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Reading exercise from Moss's First Greek Reader

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Reading exercise from Moss's First Greek Reader

Postby Kurama » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:47 am

Hi there, I'm currently working my way through Charles Moss's A First Greek Reader. I have completed now 32 out of 42 chapters of Mastronarde's 1st edition of Introduction to Attic Greek, and I think I should start getting some reading practice. I wanted to check my understanding of the following passage. I have added a translation of it that I made. Can somebody comment on its accuracy? I am aiming for a very literal translation.

4. Honorable scars

ἄξιος ἀκούειν ἐστὶ λόγος περὶ τῶν στρατιωτῶν. ὁ μὲν οὐ καλός ἐστι· τυφλὸς γὰρ τὸν δεξιὸν ὀφθαλμόν ἐστι, καὶ ἄλλα ἔπασχε διὰ τοὺς πολεμίους. ὁ δὲ ἕτερος, ἄργοικος γὰρ ἦν, ἔλεγεν, ‘ὡσ καλὸν τὸ σὸν πρόσωπον.’ ὁ δὲ ἐν ὀργῇ, ‘ἐκεῖνο τὸ πρόσωπον οὗ καταγελᾆσ, οὐκ αἰσχρόν ἐστι, καὶ εἰ μὴ καλόν· οἱ γὰρ πολέμιοι, ὑφ᾿ ὧν ἔπασχον, αγαθοί εἰσιν. ἔχεις δὲ πρόσωπον κάλλιστον ὁρᾶν. φανερὸν οὖν ἐστιν κακὸς εἶ.᾿ τότε δὴ οἱ ἄλλοι στρατιῶται τὸν καλὸν ἐπέσκωπτον ὥστε αὐτίκα tὸ στρατόπεδον ἔλειπε καὶ ἐπὶ Σάλαμον ἐν πλοίῳ ἔφευγεν.

A tale about the soldiers is worthy of listening. One is not beautiful, for he is blind in the right eye, and he suffered other things by the enemies. The other, since he was boorish, said: ‘How beautiful is your face!’ The other, in anger: ‘that face that you laugh at is not shameful, if also not beautiful, for the wars under which I suffered are honourable. But you have the best face to see. So it is clear that you are cowardly.’ Then indeed the other soldiers laughed at his beauty in such a way that he immediately left the camp and fled to the sea on a ship.
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Re: Reading exercise from Moss's First Greek Reader

Postby jeidsath » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:00 pm

Looks right to me, for what that's worth:

οἱ γὰρ πολέμιοι -- As far as I know, οἱ πολέμιοι is always "the enemy"
κάλλιστον -- I think that this should be translated as an absolute superlative, not relative. See Smyth 1085.
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Re: Reading exercise from Moss's First Greek Reader

Postby Hylander » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:26 pm

Your translation is almost completely correct, though very literal. Two corrections:

οἱ γὰρ πολέμιοι, ὑφ᾿ ὧν ἔπασχον, αγαθοί εἰσιν. -- "the enemy/enemies [not 'wars'] at whose hands I suffered is/are brave/honorable." I'm not sure there's any difference between διὰ above and ὑφ᾿ here. In general, the plural οι πολεμιοι is best translated by English singular, "the enemy", meaning collectively the enemy soldiers.

ἐπὶ Σάλαμον should probably be ἐπὶ Σαλαμιν, "to Salamis" (I think this word is oxytone), not "to the sea".

A few additional suggestions:

ἄξιος ἀκούειν -- "worth hearing".

διὰ τοὺς πολεμίους -- "at the hands of the enemy".

ἄργοικος γὰρ ἦν -- this is parenthetical and should be set off in parentheses/brackets or by dashes. "Rude" is probably better than "boorish".

καὶ εἰ μὴ καλόν -- "even if not handsome" (καὶ εἰ = 'even if' ; εἰ καὶ = 'even though'). This is Greek idiom, and should be matched by idiomatic English,

From the LSJ dictionary under και:

8. κ. εἰ even if, of a whole condition represented as an extreme case, opp. εἰ κ. although, notwithstanding that, of a condition represented as immaterial even if fulfilled, cf. Il.4.347, 5.351, Od.13.292, 16.98 with Il.5.410, Od.6.312, 8.139, etc.; εἰ κ. ἠπιστάμην if I had been able, Pl.Phd.108d, cf. Lg.663d. (This remark does not apply to cases where εἰ and καί each exert their force separtely, as “εἴ περ ἀδειής τ᾽ ἐστί, καὶ εἰ . . ” and if . . Il.7.117, cf. Hdt.5.78, etc.)
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Re: Reading exercise from Moss's First Greek Reader

Postby Kurama » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:00 pm

This is great, thank you! I must pay more attention to the sort of detail that I missed, but I am glad to see that most of the mistakes I made were due to carelessness and not to lack of comprehension. I think I might make a transcription and a translation of the whole stories over the course of the year, since I haven't found them translated anywhere.
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Re: Reading exercise from Moss's First Greek Reader

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:11 am

Hylander wrote:
οἱ γὰρ πολέμιοι, ὑφ᾿ ὧν ἔπασχον, αγαθοί εἰσιν. -- "the enemy/enemies [not 'wars'] at whose hands I suffered is/are brave/honorable." I'm not sure there's any difference between διὰ above and ὑφ᾿ here. In general, the plural οι πολεμιοι is best translated by English singular, "the enemy", meaning collectively the enemy soldiers.

διὰ τοὺς πολεμίους -- "at the hands of the enemy".


Wars would be πόλεμοι, so an easy mistake to make. I would suggest that there is a difference between using διά and ὑπό. The former suggests cause, the latter agency. It's a nuance, but it is there.
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