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Odyssey 12. 55-72

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Odyssey 12. 55-72

Postby huilen » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:10 pm

Hello everybody, thanks for all your help with Book 6 of the Odyssey, I have finished it and started yesterday with Book 12 :) Here I leave some doubts that I have.

1.

τῇ δ᾽ οὔ πώ τις νηῦς φύγεν ἀνδρῶν, ἥ τις ἵκηται,
ἀλλά θ᾽ ὁμοῦ πίνακάς τε νεῶν καὶ σώματα φωτῶν
κύμαθ᾽ ἁλὸς φορέουσι πυρός τ᾽ ὀλοοῖο θύελλαι.


I don't understand why is ἱκνέομαι in the subjunctive mode, as far as I know, a principal tense in the main clause is followed by a principal tense in the subordinate.

It seems to me a past general conditional relative clause (the antecedent is indefinite, and the relative clause is conditional, and then there is the epic τε after ἀλλά, right?). And I don't see that Smyth says anything special about it:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... tion%3D159
Sixth Form PAST GENERAL CONDITIONAL RELATIVES

[*] 2568. Past general conditional relative clauses have the optative. The main clause has the imperfect or an equivalent.

ἀεὶ πρὸς ᾧ (= εἰ πρός τινι) ““εἴη ἔργῳ, τοῦτο ἔπρα_ττεν” whatever work he was engaged in, that he always performed” X. H. 4.8.22, ἔπρα_ττεν ἃ δόξειεν αὐτῷ he always did whatever he pleased D. 18.235, ““πάντας . . . ὅσους λάβοιεν διέφθειρον” they used to destroy as many as they captured” T. 2.67, ““ἐθήρα_ ὅπου περ ἐπιτυγχάνοιεν θηρίοις” he used to hunt wherever they fell in with large game” X. C. 3.3.5, ἀνέκραγον . . . ἱκετεύουσαι πάντας ὅτῳ ἐντυγχάνοιεν μὴ φεύγειν they screamed out, entreating all they met not to flee X. C. 3.3.67.

a. An iterative tense with ἄν in the main clause: ὅπῃ μέλλοι ἀ_ριστοποιεῖσθαι τὸ στράτευμα . . ., ἐπανήγαγεν ἄν τὸ κέρας, when the squadron was about to take breakfast, he would draw back the wing X. H. 6.2.28.


2.

τῇ μέν τ᾽ οὐδὲ ποτητὰ παρέρχεται οὐδὲ πέλειαι
τρήρωνες, ταί τ᾽ ἀμβροσίην Διὶ πατρὶ φέρουσιν,
ἀλλά τε καὶ τῶν αἰὲν ἀφαιρεῖται λὶς πέτρη:
ἀλλ᾽ ἄλλην ἐνίησι πατὴρ ἐναρίθμιον εἶναι.


I understand that she is saying that not even the doves that carry ambrosia to Zeus go there, but the meaning of the next verses is obscure to me. Is τῶν a partitive genitive with πέτρη, or it is the genitive that takes ἀφαιρέω? And how a rock could be the subject of such verb? A rock that takes away something? In respect to the last verse, I suppose it will make sense when I understand the penult: whatever the rock takes away, Zeus put there another thing of that kind to replace it.
Last edited by huilen on Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
huilen
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Re: Odyssey 12. 55-72

Postby huilen » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:15 pm

I don't understand why is ἱκνέομαι in the subjunctive mode, as far as I know, a principal tense in the main clause is followed by a principal tense in the subordinate.


I am not sure, but I think I have figured out this by myself. Is the gnomic aorist again, isn't it? Here Smyth gives an example with a relative conditional clause:

b. The gnomic aorist is regarded as a primary tense (1858): ““οἱ τύραννοι πλούσιον ὃν ἂν βούλωνται παραχρῆμ᾽ ἐποίησαν” tyrants make rich in a moment whomever they wish” D. 20.15.
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Re: Odyssey 12. 55-72

Postby Qimmik » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:47 am

1. τῇ δ᾽ οὔ πώ τις νηῦς φύγεν ἀνδρῶν, ἥ τις ἵκηται,

This is a general relative clause. See Smyth 2567, and in particular note b regarding Homeric usage:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Smyth+grammar+2567&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007

I think you are right in treating φύγεν as a gnomic aorist.

That way no ship of men, whatever ship arrives, ever escapes.

2. ἀλλά τε καὶ τῶν αἰὲν ἀφαιρεῖται λὶς πέτρη:
ἀλλ᾽ ἄλλην ἐνίησι πατὴρ ἐναρίθμιον εἶναι.

The best I can offer is to treat τε as the generalizing epic particle (not connective τε καὶ). "The smooth rock grabs even [καὶ] one from among those [τῶν, i.e., birds], but Zeus sends another to make up the number."

τῶν is a partitive genitive used as the object of ἀφαιρεῖται. See the examples in Smyth 1341:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Smyth+grammar+1341&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007

"And how a rock could be the subject of such verb? A rock that takes away something?" We're not in the real world. Don't insist on verisimilitude.

There is some legend behind this, but it's lost to time.
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Re: Odyssey 12. 55-72

Postby huilen » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:37 pm

1. τῇ δ᾽ οὔ πώ τις νηῦς φύγεν ἀνδρῶν, ἥ τις ἵκηται,

This is a general relative clause. See Smyth 2567, and in particular note b regarding Homeric usage:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 99.04.0007

I think you are right in treating φύγεν as a gnomic aorist.

That way no ship of men, whatever ship arrives, ever escapes.

I see it clear now. I thought first that it was a past general relative clause, because I see the verb of the main clause in a past tense, and that's why I asked myself why the verb of the relative clause was in a primary tense. But being the verb of the main clause a gnomic aorist, then the subordinate clause can be a present general relative clause, and everything make sense.

"The smooth rock grabs even [καὶ] one from among those [τῶν, i.e., birds], but Zeus sends another to make up the number."

Ok, is enough for me. The thing that I encounter a little confussing is that there is not the object of ἀφαιρεῖται, I would expect: ἀλλά τε καὶ τῶν τινα ἀφαιρεῖται.
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Re: Odyssey 12. 55-72

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:46 pm

I think the main difficulty here is not so much the language, but the fact that the substance of the story is really a bit weird. Does Zeus send another bird just so that the rock can grab it too?

Many scholars think this is myth is not so successfully adapted from the Argonaut story, and that's why it is a bit unclear.
Qimmik wrote:2. ἀλλά τε καὶ τῶν αἰὲν ἀφαιρεῖται λὶς πέτρη:
ἀλλ᾽ ἄλλην ἐνίησι πατὴρ ἐναρίθμιον εἶναι.

The best I can offer is to treat τε as the generalizing epic particle (not connective τε καὶ). "The smooth rock grabs even [καὶ] one from among those [τῶν, i.e., birds], but Zeus sends another to make up the number."

Epic τε looks likely to me too, as well as in the two previous lines and line 67. I think in the majority of cases where τε follows another particle, it has this generalizing force. I can't find the references right now, but that's the idea I got from Denniston's Greek particles, as well as from another totally crazy 1000+ page book "Autour du te épique" by Ruijgh (I have read only a few pages, but I'm sure this is one of the books Scribo would describe as "mental").
huilen wrote:The gnomic aorist is regarded as a primary tense

Thanks, that's new to me.
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