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Plb. 6.3: viva ὅσα!

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:17 pm

John W. wrote:But where does P. say he is talking about all the Greek republics here? Couldn't he just be talking about some (even if the majority) of them?


Great question. I would say that grammatically it is indicated by the use of the definite article in τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων. Contextually it is indicated by the whole sweep of the these first ten chapters of Book VI where he nowhere limits himself to some subset of Greek republics. But I still am working through them in Greek, so I may have more to say in answer to your question later.

These first ten chapters of Book VI are very famous and probably the most important thing you can read in Polybius. You get his discussion of mixed constitutions with Sparta as his key example--a little background for Thucydides. ;) And if you like them, you can finish the rest of Book VI which is almost as famous and gives his account of the Roman constitution.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:31 pm

Also, I think he was writing after Rome's defeat of the Achaean league in 146 (which is when his history ends) and so all Greek republics had certainly fallen by then if not earlier.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:37 pm

A good osa workout is Th. 2.96. We get three instances, one in the genitive, ἄλλα ὅσα, and ὅσα ἄλλα. Cf. Smyth 2532.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby daivid » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:36 am

pster wrote:Nate seems to say it is a partitive genitive. I don't see any part/whole relationship to support this. The ones that rise and fall aren't a part of the Greek republics, they are the whole.


I don't pretend to have fully understood the Greek but it seems to me that Polybios can only
be talking about some of the Greek republics rising and falling.
Taking an overview of Greek history it is hard to find period when all the republics were rising
and all were falling. At any time some were falling, some rising (usually at the expense of the
ones falling) and some staying out of it and going on pretty much as before.
The arrival of Rome didn't really change that. When Rome crushed Aetolia, Achaea was still
rising and in 146BCE is not not true that all the republics were falling - Aetolia had already
fallen to the extent that it had nowhere further to fall.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:11 am

pster wrote:
John W. wrote:But where does P. say he is talking about all the Greek republics here? Couldn't he just be talking about some (even if the majority) of them?


Great question. I would say that grammatically it is indicated by the use of the definite article in τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων. Contextually it is indicated by the whole sweep of the these first ten chapters of Book VI where he nowhere limits himself to some subset of Greek republics. But I still am working through them in Greek, so I may have more to say in answer to your question later.

These first ten chapters of Book VI are very famous and probably the most important thing you can read in Polybius. You get his discussion of mixed constitutions with Sparta as his key example--a little background for Thucydides. ;) And if you like them, you can finish the rest of Book VI which is almost as famous and gives his account of the Roman constitution.


Thanks for this - I'll definitely have to read the rest of these chapters!

I think that the use of the definite article in τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων simply means 'Of all the Greek cities ...', of which he then goes on to describe a subset (όσα): it doesn't in my view indicate that the subset itself necessarily comprises all Greek cities. This is certainly the case with another Thucydidean example which I've remembered and which starts with a genitive (1.7): τῶν δὲ πόλεων ὅσαι μὲν νεώτατα ᾠκίσθησαν ... . I must confess that I'm struggling not to think that our Polybian passage is similar to this, and that όσα is neuter simply because it agrees with πολιτεύματα understood - but I'm trying to keep an open mind! :)

To muddy the waters further: if you want to keep the genitive linked to the end of the sentence rather than to όσα, what about taking the latter not as a temporal adverb ("as often as") as you've suggested, but in the sense "so far as" (LSJ s.v. A.IV.1), i.e. "inasmuch as", "in terms of"? The loose sense would then be "an account of the Greek states in terms of their frequent rises and falls". Just a thought!

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:31 pm

John W. wrote:To muddy the waters further: if you want to keep the genitive linked to the end of the sentence rather than to όσα, what about taking the latter not as a temporal adverb ("as often as") as you've suggested, but in the sense "so far as" (LSJ s.v. A.IV.1), i.e. "inasmuch as", "in terms of"? The loose sense would then be "an account of the Greek states in terms of their frequent rises and falls". Just a thought!



I suggested much the same at (d) at Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:53 pm.

OK, off to look at the Roman mosaics. I'll be staring at the aforementioned Th. osa workout tonight in case anybody wants to join in. :mrgreen:
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:46 pm

pster wrote:I suggested much the same at (d) at Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:53 pm.

OK, off to look at the Roman mosaics. I'll be staring at the aforementioned Th. osa workout tonight in case anybody wants to join in. :mrgreen:


Ah, so I see - sorry I overlooked that. :oops:

Enjoy the mosaics!

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby daivid » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:06 pm

τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων ὅσα πολλάκις μὲν ηὔξηται, πολλάκις δὲ τῆς εἰς τἀναντία μεταβολῆς ὁλοσχερῶς πεῖραν εἴληφε, ῥᾳδίαν εἶναι συμβαίνει καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν προγεγονότων ἐξήγησιν καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἀπόφασιν

This is my stab at the first bit:

(implied subject, fortune perhaps?) increases often a certain number of the Greek republics ...

that is τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων refers to all the Greek republics
ὅσα is a subgroup of those republics

I am far from confident that is correct - it especially bothers me that ηὔξηται
is middle. However if ὅσα is not the object of ηὔξηται then ηὔξηται seems to be
without object or subject and just hangs there with no connection to the rest
of the sentence.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:51 pm

Hi, daivid. αὐξάνω in middle/passive ending is intransitive meaning "to grow, increase, in size, number,
strength, etc." (LSJ)

Seeing that I've got two more "soldiers" on my side, I will hold fast to my previous view that this
construction is a classic case of partitive genitive to introduce the whole and then divide it
to its distinct subsets with ὅσα πολλάκις μὲν...πολλάκις δὲ...

The burden of proof to the contrary falls on your shoulders, pster.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:50 pm

I don't mind the burden of proof. But even if it were a partitive genitive, merely saying that falls far short of providing an actual interpretation. There are numerous other issues of interpretation that I have raised along the way that need to be answered. What is the antecedent? What words are being qualified? What words are only implicit and need to be supplied? What are the parts of speech? Are they adjectives? Or substantialized adjectives? Or are they adverbs? How are we to understand the unity of the sentence as a whole? What exact LSJ entry is being invoked? Why doesn't Polybius just use an ordinary relative? Or an ordinary indefinite? What is a full as literal as possible translation?

I don't mind the burden of proof, Inded, I welcome it. But first you and your "soldiers" should give me a full interpretation that answers the whole gamut of questions about the sentence that have been raised. Your position only seems so defensible because so much of it has been left undescribed!

Beyond that, there is also the matter of explaining exactly why one of the adverbial uses isn't in play. But I'll let you slide on that if you actually deliver an interpretation. :lol:
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:02 pm

Th. 2.96:

ἀνίστησιν οὖν ἐκ τῶν Ὀδρυσῶν ὁρμώμενος πρῶτον μὲν τοὺς ἐντὸς τοῦ Αἵμου τε ὄρους καὶ τῆς Ῥοδόπης Θρᾷκας, ὅσων ἦρχε μέχρι θαλάσσης [ἐς τὸν Εὔξεινόν τε πόντον καὶ τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον], ἔπειτα τοὺς ὑπερβάντι Αἷμον Γέτας καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα μέρη ἐντὸς τοῦ Ἴστρου ποταμοῦ πρὸς θάλασσαν μᾶλλον τὴν τοῦ Εὐξείνου πόντου κατῴκητο: εἰσὶ δ᾽ οἱ Γέται καὶ οἱ ταύτῃ ὅμοροί τε τοῖς Σκύθαις καὶ ὁμόσκευοι, πάντες ἱπποτοξόται. [2] παρεκάλει δὲ καὶ τῶν ὀρεινῶν Θρᾳκῶν πολλοὺς τῶν αὐτονόμων καὶ μαχαιροφόρων, οἳ Δῖοι καλοῦνται, τὴν Ῥοδόπην οἱ πλεῖστοι οἰκοῦντες: καὶ τοὺς μὲν μισθῷ ἔπειθεν, οἱ δ᾽ ἐθελονταὶ ξυνηκολούθουν. [3] ἀνίστη δὲ καὶ Ἀγριᾶνας καὶ Λαιαίους καὶ ἄλλα ὅσα ἔθνη Παιονικὰ ὧν ἦρχε καὶ ἔσχατοι τῆς ἀρχῆς οὗτοι ἦσαν: μέχρι γὰρ Λαιαίων Παιόνων καὶ τοῦ Στρυμόνος ποταμοῦ, ὃς ἐκ τοῦ Σκόμβρου ὄρους δι᾽ Ἀγριάνων καὶ Λαιαίων ῥεῖ, [οὗ] ὡρίζετο ἡ ἀρχὴ τὰ πρὸς Παίονας αὐτονόμους ἤδη...

Here we see three uses of osos. The first isn't too difficult. But I find the second and third quite hard. The general sense isn't that difficult. But the precise sense and grammatical goings seem quite difficult to me anyway. And I don't understand the breezy confidence that you guys seem to have. I suspect it is only because the general sense is usually enough to get by. But if one were looking at a precise philosophy text, I suspect that general sense wouldn't always suffice and indeed I could imagine plenty of cases where one would have to do a fair bit of work to get at exactly what quantitative claims the author is committing himself to. Even in the Thucydides, some translators seem to get confused for just this very reason. Think about in English those times one is trying to make such quantitative relative statements. One has to sit up straight and be clear. Or else the listener may end up thinking most of the A's are B's when you only meant so many A's as are C's are B's, yada yada yada. They are some of the trickiest statements one can make as the real content of the utterance is hanging on some quantity that is a property of some thing that isn't always expressed being equal to some other quantity that is a property of some thing that isn't always expressed.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:08 pm

But I do want to thank all of you for participating and putting up with this. I really appreciate your carrying my cross for a few yards if not the whole mile! :D
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:29 pm

pster wrote:I don't mind the burden of proof. But even if it were a partitive genitive, merely saying that falls far short of providing an actual interpretation. There are numerous other issues of interpretation that I have raised along the way that need to be answered. What is the antecedent? What words are being qualified? What words are only implicit and need to be supplied? What are the parts of speech? Are they adjectives? Or substantialized adjectives? Or are they adverbs? How are we to understand the unity of the sentence as a whole? What exact LSJ entry is being invoked? Why doesn't Polybius just use an ordinary relative? Or an ordinary indefinite? What is a full as literal as possible translation?

I don't mind the burden of proof, Inded, I welcome it. But first you and your "soldiers" should give me a full interpretation that answers the whole gamut of questions about the sentence that have been raised. Your position is only seems so defensible because so much of it has been left undescribed!

Beyond that, there is also the matter of explaining exactly why one of the adverbial uses isn't in play. But I'll let you slide on that if you actually deliver an interpretation. :lol:

The antecedent from where I stand, and have written in previous posts, is πολεύματα
which is provided in the form of genitive, which I read as partitive.
The meaning of this relative pronoun is strictly quantitative but also stands as accusative
of respect to the dependent statement. I supply an implied ὅσα in the δέ clause.

With regards to those Greek republics, of which as many as have often risen and [as many as] have
often suffered the opposite lot, it follows that the narrative regarding past events as well as the
assertion regarding future ones be easily supplied.

This is just how I read it. I just can't see anything here to suggest he's talking about the same republics.
Polybius had used a quantitative relative clause because it works well with the verbs he had chosen.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:40 pm

Thanks for the prompt reply. But I don't think that qualifies as an English sentence. You write "as many as". But how many is that? What two numbers are being equated? If you go back to my beer example--I bought him so many beers, as many as he wanted--the number that he wanted equals the number that I bought him. What two numbers are being equated on your interpretation?

Thanks.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:41 pm

Perhaps you want a demostrative for the de clause?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:42 pm

pster wrote:Th. 2.96:

ἀνίστησιν οὖν ἐκ τῶν Ὀδρυσῶν ὁρμώμενος πρῶτον μὲν τοὺς ἐντὸς τοῦ Αἵμου τε ὄρους καὶ τῆς Ῥοδόπης Θρᾷκας, ὅσων ἦρχε μέχρι θαλάσσης [ἐς τὸν Εὔξεινόν τε πόντον καὶ τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον], ἔπειτα τοὺς ὑπερβάντι Αἷμον Γέτας καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα μέρη ἐντὸς τοῦ Ἴστρου ποταμοῦ πρὸς θάλασσαν μᾶλλον τὴν τοῦ Εὐξείνου πόντου κατῴκητο: εἰσὶ δ᾽ οἱ Γέται καὶ οἱ ταύτῃ ὅμοροί τε τοῖς Σκύθαις καὶ ὁμόσκευοι, πάντες ἱπποτοξόται. [2] παρεκάλει δὲ καὶ τῶν ὀρεινῶν Θρᾳκῶν πολλοὺς τῶν αὐτονόμων καὶ μαχαιροφόρων, οἳ Δῖοι καλοῦνται, τὴν Ῥοδόπην οἱ πλεῖστοι οἰκοῦντες: καὶ τοὺς μὲν μισθῷ ἔπειθεν, οἱ δ᾽ ἐθελονταὶ ξυνηκολούθουν. [3] ἀνίστη δὲ καὶ Ἀγριᾶνας καὶ Λαιαίους καὶ ἄλλα ὅσα ἔθνη Παιονικὰ ὧν ἦρχε καὶ ἔσχατοι τῆς ἀρχῆς οὗτοι ἦσαν: μέχρι γὰρ Λαιαίων Παιόνων καὶ τοῦ Στρυμόνος ποταμοῦ, ὃς ἐκ τοῦ Σκόμβρου ὄρους δι᾽ Ἀγριάνων καὶ Λαιαίων ῥεῖ, [οὗ] ὡρίζετο ἡ ἀρχὴ τὰ πρὸς Παίονας αὐτονόμους ἤδη...

Here we see three uses of osos. The first isn't too difficult. But I find the second and third quite hard. The general sense isn't that difficult. But the precise sense and grammatical goings seem quite difficult to me anyway. And I don't understand the breezy confidence that you guys seem to have. I suspect it is only because the general sense is usually enough to get by. But if one were looking at a precise philosophy text, I suspect that general sense wouldn't always suffice and indeed I could imagine plenty of cases where one would have to do a fair bit of work to get at exactly what quantitative claims the author is committing himself to. Even in the Thucydides, some translators seem to get confused for just this very reason. Think about in English those times one is trying to make such quantitative relative statements. One has to sit up straight and be clear. Or else the listener may end up thinking most of the A's are B's when you only meant so many A's as are C's are B's, yada yada yada. They are some of the trickiest statements one can make as the real content of the utterance is hanging on some quantity that is a property of some thing that isn't always expressed being equal to some other quantity that is a property of some thing that isn't always expressed.


pster - I'm not sure it's a question of 'breezy confidence'. As I've said before, I understand and share your desire to extract the maximum meaning from the text. Equally, however, we need to recognise that Thucydides wasn't writing 'a precise philosophy text', and we need to be wary of trying to extract more precision than the text will bear, or than is likely to have been in the author's mind.

I don't find any of the three instances here particularly problematic. My translation of the whole passage, with my rendition of the three instances in bold, is:

'So, beginning with the Odrysians, he first roused to arms all those Thracians over whom he ruled from Mount Haemus and Rhodope to the sea (the Euxine Sea and the Hellespont), then, beyond Haemus, the Getae and the peoples of all the other parts that had been settled south of the River Istrus more towards the Euxine Sea: the Getae and the people in this area are neighbours of the Scythians and are similarly equipped, all being horse archers. He also summoned many of the mountain-dwelling Thracians, who are autonomous and carry sabres, and who are called Dians, most of whom live on Rhodope; and some of these he hired as mercenaries, while others followed him as volunteers. In addition he roused up the Agrianians and Laeaeans, and all other Paeonian tribes over whom he ruled, and who were the furthest peoples of his empire: for with the Laeaean Paeonians and the River Strymon, which flows from Mount Scombrus through the territory of the Agrianians and Laeaeans, the empire reached its boundary on the side towards the Paeonians, who are autonomous from here onwards.'

If you think there is some level/shade of meaning that I've missed, I'd be very happy to discuss it.:)

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:47 pm

pster wrote:Thanks for the prompt reply. But I don't think that qualifies as an English sentence. You write "as many as". But how many is that? What two numbers are being equated? If you go back to my beer example--I bought him so many beers, as many as he wanted--the number that he wanted equals the number that I bought him. What two numbers are being equated on your interpretation?

Thanks.

I'm confused. Couldn't it be just an indefinite number implied in the ὅσα clause?
I realize I am not a native speaker and my phrasing is probably off most of the times
but I'm sure I've read similar sentences many times in the past.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:48 pm

pster wrote:Thanks for the prompt reply. But I don't think that qualifies as an English sentence. You write "as many as". But how many is that? What two numbers are being equated? If you go back to my beer example--I bought him so many beers, as many as he wanted--the number that he wanted equals the number that I bought him. What two numbers are being equated on your interpretation?

Thanks.


pster - I think I mentioned a while ago that in English one can perfectly legitimately say (e.g.) 'As many as were rescued survived', in the sense of 'All those who were rescued survived'. Isn't this just the same idiom?

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:01 pm

John W. wrote:
pster wrote:Thanks for the prompt reply. But I don't think that qualifies as an English sentence. You write "as many as". But how many is that? What two numbers are being equated? If you go back to my beer example--I bought him so many beers, as many as he wanted--the number that he wanted equals the number that I bought him. What two numbers are being equated on your interpretation?

Thanks.


pster - I think I mentioned a while ago that in English one can perfectly legitimately say (e.g.) 'As many as were rescued survived', in the sense of 'All those who were rescued survived'. Isn't this just the same idiom?

John


As many as were rescued survived>>so many survived, as many as were rescued>># survived=# rescued.

"so" here is a demonstrative.

Sorry Nate, I shouldn't have brought up English. But the question remains: What two numbers are equal? Are you, Nate, saying #rises=#falls?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:08 pm

John, as I said, I am working on the Thucydides tonight. There are a bunch of things that I don't understand. Here's one: Where are you getting "all" from? We can focus on the third case.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:16 pm

Maybe I'll just start throwing other questions out. Call the "all" question (i).

(ii) In the third instance, what verb does the relative osa govern?? There doesn't seem to be a verb for it.

(iii) Grammatically speaking, what is the difference between ...καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα... in the second instance and ... καὶ ἄλλα ὅσα ... in the the third? Are they interchangeable? Both appear where we expect direct objects. (n.b. possible trick question.)
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:26 pm

pster wrote:
John W. wrote:
pster wrote:Thanks for the prompt reply. But I don't think that qualifies as an English sentence. You write "as many as". But how many is that? What two numbers are being equated? If you go back to my beer example--I bought him so many beers, as many as he wanted--the number that he wanted equals the number that I bought him. What two numbers are being equated on your interpretation?

Thanks.


pster - I think I mentioned a while ago that in English one can perfectly legitimately say (e.g.) 'As many as were rescued survived', in the sense of 'All those who were rescued survived'. Isn't this just the same idiom?

John


As many as were rescued survived>>so many survived, as many as were rescued>># survived=# rescued.

"so" here is a demonstrative.

Sorry Nate, I shouldn't have brought up English. But the question remains: What two numbers are equal? Are you, Nate, saying #rises=#falls?

Oh, not at all. I read "as many as" in the sense of all those who have risen and all those who have fallen.
I don't mean to equate them although I realize it is an inherent meaning of "as many [x] as [y]"
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:41 pm

Wow. OK. I don't know what that means. I just don't understand it.

Is this your what you mean?

With regards to all of those Greek republics that have often risen and often fallen...

If so, then if a Greek republic hasn't often risen and fallen, then the narration isn't easy? Is that what you want to say? Sorry this is in English. But eventually, we are going to need to nail down an English equivalent.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:20 pm

pster wrote:Wow. OK. I don't know what that means. I just don't understand it.

Is this your what you mean?

With regards to all of those Greek republics that have often risen and often fallen...

If so, then if a Greek republic hasn't often risen and fallen, then the narration isn't easy? Is that what you want to say? Sorry this is in English. But eventually, we are going to need to nail down an English equivalent.

I'm at a loss here.

You write:
With regards to all of those Greek republics that have often risen and often fallen...

My meaning, however, is this:
With regards to all those of the Greek republics that have often risen and [all those that have]*
often fallen...

Not much of a change I guess, except from where I stand, it changes the meaning. If he means
the same Greek republics that at the beginning were in their prime (as most of the Republics in
the history of mankind) and then eventually have reached their downfall, then what is the grammatical
basis for that reading? Why hadn't he used πρῶτον μέν...ἔπειτα δέ to clearly show that he's talking
about the same republics?

* added.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:51 pm

I don't know exactly what to say at this point.

-I don't see any difference between those two sentences.

-All republics that fall had to rise.

-As you see it, are there any Greek republics that he is not talking about?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:58 pm

I forgot to add [and all those that have] in the second clause.

In any case, we may be talking past each other as you previously said, so I'll give it a rest.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:12 pm

pster wrote:Maybe I'll just start throwing other questions out. Call the "all" question (i).

(ii) In the third instance, what verb does the relative osa govern?? There doesn't seem to be a verb for it.

(iii) Grammatically speaking, what is the difference between ...καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα... in the second instance and ... καὶ ἄλλα ὅσα ... in the the third? Are they interchangeable? Both appear where we expect direct objects. (n.b. possible trick question.)


pster - re your (ii) above, I think that ἄλλα ὅσα ἔθνη is, like καὶ Ἀγριᾶνας καὶ Λαιαίους, the object of ἀνίστη. I''ll have a think about (iii).

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:33 pm

John W. wrote:
pster - re your (ii) above, I think that ἄλλα ὅσα ἔθνη is, like καὶ Ἀγριᾶνας καὶ Λαιαίους, the object of ἀνίστη. I''ll have a think about (iii).

John


Usually relatives have an associated verb in the relative clause.

E.g.,

I gave him the books that he wanted.

I bought him as many beers as he wanted.

I showed her the boat that sailed the world.

So are you saying that this "relative" has no associated relative clause verb?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:41 pm

NateD26 wrote:I forgot to add [and all those that have] in the second clause.

In any case, we may be talking past each other as you previously said, so I'll give it a rest.


I don't mind if you abandon the discussion. I'm suprised you guys can put up with it. :mrgreen: But if your interpretation is now this:

With regards to all those of the Greek republics that have often risen and [all those that have]*
often fallen..

then that means that Polybius is limiting himself to republics that have often done one of these things. It directly follows from that that if a republic has just undergone one or two rises and/or one or two falls, then it gets excluded. But that can't be right.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:01 pm

I shouldn't have let you guys put so much time into this because I still haven't finished working through Smyth and LSJ. I have a long slog ahead of me as I work through every example they cite. Plus I have already systematically pulled up all the Polybius examples to look through (Prelimiary result there is that I couldn't find any more with polakis.).
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:26 pm

pster wrote:
NateD26 wrote:I forgot to add [and all those that have] in the second clause.

In any case, we may be talking past each other as you previously said, so I'll give it a rest.


I don't mind if you abandon the discussion. I'm suprised you guys can put up with it. :mrgreen: But if your interpretation is now this:

With regards to all those of the Greek republics that have often risen and [all those that have]*
often fallen..

then that means that Polybius is limiting himself to republics that have often done one of these things. It directly follows from that that if a republic has just undergone one or two rises and/or one or two falls, then it gets excluded. But that can't be right.

I need to search in the TLG for similar uses. So far I couldn't find any other instances of ὅσος + πολλάκις
μέν...πολλάκις δέ. There are many instances of πολλάκις μέν...πολλάκις δέ alone which,
from tentative browsing, seem to refer to the same subject, explicit or implicit, in most cases.

I come to realize now that, logically speaking, my reading doesn't make much sense. His assertion
for what might happen to those republics, i.e. their eventual downfall, must logically come from
the observation of the same republics which have undergone that natural ebb and flow republics
tend to go through.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:33 pm

I actually am now leaning towards the different adverbial usage that John and I were discussing above which is nicely illustrated in the example below from the Republic, n.b. ἄνθρωποι is not neuter:

IV. [select] Adverbial usages of ὅσον and ὅσα:
1. [select] so far as, so much as, “οὐ μέντοι ἐγὼ τόσον αἴτιός εἰμι, ὅσσον οἱ ἄλλοι” Il.21.371: c. inf., ὅσον αὔξειν ἢ καθαιρεῖν so far as to . . , Arist.Rh.1376a34 : in parenthesis, c. inf., ὅσον γέ μ᾽ εἰδέναι as far as I know, Ar.Nu.1252, Pl.Tht.145a, cf. D.H.2.59 ; so μακραίων γ᾽, ὅσ᾽ ἀπεικάσαι cj. in S.OC 152 (lyr.); “ὅσον ἐς Ἑλλάδα γλῶσσαν ἀπὸ Λατίνης μεταβαλεῖν” App. BC4.11 : but more freq. c. ind., “ὅσσον ἔγωγε γιγνώσκω” Il.13.222, cf. 20.360 ; so “ὅσονπερ ἂν σθένω” S.El.946 ; “ὅσα γε . . ἦν εἰκάσαι” Th.8.46; “ὅσον δυνατόν” Pl.Smp.196d, etc.; ὅσον καθ᾽ ἕν᾽ ἄνδρα so far as was in one man's power, D.18.153 ; “ὅσον τὸ σὸν μέρος” S.OT1509: c. gen., “ὅσον γε δυνάμεως παρ᾽ ἐμοί ἐστι” Pl.Cra.422c, cf. S.OT1239 ; also “ὅσα ἐγὼ μέμνημαι” X.Mem.2.1.21 ; “οἱ πατέρες, ὅσα ἄνθρωποι, οὐκ ἀμαθεῖς ἔσονται” Pl.R.467c ; ὅσα γε τἀνθρώπεια humanly speaking, Id.Cri. 47a.

So Polybius would then be:

Of the Greek republics, so far as on the one hand they have often risen to greatness and on the other hand often fallen into insignificance, it happens that the narration concerning what has come to pass and the prediction concerning what will come to pass is easy.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:44 pm

He glibly tells us in the next sentence:

For to report what is already known is an easy task, nor is it hard to guess what is to come from our knowledge of what has been.

And so basically all he is saying is that we can narrate and predict because we have a lot of good data (so many rises and falls) for the Greek republics. The causes are the constitutions and the effects are the rises and falls. This becomes clear in the rest of the paragraph:

But in regard to the Romans it is neither an easy matter to describe their present state, owing to the complexity of their constitution; nor to speak with confidence of their future, from our inadequate acquaintance with their peculiar institutions in the past whether affecting their public or their private life. It will require then no ordinary attention and study to get a clear and comprehensive conception of the distinctive features of this constitution.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby daivid » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:01 pm

pster wrote:I don't know exactly what to say at this point.

-I don't see any difference between those two sentences.

-All republics that fall had to rise.

-As you see it, are there any Greek republics that he is not talking about?


When he opens he is talking about all the republics:
τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων
However he quickly switches the focus to a subgroup taken from the larger set of
all the Greek republics. It is around this smaller set that all the action revolves ie
ὅσα πολλάκις
but as this happens often he is saying that a certain quantity of republics
were rising on many different occasions.
I think you are expecting Polybios to be using ὅσα in a much more exact
senses than he actually is in this case.
Hence I don't think there is a need for ὅσα to refer to a single number of republics
on each of the many occasions that republics have been rising.
I am sure that there will be other occasions when Polybios uses ὅσα
to define and exact quantity but here he is setting the scene.
He is attempting to conjure up in the readers mind a long era during which
republics were rising falling rising falling etc etc.
So is really saying "long ago a number of the republics were rising, if we move forward in time again we will find a number of republics rising and so on almost to the present day"

So my question to you is do you think that ὅσα can only be used when the author has
a known exact number in mind?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby daivid » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:09 pm

daivid wrote:So my question to you is do you think that ὅσα can only be used when the author has
a known exact number in mind?


I should add that I don't pretend to be an expert on ὅσος and if you do think ὅσος can only
ever be used with a single exact number in mind and turn out to be correct then
the partitive genitive interpretation becomes a lot harder.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:46 pm

daivid wrote:
pster wrote:I don't know exactly what to say at this point.

-I don't see any difference between those two sentences.

-All republics that fall had to rise.

-As you see it, are there any Greek republics that he is not talking about?


When he opens he is talking about all the republics:
τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων
However he quickly switches the focus to a subgroup taken from the larger set of
all the Greek republics. It is around this smaller set that all the action revolves ie
ὅσα πολλάκις
but as this happens often he is saying that a certain quantity of republics
were rising on many different occasions.
I think you are expecting Polybios to be using ὅσα in a much more exact
senses than he actually is in this case.
Hence I don't think there is a need for ὅσα to refer to a single number of republics
on each of the many occasions that republics have been rising.
I am sure that there will be other occasions when Polybios uses ὅσα
to define and exact quantity but here he is setting the scene.
He is attempting to conjure up in the readers mind a long era during which
republics were rising falling rising falling etc etc.
So is really saying "long ago a number of the republics were rising, if we move forward in time again we will find a number of republics rising and so on almost to the present day"

So my question to you is do you think that ὅσα can only be used when the author has
a known exact number in mind?


I gave you the interpretation that I like most at the moment above. Probably you were writing your comments as mine were going up.


Of the Greek republics, so far as on the one hand they have often risen to greatness and on the other hand often fallen into insignificance, it happens that the narration concerning what has come to pass and the prediction concerning what will come to pass is easy.


I think that osos is a relative. It tells us two quantities are equal. In the above interpretation, the two quantities that are being equated are quantity of rises and falls and the quantity of ease. Just as in English: So far as he's been off the drugs, their marriage has been happy. There aren't really any non-relative uses in LSJ, certainly none that are explcitly listed as non-relative. As I said, there may be a few idioms and maybe an odd one in Homer.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby daivid » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:28 am

pster wrote:
I gave you the interpretation that I like most at the moment above. Probably you were writing your comments as mine were going up.


Of the Greek republics, so far as on the one hand they have often risen to greatness and on the other hand often fallen into insignificance, it happens that the narration concerning what has come to pass and the prediction concerning what will come to pass is easy.


I think that osos is a relative. It tells us two quantities are equal. In the above interpretation, the two quantities that are being equated are quantity of rises and falls and the quantity of ease. Just as in English: So far as he's been off the drugs, their marriage has been happy. There aren't really any non-relative uses in LSJ, certainly none that are explcitly listed as non-relative. As I said, there may be a few idioms and maybe an odd one in Homer.


I had seen your post. However, I needed time to look at it more closely. I was simply trying to
defend the partitive genitive interpretation and tease out the reasons why you reject it.
I don't think it is controversial that osos can have several different ( though related meanings).
When I asked you the question it was to check to see if felt the meaning I was giving to osos
was one that can never be valid - I was not saying it was the only possible meaning.

My problem with the your interpretation is that it seems a very surprising thing for Polybios to say.
If I read your intentions correctly it gives an image of the Greek republics having a collective
fate. The story Polybios tells is not of the Greek republics acting as a collective but of them mainly
fighting among themselves. Even when they are face with external forces they do not act together.
Hence the battle of Selasia is just as much a step on the rise of Achaea as it is of a fall for Sparta.

Of course if that is what the Greek says then that's what it says. I just need a little more
time to look again at the Greek to decide if your proposal fits.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby daivid » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:36 am

pster wrote:He glibly tells us in the next sentence:

For to report what is already known is an easy task, nor is it hard to guess what is to come from our knowledge of what has been.

And so basically all he is saying is that we can narrate and predict because we have a lot of good data (so many rises and falls) for the Greek republics. The causes are the constitutions and the effects are the rises and falls. This becomes clear in the rest of the paragraph:

But in regard to the Romans it is neither an easy matter to describe their present state, owing to the complexity of their constitution; nor to speak with confidence of their future, from our inadequate acquaintance with their peculiar institutions in the past whether affecting their public or their private life. It will require then no ordinary attention and study to get a clear and comprehensive conception of the distinctive features of this constitution.



But as the Greek republics have many different constitutions we would not expect their rises and falls to have a common trajectory.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:08 am

daivid wrote:
I had seen your post. However, I needed time to look at it more closely. I was simply trying to
defend the partitive genitive interpretation and tease out the reasons why you reject it.

osa isn't just an indefinite pronoun. It doesn't just mean "some". The whole partitive genitive idea I think came from imagining that. And I pointed out earlier that ἐξήγησις and ἀπόφασις both take the genitive just as in English.
daivid wrote:

My problem with the your interpretation is that it seems a very surprising thing for Polybios to say.
If I read your intentions correctly it gives an image of the Greek republics having a collective
fate. The story Polybios tells is not of the Greek republics acting as a collective but of them mainly
fighting among themselves. Even when they are face with external forces they do not act together.
Hence the battle of Selasia is just as much a step on the rise of Achaea as it is of a fall for Sparta.


I've tried to explain things in terms of what he says directly after this sentence. He's interested in Rome. The narration for the Greek republics is easy because their constitutional histories are clear and the effects of those constitutions, the now infamous rises and falls, are clear. For Rome, the constitution is more complex and historical record is far murkier. Collective fate? Far from it. Perhaps in some of my earlier rejected interpretations, I was saddled with that. But not with my latest proposal. What they share is they provide clear data, more a historiographical matter than a historical one. How many does Aristotle survey? About 150 city-states. And remember Polybius is writing for the folks back home who know quite about the rises and falls of those 150 having had 200 years more than Aristotle to observe and ponder.

And he's going to drop the term politeuma and take up the division into democracy, oligarchy and kingship and even expand it. So he certainly doesn't think they have collective fates. I'm still somewhat confused as to how he can talk about them having any independent futures at all given that I think it is post 146. But that is a topic for another thread.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:16 am

So, I am pretty much satisfied with this adverbial interpretation. And I am moving on now to the Thucydides workout page that John and I are discussing. Smyth claims that there is at least one instance of attraction going on on that page, but he anomolously refrains from giving his uncontracted version. This is what I was referring to above when I warned of a "trick" question. I wanted to see if others caught that.

One great thing about reading Thucydides is that LSJ and Smyth and Sidgwick refer to him so much that there isn't much difference between reading their books and reading Thucydides. :lol: So under guise of reading about osos I'm going to read Thucydides... or more accurately under guise of reading Thucydides I'm going to read more about osos. :wink: If this thread is still going in a month, call the guys in white!
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