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Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

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Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:50 am

Dear fellow Textkitusers,

I am reading the aforementioned oration of Demosthenes, starting the 1st of september, in about 10 weeks. I was wondering if there were any people interested in joining me in this small project. For those who are unfamiliar with Greek rhetorics: this is probably the most famous and one of the more difficult orations we have today, and Demosthenes shows once and for all he is not one to be mocked with.

If desired, I can upload some secondary literature once every two weeks for those who are interested in a more cultural, linguistic, and historical background of the oration. For example, my tutor has recently written an article on the use of the historical present in this oration. We could discuss the more difficult parts together or something. Look at it as a smaller version of the Thucydides-thread :wink:


Cheers,
GJCaesar
Last edited by GJCaesar on Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:11 pm

Ave Caesar, morituri te salutamus.

No, not really. It's not that hard. This is real Greek--challenging but not as hard as Thucydides' speeches. I read this last year (along with Aeschines' Against Ctesiphon, which I read first, and which doesn't have a lot to recommend it except that it brings into focus why Demosthenes won hands down).

I'm currently engaged in another project--reading Thucydides; after finishing I started through a second time--but I could tag along at 6-7 Yunis pages a week (although I'll be out of pocket for a week or so in October). Yunis is 67 pages; Dilts's Oxford text is 109, but Dilts provides a fuller apparatus, with testimonia, and Yunis doesn't print the spurious material, which we don't have to read.

There's an older edition by Goodwin (the Goodwin of Greek Grammar and Greek Moods and Tenses) on line, too. It isn't as up to date on historical matters, but it's still useful.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text;jsessionid=6AC5471F805BD33E97038187CD0BDB62?doc=Perseus%3atext%3a1999.04.0081
Last edited by Qimmik on Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:46 pm

There are lots of reasons to read this speech.

You can learn something about a crucial period of Greek history--the end of the city-states as autonomous entities and their incorporation into the Macedonian hegemony (as long as you take Demosthenes' distortions and outright lies with more than a grain of salt).

You can learn something about Athenian legal institutions and procedures in the 4th century.

This is textbook Greek--in fact, Demosthenes and Plato are the primary authors on whose works the standard grammars are based. And it's real Greek. You will come away with an enhanced mastery of Attic Greek prose after reading this.

This is a work that occupied a preeminent role in Greek and Roman education, and was without question the most admired speech in antiquity--as evidenced by the large number of ancient quotations. It was a point of reference, and served as a model, for much ancient literature that followed, particularly oratorical writings (which occupied a higher place in antiquity as a branch of literature than it does today).

Most of all, this is a terrific speech. It's so natural that you can hear Demosthenes delivering it as you read it (even though it was probably touched up for publication). You can hear him pausing to collect his thoughts, departing from his script, jabbing his opponent with sarcastic asides and scurrilous invective, reaching climaxes of thundering intensity. As much as Homer and Plato and Thucydides, this speech is one of the reasons to learn ancient Greek.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:59 pm

I feel tempted to join, if not otherwise, then persuaded by Qimmik's own rhetorical skilll. But I hesitate, since I'm not sure if I find the time. I promess to "try". :)
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:32 pm

Qimmik wrote:No, not really. It's not that hard. [/url]


Well, I meant that, as far as orations go, this is one of the hardest. I'm not talking about ''embedded'' speeches like Pericles' funeral oration. If you compare it with Isocrates or Lysias, I do believe that it is one of the hardest speeches. Plato is textbook Greek --true-- but he can still be obscure at times, and a lot of undergraduates struggle with the long sentences in Attic prose as well as the interpretation of his filosofy.

But yes. From an objective point of view, Thucydides is harder than Demosthenes. But any undergraduate program would avoid Demosthenes and prefer to read something from Lysias, right? Every genre has its 'most difficult author'. Anything from Demosthenes is probably harder than the most difficult part of the Iliad. But that doesn't make Homer easy per se. In comparison with Thucydides, I guess one could call anything easy.

Anyhow, I appreciate your thoughts and the fact that you might want to join the project. Let's keep eachother posted. I have a meeting with my tutor on Wednesday, so I will know more from then on.

GJC
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:17 pm

If anyone else wants to join this, I would strongly suggest acquiring a copy of Yunis' edition with commentary. There's a lot of historical background that's needed to understand this speech, and Yunis provides up-to-date information. He explains and translates many of the hardest passages. Yunis explains how Demosthenes addresses specific points in the speech of his opponent, Aeschines, "Against Ctesiphon" that Demosthenes is responding to. And Yunis is very good on alerting the reader to Demosthenes' rhetoric--his framing of the case, his tricks, his evasions and his outright lies.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:05 pm

Just dropping in to note that I found Yunis in the library and a second hand copy of Goodwin for only a few euros. Tip: Abebooks still seems to have rather cheap original hardback copies of the Goodwin book from 1901 available, as well as older hardback reprints, which according to my experience are much superior to newer reprints. The old hardbacks are actually cheaper than the new paperback reprints which are probably of much lower quality...

What I'm unsure about is whether I find the time to tackle with this difficult text...
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:20 pm

One further note: Goodwin seems to have made two different editions, one in 1901 and another in 1904, which is apparently an abridgment of the first one.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:35 pm

Qimmik wrote:If anyone else wants to join this, I would strongly suggest acquiring a copy of Yunis' edition with commentary. There's a lot of historical background that's needed to understand this speech, and Yunis provides up-to-date information. He explains and translates many of the hardest passages. Yunis explains how Demosthenes addresses specific points in the speech of his opponent, Aeschines, "Against Ctesiphon" that Demosthenes is responding to. And Yunis is very good on alerting the reader to Demosthenes' rhetoric--his framing of the case, his tricks, his evasions and his outright lies.


I read the introduction yesterday and had a chat with my tutor. In about 8 - 9 weeks I'm supposed to have finished the oration. I will focus on wordorder for my exam, but that's something for later, maybe after a couple of weeks.

I agree with you that Yunis is very good at ''setting the stage'' for this oration. His introduction is excellent and easy to understand, even for non-native speakers of English. My tutor strongly suggested that I read some of Aeschines' orations as well, which are just a few years before these, and, according to him, are to be looked at as a kind of build-up to this one.

Already I am fascinated with this oration, and I just read the first lines of Greek!

GJC
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:38 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:One further note: Goodwin seems to have made two different editions, one in 1901 and another in 1904, which is apparently an abridgment of the first one.


I haven't seen that edition yet. I might look into it later, since, as Qimmik told us earlier, the apparatus criticus in Yunis' edition is rather 'minimalistic' (in my own words), and doesn't contain any spurious material. If the focus would have been on the textual tradition of the text, Yunis' commentary would certainly have not been my first choice.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:34 pm

Yunis actually has a very good introductory discussion of the textual tradition, and discussions of textual issues, when they crop up, in his notes. The new Oxford edition of Dilts (vol. 1) has a more detailed discussion of the history of the text (in English!). But this is a well-preserved text: there are few, if any, serious difficulties. And as far as the text is concerned, the more modern editions offer more up-to-date information, based on advances in our understanding of the history of the text that have occurrred since Goodwin--and a number of papyri fragments have been published since then.

Goodwin was, of course, a pre-eminent authority on Greek syntax, whose contributions have not been entirely superseded today.

My tutor strongly suggested that I read some of Aeschines' orations as well, which are just a few years before these, and, according to him, are to be looked at as a kind of build-up to this one.


Demosthenes' oration On the Crown is a direct response to Aeschines' third oration, Against Ctesiphon. The Aeschines oration is on line, starting here:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text;jsessionid=DE6D23F8A18B8428000D12C81B88707F?doc=Perseus%3atext%3a1999.01.0001%3aspeech%3d3

There's also an English translation:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text;jsessionid=DE6D23F8A18B8428000D12C81B88707F?doc=Perseus%3atext%3a1999.01.0002%3aspeech%3d3.

Yunis will key you in to the relevant passages from Aeschines' oration throughout his commentary on Demosthenes.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Victor » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:54 pm

Qimmik wrote:(as long as you take Demosthenes' distortions and outright lies with more than a grain of salt).

Qimmik wrote: And Yunis is very good on alerting the reader to Demosthenes' rhetoric--his framing of the case, his tricks, his evasions and his outright lies.

It's hard to tell how much disapproval of Demosthenes' behaviour is behind these words. I would say in mitigation of it that there haven't been many court cases I've had any close acquaintance with where distortions, evasions and outright lies haven't played a part.
I'm a bit out of touch with up-to-date assessments of Demosthenes. Is the idea that he was a true patriot well and truly demolished?
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:29 pm

Ambivalence about Demosthenes goes back to antiquity. It's nothing new.

Demosthenes was a true patriot, although ultimately his policies ended in failure, and some think that Aeschines' policy of accommodation with Philip might have led to less disastrous results. When you read the history of Greece before Philip's takeover--especially if you read Thucydides--you have to wonder whether the autonomy of the Greek city-states was worth the constant, destructive warfare among them. Macedonian rule (and later Roman rule) left the Greek cities a substantial degree of local autonomy while suppressing internecine conflicts.

It should be noted that several years after he delivered the speech on the Crown, Demosthenes was convicted of embezzlement and exiled from Athens, but his conviction may have been a political hatchet job. At this point the truth of the matter is irrecoverable.

Though I think no one questions Demosthenes' sincerity in his defence of Athenian freedom against Philip's encroachment, it's abundantly clear that Demosthenes wasn't above dissembling or distorting the truth or even outright lying. As I mentioned, Yunis's commentary is good at exposing his distortions and prevarications, or at least raising questions about what Demosthenes tells us.

At the same time, it is a powerful and moving speech. If you read it attentively and with a certain amount of imagination, you can hear Demosthenes' voice ringing across the ages.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:34 am

One more on-line resource for this project: an 1889 edition of Aeschines' speech against Ctesiphon, which is the speech to which Demosthenes' speech On the Crown is responding:

https://archive.org/stream/aeschinesagains00richgoog#page/n6/mode/2up
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:57 am

Qimmik wrote:One more on-line resource for this project: an 1889 edition of Aeschines' speech against Ctesiphon, which is the speech to which Demosthenes' speech On the Crown is responding:

https://archive.org/stream/aeschinesagains00richgoog#page/n6/mode/2up


Thanks for the url!

So, are there any more people interested in joining the project? I have read the first 8 paragraphs just to get used to the prose again (I mainly read tragedy last year), but will start with the real work tomorrow. I know Qimmik will (try to) join the project, so that is a start and a position from which fruitful discussions will hopefully emerge.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:31 pm

I'm up to 100 and hope to finish by the end of next week, so I'll be ready. I read through it about a year ago, so I'm ahead of the game, and I'll be more or less prepared for the discussion.

Demosthenes' entire career is on the line. Many of the major events in Greek history from the end of the Peloponnesian War down to 330 (the date of the speech) are at least mentioned, with particular focus on the crucial years from the Peace of Philocrates (346) to the disastrous (for Athens and Thebes) Battle of Chaeronea (338), when Philip consolidated his hold on Greece. You have to read Demosthenes' account recognizing that he isn't always reliable, but of course this is how historians piece together history from original sources.

If you're interested in Greek history, even if you don't feel you can read all of it in Greek, you might try reading some of it, if only a few sections each week, in Greek and the rest in English or another language--plenty of translations are available, including some on line.

I strongly recommend using the Yunis edition in the Cambridge Greek and Latin series. The notes give a lot of help with the Greek and are very up to date in terms of Greek history.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:58 pm

I read Yunis' introduction earlier this week and now attacked the Greek text. I have to say I was a bit surprised by its difficulty. There's no question of making any progress without checking a translation at every second line. But I'm not complaining – with my limited knowledge of Attic, I have the feeling that the difficulties are the result of a concentration of Attic idioms and getting over them will greatly improve my Attic prose reading skills. I compare this with my even more limited knowledge of Thucydides, another difficult author, whose text is a concentration of Thucydidean idiosyncrasies, which somehow I feel will get me nowhere...

Two difficulties until now:
3. [...] οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἴσον νῦν ἐμοὶ τῆς παρ᾽ ὑμῶν εὐνοίας διαμαρτεῖν καὶ τούτῳ μὴ ἑλεῖν τὴν γραφήν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐμοὶ μὲν—οὐ βούλομαι δυσχερὲς εἰπεῖν οὐδὲν ἀρχόμενος τοῦ λόγου, οὗτος δ᾽ ἐκ περιουσίας μου κατηγορεῖ.

I don't understand how ἀλλ᾽ ἐμοὶ μὲν— is connected with what follows (—οὐ βούλομαι etc). Apparently it's not? How I understand this is that Demosthenes stops his sentence in the middle and reformulates it after the dash. Am I correct?

7. ὥς γ᾽ ἐμοὶ φαίνεται, ἀλλ᾽ ὁρῶν ὅτι τὰς αἰτίας καὶ τὰς διαβολάς, αἷς ἐκ τοῦ πρότερος λέγειν ὁ διώκων ἰσχύει, οὐκ ἔνι τῷ φεύγοντι παρελθεῖν, εἰ μὴ τῶν δικαζόντων ἕκαστος ὑμῶν τὴν πρὸς τοὺς θεοὺς εὐσέβειαν φυλάττων καὶ τὰ τοῦ λέγοντος ὑστέρου δίκαια εὐνοϊκῶς προσδέξεται, καὶ παρασχὼν αὑτὸν ἴσον καὶ κοινὸν ἀμφοτέροις ἀκροατὴν οὕτω τὴν διάγνωσιν ποιήσεται περὶ ἁπάντων.

I don't understand ἔνι τῷ φεύγοντι παρελθεῖν, particularly not the word ἔνι. I see that it goes with τὰς αἰτίας καὶ τὰς διαβολάς. Does ἔνι stand for ἔνεστι? If not, I'm totally at a loss with it.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:25 pm

How I understand this is that Demosthenes stops his sentence in the middle and reformulates it after the dash. Am I correct?


Does ἔνι stand for ἔνεστι?


Yes and yes.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:27 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:41 pm

ἀλλ᾽ ἐμοὶ μὲν -- aposiopesis. "For me--well, I don't want to say anything unpleasant right when I'm starting my speech." ἐμοὶ μὲν is picked up by οὗτος δ᾽ "But my opponent has an advantage in accusing me." ("My opponent is accusing me from a position of advantage.")

"seeing that the defendant can't get beyond the accusations and slanders which the prosecutor is able to plant as a result of his speaking first"

Since it's so long, and it's not easy Greek, I'm going to post some selections of highlights once I finish, which should be next week, if anyone doesn't have the time to work through the whole thing but wants some exposure to this great speech. In the meantime, I'd encourage you to try working through the initial sections.
Last edited by Qimmik on Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:54 am

Hey there Qimmik,

I have reached paragraph 92 yesterday, and will get to a 100 tomorrow (I have some other stuff to do this weekend, including work).

I will post a more elaborate comment tomorrow morning. I noticed the aposiopesis!

Be well,
GJC
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:25 pm

13. οὐ γὰρ ἀφαιρεῖσθαι δεῖ τὸ προσελθεῖν τῷ δήμῳ καὶ λόγου τυχεῖν, οὐδ᾽ ἐν ἐπηρείας τάξει καὶ φθόνου τοῦτο ποιεῖν

The meaning is supposed to be: "It is not right to debar a man from access to the Assembly and a fair hearing, still less to do so by way of spite and jealousy."
I don't understand how they got "still less" from οὐδέ here. I would expect a καί or something somewhere.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby mwh » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:39 pm

"still less" is not actually what he says, but makes it more logical than just plain "nor." Dem is all about rhetoric, not logic.
ουδε not και because of the initial ου, quite normal as you well know. ("A isn't right, and neither is B.") και instead of ουδε would make sense however, but a somewhat different sense ("and [what's more] to do so ...").
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:44 pm

"Dem is all about rhetoric, not logic." That's what I like about him. I'm not so good at logic. But the rhetoric really speaks to me! Maybe because I'm a lawyer, not a philosopher.

After Hitler, Lenin, etc., we're suspicious of rhetoric (and there are few politicians today who command the rhetorical skills that Demosthenes did). But I think Demosthenes generally (though not always) appeals to people's better nature.

Admittedly, it's possible in the hindsight of history to question his policy--whether the Greek polities wouldn't have been better off in a loose commonwealth, even under Philip's hegemony, than to be continually embroiled in warfare against one another. Reading Thucydides makes me wonder about this. But one of the themes of the Crown speech is that Demosthenes' career and policies shouldn't be judged in hindsight. (He has to make this point repeatedly because his policies ultimately resulted in the disaster of Chaeronea for Athens, although by 330, when the speech was delivered, Athens seems to have recovered its prosperity, if not its empire.)

And what Greek! No Greek prose I've read (that leaves out Homer, of course) compares with his command of the language--not even Thucydides, whose speeches are sometimes, indeed, often, infuriatingly obscure (as they were for Dionysius).
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby mwh » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:05 pm

It was ἡ δεινότης, forcefulness, that the ancient critics identified as the hallmark of Demosthenes' style. He's anything but smooth.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:17 am

Yes, that's what I mean--he's forceful, powerful, not necessarily smooth but he isn't as obscure as Thucydides's speeches can be.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:29 am

I'm glad to see that there are others interested in this speech as well! I had a weekend break from the Greek, and will continue reading in half an hour.

His style is absurd -- perfect Greek, and I already know my little research on word order will be a succesful one. It's almost like the epitetha ornantia in Homer: little bricks of information which are repeated all the time in the same position of the sentence (in Homer mostly at the end ofc). Demosthenes' sentences are build up the same way over and over again, with some exceptions in certain cases.

Since I have particularly focused on the Greek and not very much on the way he structures his story, I will elaborate on those cases in a few days. I'm meeting with my tutor on Thursday to talk about the first 150 paragraphs or so, and the content of those paragraphs as well. At the end of this week, I hope to be able to join the discussion properly.

Be well

GJC
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:29 pm

Par. 103

καίτοι πόσα χρήματα τοὺς ἡγεμόνας τῶν συμμοριῶν ἢ τοὺς δευτέρους καὶ τρίτους οἴεσθέ μοι διδόναι, ὥστε μάλιστα μὲν μὴ θεῖναι τὸν νόμον τοῦτον, εἰ δὲ μή, καταβάλλοντ᾽ ἐᾶν ἐν ὑπωμοσίᾳ;

''Now how much money do you think the first, second, and third classes of contributors on the Naval Boards offered me not to propose the measure, or, failing that, to put it on the list and then drop it on demurrer?''

I understand that --from the context-- με should be added in the second sentence, but why exactly does this not happen? The main clause has μοι, which is grammatically not the same as the subjectaccusative in the A.c.I construction in the ὥστε clause, which should be με. Why didn't D. just use a passive infinitive in the ὥστε-clause, and a passive aorist/perfect participle in the final part, which would congruate with τὸν νόμον τοῦτον? Or isn't there a passive infinitive of ἐᾶν?

I hope my question is clear :|
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:48 pm

It would have been too fussy to add με when the meaning is so clear, and much less graphic to use passives. Passives and pedantry are for wimps.

Note διδοναι present, by the way.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:18 pm

Note διδοναι present, by the way.


This explains something that was troubling me.

Present διδόναι here must mean "try to give," i.e, "offer."

Aorist δοῦναι would mean "succeed in giving," i.e., that D. had accepted the offers.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby mwh » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:07 am

The sentence has excellent rhythm, too, just swinging along with double-short sequences and single-short sequences until it reaches first (τριτους) οιεσθε, then the hiatus-intensified break at διδόναι|ὤστε, then hitting the self-contained heavy triple long of (μὲν) μὴ θεῖναι, the big point of the sentence. No triple-shorts, no sirree, that too was for wimps. So be sure to read Demosthenes aloud, as if it was verse. You'll have already picked up on the general (but not anal) avoidance of hiatus.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby mwh » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:46 am

Phrase by phrase:
καιτοι ποσα χρηματα - - υυ - υυ
τους ηγεμονας - - υυ -
των συμμοριων - - υυ -
η τους δευτερους - - - υ -
και τριτους - υ -
οιεσθε μοι διδοναι, - - υ - υυ - |
ωστε μαλιστα μεν - υυ - υ -
μη θειναι - - -
τον νομον τουτον, - υ - - - | (together giving - - - - u - - -!)
ει δε μη - υ -
καταβαλλοντ’ εαν υυ - - υ –
εν υπωμoσιαι. υυ - υυ - ||

PS I had beautifully formatted the rhythmical sequences, only to see it come out like this, all destroyed! But you can see what I mean.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:10 am

mwh wrote:It would have been too fussy to add με when the meaning is so clear, and much less graphic to use passives. Passives and pedantry are for wimps.

Note διδοναι present, by the way.


You're right, and I overlooked the present tense. I found another instance where 'me' (on iPad , so no Greek font atm) is simply omitted, and probably because of the explanation you gave!

What do you think about the textstructualizing particles like toinun, kaitoi, eite .. Interesting enough to look into?
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:32 pm

He really likes toinun and eita, doesn't he?
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:35 pm

Qimmik wrote:He really likes toinun and eita, doesn't he?


My thoughts exactly. Not to mention men and de.. :shock:
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby mwh » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:20 pm

Connective particles very definitely worth examining, I'd say, or at least paying close attention to as you read — as you clearly are doing. You'll know Denniston Greek Particles.

I've just run a quick TLG search for stats. In this speech:
toinun 64x, vs. oun 47x
eita 25x, vs. epeita 2x ! (eita:epeita 12.5:1)

In Lysias, the entire corpus:
toinun 152, vs. oun 271
eita 13, vs. epeita 33 (eita:epeita less than 0.4:1)

An illuminating contrast! which I'm sure could be extended.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:33 am

mwh wrote:Connective particles very definitely worth examining, I'd say, or at least paying close attention to as you read — as you clearly are doing. You'll know Denniston Greek Particles.

I've just run a quick TLG search for stats. In this speech:
toinun 64x, vs. oun 47x
eita 25x, vs. epeita 2x ! (eita:epeita 12.5:1)

In Lysias, the entire corpus:
toinun 152, vs. oun 271
eita 13, vs. epeita 33 (eita:epeita less than 0.4:1)

An illuminating contrast! which I'm sure could be extended.


That's amazing actually.. You know what? I can still change my topic for research! I have this book right in front of me: Sicking & Ophuijsen "Two studies in Attic particle usage: Lysias and Plato". For some reason, Demosthenes was left out..
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby GJCaesar » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:59 pm

I ran a quick search on TLG as well:

Demosthenes, entire corpus:
toinun = 945
oun = 810
eita = 133
epeita = 107

Ratio toinun-oun: 1,166:1
Ratio eita-epeita: 1,24:1

Lysias, entire corpus:
toinun = 152
oun = 271
eita = 16
epeita = 36

Ratio toinun-oun: 0,56:1
Ratio eita-epeita: 0,44:1
----------------------------------

I'm especially surprised at the ratio in Demosthenes' corpus of eita-epeita. Average ratio 1,24:1, De Corona: 12,5:1. This asks for a more detailed analysis. Maybe the main functions of the particles, stated by Denniston et al. , don't apply to Demosthenes. Or, a second outcome could be that Lysias and Demosthenes both have a very different style! It is a well known fact that a lot of scholars don't approve of Denniston's approach, since he mainly focuses on the interfrasial function of particles, instead of their possible function as discourse cohesions and textstructuralizing particles in the text as a whole.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby Qimmik » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:37 pm

You have to be careful about this. Not everything in the Demosthenic corpus was written by Demosthenes (and almost nothing in the Lysianic corpus can be securely attributed to Lysias, if you believe Dover). So unless you separate out the Demosthenic speeches that are recognized as genuine, it's not clear what conclusions you can draw about Demosthenes. You don't have to do this for Lysias, as long as you recognize that comparisons of genuine Demosthenes agains "Lysias" are just comparisons against a collection of randomly assembled speeches, some of which might even be--who knows?--post-4th century rhetorical exercises in composing "pure" Attic by koine-speakers.
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Re: Demosthenes' De Corona in 10 weeks

Postby mwh » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:36 am

Very interesting figures. What obviously calls for explanation here is why the eita:epeita ratio is so very much higher in De Corona. How does it compare with the other anti-Aeschines speech (and e.g. with the Philippics/Olynthiacs), and how does it compare with Aeschines? I’ve run no searches, but no doubt I should. I’m not at all surprised to find the ratios inverted in Lysias (or “Lysias”). Demosthenes predictably likes the stronger particles. I expect the oh-look-at-me-I’m-so-smooth-and-balanced Isocrates would make a good contrast too. We have to remember that there are different genres of oratory in play too.

“could be that Lysias and Demosthenes both have a very different style!” Well, yes!

I’d have to agree with the caveat about Denniston. He’d never heard of textstructuralizing, of course (and if he had he would never have deigned to use such a monstrous word), and he did not care for the non-traditional. He probably knew nothing of linguistics (I’m only guessing there, but in those days classicists didn’t.) Dodds had horrendous rudeness to contend with when he came to Oxford (largely on account of his war neutrality and support for the Irish cause, true). But still, that’s a wonderful book, and what he says about the various particles will certainly apply to Demosthenes too.
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