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Reading Thucydides 2014

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby Qimmik » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:01 am

John, I've paused my rereading of Thucydides to read through Demosthenes' speech on the Crown for another thread. Any chance you might join us for this? After Thucydides it's a breeze! (Not really.)
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby John W. » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:44 am

Bill - many thanks, and apologies for the late reply.

I would certainly have liked to join you and others in this, but unfortunately I'm snowed under at the moment with various other commitments, so regretfully I'll have to pass. But thanks for thinking of me in this context.

I'll perhaps have a crack at this speech at a later date - I've never read any Demosthenes, and really ought to do so.

Good luck to you and the others with your reading.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby Lucretius2327 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:28 pm

Before attacking anything as difficult as Thucydides, I would suggest getting a firm basis in Herodotus and/or Xenophon. The speeches of Thucydides are back-breakingly difficult and though the standard narratives of military movement are pretty straight forward, things like the opening bit on early Greek history are very complex in their syntax. Herodotus is much simpler and about 200 pages of him would give a good deal of fluency. Xenophon, of course, is the classic; but he is a bit dull. I have hand-written PDFs of running vocabulary to most of Herodotus. My bits for books 8 and 9 are the best to begin with (I think) and also one can follow the double-green Cambridge commentaries for advanced information. I honestly think one should work up to Thucydides in order to minimize the pain. But if one is REALLY bent on that, I myself would be glad to read the first few chapters with someone on Google Hangouts — just to help one orient.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby Lucretius2327 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:31 pm

Qimmik,

How far are you along on De Corona? I have been wanting to re-read it, and got about 4 pages in when other things distracted me. If there is an ongoing group, I would love to join in.

WMR
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby Qimmik » Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:44 pm

Walter,

I finished De Corona a few weeks ago. I'm about to finish Phaedrus now. Not sure whether I'll go back and re-read Thucydides--I've got a backlog of stuff to read, not all in Greek.

Bill
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby Lucretius2327 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:10 pm

Oh, yes, we all have a backlog of reading . . . a lot of it not Greek. Ha, ha. No doubt I will be seeing you around Textkit.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby John W. » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:48 pm

I've revived this thread to ask a question, if I may, arising from Thucydides 5.10.6. At this point Brasidas and his troops are about to sally forth from Amphipolis to mount a surprise attack on the withdrawing Athenians:

καὶ ὁ μὲν κατὰ τὰς ἐπὶ τὸ σταύρωμα πύλας καὶ τὰς πρώτας τοῦ μακροῦ τείχους τότε ὄντος ἐξελθὼν ἔθει δρόμῳ τὴν ὁδὸν ταύτην εὐθεῖαν, ᾗπερ νῦν κατὰ τὸ καρτερώτατον τοῦ χωρίου ἰόντι τροπαῖον ἕστηκε, καὶ προσβαλὼν τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις πεφοβημένοις τε ἅμα τῇ σφετέρᾳ ἀταξίᾳ καὶ τὴν τόλμαν αὐτοῦ ἐκπεπληγμένοις κατὰ μέσον τὸ στράτευμα τρέπει.

It's the bit in bold, and specifically εὐθεῖαν, that is troubling me. Some take it as meaning that Brasidas advanced at a run straight along this road; others interpret it as simply meaning that the road was straight.

I've so far been inclined to take it as restrictvely qualifying τὴν ὁδὸν, in the sense 'the road where it ran straight', i.e. 'the straight section of the road'. But I'n unsure about the force of ταύτην - is it looking ahead to the clarification provided by ᾗπερ etc., qualifying τὴν ὁδὸν in conjunction with εὐθεῖαν (as per my suggestion above) or fulfilling some other function here?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby mwh » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:41 pm

Hi John,

I’m not sure this is an either/or choice. I suppose εθει ευθειαν by itself would mean “he ran straight” (he ran a straight course), while την οδον ταυτην ευθειαν suggests the route itself was straight—and he could hardly have run straight up it if it wasn’t. If pressed I’d say ευθειαν was predicative, and not necessarily restrictive, but I wouldn’t see that as incompatible with a quasi-adverbial function. Don’t the two merge? ταυτην I’d take to be anticipatory of ᾗπερ, as you suggest, rather than looking back to a road/route whose existence is no better than implied in what precedes.

Michael
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby John W. » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:58 am

Michael - many thanks for your help.

I take your point about this not necessarily being a matter of 'either/or' - except that, for the (admittedly self-restricting) purpose of revising my Thucydides translation, I'm faced with making such a choice. Since I can't recall Thucydides using an adjectival form in this way when he talks about someone heading straight for somewhere (though perhaps straight along, as here, is different in that there's an object for the adjective to agree with), I'm currently choosing to take εὐθεῖαν as predicative, and to translate:

' ... and charged along the road (which runs straight) where the trophy now stands as one passes the strongest part of the place ...'

I hope this makes sense - thanks again.


Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2014

Postby mwh » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:01 pm

John,

I must say I don’t care too much for the parenthesis. It’s not as if it’s ἥπερ ευθεια εστιν or even ευθειαν ουσαν. I’d prefer “along the straight road” (even if that loses the predicativeness), but I suspect (though I can’t say quite why) “straight along the road” gets closer.

Would “raced” rather than “charged” be more faithful?

“, where today a trophy stands, at the strongest point of the place as one goes along”? At all events not “the trophy.”

Best,
Michael
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