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Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

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Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:56 pm

πρώτας δὲ Θήβας τῆσδε γῆς Ἑλληνίδος‎
ἀνωλόλυξα‎, νεβρίδʼ ἐξάψας χροὸς‎
θύρσον τε δοὺς ἐς χεῖρα‎, κίσσινον βέλος‎·

It's the bit in bold I'm struggling with - I can't tell whether it should be 'having given the Thyrsus into their hands' (i.e. the Thebans' hands) or 'having taken the Thyrsus in my hand'. Translations I've looked at vary with their interpretation. Because I have translated the previous bit as 'having worn a fawnskin', I'm tempted to go for the second translation ( 'having taken the Thyrsus in my hand'), but I'm reluctant to translate δους as 'having taken'. Could anyone offer any help? Thanks
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Re: Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

Postby jeidsath » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:53 pm

I'm getting in with my guesses before someone else gives the right answers.

πρώτας δὲ Θήβας τῆσδε γῆς Ἑλληνίδος‎ ἀνωλόλυξα‎ -- I have excited with cries firstmost Thebes of this land of Greece

νεβρίδʼ ἐξάψας χροὸς‎ -- having fastened a fawnskin to a body

θύρσον τε δοὺς ἐς χεῖρα‎, κίσσινον βέλος‎· -- and having given a thyrsus, an ivy wand, into a hand

I assume that χροὸς and χεῖρα refer to the speaker's body and speaker's hand? Maybe tragedy can drop the article which would be necessary in prose? Or maybe he is giving them to someone else?
Last edited by jeidsath on Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: κίσσινον βέλος‎
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Re: Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:48 pm

Translation is mostly about solving problems in the target language. As you can see here David Kovacs renders the aorist participles with different english expressions in the same paragraph.


20
ἐς τήνδε πρῶτον ἦλθον Ἑλλήνων χθόνα,

τἀκεῖ χορεύσας καὶ καταστήσας ἐμὰς

τελετάς, ἵν᾿ εἴην ἐμφανὴς δαίμων βροτοῖς.

πρώτας δὲ Θήβας τάσδε γῆς Ἑλληνίδος

ἀνωλόλυξα, νεβρίδ᾿ ἐξάψας χροὸς

25
θύρσον τε δοὺς ἐς χεῖρα, κίσσινον βέλος·

I have now for the first time returned to Greece, having set everything in Asia a-dancing and having established my rites so that my divinity may be made manifest to mortals. And of Greek cities Thebes was the first I caused to ring with female cries: I clothed the women in fawnskin and put in their hands the thyrsus, that ivy-twined missile.

David Kovacs LCL 2003


The question you really want answered is WHY? For that I would recommend reading the proceedings from the 2015 Greek Verb conference[1] at Tyndale House Cambridge UK. Two weeks ago I returned an InterLibLoan copy of this to (antediluvian) Houston Baptist University. This books is the latest round in the 30+ year long verb aspect discussion. R. Buth[2] has an article there on the participle.

[1]The Greek Verb Revisited: A Fresh Approach for Biblical Exegesis. Nov 2016
http://www.worldcat.org/title/greek-ver ... /962846254
https://www.amazon.com/Greek-Verb-Revis ... 1577996364

[2] Randall Buth, “Participles as a Pragmatic Choice: Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics”
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Re: Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:27 pm

jeidsath wrote:I'm getting in with my guesses before someone else gives the right answers.

πρώτας δὲ Θήβας τῆσδε γῆς Ἑλληνίδος‎ ἀνωλόλυξα‎ -- I have excited with cries firstmost Thebes of this land of Greece

νεβρίδʼ ἐξάψας χροὸς‎ -- having fastened a fawnskin to a body

θύρσον τε δοὺς ἐς χεῖρα‎, κίσσινον βέλος‎· -- and having given a thyrsus, an ivy wand, into a hand

I assume that χροὸς and χεῖρα refer to the speaker's body and speaker's hand? Maybe tragedy can drop the article which would be necessary in prose? Or maybe he is giving them to someone else?


Thanks! Yeah that's what I'm confused about, but I think it probably refers to the speakers body and hand
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Re: Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:28 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Translation is mostly about solving problems in the target language. As you can see here David Kovacs renders the aorist participles with different english expressions in the same paragraph.


20
ἐς τήνδε πρῶτον ἦλθον Ἑλλήνων χθόνα,

τἀκεῖ χορεύσας καὶ καταστήσας ἐμὰς

τελετάς, ἵν᾿ εἴην ἐμφανὴς δαίμων βροτοῖς.

πρώτας δὲ Θήβας τάσδε γῆς Ἑλληνίδος

ἀνωλόλυξα, νεβρίδ᾿ ἐξάψας χροὸς

25
θύρσον τε δοὺς ἐς χεῖρα, κίσσινον βέλος·

I have now for the first time returned to Greece, having set everything in Asia a-dancing and having established my rites so that my divinity may be made manifest to mortals. And of Greek cities Thebes was the first I caused to ring with female cries: I clothed the women in fawnskin and put in their hands the thyrsus, that ivy-twined missile.

David Kovacs LCL 2003


The question you really want answered is WHY? For that I would recommend reading the proceedings from the 2015 Greek Verb conference[1] at Tyndale House Cambridge UK. Two weeks ago I returned an InterLibLoan copy of this to (antediluvian) Houston Baptist University. This books is the latest round in the 30+ year long verb aspect discussion. R. Buth[2] has an article there on the participle.

[1]The Greek Verb Revisited: A Fresh Approach for Biblical Exegesis. Nov 2016
http://www.worldcat.org/title/greek-ver ... /962846254
https://www.amazon.com/Greek-Verb-Revis ... 1577996364

[2] Randall Buth, “Participles as a Pragmatic Choice: Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics”


Thank you!
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Re: Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

Postby jeidsath » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:50 pm

Phoebus Apollo wrote:Thanks! Yeah that's what I'm confused about, but I think it probably refers to the speakers body and hand


Looking at the context, this is Dionysus speaking, and he further describes what he is doing in line 34:

σκευήν τ᾿ ἔχειν ἠνάγκασ᾿ ὀργίων ἐμῶν. He is not talking about himself, but the women he's driven to frenzy. So not the speaker's body and hand.
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μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

Postby mwh » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:15 pm

Yes he’s explaining what he’s done to Thebes, or more particularly to the women of Thebes (ανολολυξα applies to women’s cries). The participles make it clear he’s referring to them, not to himself: εξαψας active not middle, and δους giving not taking. He’s turned them into bacchants, bacchae, fawnskin and thyrsus being the standard bacchic accoutrements (as depicted on vase paintings), the σκευη of his οργια. He’s doesn’t dress like a bacchant himself. Calling the thyrsus a βελος foreshadows the action to come.
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Re: Euripides' Bacchae, query about line 25

Postby Phoebus Apollo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:54 am

mwh wrote:Yes he’s explaining what he’s done to Thebes, or more particularly to the women of Thebes (ανολολυξα applies to women’s cries). The participles make it clear he’s referring to them, not to himself: εξαψας active not middle, and δους giving not taking. He’s turned them into bacchants, bacchae, fawnskin and thyrsus being the standard bacchic accoutrements (as depicted on vase paintings), the σκευη of his οργια. He’s doesn’t dress like a bacchant himself. Calling the thyrsus a βελος foreshadows the action to come.
jeidsath wrote:
Phoebus Apollo wrote:Thanks! Yeah that's what I'm confused about, but I think it probably refers to the speakers body and hand


Looking at the context, this is Dionysus speaking, and he further describes what he is doing in line 34:

σκευήν τ᾿ ἔχειν ἠνάγκασ᾿ ὀργίων ἐμῶν. He is not talking about himself, but the women he's driven to frenzy. So not the speaker's body and hand.


Okay, thank you both very much!
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