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a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

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a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby daivid » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:26 pm

This is from the start of the the first book where where Herodotos tells his tall story about the start of the feud between "east" and "west".
Herodotos wrote:Περσέων μέν νυν οἱ λόγιοι Φοίνικας αἰτίους φασὶ γενέσθαι τῆς διαφορῆς. τούτους γὰρ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἐρυθρῆς καλεομένης θαλάσσης ἀπικομένους ἐπὶ τήνδε τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ οἰκήσαντας τοῦτον τὸν χῶρον τὸν καὶ νῦν οἰκέουσι, αὐτίκα ναυτιλίῃσι μακρῇσι ἐπιθέσθαι, ἀπαγινέοντας δὲ φορτία Αἰγύπτιά τε καὶ Ἀσσύρια τῇ τε ἄλλῃ ἐσαπικνέεσθαι καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐς Ἄργος.

ἠ κόρη ἠ ἄνολβος τοὺς Γαλλούς αἴτιον φησὶν γενέσθαι τῆς συμφοράς. τούτους γὰρ διὰ τῆς μέλας καλεομένης ὑλῆς πορευομένους ἐπὶ τόδε τὸ πεδιὸν, καὶ διαρπάσαντας ταὐτὴν τὴν κώμην ἥν καὶ νῦν κρατοῦσι, εὐθὺς ἐπιχειρήμασι σχετλίοις ἐπιθέσθαι, ἐξορμῶντας δὲ στρατιώτας πεζούς τε καὶ ἱππικούς τῇ τε ἄλλῃ προσβαλεῖν καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν αὐτῆς κωμᾶν.

The speaker is a refugee (perhaps appealing for help). It still involves a journey, like Herodotos' version, and I'd try and see if it is possible to use the skeleton for and event not involving a journey next.
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Re: a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby renaissancemedici » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:00 am

So, we take these texts as examples and create a syntactically similar one of our own?
Πολλ' οίδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἐχῖνος δέ έν, μέγα.
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Re: a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby daivid » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:18 pm

renaissancemedici wrote:So, we take these texts as examples and create a syntactically similar one of our own?


That's exactly the idea. While it is a little tricky to get your own sentence absolutely identical to the mode, I think it works best if you try very hard to get as close as possible to the original syntax and word order.

See this thread for other examples: http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=61092
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Re: a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby Markos » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:16 pm

τῶν ἁγιῶν γραφῶν μέν νυν οἱ συγραφεὶς τὸν διάβολον ἄιτιον λέγουσι εἶναι τοῦ θανάτου. τοῦτον γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πίπτοντα εἰς τὴν γῆν, καὶ ἀπατήσαντα τὸν πρῶτον ἄνθρωπον, ὃν καὶ νῦν κρατεῖ, αὐτίκα καὶ ἀεὶ δόλοις πονηροῖς ἐπιθέσθαι, ἀπάγοντα δὲ ψεύδη τῷ κόσμω, παρεῖναι καὶ δὴ καὶ εἰς ἡμᾶς.

daivid wrote:ἠ κόρη ἠ ἄνολβος τοὺς Γαλλούς αἴτιον φησὶν γενέσθαι τῆς συμφοράς. τούτους γὰρ διὰ τῆς μέλας καλεομένης ὑλῆς πορευομένους ἐπὶ τόδε τὸ πεδιὸν, καὶ διαρπάσαντας ταὐτὴν τὴν κώμην ἥν καὶ νῦν κρατοῦσι, εὐθὺς ἐπιχειρήμασι σχετλίοις ἐπιθέσθαι, ἐξορμῶντας δὲ στρατιώτας πεζούς τε καὶ ἱππικούς τῇ τε ἄλλῃ προσβαλεῖν καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν αὐτῆς κωμᾶν.


Nice. Your version helped me, on top of everything else, unpack the fairly difficult syntax of the original. I hate when Greek authors don't repeat verbs of saying in direct discourse, but it is something we have to deal with.

The only mistakes I see is, should be τῆς μελαίνης καλεομένης ὕλης and should the last word be κώμην?

renaissancemedici wrote:
So, we take these texts as examples and create a syntactically similar one of our own?


It's not the resultant product that is important, but the process of producing the new version. It is a mono-lingual way to pay close attention to and to internalize the syntax of the original. As always, the goal is not production for production's sake, but the goal is to increase reading fluency. The only way we will know how effective David's new method will be is to try it out. So far, I like it.
Last edited by Markos on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am writing in Ancient Greek not because I know Greek well, but because I hope that it will improve my fluency in reading. I got the idea for this from Adrianus over on the Latin forum here at Textkit.
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Re: a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby renaissancemedici » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:32 am

Thank you.

I also think this is an excellent exercise, and a great idea. It really gets you using not only syntax, but everything else as well.
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Re: a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby daivid » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:05 pm

Markos wrote:τῶν ἁγιῶν γραφῶν μέν νυν οἱ συγραφεὶς τὸν διάβολον ἄιτιον λέγουσι εἶναι τοῦ θανάτου. τοῦτον γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πίπτοντα εἰς τὴν γῆν, καὶ ἀπατήσαντα τὸν πρῶτον ἄνθρωπον, ὃν καὶ νῦν κρατεῖ, αὐτίκα καὶ ἀεὶ δόλοις πονηροῖς ἐπιθέσθαι, ἀπάγοντα δὲ ψεύδη τῷ κόσμω, παρεῖναι καὶ δὴ καὶ εἰς ἡμᾶς.
Nice. Your version helped me, on top of everything else, unpack the fairly difficult syntax of the original.
I could hardly do better than repeat back that sentence on how helpful your example is.

Two comments:
I would have expected συγγραφεῖς with an extra γ.
Is παρεῖναι a form of παρίημι or (as seems to me most likely) πάρειμι?
Markos wrote:
I hate when Greek authors don't repeat verbs of saying in direct discourse, but it is something we have to deal with.


Tell me about it! Especially as the fact you (should) always know what the object is in a sentence is one the advantages of a language with cases. :(
Markos wrote:The only mistakes I see is, should be τῆς μελαίνης καλεομένης ὕλης and should the last word be κώμην?

"through the black forest" doesn't seem odd to me so maybe I have made a mistake elsewhere that has led you off at a tangent

Finally can I ask to what extent does the the final version you produce get changed as you let the syntax mold it. I always find that my initial idea gets channeled in ways I did not at all expect.
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Re: a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby daivid » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:27 am

ναυτων μέν νυν οἱ γεραιοί τὸν φοίνικα ἐπαινετόυς φασὶ ναυπηγηθῆναι τὴν νεώς. οὕτον γὰρ ἐκ ξυλῶν δρυὸς ποιήσαντα εἰς πίναξας, καὶ χρώμενον ταύτας τέχνας ἅς καὶ νῦν χρεὶ, αὐτίκα ποίησι ἐπιθέσθαι, συλλαβόντα δὲ τμῆματα δρυὸς τε καὶ σιδηρου τὰ τε ἄλλα καθαρμόσαι καὶ δὴ καὶ τον ἱστόν.


This time without movement!
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Re: a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby Markos » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:36 pm

daivid wrote:
ναυτων μέν νυν οἱ γεραιοί τὸν φοίνικα ἐπαινετόυς φασὶ ναυπηγηθῆναι τὴν νεώς. οὕτον γὰρ ἐκ ξυλῶν δρυὸς ποιήσαντα εἰς πίναξας, καὶ χρώμενον ταύτας τέχνας ἅς καὶ νῦν χρεὶ, αὐτίκα ποίησι ἐπιθέσθαι, συλλαβόντα δὲ τμῆματα δρυὸς τε καὶ σιδηρου τὰ τε ἄλλα καθαρμόσαι καὶ δὴ καὶ τον ἱστόν.


This time without movement!


That's another good one. The καὶ δὴ καὶ there at the end is an interesting little flourish that I think you have used properly both times. I did notice a few minor mistakes for which I suppose I could offer corrections if I had time.

Two comments:
I would have expected συγγραφεῖς with an extra γ.
Is παρεῖναι a form of παρίημι or (as seems to me most likely) πάρειμι?


Yes, thanks for noticing that misspelling. And yes παρεῖναι is the infinitive of πάρειμι.


Markos wrote:
The only mistakes I see is, should be τῆς μελαίνης καλεομένης ὕλης and should the last word be κώμην?

"through the black forest" doesn't seem odd to me so maybe I have made a mistake elsewhere that has led you off at a tangent


No, nothing wrong with the phrase, but I just meant that you need the feminine μελαίνης.

Finally can I ask to what extent does the final version you produce get changed as you let the syntax mold it. I always find that my initial idea gets channeled in ways I did not at all expect.


Yes, same with me. It's easier to take the same meaning and give it a new syntax (i.e. paraphrase) than it is to take the same syntax and give it a new meaning. One thing that I would be curious about would be to see to what extent you could find actual Greek sentences that share the exact same syntactic skeleton. My sense is you could only find this with pretty simple sentences. Complicated Greek syntactic skeletons might be like snow flakes--no two are alike unless we create them ourselves.
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Re: a syntactic skeleton from herodotos (1.1.1)

Postby daivid » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:05 pm

Markos wrote:
That's another good one. The καὶ δὴ καὶ there at the end is an interesting little flourish that I think you have used properly both times. I did notice a few minor mistakes for which I suppose I could offer corrections if I had time.

I shall have a hard look thru seeking my mistakes now I have had time to forget what I intended. Maybe I'll spot them.
Markos wrote:
Markos wrote:Markos wrote:
The only mistakes I see is, should be τῆς μελαίνης καλεομένης ὕλης and should the last word be κώμην?

Daivid wrote:"through the black forest" doesn't seem odd to me so maybe I have made a mistake elsewhere that has led you off at a tangent


No, nothing wrong with the phrase, but I just meant that you need the feminine μελαίνης.
Ahh -its just that μέλας looks as if it ought to be feminine. Hopefully your correction will mean that it looks less so in future.

Markos wrote:
Yes, same with me. It's easier to take the same meaning and give it a new syntax (i.e. paraphrase) than it is to take the same syntax and give it a new meaning. One thing that I would be curious about would be to see to what extent you could find actual Greek sentences that share the exact same syntactic skeleton. My sense is you could only find this with pretty simple sentences. Complicated Greek syntactic skeletons might be like snow flakes--no two are alike unless we create them ourselves.

On one level I agree with you. Sentences this long have so many permutations that to find an exact match will be hard. However I doubt that we we would find Ancient Greek sentences populate all the theoretical possibilities in the way that snowflakes do. Indeed the way the skeleton pushes me down routes that I didn't expect to go suggests that the choice of the Ancient Greek is far from random and not just a whim but very much laid down by the meaning the author wishes to convey.

In the Lysias skeleton it is quite possible to do a mirror image and so that instead of it describing a change from perfection to really bad into a change from total evil to perfection. It is not possible conform to the skeleton and right about a change of sort of okay to sort of not okay. At least I don't think so.
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