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Antigone, lines 1-100

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Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby Bart » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:40 pm

After a regrettable long pause I took up Greek again this week and started reading the Antigone. I have a few questions about the first hundred lines.

1: ὦ κοινὸν αὐτάδελφον Ἰσμήνης κάρα,
Just to be sure, αὐτάδελφον is an adjective here with the vocative κάρα right?

21: οὐ γὰρ τάφου νῷν τὼ κασιγνήτω Κρέων
τὸν μὲν προτίσας, τὸν δ᾽ ἀτιμάσας ἔχει;
Something doesn’t seem right here. Τάφου goes with ἀτιμάσας ἔχει (something like: did not deem worthy of a grave) but doesn’t seem to fit with προτίσας ( ἔχει). Zeugma is the word for it I think. Is this Antigone forgetting her grammar because she is in distress?

23-30: Ἐτεοκλέα μέν, ὡς λέγουσι, σὺν δίκης
χρήσει δικαίᾳ καὶ νόμου κατὰ χθονὸς
ἔκρυψε τοῖς ἔνερθεν ἔντιμον νεκροῖς:
τὸν δ᾽ ἀθλίως θανόντα Πολυνείκους νέκυν
ἀστοῖσί φασιν ἐκκεκηρῦχθαι τὸ μὴ
τάφῳ καλύψαι μηδὲ κωκῦσαί τινα,
ἐᾶν δ᾽ ἄκλαυτον, ἄταφον, οἰωνοῖς γλυκὺν

Somehow one gets the impression here and further on that she cared more for Polyneices than for Eteocles. Is there some base in the myth suggesting this, I mean that P. was her favourite brother, or am I reading too much into this?

69-70 οὔτ᾽ ἂν κελεύσαιμ᾽ οὔτ᾽ ἄν, εἰ θέλοις ἔτι
πράσσειν, ἐμοῦ γ᾽ ἂν ἡδέως δρῴης μέτα.

First of all: 3 ἄν’s seems like one ἄν too many.
Secondly: I understand A. wants to say something like: I would not order you to do it and even if you were still willing to act I would not be happy if you did so with me.
But ἡδέως as adverb seems to go with δρῴης, so grammatically it’s Ismene that would not be happy. Which doesn’t make sense.

73-74: φίλη μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ κείσομαι, φίλου μέτα,
ὅσια πανουργήσασ᾽
Great! No questions.

96-97: πείσομαι γὰρ οὐ
τοσοῦτον οὐδὲν ὥστε μὴ οὐ καλῶς θανεῖν.
μὴ οὐ in a result clause instead of just μὴ. Is that normal?

Thanks!
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby mwh » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:41 am

Welcome back Bart!

1. ὦ κοινὸν αὐτάδελφον Ἰσμήνης κάρα
Yes. κοινον αυταδελφον go closely together. Antigone and Ismene share their own siblinghood. Very high-flown language, can't really be broken down.

21: οὐ γὰρ τάφου νῷν τὼ κασιγνήτω Κρέων
τὸν μὲν προτίσας, τὸν δ᾽ ἀτιμάσας ἔχει;
I think it’s expressive of Antigone’s disturbed and impassioned state, but there’s something very Sophoclean about the syntax too. (It’s this sort of thing that makes Sophocles’ Greek so challenging and so distinctive.) What’s at the forefront of her mind, feeding her indignation, is Creon’s depriving Polynices (but not Eteocles) of burial. Hence ταφου up front and in the genitive (a kind of separative gen., as with many verbs and ἀ- compounds). —And if she were speaking in a more collected manner τὼ κασιγνήτω would be in the genitive, but that would be awkward with νῷν and it’s plainer and stronger this way. He's "honored" our brothers in opposite ways. ἔχει covers both participles of course.

23-30
The straightforward answer is that she cares more for Polynices because he’s the one forbidden burial. There’s no indication that she favored the absent P over E before Creon’s decree, even if it's E who's in the wrong for not relinquishing power. (The actual terms of the agreement are somewhat variable.) At the same time, Soph. shapes the story to suit his play. That E and P killed each other is an invariant datum of the inherited myth. What happened then is more or less up for grabs. It’s quite possible that Soph. invented this sequel. (The transmitted ending of Aeschylus’ Seven against Thebes ties into it, but is that Aeschylus?)

69-70 οὔτ᾽ ἂν κελεύσαιμ᾽ οὔτ᾽ ἄν, εἰ θέλοις ἔτι
πράσσειν, ἐμοῦ γ᾽ ἂν ἡδέως δρῴης μέτα.
1) αν is quite often repeated in the same sentence, in prose and verse alike. It's such a little unobtrusive word, however important semantically, and liable get lost sight of. Here, typically, it comes directly after the initial ουτε (both of them) and is repeated after the ει clause that interrupts the second limb, again in quasi-second position and now more closely attached to the verb it modifies.
2) Yes she doesn’t really mean to say “you wouldn’t happily do it with me” but “Ι wouldn’t be happy with you doing it with me.” (ουχ) ηδεως in effect applies to Antigone, not to Ismene. In context it’s easily understood, but the syntax is collapsed. What can I say? Again, it's Sophocles.
— But I see εμοί is a variant, applying to ηδεως. That looks attractive to me (though Lloyd-Jones rejects it, perhaps deeming it lectio facilior). Then μέτα is adverbial.

73-74 φίλη μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ κείσομαι, φίλου μέτα,
Cf. viewtopic.php?f=43&t=68019&p=195300

96-97 πείσομαι γὰρ οὐ
τοσοῦτον οὐδὲν ὥστε μὴ οὐ καλῶς θανεῖν.
When the main clause is negatived, yes it’s normal. (Lloyd-Jones adopts οὖν for οὐ, but that doesn’t affect the point.)
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby cb » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:02 am

Hi Bart, just to add, the most useful syntax I've seen for reading Sophocles is the one by Moorhouse (1982).

On v. 21, Moorhouse covers this genitive construction on pg 55, noting that τάφου goes more readily with ἀτιμάζω (as you identified) but also can be linked with προτίω.

A long time ago I did a summary of Moorhouse and I was hoping to point you in that direction as a starting-point if you don't have a copy of the book itself. Unfortunately, the old temporary site I used has been shut down and the version of my iambic trimeter practice notes and summaries that I unearthed online on a random archiving site ( http://docplayer.gr/3042620-Writing-gre ... -2006.html ) is an earlier version which frustratingly cuts out right before this section.

In any event, it's definitely worth getting or borrowing a copy of Moorhouse if you can.

Cheers, Chad
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby mwh » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:50 pm

Yes Moorhouse has little directly on stylistics but is immensely valuable. A bit older but well worth consulting is Earp’s The Style of Sophocles. It privileges vocabulary at the expense of syntax (thus complementing Moorhouse) and does a decent job of bringing out the distinctive character of Soph’s Greek. Jebb’s commentaries show fine appreciation of Sophoclean style, as do Finglass’s. The difficulty of Soph’s Greek is easily underestimated. “No other author reveals such subtle nuances, and no other goes so far in bending language to his will” (Lloyd-Jones).
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby cb » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:38 pm

Many thanks -- I hadn't heard of Earp before and will definitely read this.

Cheers, Chad
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby Bart » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:32 pm

Thanks Michael and Chad. I'm glad to see you two are still around here and helpful as always.
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:02 pm

Hi Bart! Nice to see you around.

ὦ κοινὸν αὐτάδελφον Ἰσμήνης κάρα - this is by far the most tortured line of poetry I've ever seen, in any language. It brings back to my mind Housman's parody, posted several times already on Textkit: http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/housman.html.
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby Timothée » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:04 am

Sadly I couldn’t find the Moorhouse syntax anywhere to buy. This is very unfortunate.

A publisher the name of which I won’t mention due to its loathsome and greedy (pricing) politics has the book Sophocles and the Greek Language, edited by Irene de Jong and Albert Rijksbaron from Amsterdam. I cannot say if it brings anything new or interesting, just happened to notice the existence of this book. (Even this book costs at the publisher’s 148 €, which is more than two times too expensive.)
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby mwh » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:53 am

The Dutch book is fine if you like that sort of thing; I find it irksome. There’s also Richard Rutherford’s Greek Tragic Style: Form, Language and Interpretation, which I still haven’t seen but should be good.

Ignorable PS on ἐμοῦ at 70. I trust we don’t want to get embroiled in textual matters, but it’s worth noting that ἐμοί is carried by a manuscript now known as K, regarded as more or less negligible until N.G. Wilson redated it from the 14th to the 12th century. The OCT counts K as belonging to the L family, but K can claim independence inasmuch as it carries readings from an otherwise unknown representative of the text (OCT preface, p. viii). The OCT makes good use of it but I think it may still be undervalued.
K’s ἐμοί at 70 disposes of the syntactical difficulty of ἡδέως, which has bothered many scholars as well as Bart, but justifiably or not I feel a little uncomfortable about the adverbial μέτα. I don’t know if Lloyd-Jones comments on the verse in his Sophoclea, and I don’t know what Moorhouse says about it either.
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby Bart » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:26 am

Hi Paul! Thanks for the link. That made me laugh out loud.

Those books about syntax and vocabulary look mighty interesting, but perhaps they're primarily aimed at the advanced reader of Sophocles, which I'm definitely not.
I would be interested though in a more literary approach of the play. I've found a second hand copy of a book by Winningham-Ingram about Sophocles, but other suggestions are welcome.
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby mwh » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:43 pm

Hi Bart, These days publishers put out “Companions” to this and that. Both Wiley and Blackwell have Companions to Sophocles, with essays by various scholars. You might like to sample them. They’re more recent than Winnington-Ingram, but not necessarily better. (He wrote a wonderful book on Euripides’ Bacchae.)

Didn’t I see you posted questions on the chorus’ section, or am I imagining that? They seem to have disappeared. Did you delete them for fear of getting too technical answers? I’m sorry if you were put off.
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Re: Antigone, lines 1-100

Postby Timothée » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:10 pm

mwh wrote:Didn’t I see you posted questions on the chorus’ section, or am I imagining that?

Scroll a little down the subject list of this forum. There have been messages posted to many other different threads in the meantime, so it has slightly disappeared.
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