοις...
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Re: Medea

Postby Hylander » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:43 pm

ὀλίγ' ἀρχόμενοι, πολλὰ κρατοῦντες -- this contrast is quite pointed, with two parallel elements separated by a caesura, and a dactyl answering an anapest.

χρῆσθαί τε μακρῶι λῶιστα βροτοῖσιν -- χρῆσθαί is unlikely to be the subject with plural λῶιστα as the predicate. That's why Mastronarde takes both εἰπεῖν and χρῆσθαί as exegetical infinitives, not as subjects. And you might expect articular infinitives if the infinitives were subjects.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:14 pm

Maybe we are looking at different versions of the commentary. Here is the part of his comment that I was referring to:

But one cannot rule out a different analysis of the syntax, with essentially similar meaning: with the infinitives as subjects, 'For first of all simply speaking the name of what is the moderate wins first prize, and (secondly) to act with moderation is by far the best thing for mortals'; in this analysis, τοῖς μετρίοις is understood from τῶν μετρίων and the neut. pl. appears as predicate of an infinitive subject (384-5n.).


And the note there on κράτιστα τὴν εὐθεῖαν, ἧι πεφύκαμεν / σοφοὶ μάλιστα, φαρμάκοις αὐτοὺς ἑλεῖν:

the neut. pl. predicate adj. with inf. as subject seems to be an archaic construction, retained esp. in poetry and Thucydides (Smyth §1052; K-G 1.66-8)


I don't argue that this gives me any justification for the first part, where I had "he conquers to first call it by name" -- as I said I took εἰπεῖν adverbially, which Mastronarde does not mention as a possibility, nor have I looked to find any usage parallels.

I didn't notice the problem with the plural neuter predicate either, until you mentioned it just now, and I looked up what Mastronarde said. I suppose I had mentally assumed that it was just one of those neuter plural adverbs that seem to come up.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:07 pm

τὸν μὲν γὰρ ἔχει λέκτρα τυράννων,
ἡ δ’ ἐν θαλάμοις τήκει βιοτὴν
δέσποινα, φίλων οὐδενὸς οὐδὲν
παραθαλπομένη φρένα μύθοις.

For he has a royal marriage, but my mistress dissolves her energy in the inner chambers, of friends with stories she is being comforted in mind by not one of any of them.

The scholia mentions that τὸν is neuter instead of masculine (ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρσενικοῦ εἰς οὐδέτερον μεταβαίνει), but gives no reason. Mastronarde does not mention it at all. I don't understand it why it would be neuter.

Mastronarde mentions that οὐδενὸς refers to μύθοις, and is almost "concentric." Does he mean what we'd call a "circular reference" in programming?
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Re: Medea

Postby mwh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:51 pm

With τον, the subject is λεκτρα τ.
Most MSS have ὁ, not τον. o is unmetrical, and τον was restored by conjecture even before two manuscripts were found to have it (one of them the Jerusalem palimpest, an early and very important textual witness, unfortunately much damaged).
The scholium means “he (Eur.) switches from masc. to neut.” I don’t know the context, if any, but presumably it refers to ο (or τον), masc, and λεκτρα, neut. An inane note, and valueless for the reading.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:28 pm

I see. "The bed has him" is also a stronger image.

Now that you have explained τὸν, I also see that μεταβαίνει is referring to φροῦδα in the line before:

ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀνατέτραπται ὁ οἶκος καὶ ἠφάνισται. ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρσενικοῦ εἰς οὐδέτερον μεταβαίνει. φροῦδα γὰρ τὰ πάντα οἰκήματα λέγει.

I suppose in his text, the case/number was going back and forth, since he would have had a line earlier ἐπεί μοι φίλον κέκρανται (glossed as τὸ οἴκημα, λέγει, τετέλεσται ἐμοὶ φίλον, οἷον ὑπάρχει).
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Re: Medea

Postby mwh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:03 pm

OK, now the note makes good sense. First the whole line is glossed, then the gender-switch noted (δομοι > φρουδα ταδε), then ταδε interpreted accordingly. The previous line doesn’t come into it, and nor of course does τον in the next.
Plato scholia sometimes note απο του δραματικου εις το διηγηματικον μεταβαινει at a shift from “dramatic” (dialogue) to narrative mode. (The distinction originated in Plato’s Republic, and Aristides Quintilianus made it the basis of his lost Poetics.)

Oh, and βιοτην is not βιην. "she wastes her life away."

And φίλων οὐδενὸς οὐδὲν
παραθαλπομένη φρένα μύθοις
"taking no comfort in the words of any of her friends"
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:29 pm

Mastronarde says that ἄϊες is self-addressed. However, I thought this was interesting.

ἄϊες, ὦ Ζεῦ: τὸ ἄϊες ὁ Δίδυμος ὡς πρὸς τὰς τοῦ χοροῦ φησι λέγεσθαι ἠκούσατε, καὶ οὐ πρὸς τὸν Δία. ἐν ἤθει οὖν τὸ ὦ Ζεῦ καὶ γᾶ καὶ φῶς. τοῦτο δὲ Ἀπολλόδωρος τῆς Μηδείας φησὶν, ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ ἰαχάν τοῦ χοροῦ, ἵν’ ἔχῃ λόγον τὸ “κἀπιβοᾶται Θέμιν εὐκταίαν Ζῆνά τε,” τοὺς δ’ ὑποκριτὰς συγχέειν.

ἄϊες, ὦ Ζεῦ: The "ἄϊες" says Didymus, is said to those of the chorus "ἠκούσατε," and not to Zeus. So the "ὦ Ζεῦ καὶ γᾶ καὶ φῶς" is customary/habitual. But Apollodorus says this is said by Medea, and from "ἰαχάν," the chorus, so that he would have a reason for the “κἀπιβοᾶται Θέμιν εὐκταίαν Ζῆνά τε,” but the actors confuse this.

But did I understand "τοὺς δ’ ὑποκριτὰς συγχέειν" correctly?

EDIT:

I'm adding the discussion from Denys Page, who appears to have the actual Apollodorus quote:

Image
Image
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Re: Medea

Postby mwh » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:43 pm

So Mastronarde agrees with Didymus.

εν ηθει is not εν εθει. Maybe it means that the exclamatory apostrophe is “in character,” i.e. suits the ethos of the chorus (or of Medea, if Did. followed Apollodorus in attributing it to her), or simply for the sake of conveying ethos. I’m not sure, would have to check scholiastic use. But ηθος is important in ancient literary criticism.

Apollod. assigned the invocation to Medea in order to bring it into line with the nurse’s upcoming mention of M’s calling on (Themis and) Zeus. ἵν’ εχῃ λογον … “so that επιβοαται etc. should make sense” (το επιβ. subject).

Yes you understand the last bit. Acc.&inf. as part of Apollod.’s position. Evidently in the text (the standard text?—attributions do vary in MSS, but apparently not here) the words ω Ζευ και Γα και φως were given to the chorus (rather than being an interjection by Medea as Apld. wanted) and Apld. blamed actors for that. Actors have indeed sometimes messed up the text, often by adding lines, but obviously the attribution in our transmitted text is right and Apollodorus was just BSing, as ancient scholars (to say nothing of modern) often do.

EDIT. Posted before seeing your edit.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:32 pm

For this, I used Page. He's more challenging than Mastronarde, and I'm probably making more mistakes, but he seems to have a fuller history of the textual conjectures and problems.

Τρ. δράσω τάδ’· ἀτὰρ φόβος εἰ πείσω
δέσποιναν ἐμήν·
μόχθου δὲ χάριν τήνδ’ ἐπιδώσω.
καίτοι τοκάδος δέργμα λεαίνης
ἀποταυροῦται δμωσίν, ὅταν τις
μῦθον προφέρων πέλας ὁρμηθῆι.
σκαιοὺς δὲ λέγων κοὐδέν τι σοφοὺς
τοὺς πρόσθε βροτοὺς οὐκ ἂν ἁμάρτοις,
οἵτινες ὕμνους ἐπὶ μὲν θαλίαις
ἐπί τ’ εἰλαπίναις καὶ παρὰ δείπνοις
ηὕροντο βίου τερπνὰς ἀκοάς·
στυγίους δὲ βροτῶν οὐδεὶς λύπας
ηὕρετο μούσηι καὶ πολυχόρδοις
ὠιδαῖς παύειν, ἐξ ὧν θάνατοι
δειναί τε τύχαι σφάλλουσι δόμους.
καίτοι τάδε μὲν κέρδος ἀκεῖσθαι
μολπαῖσι βροτούς· ἵνα δ’ εὔδειπνοι
δαῖτες, τί μάτην τείνουσι βοήν;
τὸ παρὸν γὰρ ἔχει τέρψιν ἀφ’ αὑτοῦ
δαιτὸς πλήρωμα βροτοῖσιν.

I shall do these things, however I fear whether I shall persuade my mistress, but I will grant this favor of my labor in addition to the rest. And yet a lioness with cubs turns her glance into a bull against slaves, whenever someone hastens near bringing a story. Saying that the mortals aforetime were ill-omened and did nothing wise, you wouldn't err. Such ones invented songs at festivals, banquets, and dinners, the pleasant sounds of life, but not one mortal has discovered a way to stop hated griefs (of mortals?) with music and songs on multi-stringed instruments, from which deathly and terrible fortunes destroy households. And yet, this would be a profit to heal mortals with dancings, but for pleasant feasts, why do they strain themselves with a vain cry? For what is at hand holds pleasure from itself, the full feast for mortals.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:25 am

I thought that I was out of the woods with I hit iambs again, but it's still tough.

πάντων δ’ ὅσ’ ἔστ’ ἔμψυχα καὶ γνώμην ἔχει
γυναῖκές ἐσμεν ἀθλιώτατον φυτόν·
ἃς πρῶτα μὲν δεῖ χρημάτων ὑπερβολῆι
πόσιν πρίασθαι δεσπότην τε σώματος
λαβεῖν· κακοῦ γὰρ τοῦτ’ ἔτ’ ἄλγιον κακόν.
κἀν τῶιδ’ ἀγὼν μέγιστος, ἢ κακὸν λαβεῖν
ἢ χρηστόν· οὐ γὰρ εὐκλεεῖς ἀπαλλαγαὶ
γυναιξὶν οὐδ’ οἷόν τ’ ἀνήνασθαι πόσιν.
ἐς καινὰ δ’ ἤθη καὶ νόμους ἀφιγμένην
δεῖ μάντιν εἶναι, μὴ μαθοῦσαν οἴκοθεν,
ὅτωι μάλιστα χρήσεται ξυνευνέτηι.

But of everything, as much as breathes life and has intelligence, we women are the most wretched weed. We who first must spend freely to buy a husband, get also a master over our body, so of this evil comes a more painful evil. And in this is the greatest contest, either to get an evil or a good man, for not of good reputation are divorces for women, nor is she able to fight off her husband. And having come into a new home and under new laws, she has to be a diviner, for she hasn't learned it at home, whomever exactly winds up as the bed-mate she shall pleasure.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:50 pm

κρεῖσσον δέ μοι νῦν πρός σ᾽ ἀπεχθέσθαι, γύναι,
ἢ μαλθακισθένθ᾽ ὕστερον μεταστένειν.

But it is better for me now to incur hatred from you, woman, than having been softened to lament afterwards.

Is Creon the subject of ἀπεχθέσθαι? And then is μαλθακισθένθ᾽ referring to him dative (going back to the μοι), or accusative?
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:09 pm

χρὴ δ᾽ οὔποθ᾽ ὅστις ἀρτίφρων πέφυκ᾽ ἀνὴρ
παῖδας περισσῶς ἐκδιδάσκεσθαι σοφούς:
χωρὶς γὰρ ἄλλης ἧς ἔχουσιν ἀργίας
φθόνον πρὸς ἀστῶν ἀλφάνουσι δυσμενῆ.

But must never whoever is a man who has grown sensible throughly teach his children to be wise? For unless a woman is passive they have jelousy from the townfolk and harvest ill-will.

I'm least sure of the third line, with the genitives that I suppose are not linked at all to ἔχουσιν. And the subject of the last two lines would be women in general, I assume. The first line is Medea saying that this is the lesson that she has learned from life and needs to teach to her children(!)

EDIT:

Looking at Mastronarde, ἀργίας is genitive by attraction and οὔποθ᾽ goes with ἐκδιδάσκεσθαι. So: "It is necessary for whatever man is grown sensible to never have his children instructed in too much learning. Apart from another quality which they have, idleness, they harvest hostile jealousy from the townsmen."

The LSJ gives "quietism" for ἀργίας in this line, which I would call a positive quality, taking σοφούς positively too, I suppose. But I imagine that the complaint about learning making people unsuitable for work is very old.
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Re: Medea

Postby Hylander » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:31 pm

καίτοι τοκάδος δέργμα λεαίνης ἀποταυροῦται δμωσίν, -- this refers to Medea herself: "she glares like a bull with the look of a lioness who has just given birth to cubs"

μῦθον προφέρων -- "offering a word/advice"

σκαιοὺς δὲ λέγων κοὐδέν τι σοφοὺς τοὺς πρόσθε βροτοὺς οὐκ ἂν ἁμάρτοις, -- This is a "future less vivid" conditional, with the protasis expressed as a participle: λέγων . . . οὐκ ἂν ἁμάρτοις.

οἵτινες ὕμνους ἐπὶ μὲν θαλίαις ἐπί τ’ εἰλαπίναις καὶ παρὰ δείπνοις ηὕροντο βίου τερπνὰς ἀκοάς· -- This is a relative clause, the antecedent being τοὺς πρόσθε βροτοὺς, even though the δε answering μεν is in an independent clause with a singular subject.

The gist of this passage: "You would not be wrong if you should/were to say that men of previous generations were stupid who [when they] invented/composed songs . . ."

σκαιοὺς is not "ill-omened" here, but something like "off the mark".

βροτῶν -- you recognize the syntactic ambiguity. Does it go with οὐδεὶς or λύπας?

δόμους -- perhaps broader than just "households", maybe more akin to "dynasties".

μολπαῖσι -- "singing and dancing"

καίτοι τάδε μὲν κέρδος ἀκεῖσθα μολπαῖσι βροτούς· -- "and yet, it's helpful [κέρδος] for mortals to cure these [ills] by singing and dancing"

ἵνα δ’ εὔδειπνοι δαῖτες, τί μάτην τείνουσι βοήν; -- my understanding of this is something like "and where there are banquets with good food, why shouldn't they [βροτοι] raise their voices [in song]?", taking μάτην as "without reason" (LSJ). In other words "it's entirely reasonable to raise their voices in song". But I could be wrong.

τὸ παρὸν γὰρ ἔχει τέρψιν ἀφ’ αὑτοῦ δαιτὸς πλήρωμα βροτοῖσιν -- I think τὸ παρὸν modifies πλήρωμα, something like: "the fullness of the feast at hand holds pleasure for mortals in and of itself."

That's all for now.
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Re: Medea

Postby Hylander » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:48 pm

φυτόν -- "creature"

χρημάτων ὑπερβολῆι πρίασθαι -- "buy at an excessive price", "overpay"

κακοῦ γὰρ τοῦτ’ ἔτ’ ἄλγιον κακόν. "For this [i.e., taking a master of her body] is an even more painful ill than ill [i.e., overpaying for a husband]." I don't understand this -- how does γὰρ amplify what precedes this? And what is the thrust of this phrase? There's a variant τοῦδ’ -- "for there is an more painful ill than this ill", but I'm still at a loss for how this fits into the speech at this point.

ἀγὼν -- not "contest" here, but something more like "struggle", "dilemma"

οὐδ’ οἷόν τ’ ἀνήνασθαι πόσιν -- impersonal "it is not possible to deny/reject/refuse a husband"

ἀνήνασθαι is from ἀναίνομαι. Here it apparently means to refuse sexual intercourse.

καινὰ ἤθη καὶ νόμους -- "new customs and practices". Both words mean nearly the same thing. νόμους here is not "laws" but rather "practices", "observances"

ὅτωι μάλιστα χρήσεται ξυνευνέτηι -- Mastronarde and Diggle read οιωι "what sort of bed-mate she will be dealing with". Mastronarde asserts that μάλιστα here means "precisely, in particular".

Kovacs adopts the conjecture ὅπως ἄριστα -- "how she will best deal with her bed-mate"

No one likes ὅτωι, which Mast. rightly calls "unacceptable".

χρήσεται is from χράω/χράομαι, which can have a sexual meaning (though "pleasure" is going too far), but here probably means more generally "deal with," maybe "adjust to". See LSJ χράω.
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Re: Medea

Postby Hylander » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:20 pm

χρὴ δ᾽ οὔποθ᾽ ὅστις ἀρτίφρων πέφυκ᾽ ἀνὴρ
παῖδας περισσῶς ἐκδιδάσκεσθαι σοφούς:
χωρὶς γὰρ ἄλλης ἧς ἔχουσιν ἀργίας
φθόνον πρὸς ἀστῶν ἀλφάνουσι δυσμενῆ.

"Any man who is of sound mind should never have his children educated to be extraordinarily/extremely [περισσῶς] wise. For apart from the idleness they [i.e., children who have been over-educated] have, they earn unfriendly ill-will from the townspeople."

ἄλλης ἧς agrees with feminine ἀργίας. The relative pronoun ἧς is the direct object of ἔχουσιν, and is genitive by "attraction" to the case of ἀργίας instead of accusative. The understood subject of the verbs is children who have too much education.

The point of Mastronarde's note on ἄλλης is that this doesn't mean that φθόνος is a kind of ἀργία among other kinds of ἀργία, but rather that in Greek it's normal and idiomatic to use ἄλλος with χωρὶς, where we wouldn't use "other" in English. Maybe this usage could be conveyed by something like "apart from the idleness they have, which is another bad thing, they also earn . . . ", but it's better simply to leave out ἄλλης in translating.
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Re: Medea

Postby jeidsath » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:51 pm

Thank you, there is a lot to digest here. I've been going through some of your points with the grammar.

Here is Page's note on ὅτῳ:

Image

I thought that the sexual meaning was most likely because of μὴ μαθοῦσαν οἴκοθεν. Presumably a Greek woman would learn all wifely duties but one in her father's house. (Not to mention ξυνευνέτηι).

Page says that it can't mean "what sort of husband she shall acquire," because it's obviously not saying that she must δεῖ μάντιν εἶναι in order to find out who the man shall be. And he's right. As Page says, we're now talking about after the marriage. But I think that the thing she hasn't learned at home is obvious and the ὅτωι... ξυνευνέτηι line isn't there to explicate it, as all the amenders seem to think. She has to δεῖ μάντιν εἶναι because she has to figure out sex without having had experience of it. And then the line makes a perfect complement to implied idea: "Whomever the bedmate is, it is absolutely certain that she will have sexual contact with him."

I think this reinforces δεσπότην τε σώματος λαβεῖν and ἢ κακὸν λαβεῖν ἢ χρηστόν. It also makes a cynical, Medean, statement about why men want wives. The amended versions are all banal to me in comparison.
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