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ἐγγύα πάρα δ᾿ ἄτα

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ἐγγύα πάρα δ᾿ ἄτα

Postby jeidsath » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:30 am

I came across this in Charmides, although it seems to be quoted many places. Apparently it was an inscription at Delphi. In Charmides it's quoted as ἐγγύη πάρα δ᾿ ἄτη.

I see it explained in the LSJ by a comma as "ἐγγύη, πάρα δ᾿ ἄτη", with πάρα for πάρεστι, I assume.

Is it meant to be taken as a warning against taking/giving pledges (similar to Matt 5:34, James 5:12), or is it saying that an ἐγγύη is a sacred thing, backed by ἄτη? I assume the ἐγγύη would be thought of as an actual physical security.

The LSJ gives a related quote in the ἐγγύη article: ἐγγύας ἄτα 'στι θυγάτηρ, ἐγγύα δὲ ζαμίας

I also found this explanation:

τὸ δὲ ἐγγύα, πάρα δ᾽ ἄτα, τινὲς ὑπέλαβον γάμον ἀπαγορεύειν: τὴν γὰρ τοῦ γάμου σύνθεσιν παρὰ τοῖς πλείστοις τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἐγγύην ὀνομάζεσθαι, καὶ βεβαιωτὴς ὁ κοινὸς βίος, ἐν ᾧ πλεῖσται καὶ μέγισται γίνονται συμφοραὶ διὰ τὰς γυναῖκας. ἔνιοι δέ φασιν ἀνάξιον εἶναι Χίλωνος διὰ τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι ἀναιρουμένου τοῦ γάμου διαμένειν τὸν βίον, τὴν δὲ ἄτην ἀποφαίνεσθαι παρεῖναι ἐγγύαις ταῖς ἐπὶ τῶν συμβολαίων καὶ ταῖς ὑπὲρ τῶν ἄλλων διομολογήσεσι περὶ χρημάτων. καὶ Εὐριπίδης "οὐκ ἐγγυῶμαι: ζημίαν φιλεγγύων
σκοπῶν: τὰ Πυθοῖ δ᾽ οὐκ ἐᾷ με γράμματα."

The marriage interpretation seems unlikely, but Euripides seems to interpret this as a warning against giving oneself as security? (I remember this being a bad idea in Andocides.) Does present-tense σκοπῶν mean that the Euripides character is actually at Delphi reading τὰ γράμματα?

EDIT:

Ignore the last question. ἐᾷ is finite, so τὰ Πυθοῖ δ᾽ οὐκ ἐᾷ με γράμματα is a separate sentence, not an elaboration on the ζημίαν that he sees.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: ἐγγύα πάρα δ᾿ ἄτα

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:32 pm

As far as I can see, everyone reads it as a warning against pledges, e.g.,:


95 Ἐγγύα πάρα δʼ ἄτη, an old saying on the rashness of giving a pledge, is quoted in a fragment of Cratinus, the elder rival of Aristophanes. Cf. Proverbs xi. 15—”He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it.”


Plato. (1955). Plato in Twelve Volumes translated by W.R.M. Lamb. (Vol. 8 ). Medford, MA: Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd.
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Re: ἐγγύα πάρα δ᾿ ἄτα

Postby jeidsath » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:15 pm

I notice that the LXX version is very different for Pr 11:15.

πονηρὸς κακοποιεῖ, ὅταν συμμείξῃ δικαίῳ, μισεῖ δὲ ἦχον ἀσφαλείας.
A bad man does ill, whenever he mixes with a just man, and he hates the sound of security.
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Re: ἐγγύα πάρα δ᾿ ἄτα

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:27 am

jeidsath wrote:I notice that the LXX version is very different for Pr 11:15.

πονηρὸς κακοποιεῖ, ὅταν συμμείξῃ δικαίῳ, μισεῖ δὲ ἦχον ἀσφαλείας.
A bad man does ill, whenever he mixes with a just man, and he hates the sound of security.


The Hebrew is quite tight and difficult for this verse:

רַע־יֵ֭רוֹעַ כִּי־עָ֣רַב זָ֑ר וְשֹׂנֵ֖א תֹקְעִ֣ים בּוֹטֵֽחַ

My guess is that the LXX translator read the nifal יֵ֭רוֹעַ as a qal, which neatly explains the first part of his rendering (doing evil rather than experiencing it). I'm not so sure how we get συμμείξῃ δικαίῳ out of עָ֣רַב זָ֑ר, however, perhaps a different Vorlage altogether? תָּקַע can mean striking or clapping the hands, together with בּוֹטֵֽחַ, "in trust" the idea of agreeing to a pledge, but it's fairly clear how the LXX translator came up with "sound." The Vulgate:

adfligetur malo qui fidem facit pro extraneo qui autem cavet laqueos securus erit

Which is much closer to the sense of the Masoretic text, but still not quite accurate.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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