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A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

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A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:13 pm

532-533. Πάρις γὰρ οὔτε συντελὴς πόλις ἐξεύχεται τὸ δρᾶμα τοῦ πάθους πλέον.

Raeburn-Thomas: "'For (neither) Paris nor his city, which jointly paid the due, boasts that his action (was) greater than the suffering.' Understand οὔτε before Πάρις and εἶναι in 533."

But how can you just "understand" οὔτε? Are there any parallels for this? Any explanation?

Loeb translates similarly, and according to Denniston-Page this is how it was already interpreted by the scholiasts (ἀπὸ κοινοῦ τὸ οὔτε). (LSJ, κοινός VI.4.)

Another thing: I'm still a bit puzzled by these terms relating to the structure of the play (First/second episode, parodos, stasimon, etc.) Have you read a simple introduction to these? Everything I've run into seems to assume I already know a lot more than I do about the structure of Greek tragedy.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby NateD26 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:28 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Another thing: I'm still a bit puzzled by these terms relating to the structure of the play (First/second episode, parodos, stasimon, etc.) Have you read a simple introduction to these? Everything I've run into seems to assume I already know a lot more than I do about the structure of Greek tragedy.

I'm also not familiar with Greek Tragedy structure and the common terms used by editors and
translators. (My Hebrew version for example use these terms and has an exhaustive treatment
of the meter of each but without an explanation or introduction for laypersons like myself.)

Here is an old, terse wepage by Bruce MacLennan about the typical structure of a Greek play.

I've tried searching Smyth about such an example of an implied οὔτε but couldn't find
anything. This sentence was referenced as such an example in LSJ, οὔτε:
d. the former οὔτε is sts. omitted, ναυσὶ δ' οὔτε πεζὸς ἰών Pi.P.10.29; νόσοι δ' οὔτε γῆρας ib.41;
Πάρις γὰρ οὔτε συντελὴς πόλις A.Ag.532, cf. Ch.294; and v. μήτε 2.


Under μήτε:
2. μήτε is perh. sts. omitted in the former of two clauses, ἑκόντα μήτ' ἄκοντα S.Ph.771 (v. l.),
cf. Ant.267.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:27 pm

532-533. Πάρις γὰρ οὔτε συντελὴς πόλις ἐξεύχεται τὸ δρᾶμα τοῦ πάθους πλέον.

Raeburn-Thomas: "'For (neither) Paris nor his city, which jointly paid the due, boasts that his action (was) greater than the suffering.' Understand οὔτε before Πάρις and εἶναι in 533."

But how can you just "understand" οὔτε? Are there any parallels for this? Any explanation?


Paul & Nate,

Cooper[1] calls the missing second οὔτε “imbalanced corresponsion” which is “felt as expressive anacoluthon” (expressive = increased discourse salience). He cites several examples[2]. Breaking the syntax and leaving things out is in keeping with the principle behind “Cablese” (E. Hemingway)[3]: Omit anything that can be assumed. Omissions and broken syntax in Greek Tragedy are legion (ubiquitous). In this particular pattern (οὔτε alone) Cooper thinks it has rhetorical weight and should grab our attention since οὔτε ... οὔτε is the prevailing pattern, breaking the pattern attracts attention.



[1] vol 4, p3384-86, 2.69.64.1.f

[2] vol 4, p3386, 2.69.64.1.f {Pi.P 3.30, 6.48,10.29, 10.41, A.Ag. 532, A.Ch. 294, S.Ant. 851, S.Ph. 771}

[3] Attic Tragedy does not consistently apply the principle behind Cablese. At times the assumed audience is over informed about things which they already know and have known for ages. Transitions between under informing (relying on shared knowledge) and over informing (informational redundancy) might be explained as a species of discourse marking. Longwinded wordiness slows down the processing of the text. A long time ago R. Longacre suggested that passages with informational redundancy are used in a build up to a discourse peak, the extra processing required alerts the reader that something momentous is just about to take place.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:07 pm

Thanks, Nate and C.S.

Nate, the link you posted is good, but I'm still looking for a more thorough but not too complicated introduction to the structure. By the way, were strophes and antistrophes supposed to be sung with the same melody, like differencent stanzas in a song nowadays?

C.S., I think salience is the answer like you say. The surprising syntax would just have waken the native speaker's attention; but for me, as often, it's an obstacle to comprehension.

A joke translated from French, not completely unrelated to this (I hope no cops are reading ;)):
'What's half a policeman? Someone who can neither read.'

Hemingway is an interesting parallel. His style, which I admire, is indeed Cablese, but I've never had any problems understanding his words even when reading in my non-native English.
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:A long time ago R. Longacre suggested that passages with informational redundancy are used in a build up to a discourse peak, the extra processing required alerts the reader that something momentous is just about to take place.

This is a very important feature of Homer. At a crucial moment, he starts a digression to describe a detail. If you've read the Iliad, you must remember the staff Achilles threw to the ground at the assembly, the one that will never sprout again. At least I'll never forget it.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:00 pm

Who is speaking and what do they know?

Smyth's text puts 613-14 into the mouth of τοῦ κήρυκος.
Murry apparently makes it the end of Klyt. speech.
The irony has a different tone if Klyt. is speaking.

Κῆρυξ A.Ag 613-14

τοιόσδ᾽ ὁ κόμπος τῆς ἀληθείας γέμων
οὐκ αἰσχρὸς ὡς γυναικὶ γενναίᾳ λακεῖν.

What does the Χορός know at this point?
Is it possible to read either τοροῖσιν or
εὐπρεπῶς in a negative way?


Χορός A.Ag 615-616

αὕτη μὲν οὕτως εἶπε μανθάνοντί σοι
τοροῖσιν ἑρμηνεῦσιν εὐπρεπῶς λόγον.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:22 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Who is speaking and what do they know?

Smyth's text puts 613-14 into the mouth of τοῦ κήρυκος.
Murry apparently makes it the end of Klyt. speech.
The irony has a different tone if Klyt. is speaking.

Κῆρυξ A.Ag 613-14

τοιόσδ᾽ ὁ κόμπος τῆς ἀληθείας γέμων
οὐκ αἰσχρὸς ὡς γυναικὶ γενναίᾳ λακεῖν.
The manuscripts ascribed this to the herald, but modern commentators have suspected this and apperently everybody after Fraenkel ascribe it to Klytaimestra. Fraenkel has a long discussion of this and for some of the key points gives quotes in untranslated Latin (thanks a lot!). For dramatic reasons, he considers it impossible that the speaker could be the herald, and also there are grammatical considerations, he says for example that "the article in ὁ κόμπος has a fully deictic ... force: 'of such a sort is this my boast (as revealed in my previous words)'".

If this ascription to Klytaimestra is correct, I think the logical explanation for this error in the manuscripts would be that if the text didn't include indications to the effect of "exit Klytaimestra", a copyist would have found surpring the following words (αὕτη μὲν οὕτως εἶπε κτλ.), which are clearly not addressed to Klytaimestra, and therefore "corrected" the text accordingly.

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:What does the Χορός know at this point?

I don't know. It's difficult to get full picture, because it's like I had to read the text with a microscope to understand it word by word and sentence by sentence. I could read the whole text a couple of times in a modern language first to get a better idea, but I consider that cheating... ;)

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Is it possible to read either τοροῖσιν or
εὐπρεπῶς in a negative way?

Χορός A.Ag 615-616

αὕτη μὲν οὕτως εἶπε μανθάνοντί σοι
τοροῖσιν ἑρμηνεῦσιν εὐπρεπῶς λόγον.

My first instinct was to understand τοροῖσιν negatively, like 'stinging' i.e. bitter or the like, but neither LSJ nor any translation I read support this. I guess εὐπρεπῶς or εὐπρεπῆ (whichever reading we accept) has some irony in it. But these are, again, difficult lines.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:28 pm

630-631
πότερα γὰρ αὐτοῦ ζῶντος ἢ τεθνηκότος
φάτις πρὸς ἄλλων ναυτίλων ἐκλῄζετο;

The γάρ in 630 is surprising. I guess is serves to link the question to the foregoing.

Then did the talk of the other sailors speak of him as living or as dead?

Loeb translation, my italics.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:20 pm

653. ἐν νυκτὶ δυσκύμαντα δ᾽ ὠρώρει κακά.

Fraenkel says the pluperfect ὠρώρει doesn't express anteriority as in Attic, but is a Homeric pluperfect which carries on the narrative, the pluperfect being extremely rare in Aeschylus. He translates "In the night-time the disaster of evil waves arose." He considers it an adaptation of the Homeric formula ὀρώρει δ' οὐρανόθεν νύξ (e.g. Od. 5.294).

I suppose the exact idea is difficult to render in English. Chantraine's Grammaire Homérique has a discussion of the pluperfect. "Le plus-que-parfait, qui n'exprime pas proprement l'antériorité, sert parfois à indiquer de façon expressive que le procès verbal est déjà réalise." (My translation: "The pluperfect, which strictly speaking doesn't express anteriority, sometimes serves to indicate in an expressive way that the verbal process has already been realized." I have frankly no idea how to translate procès verbal). He translates ὀρώρει δ' οὐρανόθεν νύξ "la nuit était déjà tombé du ciel", which I suppose in English gives "night had already fallen from the sky".

After all this, I'm not completely certain what the exact meaning of this construction is. I guess "crowed" in the example below could be analogous to this Homeric pluperfect:

No sooner had he spoken than a cock crowed.


So maybe some kind of suddenness is implied.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:40 am

At 677-678 my Loeb has
εἰ γοῦν τις ἀκτὶς ἡλίου νιν ἱστορεῖ
χλωρόν τε καὶ βλέποντα, μηχαναῖς Διός

(But some editions have καὶ ζῶντα καὶ βλέποντα.)

χλωρόν is surprising; it must mean fresh like some vegetable, that is to say healthy and well. It surprises me because in Homer χλωρός is associated with not being so well: people are described to be χλωρός with fear, and it's even an epithet of fear in χλωρὸν δέος 'green/pale fear'.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:35 am

Paul Derouda wrote:At 677-678 my Loeb has
εἰ γοῦν τις ἀκτὶς ἡλίου νιν ἱστορεῖ
χλωρόν τε καὶ βλέποντα, μηχαναῖς Διός

(But some editions have καὶ ζῶντα καὶ βλέποντα.)

χλωρόν is surprising; it must mean fresh like some vegetable, that is to say healthy and well. It surprises me because in Homer χλωρός is associated with not being so well: people are described to be χλωρός with fear, and it's even an epithet of fear in χλωρὸν δέος 'green/pale fear'.


It is the color of the pale horse in the Apocalypse, a symbol of death.

Rev. 6:8 καὶ εἶδον, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἵππος χλωρός, καὶ ὁ καθήμενος ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ ὄνομα αὐτῷ [ὁ] θάνατος, καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἠκολούθει μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς ἐξουσία ἐπὶ τὸ τέταρτον τῆς γῆς ἀποκτεῖναι ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ καὶ ἐν λιμῷ καὶ ἐν θανάτῳ καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν θηρίων τῆς γῆς.


footnote from Louw & Nida

It is difficult to determine whether χλωρός should be regarded as having two different meanings or whether the meaning should be regarded as covering a range of color from light green through greenish yellow and greenish gray, but for the practical purposes of highlighting certain differences in color, two meanings of χλωρός are listed here (79.34 and 79.35).


79.34 χλωρόςa, ά, όν— ‘light green, green’ (typical of plants).5 ἀνακλῖναι … ἐπὶ τῷ χλωρῷ χόρτῳ ‘sit down … on the green grass’ Mk 6:39.

79.35 χλωρόςb, ά, όν— ‘pale greenish gray’ (evidently regarded as typical of a corpse, since the color is used as a symbol of death).5 ἰδοὺ ἵππος χλωρός ‘there [p. 698] was a pale-colored horse’ Re 6:8.
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Re: A. Ag. 489-680, 'Second Episode'

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:32 am

Interesting to see that χλωρός seems to have a similar meaning and connototations in Revelation as in Homer. Of course, it might be poetical usage there (I haven't studied the question, I don't know), but still.
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:footnote from Louw & Nida
It is difficult to determine whether χλωρός should be regarded as having two different meanings or whether the meaning should be regarded as covering a range of color from light green through greenish yellow and greenish gray, but for the practical purposes of highlighting certain differences in color, two meanings of χλωρός are listed here (79.34 and 79.35).


79.34 χλωρόςa, ά, όν— ‘light green, green’ (typical of plants).5 ἀνακλῖναι … ἐπὶ τῷ χλωρῷ χόρτῳ ‘sit down … on the green grass’ Mk 6:39.

79.35 χλωρόςb, ά, όν— ‘pale greenish gray’ (evidently regarded as typical of a corpse, since the color is used as a symbol of death).5 ἰδοὺ ἵππος χλωρός ‘there [p. 698] was a pale-colored horse’ Re 6:8.

I suspect that the point is that the Greeks and about everybody else anywhere anytime had a very different conception of color than we (modern industrialized people). Our color terms and the way we see color is actually very technical, we think of color pretty purely as different hues, but a more "primitive" conception of color could include also things like brightness, intensity, metallicity and whatnot; so when the Greeks described something was of this or that "color", it could, from our perspective, be a statement on many other things than just the wavelength the object happened to be reflecting. I suspect this is the reason it's so difficult to grasp the meaning of such expressions as οἴνοπα πόντον, or πορφύρεος.
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