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translating ἐπί ῥιπὸς

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translating ἐπί ῥιπὸς

Postby godingly » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:11 pm

I'm trying to translate the following snippet:
θεοῦ θέλοντος κἄν ἐπί ῥιπὸς πλέοις.
(παροιμία, Εὐριπίδης)

What I got is : "When God wishes, even ??? may go to sea. "
Is this correct? how does ἐπί ῥιπὸς translate? What is the subject of the sentence?
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Re: translating ἐπί ῥιπὸς

Postby Hylander » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:55 pm

"If the god is willing, you could even sail on a wicker mat."

Let's take this apart.

θεοῦ θέλοντος is of course a genitive absolute. Here it functions as the protasis (the "if" clause) of a conditional. Better translate "if" than "when".

κἃν -- crasis for και αν. As you realize, "και" here means "even", not "and."

πλέοις -- 2d person singular of present optative of πλέω: "you would/could sail". The subject is the understood 2d pers. singular personal pronoun συ. This is the apodosis (the conclusion) of the conditional, optative + αν ("future less vivid" in the traditional cllassification of Greek conditionals).

ἐπί ῥιπὸς -- "on a mat". ριψ is a wicker mat. See LSJ:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... %3Dr(i%2Fy

This is a fragment which was attributed (not necessarily correctly) by an ancient source to Euripides' Thyestes, a play that hasn't survived intact. It was apparently proverbial and is repeated in several ancient sources. It's an iambic trimeter. It makes sense on its own as an expression of the power of a god to accomplish impossible things, but might make more sense in its lost context.
Last edited by Hylander on Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:10 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: translating ἐπί ῥιπὸς

Postby jeidsath » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:56 pm

It's a saying from Euripides, but what textbook are you taking all these translation questions from? I asked on earlier threads and didn't get an answer.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: translating ἐπί ῥιπὸς

Postby godingly » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:26 pm

Hylander - gratias ago te. This is an exemplar answer.
jeidsath - I apologize. This is simply the textbook the professor wrote for the class. It's not in your nearest bookstore, we paid him and he printed several copies for us. It contains both modified sections from Herodotus (translated to Attic), and unmodified poetry segments.
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Re: translating ἐπί ῥιπὸς

Postby jeidsath » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:28 pm

Ah, I was wondering because of the other thread where I wasn't sure if there was a transcription error or an error in the original text.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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