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Translation help: a passage from Euboiikos

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Translation help: a passage from Euboiikos

Postby David.W » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:01 am

I read this passage from a text book for learning-Greek beginners, with purpose to self-study ancient Greek from the very beginning. This text book is compiled primarily based on Winfried Elliger's Griechisches Unterrchtswerk, or to be more precisely, a Chinese-translated version of the original. Each text in this book is followed by vocabulary and grammar instructions, with no translation of the original text. The text is from Euboiikos by Δίων Χρυσόστομος (40~112 ΑD)

My problem is :
1)The meaning of ἔπραττεν, ἐπέτρεπον.
2)The general meaning of this passage.

Πρῶτον μὲν οὖν ἄλλα ἔπραττεν ὁ ὄχλος. Ἔνιοι δὲ διελέγοντο πρὸς τὸν ὄχλον, οἱ μὲν ὀλίγους, οἱ δὲ πολλοὺς λόγους. Καὶ τῶν μὲν ἤκουον μακρὸν χρόνον, τοῖς δὲ ἐχαλέπαινον καί οὐδὲ γρύζειν ἐπέτρεπον.

Ἐπεὶ δὲ ησυχία ἐγίγετο, παράγουσι καὶ ἐμέ. Καὶ λέγεις τις

Ὅδε ὁ ἄνθρωπος καρποῦνται τὴν δημοσίαν γῆν πολλούς ἤδη ἐνιαυτούς: ἔχει γὰρ οἰκίας καὶ ἀμπέλους καὶ ἄλλα πολλὰ ἀγαθά. Πυνθάνομαι δὲ δύο εἶναι τοὺς κορυφαίους. Κατανέμονται οὖν σχεδὸν όλην τὴν ἐν τοις ὄρεσι χώραν. Οιμαι γάρ μηδὲ τῶν ναυαγίων ἀπέχεσθαι τούσδε τοὺς ανθρώπους. Πόθεν γὰρ οὕτως πολλοὺς ἀγρούς, μᾶλλον δὲ ὅλας κώμας κατεσκευάζοντο; Καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ ἴσως βλέπετε εἱς τὸ φαῦλον δέρμα αὐτοῦ. Ἔτσι δὲ τῆς ἀπάτης ἕνεκα, ὡς φαίνεται.

Ἐπεὶ δὲ ἐπαύετο τοῦ λόγου, ὁ μὲν ὄχλος ὠργίζετο:ἐγώ δὲ ἄπορος ἦν, ὄτι με κακόν τι ἐργάζεσθαι ἐβούλοντο.
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Re: Translation help: a passage from Euboiikos

Postby IreneY » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:11 pm

Hello there,


1) πράττω here has the fourth sub-meaning of II listed in Middle Liddell : be busy with. The crowd was busy with other matters.

2) the overall meaning: You would have to read the whole text from which yours is adapted to get the meaning. You can find it here (starting at 7,24) and a translation I haven't checked here (both from this source).

Basically this is part of a story someone is relating to the author. A rather poor man and his brother, both hunters, live with their wives in two huts near a very dangerous cape (cape Kafireas). The land used to belong to a rich man the emperor had executed; the hunters' fathers, not having anywhere else to go, made their huts there and lived off the land (I'm summarizing a lot here). This land though is public land. Someone comes over and demands they pay.
(This is where your text begins). This someone takes one of the hunters to the city and starts accusing the poor fellow because he lives in and off public land without paying for it or having been granted use of the land. Since accusing two poor fellows is, apparently, not enough for their accuser, he claims they are extremely wealthy and that he (the hunter) is dressed in skins to fool the people into thinking him poor. To make matters worse, he accuses him and his brother of profiting from the ship-wrecks in cape Kafireas (in fact in the original he doesn't stop at them salvaging the ship-wrecks; he goes on to claim that they light fires to falsely lead ships into smashing on the rocks).
Last edited by IreneY on Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected one or two (obvious) mistakes
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Re: Translation help: a passage from Euboiikos

Postby David.W » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:28 am

Hi Irene,
Thanks to your help! The links that you mentioned are really helpful, with lots of texts written by Dio Chrysostom combined with full translation:)
However, some difficulties related to certain parts remain:

1) Πόθεν γάρ ὅυτως πολλοὺς άγροὺς, μᾶλλον δὲ κώμας κατεσκευάζοντο?
I guess Πόθεν is followed by accusative case, so the sentence means :" From where so many farmers, not to say villages were built up." Do I understand it correctly?
2) έγὼ δὲ ἄπορος ἦν, ὅτι με κακόν τι ἐεράζεσθαι ἑβούλοντο.
Does it mean " I was difficult (at that time) for that they wanted to do it in the wrong way?"
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Re: Translation help: a passage from Euboiikos

Postby IreneY » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:28 pm

Hi, sorry for the delay in answering you!

1) Change "farmers" to "farms" and you are spot on!
2) This is one of the cases where I think the adaption for simplification's sake makes the passage more difficult.
The original says: "ἐγὼ δὲ ἠπόρουν καὶ ἐδεδοίκειν μή τί με ἐργάσωνται κακόν". "I was at a loss (see ἀπορῶ and its definition here ) and was afraid lest (I know!) they did me some harm" (I was afraid they may harm me some way).
The "simplified" phrase would be "I was at a loss, for they wanted to do something bad to me"
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Re: Translation help: a passage from Euboiikos

Postby David.W » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:32 am

Thanks! :D
I mixed up ἀγρότης and ἀγρός, the former means farmer, both of which are still in use in modern Greek.
From what you mentioned now I come to understand why the text on the website is somehow different from what I read from the textbook...
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