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ἀκούω cum gen. rei

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ἀκούω cum gen. rei

Postby Tugodum » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:26 am

Is this how one is to take Plato, Apology 33 b3: ἀκούειν ὧν ἂν λέγω ?
Am double checking because, per LSJ, ἀκούω is used "prop. c. acc. of thing heard, gen. of person from whom it is heard". Smyth qualifies this:
"1366. In the meaning heed, hearken, obey, verbs of hearing generally take the genitive: ἄκουε πάντων, ἐκλέγου δ᾽ ἃ συμφέρει listen to everything, but choose that which is profitable Men."
but I am not sure why this would apply to Plato's passage from which I cited:
οὐδὲ χρήματα μὲν λαμβάνων διαλέγομαι μὴ λαμβάνων δὲ οὔ, ἀλλ’ ὁμοίως καὶ πλουσίῳ καὶ πένητι παρέχω ἐμαυτὸν ἐρωτᾶν, καὶ ἐάν τις βούληται ἀποκρινόμενος ἀκούειν ὧν ἂν λέγω
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Re: ἀκούω cum gen. rei

Postby Hylander » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:46 pm

I wouldn't be too troubled by this. LSJ cites a few examples of ἀκούω with "gen. rei", i.e., genitive of the thing heard. Mostly these are sounds, but in one passage from Sophocles' Oedipus at Coloni (cited as "OC") apparently some form of ἀκούω is used with λόγων. (I haven't looked at this passage myself.) Perhaps in the passage from the Apology the notion of not just hearing what S. is saying but actually heeding his words is intended.

The usage with the genitive described in the quote from Smyth is covered by LSJ in the ἀκούω article under II, and usually refers to heeding or obeying a person, rather than a thing.

Generally, LSJ's distinction between genitive of the person heard and accusative of the thing heard holds true. LSJ qualifies this by "prop.", i.e., "properly", but I certainly would never accuse Plato of improper usage. We should always remember that Sophocles and especially Plato define what is correct ancient Greek usage, not LSJ or Smyth. So when you see something in Plato that obviously differs from what you find in LSJ or Smyth, you should just make a note of it and move on.
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Re: ἀκούω cum gen. rei

Postby Tugodum » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:30 pm

Thanks a lot! I was uncertain as Sophocles is poetry, from which it seemed risky to extrapolate to prose.
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Re: ἀκούω cum gen. rei

Postby mwh » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:57 pm

Seems to me that the example from Smyth (ἄκουε πάντων, ἐκλέγου δ᾽ ἃ συμφέρει “listen to everything, but choose that which is profitable”) is exactly parallel to Plato’s ἀκούειν ὧν ἂν λέγω, which doesn’t mean just “hear what I say” (which would be ἃ not ὧν) but “listen to what I say.” Likewise at Soph. OC 1187 λόγων δ’ ἀκοῦσαι τίς βλαβή; “What harm is there in listening to his words?”, not just hearing them (wh wd be λόγους). It’s a meaningful distinction, respected in Attic prose and verse alike.
And recognized by Smyth: 1363a.

Incidentally, the first part of the sentence is syntactically interesting: οὐδὲ χρήματα μὲν λαμβάνων διαλέγομαι μὴ λαμβάνων δὲ οὔ. Did you figure it out?
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Re: ἀκούω cum gen. rei

Postby Tugodum » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:15 pm

Oh, that's very helpful! I wasn't catching this difference between "hear" and "listen," as "heed" and "hearken" in Smyth are too archaic to be clear to me, but now I got it. Thanks!
The first part seems unproblematic: "Nor [is it true that], whereas I converse [with others] if I get money [from them], [I do] not [converse with them] if I do not get [money from them]."
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Re: ἀκούω cum gen. rei

Postby Tugodum » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:28 pm

p.s. 1363a in Smyth seems ambiguous, as "to listen to" can be easily taken to mean to listen to someone as distinguished from "to hear a thing".
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Re: ἀκούω cum gen. rei

Postby mwh » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:31 pm

To your reply, Good, glad you’ve got it. To your p.s., No, the thing/person distinction is not being made here. The point is that what you merely hear (sound) is acc., while what you listen to is gen. As we’ve seen in the above examples.
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