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ἢ παισὶν αὐθένταισι κοινωνῇ δόμων (Euripides)

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Re: ἢ παισὶν αὐθένταισι κοινωνῇ δόμων (Euripides)

Postby Qimmik » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:43 pm

I have σιν heavy. If it is light, why it that?


I should have mentioned that word boundaries aren't respected in determining whether a syllable is open or closed. So the -ν of ἔρωσιν is treated for prosodic purposes as belonging to the following word, ἧς. This presumably reflects the way ancient Greek was spoken--without clear separation between words, like French or Italian.

The traditional way of stating the rule is that a syllable with a short vowel followed by a single consonant is short (light) and if followed by two consonants, long (heavy). It doesn't matter whether or not the consonants belong to the same word.

The basic unit of the dactylic hexameter (the "foot") is a single dactyl, _ v v, but the two short syllables can be replaced by a single long syllable (a spondee). (The term "hexameter" invariably refers to dactylic hexameter, probably the most common verse form in ancient Greek and Latin poetry.)

The hexameter consists of five dactylic feet, with a final spondee (the last syllable is always treated as long, even if it would otherwise be short):

_ v v / _ v v / _ v v / _ v v / _ v v / _ x //

The fifth foot is more often than not a dactyl, not a spondee. This gets to be more and more restrictive over time, until in Latin a spondee in the fifth foot is a special effect, usually a reminiscence of Greek.

A word break (caesura) generally occurs either after the first long syllable of the third foot (a "masculine" caesura) or, if the third foot is a dactyl, not a spondee, after the first short syllable (a "feminine" caesura), dividing the verse into two not quite equal halves; or else there are typically two caesuras, one in the second foot and one in the fourth foot, dividing the verse into three sections.

Word breaks can occur elsewhere in the verse, too, but one of these three patterns of caesuras is more or less obligatory--without them, a verse would not be a well-constructed hexameter.

The interplay of caesuras and the ability to substitute spondees for dactyls are what give life to the hexameter, avoiding monotony. This is especially important, since the hexameter is frequently used for long poems, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Turning to the Philodemus passage,

_ v v / _ v v / _ v σὺν αὐθεντοῦσιν ἄναξιν

[_ v v / _ v v / _ v] v / _ _ / _ v v /_ b //

The part of the presumed verse in brackets is what is lacking. We have what feels like the tail end of the third foot and the three following feet. There is a word break in the third foot before σὺν. This is a feminine caesura, dividing the verse in two sections, more or less in half (though we don't know what the first section was).

in the case of iambic verse, the basic unit is not what we would call an iamb, v _, but rather the iambic metron, x _ v _. Three of these metra make up an iambic trimeter. Two short syllables can be substituted for a long syllable occasionally, but not too often, at least in tragedy; otherwise the iambic feeling would be obliterated. Three of these metra make up an iambic trimeter.
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Re: ἢ παισὶν αὐθένταισι κοινωνῇ δόμων (Euripides)

Postby Andrew Chapman » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:39 am

Wonderful, thanks a lot, Bill, that's all clear now.

σὺν end of first half of dactylic hexameter

αὐ/θεν _ _

τοῦ/σιν/ ἄ _ v v

να(κ)/(σ)ιν _ b

3 iambic metrons to 1 trimeter
6 dactylic feet to 1 hexameter.
This thread has gone in several different, and, to me at least, interesting, directions. I hope Andrew doesn't feel he has been led on a wild goose chase.

Not at all. It is at least as important to me to begin to understand Greek, including classical Greek, as it is to determine the likely meaning of αυθεντέω. I love to learn, and to pursue truth wherever it leads. We have just watched a couple of youtube videos about Herculaneum. One with Andrew Wallace-Hadril, who didn't even mention the papyri (very interesting though), and an older one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-GXva3WQGw) which did, and showed Dirk Obbink with the charred remains, and making sure he didn't sneeze and lose some precious words for ever.

Andrew
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Re: ἢ παισὶν αὐθένταισι κοινωνῇ δόμων (Euripides)

Postby Andrew Chapman » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:22 am

Ἀλλ` εἰ δε[ῖ τἀληθῆ κα[ὶ γι]νόμενα [λέγειν, οἱ ῥ[ήτ]ορες καὶ μ[εγάλα βλάπτ[ουσι] πολλοὺς [καὶ μεγάλους καὶ περὶ τῶν [„δει]νοῖς ἔρωσι το[ξ]ευομένων“ πρὸς τοὺς ἐπιφαν[εστάτους ἐκάστοτε διαμάχονται καὶ „σὺν αὐθεντ[οῦ]σιν ἄν[αξιν]“ ὑπὲρ τῶν ὁμοίων ὡσ[αύτως.

'But to tell the truth and the actualities, the rhetoricians also do great harm to man great men, and (with reference to Eurides' saying ἡ γὰρ τυραννὶς πάντοθεν τοξεύεται δεινοῖς ἔρωσιν - tyranny/rule is aimed at from every side with strong desires - which I now paraphrase as 'those who are aimed at with strong desires') they always fight against the most eminent, ..'

(he seems to be comparing the rhetoricians to those who aim lustfully at rule or tyranny (or rulers or tyrants) - it makes more sense in this context if it is 'rule' here. I guess this is possible, even though it looks like it has to be a (negatively viewed) despotic rule in Euripides because of the ἧς φυλακτέον πέρι.)

καὶ „σὺν αὐθεντ[οῦ]σιν ἄν[αξιν]“ ὑπὲρ τῶν ὁμοίων ὡσ[αύτως.

Michael doubts that σὺν can be used for fighting against somebody as in our 'fight with'. Which suggests that they are actually fighting on the same side: 'with'. On behalf of similar men. Similar to whom? It can't readily be the ἐπιφαν[εστάτους because they are fighting against them. Similar to themselves? Similar to the ἄν[αξιν]? Any thoughts?

Andrew
Last edited by Andrew Chapman on Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ἢ παισὶν αὐθένταισι κοινωνῇ δόμων (Euripides)

Postby Qimmik » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:58 pm

One small point:

σὺν end of first half of dactylic hexameter


The end of the first half would actually be the caesura--the word break before σὺν.

Here are the first two lines of the Iliad with the caesuras marked:

μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ // Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ // Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,

The first line has a masculine caesura; the second a feminine. The metrical pattern of the second line after the caesura is identical to that of σὺν αὐθεντοῦσιν ἄναξιν.

Michael doubts that σὺν can be used for fighting against somebody as in our 'fight with'. Which suggests that they are actually fighting on the same side: 'with'. On behalf of similar men. Similar to whom? It can't readily be the ἐπιφαν[εστάτους because they are fighting against them. Similar to themselves? Similar to the ἄν[αξιν]? Any thoughts?


Unfortunately, this is simply a point where I can't go much further. The text is just too obscure for me to make much more out of it. A scholar studying Philodemus intensively over a long period, with a background in papyrology and access to the original papyri or the disegni made from them, might be able to figure this out, but it lies beyond my amateurish competence. Even Michael was not quite sure what is going on here, though he of course made better sense of it than I. Perhaps the meaning, and the missing letters of αὐθεντ . . σιν, may ultimately be irrecoverable, given the fragmentary condition of the text. Maybe there's something in what preceded the passage in question that might give a clue. But even trying to translate this small segment was very difficult for me.

ἐπιφαν[εστάτους -- Michael's translation, VIPs, is perfect!

Bill
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