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Question about Book 1, Line 20 of the Iliad

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Question about Book 1, Line 20 of the Iliad

Postby jabloom99 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:50 am

Pharr (and T.D. Seymour) give line 20 as:

παῖδα δ' ἐμοὶ λῦσαί τε φίλην, τά τ' ἄποινα δέχεσθαι

Other editions, however (such as the Loeb Classics version translated by Murray and Wyatt, as well as Homeri Opera, Vol. 1 translated by Munro and Allen) give line 20 as:

παῖδα δ᾽ ἐμοὶ λύσαιτε φίλην, τὰ δ᾽ ἄποινα δέχεσθαι,

My question is about what to make of "λῦσαί τε" as compared to "λύσαιτε".

On the one hand, either "λῦσαί" or "λύσαιτε" seem to work just fine - the infinitive as request/command and the second person plural active optative aorist have, as far as I can tell, virtually the same meaning in translation.

The problem I see with Pharr's version is the "τε" -- what does the "τε" mean if the passage reads "λῦσαί τε", as Pharr presents it?

[I also downloaded the digital image of the relevant page of the Venetus A manuscript, and it is somewhat difficult to tell whether there is a space between "λύσαι" and "τε", although the accent tracks the Loeb version.]
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Re: Question about Book 1, Line 20 of the Iliad

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:19 am

λύσαιτε would be maybe slightly more polite than the infinitival imperative λῦσαί.

Note that Pharr has
παῖδα δ᾽ ἐμοὶ λῦσαί τε φίλην, τὰ τ᾽ ἄποινα δέχεσθαι

I.e., τὰ δ᾽ ἄποινα has been changed to τὰ τ᾽ ἄποινα. The two τε's makes "free my daughter" and "take the ransom" a sort of pair.

With δὲ, they are more sort of contrasted "free my daughter on the one hand, but take the ransom on the other hand". This is an exaggeration though, I translate like this to make my point. Actually I think the two different readings are so similar that they should probably translated exactly the same in English.
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Re: Question about Book 1, Line 20 of the Iliad

Postby Markos » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:30 pm

For what it is worth, the intralingual versions capture the sense of the first reading:

Psellos: τὴν προσφιλῆ δέ μοι θυγατέρα λυτρώσασθε, τὰ δὲ δῶρα δέξασθε...

Gaza: ἐμοὶ δὲ ἀπολύσατε τὴν προσφιλῆ θυγατέρα, καὶ τὰ λύτρα δέξασθε...

Loukanis: τὴν ἐμὴν θυγατέρα, τὴν πολλά μου ποθουμένην, πρὸς ἐμὲ τὴν ἀποδῶτε, τὰ δὲ δῶρα τὰ κομίζω δέξεσθέ τα κατὰ χάριν...
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Re: Question about Book 1, Line 20 of the Iliad

Postby Qimmik » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:09 am

λῦσαί τε is a variant reading that appears in a few of the medieval manuscripts, including the Townleyan ms. in the British Museum, dated 1059 (according to West's apparatus, it's either a correction of or is corrected by the other reading--he can't tell which), and, according to Eustathius, the 11th c. bishop of Thessalonica who wrote enormous commentaries on the Iliad and the Odyssey, was the reading preferred by Apion and Herodorus, two ancient scholars in the Alexandrian tradition.

λύσαιτε is the reading of the rest of the sources.
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