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Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

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Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby markcmueller » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:08 pm

In the Italian Athenaze, chapter XIX, line 74 I'm having trouble understanding the last part of the sentence:

Εἰς αὔριον δὲ ἐπιμελησόμεθα τί οἷοί τ'ἐσμὲν ὑμῖν συμπρᾶξαι περὶ τοῦ λοιποῦ τῆς ὁδοῦ, ἐπειδὴ ὑμᾶς ἔγνωμεν ἅπαξ.

I think it says something like: "Tomorrow, as much as we are able, will take care of helping you concerning the rest of the road, since we knew you once". It's the last part that I don't understand. Dikaiopolis and his son have just met the villagers, so the villagers didn't know them. Could this possibly mean "when we have gotten a chance to know you"? An aorist where you'd expect a future perfect? Any ideas?
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:08 am

markcmueller wrote:In the Italian Athenaze, chapter XIX, line 74 I'm having trouble understanding the last part of the sentence:

Εἰς αὔριον δὲ ἐπιμελησόμεθα τί οἷοί τ'ἐσμὲν ὑμῖν συμπρᾶξαι περὶ τοῦ λοιποῦ τῆς ὁδοῦ, ἐπειδὴ ὑμᾶς ἔγνωμεν ἅπαξ.

I think it says something like: "Tomorrow, as much as we are able, will take care of helping you concerning the rest of the road, since we knew you once". It's the last part that I don't understand. Dikaiopolis and his son have just met the villagers, so the villagers didn't know them. Could this possibly mean "when we have gotten a chance to know you"? An aorist where you'd expect a future perfect? Any ideas?


Good instincts. On ἅπαξ:

II. without any notion of number, after conditional and temporal Particles, if once, when once, εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γʼ ἅ. if once you have made a treaty,

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 178). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

The aorist is what you would expect here. Future perfects, rare, and in restricted contexts.
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby mwh » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:10 am

You realize the τί opens an indirect question dependent on επιμελησομεθα? We’ll take care of what we can do to help you, how we’re able to help you.

when once we’ve gotten to know you, when once we get acquainted. You were very close.
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby markcmueller » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:19 am

Thanks to you both. I didn't know that the aorist could be used in this way or realize that τί was introducing an indirect question. I have figured out that when Miraglia gets difficult, he's paraphrasing a classical author. Looking in Perseus I found this quote (which doesn't have an English translation).

Dio Chrysostom, Orationes, 7.7
εἰς αὔριον δέ, ὅ τι ἂν ᾖ δυνατόν, ἐπιμελησόμεθα ὅπως σωθῇς, ἐπειδή σε ἔγνωμεν ἅπαξ.
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby markcmueller » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:09 am

I discovered a translation of the line from Dio Chrysostom which suggests a different interpretation. It seems appealing to me because it avoids the idea that we don't know you now, but tomorrow we will and then we'll help you.

εἰς αὔριον δέ, ὅ τι ἂν ᾖ δυνατόν, ἐπιμελησόμεθα ὅπως σωθῇς, ἐπειδή σε ἔγνωμεν ἅπαξ.

To‑day you shall rest after your trying experience, but to‑morrow we shall do our best to get you out safely, now that we have come to know you.

Is Cohoon (the Loeb edition translator) glossing over ἅπαξ to make this reading?
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby Hylander » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:54 pm

Is Cohoon (the Loeb edition translator) glossing over ἅπαξ to make this reading?


No, I think this is right. ἔγνωμεν is aorist, a past tense, because the hunter has already become acquainted with Dio. Dio and the hunter have already had a conversation while Dio helped him skin a deer, and Dio has told the hunter who he was and how he was shipwrecked on the Euboean shore. Then the hunter says:

ἀλλ᾽ ἴθι καὶ μηδὲν δείσῃς. νῦν μὲν ἐκ τῆς κακοπαθείας ἀνακτήσῃ σαυτόν: εἰς αὔριον δέ, ὅ τι ἂν ᾖ δυνατόν, ἐπιμελησόμεθα ὅπως σωθῇς, ἐπειδή σε ἔγνωμεν ἅπαξ. Something like this: "But come on, don't be afraid. Right now, you'll recover from your distress; but tomorrow we'll take care of getting you away, however possible [but I like "we'll do our best"] now that we've gotten acquainted with you."

ἐπειδή . . . ἅπαξ is idiomatic and best translated here "now that". And I think the same holds true in the sentence from Athenaze obviously modeled on Dio.

Aorist indicative is generally both aspectual and temporal, referring to the past (gnomic aorist is an exception); in other moods aorist is purely aspectual, indicating the basic verbal idea without reference to time. I don't see how ἔγνωμεν can refer to future time in Dio or in Athenaze.
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby jeidsath » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:07 pm

[quote="Hylander"ἐπειδή . . . ἅπαξ is idiomatic and best translated here "now that".[/quote]

I thought that the following, from Fraenkel on Ag. 1286., was relevant:

ἐπεὶ τὸ πρῶτον: 'now that...'. Instances of the use here exemplified are given in L-S p. 1535 s.v. πρῶτος B. III. 3e, under the heading 'πρῶτον, πρῶτα are used after the relat. pron. and after relat. advbs., like English once (= at all)'. The use is predominantly epic, cf. also Leaf on A 235. 'The sense as soon as is never necessary in Hom.' (L-S); it is alien to this passage, too.


Perhaps ἅπαξ is functioning like τὸ πρῶτον would? Of course, if Dio had actually written "τὸ πρῶτον," it would obviously mean "since we saw you first," which would make the passage make more sense to me. They're going to take care of him, since they were the first ones to find him shipwrecked.
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby Hylander » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:37 pm

They're going to take care of him, since they were the first ones to find him shipwrecked.


No, that doesn't really work in context. ἐπειδή . . . ἅπαξ just means "now that" here. We'll take care of you, now that we've gotten to know you.

This isn't an instance where aor. indic. is used of a future event as if it's already in the past, Smyth 1934; Goodwin GMT 61.
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby mwh » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:59 pm

Now that ( :) ) I see the context, I think Hylander is right. Barry quoted from LSJ εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γʼ ἅπαξ “if once you have made a treaty” (Ar.Ach.307), and I think επειδη απαξ would normally be translated “when once …” or simply “once …” (as Lattimore translates it at Thuc.7.44.7), but “now that” would often make an equally good translation. And while LSJ gives several examples of επειδη/επει/ως απαξ with aor.indic., where "when once" would well suit, in our case the main verb is future, so if the meaning were “when once we’ve gotten to know you, when once we get acquainted” as I translated it we’d expect aor.subj.+αν rather than indic.
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby Hylander » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:20 am

I created a new thread about Aristophanes, Acharnians 305-8, so as not to hijack this one.
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Re: Arisophanes Acharnians 305-8: εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γ᾽ ἅπαξ

Postby jeidsath » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:48 pm

It's not prospective, just as in the passage from Dio the hunter has already gotten to know Dio.


I'm going to have to re-read the hunter story. From what I remember, this line came pretty early after the hunter has met Dio walking along the cliffs, and before he has introduced him to his family. The "we" surely doesn't refer to his dogs? (Although that wouldn't be a strange usage to any dog lover that I know.)

--And looking at the story to refresh my memory, that all appears to be the case. So the "we" in ἐπιμελησόμεθα likely refers to the hunter's family, so so too the "we" in ἔγνωμεν. In the next sentence, δοκεῖς δέ μοι, he's back to singular again.
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Re: Arisophanes Acharnians 305-8: εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γ᾽ ἅπαξ

Postby Hylander » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:59 pm

Reread the speech here:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0567%3Aspeech%3D7%3Asection%3D7

They don't get to the hunter's hut and his family until much later on, and only after a long narrative of the hunter's background, circumstances and adventures. First plural in 7.7 is just politely self-effacing, not forward-looking to a meeting with the family, which happens much later.

The Loeb translation is here:

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Dio_Chrysostom/Discourses/7*.html

"But come and have no fear. To‑day you shall rest after your trying experience, but to‑morrow we shall do our best to get you out safely, now that we have come to know you."

As mwh noted, if the clause were forward-looking it would be something like ἐπειδαν σε γνωμεν ἅπαξ.
Last edited by Hylander on Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Arisophanes Acharnians 305-8: εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γ᾽ ἅπαξ

Postby jeidsath » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:40 pm

That he has a family that he is going to introduce Dio is strongly implied by οἴκησις and ἡμεῖς in the sentence above.

παρεκάλει δὲ κἀμὲ συνακολουθεῖν καὶ συνεστιᾶσθαι τῶν κρεῶν· εἶναι δὲ οὐ μακρὰν τὴν οἴκησιν. 'ἔπειτα ἕωθεν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν, ἔφη, κοιμηθεὶς ἥξεις ἐπὶ τὴν θάλατταν, ὡς τά γε νῦν οὐκ ἔστι πλόϊμα.'

But I think that you're right that politeness -- or maybe tremendous friendliness to strangers, which is one of Dio's points about the hunter -- is the explanation. And that this is not prospective use.

But still, it's hard to accept the English connotations of "gotten to know you" here. Maybe it's closer to γιγνώσκω to say "recognized you for what you are"? Ie., to be a shipwreck victim, or maybe just a non-hostile? That would make the connection to the next sentence tighter too, with the comments about Dio's state and appearance. δοκεῖς δέ μοι τῶν ἀστικῶν εἶναί τις, οὐ ναύτης οὐδ᾽ ἐργάτης, ἀλλὰ πολλήν τινα ἀσθένειαν τοῦ σώματος ἀσθενεῖν ἔοικας ἀπὸ τῆς ἰσχνότητος.
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Re: Help understanding a sentence from Athenaze

Postby Hylander » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:11 pm

Or maybe the idea is "found you," i.e., seen you and recognized your distress.
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