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a place at the breakfast table A.Ag 330-333

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a place at the breakfast table A.Ag 330-333

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:43 pm

a place at the breakfast table A.Ag 330-333

τοὺς δ’ αὖτε νυκτίπλαγκτος ἐκ μάχης πόνος
νήστεις πρὸς ἀρίστοισιν ὧν ἔχει πόλις
τάσσει, πρὸς οὐδὲν ἐν μέρει τεκμήριον,
ἀλλ’ ὡς ἕκαστος ἔσπασεν τύχης πάλον.

Strange as it may sound, νυκτίπλαγκτος ... πόνος appears to be the subject of τάσσει and the object τοὺς ... νήστεις with πρὸς ἀρίστοισιν as the second argument. Had some trouble with this at first because I read νήστεις as nom. plural so I didn’t see τοὺς ... νήστεις. The nocturnal labors serving as subject (agent) setting them (Achaians) down hungry to breakfast on what (little) they might scrounge up in the fallen city; ὧν ἔχει πόλις whatever the city had to offer.

The last two lines may have to do with getting a place at the breakfast table or how the food was parceled out. The negative expression πρὸς οὐδὲν ἐν μέρει τεκμήριον appears to signify a disorderly (lack of protocol) process of distribution where the food was distributed by luck of the draw ἔσπασεν τύχης πάλον. This may be yet another metaphor meaning something like “what ever they were lucky enough to lay hands on.”
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
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