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Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

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Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby tzznandrew » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:51 pm

Hi all,

I'm working on Alcaeus' two allegorical boat poems. I've made myself a crib, from there worked into something more free and poetic than the crib. I'm curious as to how accurate my crib is, and then if there are any groaners in moving from the crib to the poem.

fr. 6

τόδ’ αὖτε κῦμα τὼ προτέρω νέμω
στείχει, παρέξει δ’ ἄμμι πόνον πόλυν
ἄντλην, ἐπεί κε νᾶος ἔμβα
όμεθ’ ἐ

Crib: Again this waves marches [in order--a military word?] as the previous one. It [will- παρέξει is future] promises us much work to bail out when it enters the ship's.

[I couldn't make much sense of how to deal with 'ἔμβα / όμεθ’ ἐ' so I left it blank.

φαρξώμεθ’ ὠς ὤκιστα τοίχοις,
ἐς δ’ ἔχυρον λίμενα δρόμωμεν·

Crib: defend/strengthen the sides of the ship as swiftly as possible, and let us race into a safe harbor.

καὶ μή τιν’ ὄκνος μόλθακος ἀμμέων
λάβη· προδηλον γὰρ μέγ’ ἀέθλιον·
μνάσθητε τὼ πάροιθε μόχθω·
νῦν τις ἄνηρ δόκιμος γενέσθω.

Crib: Do not let soft/gentle death seize us. For a great thing/event clearly contends [in a battle] with us. Remember the previous toils, and now let every mad stand firm in battle.

καὶ μὴ καταισχύνωμεν ἀνανδρίᾳ
ἔσλοις τόκηας γᾶς ὔπα κειμένοις·

Crib: and let us not shame our by means of cowardice our brave ancestors who lie below the earth.

fr. 208

ἀσυννέτημμι τὼν ἀνέμων στάσιν·
τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἔνθεν κῦμα κυλίνδεται,
τὸ δ’ ἔνθεν ἄμμες δ’ ὂν τὸ μέσσον
νᾶι φορήμμεθα σὺν μελαίνᾳ

Crib: I cannot sense/perceive the direction/strife of the wind; one wave rolls in from here, another from there, and we who are in the middle, are carried along with our black ship...

χείμωνι μόχθεντες μεγάλῳ μάλα·
πὲρ μὲν γὰρ ἄντλος ἰστοπέδαν ἔχει,
λαῖφος δὲ πὰν ζάδηλον ἤδη,
καὶ λάκιδες μέγαλαι κὰτ αὖτο,

Crib: exceedingly distressed by the great winter storm. For floodwater? covers the masthold [? a piece of wood that the mast rests on], and the whole tattered sail is already full of holes [ζάδηλον - every crib suggests this has something to do with light, but I could only get there by imagining ηλον is ἥλιος]; and there are great rents in them.

χάλαισι δ’ ἄγκυρραι, τὰ δ’ ὀή[ϊα

Crib: the anchors slacken and the rudders...
[ ]
[ ]
τοι πόδες ἀμφότεροι μένο[ισιν

ἐν βιμβλίδεσσι· τοῦτό με καὶ σ[άοι
μόνον· τὰ δ' ἄχματ’ ἐκπεπ[ ]άχμενα
]μεν [ ]ρηντ’ ἔπερθα· τὼν[
]ενοις [

Crib: both of my feet remain [stuck] in the rope; this alone saves me. [I couldn't make sense of the remaining and left it be]

Here's what I did with them (in draft form still):

fr. 6

Another strong wave strides into our ship
and brings with it the certainty of more
suffering. Quick, bail out the billows that
cascade into our craft…



Hurry, fortify the flanks. Let’s make
for the nearest port.

Fear offers peace, and tempts us from this task:
a great endeavor clearly looms before us.
Remember the trials we’ve already faced, and stand
firm for the battle—

no cowards among us. We will not shame
our famous ancestors who lie in earth.

fr. 208

The wind’s at odds with itself—one wave rolls in
from here, the next from there, and in the middle
we are borne along in our black ships and cry out
into the tempest.

Bilge-water drowns the masthold and now light
pours through the great rents of our tattered sails.
Our anchors slacken and the rudders—





Both of my feet

remain tangled in the ropes. This alone
saves me—
____

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

-Andrew
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby mwh » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:20 pm

Welcome to Textkit Andrew!

A couple of things for starters.

ἐπεί κε νᾶος ἔμβα … when it enters the ship's
“it enters” translates ἔμβα. It’s aorist subjunctive of εμβαίνειν, to board. όμεθ’ε is all that’s left of the next line: it yields "we ..." Then there are two lines lost before φαρξωμεθ’. The whole piece is very badly damaged, and much of the text is conjectural.

καὶ μή τιν’ ὄκνος μόλθακος ἀμμέων
λάβη· … Do not let soft/gentle death seize us.
οκνος is not death but fear: “Let not soft (i.e. cowardly) fear take any one (τιν(α)) of us.”

The rest I’ll leave to others.
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby jeidsath » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:18 pm

Campbell gives εμβαι rather than εμβα, and points out that it may just as well stand for "ἐμβαί- | νῃ," present subjunctive, as for ἔμβᾳ, aorist subjunctive.

I imagine that tzznandrew put in nice spaces for all of these quotes, but unfortunately it's not easy to preserve preformatted text in this board. You may wish to try the "Code" tag next time.
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby tzznandrew » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:31 am

mwh wrote:Welcome to Textkit Andrew!

A couple of things for starters.

ἐπεί κε νᾶος ἔμβα … when it enters the ship's
“it enters” translates ἔμβα. It’s aorist subjunctive of εμβαίνειν, to board. όμεθ’ε is all that’s left of the next line: it yields "we ..." Then there are two lines lost before φαρξωμεθ’. The whole piece is very badly damaged, and much of the text is conjectural.

καὶ μή τιν’ ὄκνος μόλθακος ἀμμέων
λάβη· … Do not let soft/gentle death seize us.
οκνος is not death but fear: “Let not soft (i.e. cowardly) fear take any one (τιν(α)) of us.”

The rest I’ll leave to others.

mwh,

Thanks for your comment. I actually have hand-written "do not let soft/gentle fear" in my notes. Not sure why I typed death.

With the " ἐπεί κε νᾶος ἔμβα" section, I really struggled in imagining what κε (which functions like ἄν) did. I knew there would be a subjunctive. My Campbell gave the same suggestion as jeidsath suggests, too. Is the crib there okay?

jeidsath: I did put in spaces, and I'll play around with "Code" tag next time to try to actually make it look like it looks in Word.

Thanks both for your comments.
-Andrew
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby mwh » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:30 am

@Andrew. Yes Lesbian uses κε(ν) not ἄν. (Homer uses both.) επει κε εμβα would be επαν εμβηι in Attic, “when it comes on board.”
The ]όμεθ(α) that follows after an interval in the next line will presumably be subjunctive, “let’s …”, like φαρξωμεθ’ three lines on.

@jeidsath. ἔμβα —so accented in the proffered text— is aor.subj. (with or without iota subscript), as I pointed out. You complicate things by bringing in εμβαίνῃ. That would result in a word running over from the 3rd to the last line of the stanza—unusual to say the least. Both Lobel and Page print the aorist. That’s good enough for me, and is surely good enough for the purposes of this thread.
When I said “The rest I’ll leave to others” I meant the parts of Andrew’s post that I hadn’t covered.
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby jeidsath » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:09 am

This is my first confrontation with the Lesbian dialect (I've just now read through Campbell pg. 262 and am using it as a guide). So I can only post some questions here.

προδηλον γὰρ μέγ’ ἀέθλιον
For a great thing/event clearly contends [in a battle] with us.


Why isn't this "For a great race for the prize is something foreseen"?

μνάσθητε τὼ πάροιθε μόχθω·
Remember the previous toils


Campbell says that ω=ου, and I'd expect the genitive, so I assume that makes this τοῦ πάροιθε μόχθου. So "your previous toil"?

νῦν τις ἄνηρ δόκιμος γενέσθω.
and now let every mad stand firm in battle.


I haven't seen this usage before. I assume that you're right, but I would have thought "now let anyone who is a man".
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:28 pm

Just a quick comment – I might come back later for more...

Here you can find a "quick guide" to Lesbian Aeolic.

http://www.aoidoi.org/articles/lesbian.html
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby tzznandrew » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:53 pm

I'm back,

προδηλον γὰρ μέγ’ ἀέθλιον
For a great thing/event clearly contends [in a battle] with us.

Why isn't this "For a great race for the prize is something foreseen"?


I took 'ἀέθλιον' to be a neuter singular nominative present active participle of 'ἀθλέω', and so carried over the others the implication (battle) form the others. But now I see I'm not sure I'm making reasonable sense of the -μέγ'- elision.

Campbell says that ω=ου, and I'd expect the genitive, so I assume that makes this τοῦ πάροιθε μόχθου. So "your previous toil"?


I think you're right here, jeidsath.

νῦν τις ἄνηρ δόκιμος γενέσθω.
and now let every mad stand firm in battle.

I haven't seen this usage before. I assume that you're right, but I would have thought "now let anyone who is a man".


My Greek Lyric Poetry, edited by Cambell, says of δόκιμος: "from δέχομαι; the meaning is 'receiving (the enemy's attack), standing firm in battle,' rather than 'acceptable.' So I took γενέσθω in its sense of "become" and that's how I got there. Though I'm not sure it works.
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby jeidsath » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:33 pm

tzznandrew wrote:I'm back,
νῦν τις ἄνηρ δόκιμος γενέσθω.
and now let every mad stand firm in battle.

I haven't seen this usage before. I assume that you're right, but I would have thought "now let anyone who is a man".


My Greek Lyric Poetry, edited by Cambell, says of δόκιμος: "from δέχομαι; the meaning is 'receiving (the enemy's attack), standing firm in battle,' rather than 'acceptable.' So I took γενέσθω in its sense of "become" and that's how I got there. Though I'm not sure it works.


I should have been a bit more clear with what I was saying. δόκιμος γενέσθω is "let the [subject] be δόκιμος," and I'm sure that Campbell is correct about it's meaning here. But the first part was what I hadn't seen before. I think that τις ἄνηρ is "someone who is a man," though I'm not really sure. If so then the whole thing would: "Now, let anyone who is a man be δόκιμος." I suppose that it could also be "Now, let someone be a man who is δόκιμος."
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby tzznandrew » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:17 pm

δόκιμος γενέσθω is "let the [subject] be δόκιμος," and I'm sure that Campbell is correct about it's meaning here. But the first part was what I hadn't seen before. I think that τις ἄνηρ is "someone who is a man," though I'm not really sure. If so then the whole thing would: "Now, let anyone who is a man be δόκιμος." I suppose that it could also be "Now, let someone be a man who is δόκιμος."


I think I see your point. I took τις to simply mean 'any' here, and took awkwardly turned it the phrase τις ἄνηρ into 'every man' to try to make sense of it.

"Now, let anyone who is a man be firm in battle" makes good sense, though it wouldn't really change the freer translation, it's better to have solid grounding.
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Re: Alcaeus' Allegorical Ship (fr. 6 and 208)

Postby mwh » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:30 pm

τις ἄνηρ means “every man,” “each man.” It’s quite a common use of τις. (Note that the τις comes before ανηρ not after it, which would just mean “a man,” “a certain man.”) It doesn’t mean “anyone who is a man” (that would need ων or αληθως ων with ανηρ). So Andrew your original crib was quite right.

I might quibble with “stand firm in battle.” In terms of the poem, there is no “battle,” or no more than an implicit metaphorical one. What everyone on board is to "receive," i.e. to stand firm against, is this here (τοδε) huge wave that’s about to come over the side, threatening to sink the ship. Let’s not wreck the allegory.

When I said that ]όμεθ(α) would be subjunctive (rather than indicative) I should probably have explained that it would be a so-called “short-vowel” subjunctive, with –ο- for –ω-. That’s regular in Lesbian.
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