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Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

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Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby akalovid » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:55 pm

In an effort to resurrect my Ancient Greek I participated in the weather discussion on the agora! I wrote this wretched piece:

Βορέας σήμερον όλην τήν Βιέννην χιόνι κατένειψε.
νῦν δέ, ἀκρόθι νυκτός, ἐν σκότῳ,
τόν κῆπον οὐκέτι δύναμαι ὁρᾶν,
εἰκότως η χιών τέτηκε.

It probably contains scores of errors, but now I want to ask about ΕΙΚΟΤΩΣ. Upon seeing the above, the kind ΕΚΗΒΟΛΟΣ remarked:

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
akalovid wrote:εἰκότως η χιών τέτηκε.

Were you looking for the feminine participle εἰ(οι)κυῖα? "What seems to be snow has melted".

Perhaps you could try something like, ἔοικε "it seems" (impersonal). With a connective for the full verb, for example δὲ, your last line might be, ἔοικε δὲ ἡ χιὼν τέτηκε, "but it seems that the snow has melted".

The suggestion is great and supported by classical texts such Antigone 576:
δεδογμέν᾽, ὡς ἔοικε, τήνδε κατθανεῖν.


That got me wondering, when ΕΙΚΟΤΩΣ started to be used as “probably/it seems”. Woodhouse supplies ΕΙΚΟΤΩΣ for probably.
http://artflsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/ ... er=Keyword

The abridged Liddell Scott in Greek also gives κατά πάσαν πιθανότηταν (in all likelihood) as a translation for ΕΙΚΟΤΩΣ.
http://www.greek-language.gr/Resources/ ... h.html?lq=εικότως

But the full Liddell Scott has it as:
εἰκότως , Adv. of εἰκώς, Att. pf. part. of ἔοικα,
A.suitably, c. dat., A. Ag.915; fairly, reasonably, Id.Supp.403 (lyr.), S.OC432, 977, Isoc.12.101, etc.; εἰ. ἔχει 'tis reasonable, E.IT911, cf. Or.737 (troch.); “εἰ. δοκεῖ” And.1.140, cf. 142; οὐκ εἰ. unreasonably, Th. 1.37: folld. by γάρ, ib.77: freq. at the end of sentences, D.1.10, al., Pl.La.183b.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon

Some classical uses were it was NOT translated “probably” taken from above include:

Plato, Laches:

τοιγάρτοι ὃς ἂν οἴηται τραγῳδίαν καλῶς ποιεῖν, οὐκ ἔξωθεν κύκλῳ περὶ τὴν Ἀττικὴν [183β] κατὰ τὰς ἄλλας πόλεις ἐπιδεικνύμενος περιέρχεται, ἀλλ᾽ εὐθὺς δεῦρο φέρεται καὶ τοῖσδ᾽ ἐπιδείκνυσιν εἰκότως: …

Lamb’s translation on Perseus:
And for this reason he who thinks himself a good writer of tragedy [183b] does not tour round with his show in a circuit of the outlying Attic towns, but makes a straight line for this place and exhibits to our people, as one might expect

Demosthenes, First Olympiac:
[10] καὶ ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ τις ἄν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, δίκαιος λογιστὴς τῶν παρὰ τῶν θεῶν ἡμῖν ὑπηργμένων καταστάς, καίπερ οὐκ ἐχόντων ὡς δεῖ πολλῶν, ὅμως μεγάλην ἂν ἔχειν αὐτοῖς χάριν, εἰκότως:

Vince’s translation on Perseus:
Men of Athens, let anyone fairly reckon up the blessings we have received of the gods, and though much is amiss, none the less his gratitude will be great—and rightly so:
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:47 am

What brought you to "probably" in Woodhouse and what is "probably" in English?

Translation preserving the words of the original vs. composition in the original is a nebulous issue. How many German words does "probably" need to translate it? Perhaps these:
    wahrscheinlich - It will probably take 35 minutes to get to work in this traffic. (Taking into consideration)
    vermutlich - It's probably raining in England. (Presumption)
    wohl - I'll probably write a composition about the river these days. (Semi-planned)
    voraussichtlich - It's cloudy so it'll probably rain. (Assumed consequence)
    mutmaßlich - There are probably others other hoards of papyri in the western desert. (Conjecture)

From your context of pre-dawn darkness, I assumed εἰκότως was used in the sense of "It is my supposition that ..., I think that's what most people would admit as plausible" or the like.

How do you see it?
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby akalovid » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:19 am

These are all excellent points. Also your command of German is impressive, if you are not a native!

Before going into the difference of probably/it seems/presumably... I wanted to clarify if this sense (nebulously circumscribed as by me as probably/it seems) was even classical, or if only the senses given by Liddell at the end of my question are classical and the others by Woodhouse/abridged Liddell later. Of course vermutlich/wohl/voraussichtlich/wahrscheinlich/mutmaßlich/eventuell are different, but they can share a probabilistic meaning. The question was, whether or not ΕΙΚΟΤΩΣ had such probabilistic meaning from the classical period.

Your reaction (in the light of your high skill level) and the entry in Liddell, made me curious about this. This was not to attack your suggestion, which I hope I made clear I appreciated! I still think your suggestion to be excellent and even supplied a quote in support of it :wink:

What brought me to Woodhouse: the Internet search for an English to Greek dictionary. Before composing the post I contemplated ΙΣΩΣ (example from Aristophanes Plutus 225:
τοὺς ξυγγεώργους κάλεσον, εὑρήσεις δ᾽ ἴσως
ἐν τοῖς ἀγροῖς αὐτοὺς ταλαιπωρουμένους,
)
But I felt it was too weak (more a “perhaps”), so I ended up checking Woodhouse. I don’t know if Liddell on Perseus has Greek>English functions, but I have not found them.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby mwh » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:08 pm

So you meant “Probably” when you wrote εἰκότως η χιών τέτηκε, but that’s modern usage, not ancient. Actually, ἴσως would have suited. (ekhbolos’ ἔοικε would not, and his suggestion is ungrammatical.) ἡ χιὼν τέτηκεν εἰκότως could be said in ancient Greek, but it would mean “The snow has melted—and reasonably so (since the sun’s been shining and it’s no longer cold).” Compare the Demosthenes and Plato examples you quote (“as one might expect” …), where the main statement is not probable but certain. Good policy to check actual use rather than rely on Eng.-Gk. dictionary definitns, which will lead to atrocious Greek.
Words change their meanings over time. “Hopefully” never used to mean hoffentlich but now it does.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:04 am

akalovid wrote:Also your command of German is impressive,

Thin smoke and dusty mirrors.
if you are not a native!

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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:02 pm

mwh wrote:(ekhbolos’ ἔοικε would not, and his suggestion is ungrammatical.)

Yes. Despite his pompous pseudonym expressing his optimism and hope for accuracy success, ἑκηβόλος missed his mark this time. As his ἔοικε was loosed, his thinking was momentarily distracted by οἶμαι. He assumed that ἔοικε could be used as a syntactic isolate (i.e. parenthetically) in the same way that οἶμαι can¹.

mwh's has correctly identified my Greek composition as "ungrammatical" - in the sense of that the phrase is syntactically disintegrated. Looking through a few hundred examples today, it is safe to say that unlike the case with οἶμαι, if one wants to use ἔοικε as a comment without integrating it into the syntax, then it needs the adverbialising syntactic element ὡς. As mwh points out, that phrase ὡς ἔοικε has more to do with reasonability than probability, which was the reason I didn't use the phrase ὡς ἔοικε in my suggestion for akalovid's composition. In my non-use of the adverbialising ὡς I should have changed the syntax. The correct use of ἔοικε in the sense of "it is probable that / probably", as Plato uses it, is with the accusative and infinitive.

An example of οἶμαι integrated into the syntax is:
Plato, Republic, 2, 372d,e wrote:ἅπερ νομίζεται, ἔφη: ἐπί τε κλινῶν κατακεῖσθαι οἶμαι τοὺς μέλλοντας μὴ ταλαιπωρεῖσθαι, καὶ ἀπὸ τραπεζῶν δειπνεῖν, καὶ ὄψα ἅπερ καὶ οἱ νῦν ἔχουσι καὶ τραγήματα.
“What is customary,” he replied; “They must recline on couches, I presume, if they are not to be uncomfortable, and dine from tables and have made dishes and sweetmeats such as are now in use.”

An example of without syntactic integration is:
Plato, Republic, 3, 408e wrote:οὐ γὰρ οἶμαι σώματι σῶμα θεραπεύουσιν—οὐ γὰρ ἂν αὐτὰ ἐνεχώρει κακὰ εἶναί ποτε καὶ γενέσθαι—ἀλλὰ ψυχῇ σῶμα, ᾗ οὐκ ἐγχωρεῖ κακὴν γενομένην τε καὶ οὖσαν εὖ τι θεραπεύειν.
you see they do not treat the body by the body. If they did, it would not be allowable for their bodies to be or to have been in evil condition. But they treat the body with the mind—and it is not competent for a mind that is or has been evil to treat anything well.”



_______
¹cf. the more explicit (emphatic?) ὡς ἐγὼ οἶμαι.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:00 pm

akalovid wrote:Before composing the post I contemplated ΙΣΩΣ ... But I felt it was too weak (more a “perhaps”),
mwh wrote:Actually, ἴσως would have suited.
Based on the references in LSJ, ἴσως is only used of the thoughts (and subsequent actions) of people (including personified frogs). Its unsuitability to express probability about the snow melting, would be more because it is not used of natural phenomena, than because of its intensity.

Using it in a composition about weather would have been an unidiomatic collocation.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby jeidsath » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:38 pm

εἰ δ’ ἡσύχως τις αὑτὸν ἐντείνοντι μὲν
χαλῶν ὑπείκοι καιρὸν εὐλαβούμενος,
ἴσως ἂν ἐκπνεύσειεν· ἢν δ’ ἀνῆι πνοάς,
τύχοις ἂν αὐτοῦ ῥαιδίως ὅσον θέλεις.

unidiomatic collocation


Speaking of.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:06 am

jeidsath wrote:εἰ δ’ ἡσύχως τις αὑτὸν ἐντείνοντι μὲν
χαλῶν ὑπείκοι καιρὸν εὐλαβούμενος,
ἴσως ἂν ἐκπνεύσειεν· ἢν δ’ ἀνῆι πνοάς,
τύχοις ἂν αὐτοῦ ῥαιδίως ὅσον θέλεις.

unidiomatic collocation


Speaking of.

A very good example of what I am saying. :D

You need to go a little bit further back in the text to find the referent of that pronoun - the angry body politik.


Euripides, Orestes, 696-703 wrote:ὅταν γὰρ ἡβᾷ δῆμος εἰς ὀργὴν πεσών,
ὅμοιον ὥστε πῦρ κατασβέσαι λάβρον:
εἰ δ᾽ ἡσύχως τις αὑτὸν ἐντείνοντι μὲν
χαλῶν ὑπείκοι καιρὸν εὐλαβούμενος,
ἴσως ἂν ἐκπνεύσειεν: ἢν δ᾽ ἀνῇ πνοάς, 700
τύχοις ἂν αὐτοῦ ῥᾳδίως ὅσον θέλεις.
ἔνεστι δ᾽ οἶκτος, ἔνι δὲ καὶ θυμὸς μέγας,
καραδοκοῦντι κτῆμα τιμιώτατον.
For when the people fall into a vigorous fury, they are as hard to quench as a raging fire; but if you gently slacken your hold and yield a little to their tension, cautiously watching your opportunity, [700] they may possibly calm down; if their gusts abate, you may obtain whatever you want from them easily. They have pity, and a hot temper too, an invaluable quality if you watch it closely.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby jeidsath » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:15 pm

I was aware of the context. The demos is being conceived of as a storm there (hardly of a thinking person). There are plenty of places where ἴσως simply does not refer to the thoughts or actions of people. Here is Xenophon, ἴσως ἂν τὰ ἱερὰ προχωροίη ἡμῖν. Here is Plato, ποίαν δὴ σοφίαν ταύτην; ἥπερ ἐστὶν ἴσως ἀνθρωπίνη σοφία.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby akalovid » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:31 pm

Am I summarising correctly as follows?

1)ΕΙΚΟΤΩΣ in the sense I intended is later usage.
2)ΙΣΩΣ is not suitable in this case, because it is reserved for personal(ised) beings.
3) ΕΟΙΚΕ is ungrammatical.
4)ΩΣ ΕΙΟΚΕ means, “as is reasonable” , not “probably”
( but perhaps it’s ok for “as it seems”,since, to my - poor!- understanding, it is used for “as it seems” here: δεδογμέν᾽, ὡς ἔοικε, τήνδε κατθανεῖν.)
5) We have not yet found a Classical “probably” fitting this case!

Did the ancients perhaps not express “probably” in a single word, but with tricks like optatives or something?
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby cb » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:04 pm

Hi, the verb κινδυνεύω can express probability, e.g. Plat. Rep. 9 571b:

τῶν μὴ ἀναγκαίων ἡδονῶν τε καὶ ἐπιθυμιῶν δοκοῦσί τινές μοι εἶναι παράνομοι, αἳ κινδυνεύουσι μὲν ἐγγίγνεσθαι παντί,

There are lots of other ways to express probability in addition to those mentioned above in the thread, e.g. ὡς τὸ εἰκός: see e.g. Plat. Crito 53d-e:

ὅτι δὲ γέρων ἀνήρ, σμικροῦ χρόνου τῷ βίῳ λοιποῦ ὄντος ὡς τὸ εἰκός, ἐτόλμησας οὕτω γλίσχρως ἐπιθυμεῖν ζῆν, νόμους τοὺς μεγίστους παραβάς, οὐδεὶς ὃς ἐρεῖ;

I agree with others that the best way to find the right word to use in any case is to find an actual text that expresses the concept and work from there.

Cheers, Chad
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby bedwere » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:58 pm

akalovid wrote:2)ΙΣΩΣ is not suitable in this case, because it is reserved for personal(ised) beings.

Isn't this a bit too restrictive?

Plato, Republic, 339b

σμικρά γε ἴσως, ἔφη, προσθήκη.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby akalovid » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:07 pm

bedwere wrote:
akalovid wrote:2)ΙΣΩΣ is not suitable in this case, because it is reserved for personal(ised) beings.

Isn't this a bit too restrictive?

Plato, Republic, 339b

σμικρά γε ἴσως, ἔφη, προσθήκη.


I was only trying to clarify what the conclusions are up to now. I always check Perseus for actual examples in Ancient Greek, but often my knowledge is too superficial to notice the distinctions brought up here on my own.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby mwh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:41 pm

ἴσως would in fact be acceptable here, as I said. (Eκηβολος is misguided.) But you’re right to suggest that ancient Greek use of adverbs is often different from modern Greek or English. Chad’s κινδυνεύει τετηκέναι might imply that the thaw is unwelcome (“the snow runs a risk of having melted”), as in the Plato he quotes, but not necessarily. Cognates of εἰκός are a particularly challenging complex of words semantically. Use of an English-Greek dictionary will lead to atrocious Greek.

And εκηβολε, if ἔοικε could be used parenthetically (syntactically unintegrated) like οἶμαι, it would not come as first word but would be embedded.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby cb » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:36 am

Hi mwh, completely agreed. Just to note I wasn't giving alternative suggestions for composing the thought in the original post, but responding to the post prior to mine about whether there were other ways of expressing "probably".

Cheers, Chad
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby mwh » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:25 am

Thanks Chad.

akalovid, maybe you could move on to ἀκρόθι. :)
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:02 am

mwh wrote:Eκηβολος is misguided.

It seems to be very early to be going ad hominem! Ἑκηβόλος still has some depth to plumb before hitting the muddy bottom.

3 or 4 years ago, when I was attempting to express some uncertainty or modality into my compositions, I over-used ἴσως as a general (almost modal) adverb of uncertainty. In Modern Greek, ίσως is used as a general adverb "perhaps", except in questions. The issue most often duscussed in beginners' Modern Greek teaching is the correct use of ίσως as opposed to μήπως, as this video The use of the words ''ίσως'' and ''μήπως'' describes. Basically, the Modern Greek grammar prescribed the use of ίσως in the indicative and μήπως in the interogative. Those 2 moods are differentiated at the syntax level, rather than at the morphological level - in both Modern and Ancient Greek. Depending on linguistic definitions, modality in Modern Greek is generally expressed syntactically through periphrasis and modified by adverbs or through periphrasis and particles (that are morphologically adverbs).

Diachronically, the Modern Greek ίσως to express uncertainty is a response to the loss of verbal modality. By suggesting that the Classical Greek ἴσως is a general modalising adverb of uncertainty is looking for a solution from a language system that does not have verbal modality to express modality.

In her study of Epistemic modality markers in L1 and L2 discourse of Modern Greek: A corpus-based study, Lia Efstathiadi points out that of the Modern Greek epistemic adverbs ίσως, μάλλον, βέβαια and σίγουρα, it is ίσως that is prototypical. Maria Chondrogianni in her study, Identifying the User’s Intentions: Basic Illocutions in Modern Greek and in her Basic Illocutions of the Modern Greek indicative states that while wondering (which I think is a function of ἴσως in Classical Greek) is expressed by segment marker άραγε (with more generalised modality than Classical usage, in my view), the segment marker ίσως is a general particle of uncertainty. She also states in the paper on the indicative that Modern Greek ίσως can be used generally with the (Modern Greek periphrastic subjunctive) to increase the uncertainty, which seems to be the case with the use of Classical Greek ἴσως with the optative in a limited range of circumstances.

In Classical Greek usage, ἴσως is by no means a general particle or adverb of uncertainty. It appears to have specific limitations of its usage. On the basis of the examples presented in LSJ, I'm suggesting that those limitation are people's thinking and the immediately consequential action based on those thinkings. Whatever the actual limitations on its usage, it is limited and by no means a general adverb of uncertainty. Uncertainty is expressed through a great many ways in Classical Greek, which suggests that there is no one way of expressing uncertainty (as we understand it generally, as I was trying to suggest by my list of German adverbs) or much less probability in Classical time.

The use of the Modern Greek adverb πιθανώς "probably" to express a meaning of probability that is not readily identifiable in any word in Classical times, by extending the meaning of the Classical Greek adverb πιθανῶς "being persuaded" to accommodate a conceptually novel idea, is good evudence for the history of ideas, rather than the development of periphrastic and adverbual modality during the Byzantine period.
Last edited by ἑκηβόλος on Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:55 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:08 am

I am yet to see an example of ἴσως used of weather (or anything else non-human).

bedwere wrote:Plato, Republic, 339b

σμικρά γε ἴσως, ἔφη, προσθήκη.

Without a rendering, I'm not sure how you are taking the ἴσως here. The two possibilities are, "In my thinking I might have a mind to accept that the addition was not a major one", or, "I suppose that you think this is only a minor addition". Quoting just the phrase itself is not enough for us to know whose thinking the ἴσως is talking about. The context of the duscussion argument suggest that he is referring to another's ideas not his own.

Here is a fuller quotation.
Plato, Republic, 339a-b wrote:νῦν, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, ἔμαθον ὃ λέγεις: εἰ δὲ ἀληθὲς ἢ μή, πειράσομαι μαθεῖν. τὸ συμφέρον μὲν οὖν, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, καὶ σὺ ἀπεκρίνω δίκαιον εἶναι—καίτοι ἔμοιγε ἀπηγόρευες ὅπως μὴ τοῦτο ἀποκρινοίμην—πρόσεστιν δὲ δὴ αὐτόθι τὸ ‘τοῦ κρείττονος.’

σμικρά γε ἴσως, ἔφη, προσθήκη.

οὔπω δῆλον οὐδ᾽ εἰ μεγάλη: ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι μὲν τοῦτο σκεπτέον εἰ ἀληθῆ λέγεις, δῆλον. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ συμφέρον γέ τι εἶναι καὶ ἐγὼ ὁμολογῶ τὸ δίκαιον, σὺ δὲ προστιθεῖς καὶ αὐτὸ φῂς εἶναι τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος, ἐγὼ δὲ ἀγνοῶ, σκεπτέον δή.
Shorey's 1966 translation from Perseus
“Now,” said I, “I have learned your meaning, but whether it is true or not I have to try to learn. The advantageous, then, is also your reply, Thrasymachus, to the question, what is the just—though you forbade me to give that answer. [339b] But you add thereto that of the stronger.” “A trifling addition perhaps you think it,” he said. “It is not yet clear whether it is a big one either; but that we must inquire whether what you say is true, is clear. For since I too admit that the just is something that is of advantage—but you are for making an addition and affirm it to be the advantage of the stronger, while I don't profess to know, we must pursue the inquiry.”


Jowlett, 1888 wrote:A small addition, you must allow.

Italics mine.

Warren, 1892 wrote:σμικρά γε ἴσως, "A very small addition doubtless" said ironically

Ironically = making light of the other person's supposed views.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:09 am

mwh wrote:εκηβολε, if ἔοικε could be used parenthetically (syntactically unintegrated) like οἶμαι, it would not come as first word but would be embedded.

I accept that as analogously logically for now, but in light of my recent syntactic faux pas based on analogously logical syntax, let me check through the examples of οἶμαι available on Perseus to see if it is ever used in the initial or final position of its phrase in this syntactically unintegrated way, before saying I agree.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby jeidsath » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:24 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:I am yet to see an example of ἴσως used of weather (or anything else non-human).


My last post gave one example of it referring to wisdom (the Apology), and another referring to sacrifices (the Anabasis). I’m sure if you read through Aristotle or Theophrastus you’ll find some weather examples.
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby cb » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:43 am

Hi, I think it is worth adding that the level of probability is not hard-coded into any particular word in the dictionary, but comes in each case from the context. This is why I completely agree with mwh that ἴσως could express this here. The context will set the level of probability.

Looking at the original post, the reason for the judgment being probable (rather than certain) is that it is too dark to determine conclusively whether the snow has melted; the reason for it being probable (rather than unlikely) is the implicit reason that snow naturally would have already melted in similar circumstances. It's the combination of these two reasons that sets the level of probability and so, more importantly than finding whatever word you wish to use for "probable", I suggest bringing the clauses together. The context will then make the level of probability clear.

The basic idea is that you conjecture a process is likely to have occurred, although you can't see the actual state of affairs in order to confirm. Perhaps then start by looking for actual texts that are similar – you need a clause where someone is making a conjecture about something they can't yet confirm by seeing, plus a concessive.

For the conjecture, I would try to recall texts I've read where something similar happens. E.g. Socrates conjectured that Phaedrus had a copy of the speech by Lysias, although he couldn't see it (Plat. Phaedrus 228d). If I was composing this I'd then check other examples e.g. arguments from probability in forensic speeches, etc., to find the right word for the conjecture.

For the concessive, Smyth will give more than enough examples (e.g. s2375 with the example from Soph. OT 302 is a good start), or you could use καίπερ plus part. (Smyth s2083).

Next, to state the reason for the concessive (i.e. because it's too early and therefore too dark to see). There are a few early morning encounters in Plato (e.g. Hippocrates coming to see Socrates ἔτι βαθέος ὄρθρου: Plat. Prot. 310a, or the beginning of Crito) to give expressions for this time of day.

I think then that if you fronted snow in the accusative, then gave the concessive and its reason (the time of morning), then gave the conjecture verb and the perf. inf. of melted together with ἤδη (i.e. the snow, although I can't confirm given that it is still very early, I conjecture to have already melted), you could adequately bring out the level of probability. The other parts of the original text could then be clustered around this (e.g. the snow would be modified by an adjectival expression referring to that which fell on the garden, etc.)

Cheers, Chad
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Re: Was the sense “probably” for EIKOTΩΣ classical?

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:24 am

jeidsath wrote:
ἑκηβόλος wrote:I am yet to see an example of ἴσως used of weather (or anything else non-human).


My last post gave one example of it referring to wisdom (the Apology), and another referring to sacrifices (the Anabasis).

Okay. Thank you. I think I understand what you were trying to show in your examples. It seems you are saying that looking at just the small phrase context allows one to just consider only the uncertainty value of the ἴσως, without considering the constraints of its discourse functions. In that way, once ἴσως is separated from its discourse function between persons, it can be used more freely in composition - such as in akalovid's soliloquy.

I'm sure if you read through Aristotle or Theophrastus you’ll find some weather examples.

Those are informational texts - where the authour is both presenting information and occasionally "speaking" to us, so the rate of ἴσωςing is much lower than in a dialogue text. The texts can be found here; Μετεωρολογικά (5 occurrences of ἴσως) or the περὶ σημείων ὑδάτων καὶ πνευμάτων καὶ χειμώνων καὶ εὐδιῶν (no occurrences of ἴσως in Wimmer's text, 1842/1854 used in the Loeb).

In the text, ἴσως occurs within comments directed at us, so it is not so easy to interpret whether the authour is talking about his own or our uncertainty, because we (probably) don't have the culturally appropriate reaction to the suggestion. In texts where a conversation between others is recorded (or reconstructed), it is much easier to guess from context whether the "perhaps" is the speaker speaking about their own uncertainty or conjecturing about others (either their interlocutor or a third party), because the context includes both sides of the conversation.
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