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Pharr Lesson XXXII

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Pharr Lesson XXXII

Postby Aetos » Sat May 19, 2018 7:16 pm

Back in college, some 47 years ago, I took 2 semesters of Homeric Greek using Clyde Pharr's Homeric Greek as my text. I kept the book in hopes of completing it someday. Now that I've retired, that day has come! I have started from scratch and am now up to lesson XXXII, learning the regular -μι verbs. For the first 52 lessons, there are translation exercises, Greek to English and vice versa and I've been dutifully completing them. Which brings me to this sentence:

If Agamemnon will not release the dear daughter of the aged priest and receive the shining ransoms, the free-shooter will still give many woes to the Danaans, nor will he ward off unseemly destruction for them until they give back to her own father the white-armed maiden, unbought, and unransomed, and lead a sacred hecatomb into Chrysa; then perhaps they may appease the god and persuade his soul.

This is my translation:
εἰ ἄν μὴ λύσῃ Ἀγαμέμνων θύγατρα φίλην γεραιοῖο ἀρητῆρος καὶ ἀγλα’ ἄποινα μὴ ἀποδέξηται, ἔτι δώσει ἑκηβόλος Δαναοῖσι πολλὰ ἄλγεα, οὔτε λοιγὸν άεικέα τοῖσ’ ἀπώσει πρὶν ἀποδώσουσι ἑῷ πατρὶ λευκώλενην κούρην ἀπριάτην ἀνάποινόν τε καὶ ἄξουσι ἑκατόμβην ἱερήν ἐς Χρύσην· τότε κὲν θεὸν ἱλασσαίατο θυμόν τε πείσαιεν.

1. First off, I'm not sure how to handle a two part conditional clause, I consider it relatively vivid, so I use the aorist subjunctive (λύσῃ, ἀποδέξηται). I thought to use a participial construction for the second part (ἀγλαὰ δεξόμενος ἄποινα ) but it seems to lend itself to some ambiguity; stylistically,however,it is more appropriate.
2. πρὶν seems to introduce what I believe is yet another two part conditional clause, only in this case the protasis follows the apodosis. So: ἀποδώσουσι or ἀποδῶσι /ἄξουσι or γάγωσι (2nd aorist subjunctive) ?
Homer uses the infinitive to do this:
πρίν γ' ἀπὸ πατρὶ φίλῳ δόμεναι ἑλικώπιδα κούρην
ἀπριάτην ἀνάποινον, ἄγειν θ' ἱερὴν ἐκατόμβην
ἐς Χρύσην· τότε κὲν μιν ἱλασσάμενοι πεπίθοιμεν

I believe the purpose of the exercise is to employ different constructions and forms, so that is what I came up with.
P.S. If you think you've seen this before, it's because I posted this article in the Latin D Ancient Greek Forum a couple of months ago. I never did get a reply. As there are numerous suggestions pointing to Textkit in those fora, I have found my way here in hopes that someone with more experience can look at my attempts at ancient greek composition. Ultimately, I intend to post my answers to all the English to Greek composition exercises, as they are only available up through lesson VII from greekgeek.org. He did however publish all the Greek to English translation answers.
P.P.S. I'm now up to Lesson XXXVIII.
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Re: Pharr Lesson XXXII

Postby Hylander » Sun May 20, 2018 1:00 am

1. The participle would be αποδεξαμενος, wouldn't it? But the English text seems to call for aor. subj.

2. In Homer, πριν usually takes an infinitive, but in Attic, if the main clause is negative and the verb of the main clause is future or imperative, πριν, meaning "until", functions like a future conditional, taking the subjunctive + αν.

Here's Smyth's discussion (sec. 2438):

2438. πρίν is originally a comparative adverb meaning before, i.e. sooner or formerly; and seems to be connected with πρό, πρότερον before. The adverbial force survives in Attic only after the article, as ““ἐν τοῖς πρὶν λόγοις” in the foregoing statements” T. 2.62. The adverbial and original use appears also in Homer wherever πρίν occurs with the indicative, the anticipatory (futural) subjunctive (1810), or the optative with κέ. Thus, τὴν δ᾽ ἐγὼ οὐ λύ_σω: πρίν μιν καὶ γῆρας ἕπεισιν but her I will not release; sooner shall old age come upon her A 29, οὐδέ μιν ἀνστήσεις: πρὶν καὶ κακὸν ἄλλο πάθῃσθα nor shalt thou recall him to life; sooner (before this) thou wilt suffer yet another affliction Ω 551.—From this early coördination was developed the construction of the conjunction πρίν with the finite moods; but in general only after Homer, who never uses the indicative, and the optative only once (Φ 580), with πρίν. The required sense was given by ἕως or πρίν γ᾽ ὅτε δή. A finite mood was first used of the future, and after negative clauses (οὐ πρότερον πρίν like οὐ πρότερον ἕως).—Homer commonly uses the infinitive with πρίν meaning before and until. Here the infinitive (as with ὥστε) simply states the abstract verbal notion, and thus has no reference to differences of time or mood; πρίν being used almost like πρό before as πρὶν ἰδεῖν ῀ πρὸ τοῦ ἰδεῖν before seeing (first in Xenophon). This early use with the infinitive was, with some restrictions, retained in Attic, where the infinitive may sometimes be used instead of the finite verb. πρίν came more and more to take the subjunctive with ἄν and to assume conditional relations (cp. 2433); while the use with the infinitive was more and more confined to cases where the leading verb was affirmative.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Smyth+grammar+2438&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007
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Re: Pharr Lesson XXXII

Postby Aetos » Sun May 20, 2018 2:43 pm

Thank you, Hylander! It's always difficult trying to study something on your own, not knowing if your work is correct or if you've overlooked something, as in the case of:

1. δεξόμενος vs. ἀποδεξάμενος. I didn't really give it sufficient thought. Considering that I'm using the aorist subjunctive in the first part of the clause, I should probably use the aorist in the participial clause. In the case of ἀποδεξάμενος instead of simply δεξάμενος, ἀποδεξάμενος probably conveys the sense that Agamemnon has to accept the situation, as opposed to simply receiving a reward.
2. You know, I have the hard copy of Smyth's Grammar and I looked up πρίν and was somewhat overwhelmed with the amount of information. Thank you for pointing me to the relevant section!

So here's a more Ηomeric form of the sentence:
εἰ ἄν μὴ λύσῃ Ἀγαμέμνων θύγατρα φίλην γεραιοῖο ἀρητῆρος ἀγλα’ ἀποδεξάμενος ἄποινα, ἔτι δώσει ἑκηβόλος Δαναοῖσι πολλὰ ἄλγεα, οὔτε λοιγὸν ἀεικέα τοῖσ’ ἀπώσει πρίν γ' ἀφ' ἑῷ πατρὶ δόμεναι λευκώλενην κούρην ἀπριάτην ἀνάποινόν τε, ἄγειν θ'ἑκατόμβην ἱερήν ἐς Χρύσην· τότε κὲν θεὸν ἱλασσαίατο θυμόν τε πείσαιεν.

Of course, to be truly Homeric, I'd have to put it in dactylic hexameter!
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Re: Pharr Lesson XXXII

Postby Hylander » Sun May 20, 2018 6:29 pm

Of course, to be truly Homeric, I'd have to put it in dactylic hexameter!


Homer has already done that (or nearly so).

But you're right to remember, in using Pharr, that the Homeric language really doesn't exist in prose, and that later prose writers wrote substantially different forms of Greek, in particular, Attic, which you will have to learn if you pursue Greek beyond epic and elegiac poetry. I don't think the transition will be extremely difficult: many of the noun- and verb-forms will be in place. However, Attic syntax is much more elaborate (as Smyth's discussion of πριν shows), and making the leap will not be wholly easy.

Paul Derouda might be able to give you some tips when you're ready: he has gone from Pharr to Thucydides!

By the way, I think your effort at translation from the English is very good and shows that you've mastered the material.

One note: the present participle would be δεχόμενος. δεξόμενος would be future. By the way, most other dialects (other than Attic) have δεκομαι/δεκομενος, including Herodotus' fifth-century Ionic. One suspects that the spelling of this verb with -χ- in the text of Homer is an Atticism that reflects Athenian editing of the text at some point in its history.
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Re: Pharr Lesson XXXII

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun May 20, 2018 9:11 pm

Whether my experiences are worth anything or not, let me tell about them.

Pharr's book was my introduction to Greek over ten years ago, more or less. I think it's still the only textbook I've finished, but since then I've read many other authors in other dialects, especially in Attic (the tragedians, Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato, Sappho, Herodotus, and at present Thucydides, to name a few). I wouldn't say that the transition from Homer is too difficult, especially if you start Attic with a rather easy prose writer like Xenophon or some easier Plato. The difficult part is that Homer is a mixture of different dialects, with noun and verb forms that show a wide variety of dialectal forms; when you've read Homer for some time, you sort of get used to accepting that almost any form is possible. That's ok as long as you're reading Homer, but the perfect regularity (to exaggerate a bit) of Attic can be a bit overwhelming after that – it was for me, because I've never really cared to learn the noun, verb and pronoun inflection paradigms as given in textbooks, because in Homer they were so irregular anyway. It's not really a big deal, but starting with Attic might be have been a more structured approach for me – but on the other hand, life is short, and if you want to read Homer, you should read Homer and not believe those who tell you should first read Attic, or even stranger, start with Latin. (In retrospect, I think it would have been better in principle for me to start with Attic, but in practise I don't think it would have worked out, because it was Homer that I dreamed of reading back then.)

I never did the translations from English to Greek. What's best about Pharr is that you get to read real Homer very soon. Pharr guides you through the first book of the Iliad, and after finishing it, you will be ready for book two, or the Odyssey, or Hesiod, or whatever early hexameter poetry there is (that's about it, actually...). You might well read the whole Iliad, for example. My advice: don't put too much energy on the translation exercises (or skip them altogether), especially the ones from English to Greek, and concentrate on what's best - reading Homer (you seem to know your stuff pretty well already anyway). If you have any queries, post them here. People will be happy to help - especially on questions that concern words actually written by ancient authors (translation exercises, no matter how good, are rarely on par with Homer himself...) :lol:
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Re: Pharr Lesson XXXII

Postby Aetos » Sun May 20, 2018 9:59 pm

Thank you for the guidance and the kind words! It means a lot. I'm able to devote a lot more time to Homer now that I'm retired, but memorization takes a little longer now than when I was younger. Long range plans? Well, I'll probably try Steadman's Iliad selections, then move on to Xenophon, Herodotus, then Aeschylus. I'll confess I've been taking a sneak peak at Herodotus in Perseus. I do a chapter a day (great way to wake up!) I'll also confess that although I recognize the forms and the vocabulary, my translations often miss the mark because of my lack of syntactical knowledge of Attic. I do not resort to Perseus for Homer. Perseus is good if you don't know the language, but want to get a feel for the original text. It is also good if you know the language well enough to steer clear of potential errors inherent in data base filtering. It is not meant as a means to learn the language,and so I prefer having the more structured experience afforded by Pharr. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions for you and Paul.
Thanks again,
Don Nash
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Re: Pharr Lesson XXXII

Postby Aetos » Sun May 20, 2018 11:47 pm

Hi Paul,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Generally, I think my plan of study is quite similar to your progression. To be honest, I'm more of a history buff, so I'm looking forward to reading the historians; however, I can only marvel at the genius of Homer and the artistry of the Greek epic and it really is fun to read. My household is Greek (yes, we read and speak modern Greek) and I swear when my sons start arguing, it sounds like Agamemnon and Achilles are having it out in my kitchen!
So thanks for giving your time and knowledge to those of us trying to appreciate the ancients.
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Re: Pharr Lesson XXXII

Postby Hylander » Mon May 21, 2018 2:21 am

I'm glad you've found your way to this site--I think you will find it helpful--and I'm looking forward to your participation here!

And, by the way, as I'm sure you already know, Homer is fundamental to everything in ancient Greek.
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