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lao/s: Iliad lines 10 and 54

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lao/s: Iliad lines 10 and 54

Postby Eureka » Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:15 am

In line ten, Homer uses the word [face=SPIonic]laoi/[/face].

In line 54, he uses the word [face=SPIonic]lao\n[/face].


In both cases he seems to be referring to the Achaean army, so how can it be singular in one case, but plural in the other?
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Re: lao/s: Iliad lines 10 and 54

Postby Paul » Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:05 pm

Eureka wrote:In line ten, Homer uses the word [face=SPIonic]laoi/[/face].

In line 54, he uses the word [face=SPIonic]lao\n[/face].


In both cases he seems to be referring to the Achaean army, so how can it be singular in one case, but plural in the other?


Hi,

It's quite common for nouns of multitude to be construed now as singular, now as plural.

In English (UK) this distinction is readily made. One can say:

The army is divided.

and

The army are agreed.

The first emphasizes the army as one entity; the second as many individuals. (see Fowler's discussion of 'number' in Modern English Usage).

Line 10 emphasizes the many individuals being destroyed. Line 54 emphasizes their one-ness when summoned to assembly.

Cordially,

Paul
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Re: lao/s: Iliad lines 10 and 54

Postby Eureka » Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:57 am

Hi Paul,

That makes good sense.

But...
Paul wrote:The army is divided.

and

The army are agreed.

I don't mean to nickpick, but you used a singular verb to denote division, and a plural verb to denote togetherness. :) :wink:
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Postby Bert » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:11 am

I don't mean to nickpick, but you used a singular verb to denote division, and a plural verb to denote togetherness.

I am not sure if you are serious or if you are joking about a seeming contradiction but I'm going to assume that you are serious. :)
I think what Paul meant was
The army is divided.
The singular verb emphasizes the army as one unit. There is a division in this unit.
and
The army are agreed.
The plural verb emphasizes the many individuals that form the army.
These many individuals are of one mind.
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:21 am

"I don't mean to nickpick, but ..." (Eureka)

I don't mean to nit-pick, but it's nit-pick. :D :wink:

I'm with Eureka: it would make much more sense if it were 'the army is agreed' and 'the army are divided'.
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Postby Paul » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:26 pm

Hi,

Before there can be many, there must be one (the army is divided).
Before there can be one, there must be many (the army are agreed).

But to placate the nitpickers: :)

The army is marching.

The army are marching.

Cordially,

Paul
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laos - laoi

Postby elis » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:00 pm

hello

Maybe the disjunction is not between the individual and the army but between the multitude of the armies of each polin (ie laos Mycenaion, laos Boioton etc) and the great laos of the Achaeans as a whole, the plethus (2.488).
Now, is there a chance that the plural laoi in at 1.10, exists to emphasize on the fact that although Apollon got angry (cholotheis) because of Agamemnon's actions (basilei), his punishment did not fell only on his -Agamemnon's- laos, but on each and every one of the laous?

another reason for the laos/laoi pair might be one not of content but of form: metrical necessities. For example could the olekonto de laoi become effectively a singular? would oleketo de laos fit within the given metrics?


ps. this is my first post here, so this ps could perhaps serve as a mini self-introduction; Since last summer I'm - on and off- struggling with the homeric epics. Right now I'm frantically working my way through the last 8 books of Odyssey. I come from greece, and my name is vagelis.-
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Re: laos - laoi

Postby Eureka » Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:50 am

ΧΑΙΡΕ Ω ΒΑΓΕΛΙ

elis wrote:another reason for the laos/laoi pair might be one not of content but of form: metrical necessities. For example could the olekonto de laoi become effectively a singular? would oleketo de laos fit within the given metrics?

[face=SPIonic]lao/j[/face] would have fit line 10. [face=SPIonic]laou\j [/face]would no have fit line 54, but I'm sure Homer could have rearranged the line if he had wanted to use the plural.

elis wrote:Maybe the disjunction is not between the individual and the army but between the multitude of the armies of each polin (ie laos Mycenaion, laos Boioton etc) and the great laos of the Achaeans as a whole, the plethus (2.488).
Now, is there a chance that the plural laoi in at 1.10, exists to emphasize on the fact that although Apollon got angry (cholotheis) because of Agamemnon's actions (basilei), his punishment did not fell only on his -Agamemnon's- laos, but on each and every one of the laous?

I was wondering whether it was perhaps implying that Achilles had called only the Phthian army to the meeting (considering that he was not the [face=SPIonic]a1nac a0ndrw~n[/face].), and that the others may have gathered around subsequently.

It could mean, as Paul suggests, that the army was of one mind, but I would think a plague would be just the thing to divide an army, just as it obviously did to the Achaean leadership.
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laos -laoi

Postby elis » Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:23 pm

ΧΑΙΡΕ Ω ΕΥΡΕΚΑ


i'm just starting learning the metrics of homer so this may be way wrong -please correct me.
I can't understand how laos could feet at line 10.

nouson ana straton wrse kakHn, olekonto de laoi

I would divide it this way:

nouson a| na straton| wrse ka | kHn ole | konto de | laoi

the "konto de" is long + 2 shorts, the omikron being long by position (thesei), as it is followed by 2 consonants.
how could oleketo de laos fit here? would it just become olekeito de laos or something similar?
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Re: laos -laoi

Postby Eureka » Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:07 am

elis wrote:I would divide it this way:

nouson a| na straton| wrse ka | kHn ole | konto de | laoi

the "konto de" is long + 2 shorts, the omikron being long by position (thesei), as it is followed by 2 consonants.
how could oleketo de laos fit here? would it just become olekeito de laos or something similar?

That's all correct, except that the 6th foot can be either long long or long short. So, [face=SPIonic]lao/j[/face] fits as well.



(Where should we put the accent on your name by the way, [face=SPIonic]Ba/gelij[/face], [face=SPIonic]Bage/lij[/face], [face=SPIonic]Bageli/j[/face]?)
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my name

Postby elis » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:56 pm

tis Bage/lis; short for Euaggelos :)
[/quote]
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