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Easy Selections from Plato

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Easy Selections from Plato

Postby refe » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:04 pm

I'm only 2 sentences into Easy Selections from Plato by Arthur Sidgewick and I already need some help ;):

ἐμοῦ γὰρ πολλοὶ κατήγοροι γεγόνασι πρὸς ὑμᾶς καὶ πάλαι πολλὰ ἤδη ἔτη καὶ οὐδὲν ἀληθὲς λέγοντες

Does this read something like "for many accusations have come against me before you even not very long ago, and saying nothing true." It's the πάλαι πολλὰ ἤδη ἔτη part that is tripping me up.

I'm really more of a Koine guy, but trying to ease my way into some classical texts. Any help would be appreciated!
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Re: Easy Selections from Plato

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:59 pm

Hello refe,

Been doing some Plato myself, just a little bit to get a breather from Sophocles. The expression πάλαι πολλὰ ἤδη ἔτη is made up of two adverbs πάλαι "long ago" or "for a long time" ἤδη "already" and the noun ἤδη (ἔτος, εος, τό) years with the adjective πολλὰ "many". So it means something like "already for many years" or " for a long time, many years already."

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Re: Easy Selections from Plato

Postby NateD26 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:32 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:So it means something like "already for many years" or " for a long time, many years already."

C. Stirling Bartholomew

Indeed. This shows the beauty of using the perfect in describing how long ago these charges have
arisen against him, and how they're still being spread around as he tries to defend himself in court.
Nate.
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Re: Easy Selections from Plato

Postby refe » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:01 pm

Thanks guys! Not sure why that gave me so much trouble, as it seems so simple now. I think it was just the word order - specifically where πολλὰ is placed in the sentence. I'm used to Koine word order which probably would have put πολλὰ in between ἤδη and ἔτη unless I'm mistaken.
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Re: Easy Selections from Plato

Postby refe » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:05 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Been doing some Plato myself, just a little bit to get a breather from Sophocles.


Plato is something of a breather for me from the Apostolic Fathers, although calling it a "breather" would be more than a little misleading in my case! The AF texts are right in my wheelhouse when it comes to Greek - 1st and 2nd century Koine. Plato on the other hand.... ;)
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Re: Easy Selections from Plato

Postby LCN » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:19 am

The Greek in the dialogues is often colloquial and it seems to me can't be perfectly converted into English. I usually translate in my mind into pidgin English that conveys the meaning without attempting to mold the syntax into English.

As an aside striving for too fluent a translation is probably the most serious source of mistranslation of Greek texts by professional classicists. Aristotle often gets absolutely murdered by translators who sacrifice his terminological consistency for the sake of more pleasant sounding or more familiar English.



Sorry just noticed a soapbox sitting there...
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