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I need some help translating

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I need some help translating

Postby Bert » Wed Sep 01, 2004 2:58 am

I am having trouble with the following translation exercises

[face=SPIonic]lu/phj i)atro/j e)stin a)nqrw/poij lo/goj:
yuxh=j ga\r ou(=toj mo/noj e)/xei qelkth/ria:
le/gousi d' au)to\n oi( pa/lai sofw/tatoi
a)stei=on ei)=nai fa/rmakon kai\ xrh/simon.[/face]


line 1.(I don't understand the genitive)- physician is a word to men:
line 2.(I don't understand the genitive)- for this one alone has charms:
line 3. but they say ..... the most wise ancients (I don't know what to do with au)to/n)
line 4. it is nice to be a helpful remedy.

It is an attempt but it does not make a lot of sense to me yet.
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Postby ThomasGR » Wed Sep 01, 2004 4:04 am

1. for the sadness a physician (curer) is humans' words (to cure sadness you need human words)
2. only the soul has charms
3. the most wise men said so for that
4. a joke is a remedy (that) /(and it) is helpful
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Postby chad » Wed Sep 01, 2004 6:20 am

hi bert, where do these examples come from? it's a bit tricky to guess the meanings without context, and without things like the articles. but i think

1. 'a story/legend is a curer of pain to men ', e.g. listening to the iliad; or it might mean something like 'a doctor of sadness is esteemed among men', although i doubt it (but see the LSJ defn of lo/goj, section I.4);

2. i think the genitive here is genitive of quality following the predicate, i.e. ou(=toj ga\r mo/noj e)/xei qelkth/ria yuxh=j 'for this alone has "charms" of soul'; i think that the predicate is idiomatic, roughly like our idiomatic 'lifts the spirit', i.e. 'for this alone lifts the spirit': see the way qelkth/ria is followed by a genitive plural "toils" in aeschylus, to means "lightens toils", as quoted in lsj:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... 3D%2348082

3. i looked through the different meanings of le/gw, but without a 2nd accusative, none of them leapt out as being a good fit here... i agree with you, it's unclear... it might mean something like 'the most-wise ancients call him', but there are better ways to say this, so i doubt it... i'm probably missing something though :)

4. i think this is saying 'a pleasant medicine is also effective/useful', although it looks like it's in the indirect for some reason, i.e. (they say) a)stei=on fa/rmakon kai\ xrh/simon ei)=nai, with kai\ as 'also'.

sorry i couldn't help u further...
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Postby ThomasGR » Wed Sep 01, 2004 6:48 am

“asteion” is used as a noun, though without the article “to”, meaning fun, joke, pleasantry.
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Postby Skylax » Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:20 pm

Hi Bert !

Many thanks for this poem about [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face] (meaning here "verbal expression, talk, speech"). Till now, I only knew the first line. Can you provide a reference ?

About lines 3 and 4 :
[face=SPIonic]au)to/n[/face] is an accusative subject of [face=SPIonic]ei)=nai[/face] (accusativus cum infinitivo or "infinitive clause" direct object of [face=SPIonic]le/gousi[/face] "(they say) that...", so

"The most wise ancients say that it (i.e. "speech", in Greek a masculine) is a (both) nice and hepful remedy."


[face=SPIonic]xai=re[/face]
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Postby ThomasGR » Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:32 pm

(το) αστειον είναι φαρμακον και χρησιμον
(A) pleasantry is a medicine and is also helpful.

Αστειον φαρμακον και χρησιμον.
Pleasant medicine that is also helpful.


πυρ εις τα βιβλια σας :) lol
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Postby Bert » Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:56 am

Thank you all for your help.
The genitives trew me off, but I think I got it now.
The accusative as object of an infinitive is something I should have caught on to but I tried to translate line by line so I missed that connection alltogether.
As to a reference- I can't give you one.
I found it in 'A First Greek Course' by W.H.D. Rouse.
He wrote in the preface: "The reading extracts are all taken from Greek authors; it may be left as a pleasant exercise for those who use the book, to find out where they come from."

If this was not a poem, would the word order likely have been different?
This being a poem, it might be worthwhile to memorize it, or is that a waste of 'gray matter'?
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Postby chad » Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:48 am

About lines 3 and 4 :
au)to/n is an accusative subject of ei)=nai (accusativus cum infinitivo or "infinitive clause" direct object of le/gousi "(they say) that...", so

"The most wise ancients say that it (i.e. "speech", in Greek a masculine) is a (both) nice and hepful remedy."


oh i get it now, these 4 lines are meant to be read together (i thought when bert said that they were translation exercises, that they were separate discrete lines to be translated). it makes sense now, something like "a story/legend is a curer of pain for men: for this alone lifts the spirit, and the most wise men of old say it's a pleasant and useful remedy." thanks skylax :)
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Postby Bert » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:52 am

Sorry about that. I don't know why I assumed that you would know that these lines belonged together.
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Postby chad » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:54 am

no no it was me, i just missed it... it's pretty obvious though :)
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