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H&Q 12 Greek to English

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H&Q 12 Greek to English

Postby bingley » Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:15 am

I'm having trouble with this sentence from the Greek to English exercise.

[face=SPIonic] di/dacai to\n a)delfo\n ge th\n grapikh/n. a)/neu ga\r tau/thj th=j te/xnhj ou0/te gra/fetai pote kala\ bibli/a u(p' a)ndrw=n tw=n grafe/wn kaloume/nwn ou0/te kalw=j a)kou/ousin ou(=toi u(po/ ge tw=n sofw=n. [/face]

Tentatively, I translate it as:
Teach your brother writing. For without that skill, no good books are ever written by the men called writers nor are they spoken well of by the wise.

But this doesn't really make sense. Shouldn't it be:
For without that skill, no good books would ever be written by the men called writers nor would they be spoken well of by the wise.

In which case, shouldn't the Greek be:

[face=SPIonic] di/dacai to\n a)delfo\n ge th\n grapikh/n. a)/neu ga\r tau/thj th=j te/xnhj ou0/te a)\n e)gra/feto pote kala\ bibli/a u(p' a)ndrw=n tw=n grafe/wn kaloume/nwn ou0/te a)\n kalw=j h)/kouon ou(=toi u(po/ ge tw=n sofw=n. [/face]
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Postby adz000 » Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:30 pm

I'm not sure I see why the simple past indicative and present indicative don't make sense, since the sentences makes sense as a factual statement.

No books were ever written without writing; men do not have good reputations among without writing.

I think your sentences is just as good, but has a slightly different meaning.

As a followup question for the [face=SPIonic]sofw/teroi[/face]: could one interpret this statement as a suppressed future less vivid construction, and so use "an" with the optative?

[If there should be no wisdom], no good books would be written, etc.
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Postby Skylax » Sun Mar 06, 2005 8:20 pm

Here is a sentence by "Antisthenes" (Cynicus? quoted by Stobaeus) of the same kind :

[face=SPIonic]ou)/te sumpo/sion xwri\j o(mili/aj ou)/te plou=toj xwri\j a)reth=j h(donh\n e)/xei.[/face]

Neither a drinking-party without company nor wealth without virtue do involve pleasure.

About the meaning, I think that :

- In the original form, it says that at least there is no pleasing wealth without virtue and it does NOT say whether wealth can ever involve pleasure at all.

- With [face=SPIonic]a)/n[/face] and the imperfect, it would imply "but, indeed, there ARE cases where wealth involves pleasure because it IS sometimes at least put together with virtue."

- With [face=SPIonic]a)/n[/face] and the optative, we have a mere possibility, an sheer intellectual hypothesis : "assume that wealth could be separated from virtue, then it could involve no pleasure." This expression would still be valid even if wealth and virtue were PERMANENTLY conjuncted.
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Postby bingley » Tue Mar 08, 2005 2:24 am

adz000 wrote:I'm not sure I see why the simple past indicative and present indicative don't make sense, since the sentences makes sense as a factual statement.

No books were ever written without writing; men do not have good reputations among without writing.

I think your sentences is just as good, but has a slightly different meaning.



But it isn't past, it's present: [face=SPIonic]gra/fetai [/face] (books) are written .....

I suppose I'll just have to put it down to H&Q's fondness for bizarre sentences, but I still think it should be a contrafactual since in fact books are written.
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Postby Emma_85 » Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:58 am

For without that skill neither are good books ever written by men called writers nor do they hear themselves named by the wise in a good way./(do they stand in the high esteem of the wise.)
I don't think he's saying 'if they didn't have that skill... then', he's saying that those without that skill are rubbish. So that there are men who call themselves writers, but who don't have the skill and so are never heard of again really.
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