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Antigone lines 162-331

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Antigone lines 162-331

Postby Bart » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:35 pm

More questions:

164-169:
ὑμᾶς δ᾽ ἐγὼ πομποῖσιν ἐκ πάντων δίχα
ἔστειλ᾽ ἱκέσθαι τοῦτο μὲν τὰ Λαΐου
σέβοντας εἰδὼς εὖ θρόνων ἀεὶ κράτη,
τοῦτ᾽ αὖθις, ἡνίκ᾽ Οἰδίπους ὤρθου πόλιν,
κἀπεὶ διώλετ᾽, ἀμφὶ τοὺς κείνων ἔτι
παῖδας μένοντας ἐμπέδοις φρονήμασιν.

What is τὰ doing there in the second line? I can only make sense of it if I read it as τὰ Λαΐου ...κράτη. But isn’t that too much hyperbaton even for a Greek tragic poet?


249-253:
οὐκ οἶδ᾽: ἐκεῖ γὰρ οὔτε του γενῇδος ἦν
πλῆγμ᾽, οὐ δικέλλης ἐκβολή. στύφλος δὲ γῆ
καὶ χέρσος, ἀρρὼξ οὐδ᾽ ἐπημαξευμένη
τροχοῖσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἄσημος οὑργάτης τις ἦν.

Γῆ and χέρσος in line 250 and 251 are both feminine nouns so why στύφλος? It must be an adjective with two endings only (-ος and -ον) but I cannot find confirmation for that in my dictionary.

304-305:
ἀλλ᾽ εἴπερ ἴσχει Ζεὺς ἔτ᾽ ἐξ ἐμοῦ σέβας,
εὖ τοῦτ᾽ ἐπίστασ᾽, ὅρκιος δέ σοι λέγω:

How to read ὅρκιος δέ σοι λέγω? Steadman suggests it should be read adverbially, ‘on oath’, but shouldn’t it have been ὅρκιον in that case?


Interesting passage: Creon scores some rhetorical points in his first speech on stage I guess (all that hammering on the welfare of the polis etcetera) but his less attractive aspects also shine through (ἐγὼ κράτη δὴ πάντα καὶ θρόνους ἔχω ). They seem to find further confirmation in his dialogue with the guard in which he shows his paranoia and his bleak view of his fellow Thebians (they can all be bought for money).
The guard is quite a character by the way, sulking, not really wanting to appear on stage in the first place (χοὔτως ὁδὸς βραχεῖα γίγνεται μακρά) and seems to provide some kind of comical note. At least, that’s how I read it.
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Re: Antigone lines 162-331

Postby anphph » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:14 pm

Hey,

You could have answered some of these yourself by just looking at the LSJ.

Bart wrote:τὰ Λαΐου
σέβοντας εἰδὼς εὖ θρόνων ἀεὶ κράτη,

What is τὰ doing there in the second line? I can only make sense of it if I read it as τὰ Λαΐου ...κράτη. But isn’t that too much hyperbaton even for a Greek tragic poet?


This is correct. It's not really such a big hyperbaton if you consider how it all fits in together: the verb is in the middle of the grouping (εἰδώς), with everything else that pertains to it either before (ie the object: σέβοντας) or after it (the qualifier θρόνων). This is made to fit even more tightly by the fact that the caesura is after εἰδώς. In short: "Being well [εὖ] aware of how [much] you revere [σέβοντας] the power [κράτη] of Laius' throne[s].


Bart wrote:στύφλος δὲ γῆ
καὶ χέρσος,


LSJ even quotes this passage: στύφλος, ον,= στυφελός 1, στύφλους παρ' ἀκτάς A.Pers.303; τῆσδ' ἀπὸ στύφλου πέτρας Id.Pr.748; στύφλος δὲ γῆ καὶ χέρσος S.Ant.250;

Bart wrote:304-305:
ἀλλ᾽ εἴπερ ἴσχει Ζεὺς ἔτ᾽ ἐξ ἐμοῦ σέβας,
εὖ τοῦτ᾽ ἐπίστασ᾽, ὅρκιος δέ σοι λέγω:

How to read ὅρκιος δέ σοι λέγω? Steadman suggests it should be read adverbially, ‘on oath’, but shouldn’t it have been ὅρκιον in that case?


And this one too:

ὅρκ-ιος, ον, rarely α, ον E.Med. 208 (lyr.):— belonging to an oath, i.e. sworn, bound by oath, δικαστὰς ὁ. αἱρουμένη (so Casaub.) A.Eu.483 ; ὅ. λέγω I speak on oath, S. Ant.305
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Re: Antigone lines 162-331

Postby Bart » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:19 am

Thanks. You’re right of course, I should have checked the LSJ myself.
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Re: Antigone lines 162-331

Postby anphph » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:27 am

Let me just add some considerations on the hyperbaton. You might be conscious of this this, or maybe not, but at any rate it might be useful for someone else. We read sequentially. We may look at the phrase as it is set down, and it may in fact seem a bit extreme. But how does it work exactly as we read it? We might read "τὰ Λαΐου σέβοντας εἰδ[ώ]ς", which would be acceptable, and then something else could follow. It would mean something along the lines of "Knowing well that you revere everything to do with Laius." And maybe listeners would even interpret it as that. Yet the following words dispel that preconception, and force the listeners, the readers-as-listeners, us, to reevaluate what came before, giving it a new syntactical framing: "Aha! turns out τά is not prononimal, but serves instead as the article for κράτη!". Much of literature and rhetoric is a play against our expectations. This is true for all languages, but highly-inflected languages such as Greek really drive the point home.
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Re: Antigone lines 162-331

Postby Bart » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:07 pm

On further consideration: I know of course that in Greek all kind of things can be sandwiched between the article and the noun, but I believed these had to be syntactically subordinated to that noun (for instance: τὰ Λαΐου θρόνων κράτη). What struck me was finding εἰδὼς and σέβοντας between the article and the noun they ‘govern’ (I’m not sure about the correct linguistic term in English here), as in

εἰδὼς σέβοντας τὰ Λαΐου θρόνων κράτη

Somehow I didn’t see this before (or didn't pay enough attention to it).
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Re: Antigone lines 162-331

Postby mwh » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:04 pm

ὑμᾶς δ᾽ ἐγὼ πομποῖσιν ἐκ πάντων δίχα
ἔστειλ᾽ ἱκέσθαι τοῦτο μὲν τὰ Λαΐου
σέβοντας εἰδὼς εὖ θρόνων ἀεὶ κράτη, ...

It’s important that τα is directly followed by Λαιου, making a single unified package, so it’s not really a case of the participles coming between the article and the noun they govern. As anphph says, τα Λαιου is potentially complete in itself but when we then get θρονων κρατη they’re readily understood as amplification of τα Λαιου. The word order is unprosaic, but crystal clear and not at all forced. τα Λαιου comes first: it's salient. (Creon is intent on representing his assumption of power as a legitimate continuation of the Laius-Oedipus royal/tyrannical line of succession.) σεβοντας ειδως at line beginning neatly picks up the opening υμας δ’ εγω. The residual adverbs in the second half of the line don’t do a whole lot but we automatically refer ευ to the adjacent ειδως and αει to σεβοντας, so both participles are kept in play and strengthened. The whole phrase is book-ended by τα Λαιου ... κρατη.

So word order in Sophocles (as in all other good poets) is not so much the result of his fiddling with ordinary prose word order to make it fit the meter but is meaningful in itself, and more expressive.

Incidentally, χερσος in 251 is also a (two-termination) adjective, not a noun.
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