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Difficult passage in Plato's Republic

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Difficult passage in Plato's Republic

Postby stephenhoffman » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:34 pm

Can anyone explain the grammar of this phrase?

ἀνάγκη εἶναι αὐτῷ φθονερῷ.

Translations seem to agree on the meaning: "It is necessary that he is envious." The whole passage (Book 9 580a of Plato's Republic) is:

Οὐκοῦν καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἔτι ἀποδώσομεν τῷ ἀνδρὶ καὶ ἃ τὸ πρότερον εἴπομεν, ὅτι ἀνάγκη καὶ εἶναι καὶ ἔτι μᾶλλον γίγνεσθαι αὐτῷ ἢ πρότερον διὰ τὴν ἀρχὴν φθονερῷ, ἀπίστῳ, ἀδίκῳ, ἀφίλῳ, ἀνοσίῳ.

("And in addition to this, we shall further grant this man the qualities we also attributed to him earlier, that he must be, and will become through his rule, even more than before, detested, distrusted, unjust, friendless, impious")
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Re: Difficult passage in Plato's Republic

Postby jeidsath » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:03 pm

From the LSJ, ἀνάγκη is c. inf. and c. dat. pers.

And see Smyth 1040 for the predicate adjective:

With intransitive verbs signifying to be, become, and the like (917): ““ἡ δὲ χάρις ἄδηλος γεγένηται” the favour has been concealed” Aes. 3.233. So with active verbs which take a preposition: ““νόμους ἔθεσθε ἐπ᾽ ἀδήλοις τοῖς ἀδικήσουσι” you have enacted laws with regard to offenders who are unknown” D. 21.30.
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Re: Difficult passage in Plato's Republic

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:09 pm

jeidsath wrote:From the LSJ, ἀνάγκη is c. inf. and c. dat. pers.

And see Smyth 1040 for the predicate adjective:


di di dit dah dah dah di di dit [1]
This is not an explanation. It is an encoded cryptograph.


[1] SOS in morse code
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Re: Difficult passage in Plato's Republic

Postby jeidsath » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:20 pm

I learned Morse code for my amateur radio license when I was a kid.

The above Smyth example was little more than two Greek sentences with two English translations. But I should have also included Smyth 1062:

1062. A predicate substantive, adjective, or participle referring to a dative stands in the dative or in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive: ““νῦν σοι ἔξεστιν ἀνδρὶ γενέσθαι” now it is in your power to prove yourself a man” X. A. 7.1.21, ““Λακεδαιμονίοις ἔξεστιν ὑ_μῖν φίλους γενέσθαι” it is in your power to become friends to the Lacedaemonians” T. 4.29, ““ἔδοξεν αὐτοῖς . . . ἐξοπλισαμένοις προϊ_έναι” they decided to arm themselves fully and to advance” X. A. 2.1.2, ἔδοξεν αὐτοῖς προφυλακὰ_ς καταστήσαντας συγκαλεῖν τοὺς στρατιώτα_ς they decided to station pickets and to assemble the soldiers 3. 2. 1, ““συμφέρει αὐτοῖς φίλους εἶναι μᾶλλον ἢ πολεμίους” it is for their interest to be friends rather than enemies” X. O. 11.23.
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Re: Difficult passage in Plato's Republic

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:35 pm

jeidsath wrote:I learned Morse code for my amateur radio license when I was a kid.


My father was a radio operator (signal corps) and radar officer WWII Iceland. I didn't take much interest in radio electronics even after several Eico & Heathkit projects. :-(

RE: quoting Smyth

As David from the UK has pointed out on several occasions, Smyth isn't transparent to "students"of Ancient Greek. With some effort we eventually learn to read Smyth but we can't assume he is lucid for a Millennial audience since he was far from lucid for Boomers. Smyth assumes an audience that was taught classics in school.
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Re: Difficult passage in Plato's Republic

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:58 pm

Plato Phil., Respublic
580a

Οὐκοῦν καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἔτι ἀποδώσομεν τῷ ἀνδρὶ καὶ ἃ τὸ πρότερον εἴπομεν, ὅτι ἀνάγκη καὶ εἶναι καὶ ἔτι μᾶλλον γίγνεσθαι αὐτῷ ἢ πρότερον διὰ τὴν ἀρχὴν φθονερῷ, ἀπίστῳ, ἀδίκῳ, ἀφίλῳ, ἀνοσίῳ καὶ πάσης κακίας πανδοκεῖ τε καὶ | τροφεῖ, καὶ ἐξ ἁπάντων τούτων μάλιστα μὲν αὐτῷ δυστυχεῖ εἶναι, ἔπειτα δὲ καὶ τοὺς πλησίον αὑτῷ τοιούτους ἀπεργάζεσθαι.

“And in addition to this, shall we further grant this man the qualities we also attributed to him earlier, that he must be, and will become through his rule, even more than before, detested, distrusted, unjust, friendless, impious, a host and breeder of evil, and as a result of all of these things, he’ll be a particular victim of ill-fortune and he’ll make those who associate with him like this too?”

LCL Harvard


This is indeed a convoluted sentence sentence/paragraph.
Can anyone explain the grammar of this phrase?

ἀνάγκη εἶναι αὐτῷ φθονερῷ.


This is not a phrase. Furthermore, since the constituents are not contiguous, a structural analysis of the sentence/paragraph might help us understand what his going on here. There is a somewhat complex subordination structure. I 'm not going to provide an answer, Plato is outside my reading list.

If all you want is an explanation of the string "ἀνάγκη εἶναι αὐτῷ φθονερῷ" that has already been covered albeit in a somewhat cryptic fashion.

Postscript:
Found a Spanish monograph which talks about the relative clause ἃ τὸ πρότερον εἴπομεν.

la reformulación discursiva
en griego antiguo
Un estudio sobre
La República
de Platón
Tesis Doctoral de Filología Griega
realizada por
Rodrigo Verano Liaño
https://www.academia.edu/20402023/La_re ... lat%C3%B3n

https://idus.us.es/xmlui/handle/11441/32835
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Re: Difficult passage in Plato's Republic

Postby Hylander » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:21 pm

The sentence is not really convoluted. The structure is transparent, and the OP understands it correctly: reduced to its essentials, the basic structure is ἀνάγκη εἶναι αὐτῷ φθονερῷ. The adjectives that follow, like φθονερῷ, are all dative, in agreement with αὐτῷ,"for him": it is necessary for him to be/he will necessarily be . . . AS Joel's citation to Smyth 1062 notes, this is the normal way Greek works, though it's different from English, which is probably what caused you difficulty. Once you get over that hurdle, the sentence flows naturally.
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