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A. Ag. 349-350

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A. Ag. 349-350

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:37 pm

A. Ag. 349-350, the end of Clytaemestra's speech:

τὸ δ᾽ εὖ κρατοίη μὴ διχορρόπως ἰδεῖν·
πολλῶν γὰρ ἐσθλῶν τήν ὄνησιν εἱλόμην.

"But may the good prevail, unequivocally, for all to see! I choose to enjoy that, in preference to many other blessings." (Sommerstein, Loeb translation)

Problem 1)
Raeburn-Thomas (R-T) translates 349 similarly "But may the good prevail, not ambivalently in appereance."; Page likewise "Let the good prevail, in no doubtful fashion, (for men) to see."

I don't understand how ἰδεῖν can get this passive meaning, with τὸ δ᾽ εὖ being the subject, as it if were ἰδέσθαι.

Problem 2)
350 has two possible meanings, and scholars are divided. The one above is considered far-fetched by R-T, and they prefer "For many are the blessings of which I have chosen the enjoyment for myself".

About Loeb's interpretation (i.e. "I would rather have this than anything else"), Page says that "this interpretation absolutely requires τήνδ' for τήν." However, the Loeb text has τήν and they translate the text like this nevertheless.

Is this discrepance just be a mistake from Sommerstein/Loeb, or what is their reasoning? Could it be he considers τήν here a "Homeric" demostrative, as if it were ταύτην?
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Re: A. Ag. 349-350

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:08 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:A. Ag. 349-350, the end of Clytaemestra's speech:

τὸ δ᾽ εὖ κρατοίη μὴ διχορρόπως ἰδεῖν·
πολλῶν γὰρ ἐσθλῶν τήν ὄνησιν εἱλόμην.

"But may the good prevail, unequivocally, for all to see! I choose to enjoy that, in preference to many other blessings." (Sommerstein, Loeb translation)

Problem 1)
Raeburn-Thomas (R-T) translates 349 similarly "But may the good prevail, not ambivalently in appereance."; Page likewise "Let the good prevail, in no doubtful fashion, (for men) to see."

I don't understand how ἰδεῖν can get this passive meaning, with τὸ δ᾽ εὖ being the subject, as it if were ἰδέσθαι.


Probably a transformation performed in translation. Fagles has "clear to see" and Carson "unambiguously." Translations very often do not present the source text syntax in the target language. On top of this the semantics of ἰδεῖν in certain idioms is kind of complex. The distance or better yet the boundary between the middle and passive seems be indeterminate in some places. Fagles uses an English idiom "clear to see" and I am not at all certain this bears any relationship to the idiom μὴ διχορρόπως ἰδεῖν. Carson does an end run around the problem with "unambiguously."
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Re: A. Ag. 349-350

Postby pster » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:52 am

I think it is great that you guys are keeping up the pace. Frankly I was a bit overwhelmed with all the new vocabluary for Ag. (Thucydides is already my main vocabulary project--only 150 words to go!) and the musical issues (I am still waiting for a response from a musicologist about the choral rhythms.). I just want to say that I hope that you--ie Paul, since you are the organizer of this tragic study--are planning at least a two week holiday break at the end of the year so us laggards can try and catch up. :mrgreen:
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Re: A. Ag. 349-350

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:23 pm

Well, I don't see myself as much of on authority... :) But yes, why not make a holiday break? I found your remarks on the rhythm very interesting, especially as it is a subject I know almost nothing about. I know for sure you could make many valuable contributions in this and other things!

The play is at least as difficult as I suspected, really much, much more difficult than say Aristophanes or Euripides. But I at least feel I've already learnt a lot. CSB was right warning us how difficult it would be - but the funny thing is how he very industrious he has been until now, despite all this warnings. ;)

So, a two week break sometime in December?
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