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Athenaeus 8, 45 (pun intended)

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Athenaeus 8, 45 (pun intended)

Postby Polyfloisbos » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:57 am

Hi fellows,

Every summer I do some Greek "gratis et amore" -mostly some authors that we don't study at University-, and usually some interesting questions come up when translating. Recently one of these philological challenges appeared. Here's a fragment of Deipnosophistae by Athenaeus (fragment 8,45):

Ἐν μικρᾷ δὲ πόλει διδάσκων ἔφη « Αὕτη οὐ πόλις ἐστίν, ἀλλὰ μόλις ».

Translation by Henry G. Bohn:

And once, when he was teaching in a small town, he said: "This is not a city, but hardly one".

The English translation doesn't show the pun in the original, where πόλις (city) and μόλις (hardly) rhyme. I made a Spanish translation which reflects more or less that pun:

"Con dificultad esto es una ciudad".

But my knowledge of English doesn't go too far so I can't work out a good translation. Any ideas?
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Re: Athenaeus 8, 45 (pun intended)

Postby oryx3 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:25 pm

"This isn't a city... it's an itty-bitty city."
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Re: Athenaeus 8, 45 (pun intended)

Postby LSorenson » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:56 am

This isn't a city, it's a pity.
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Re: Athenaeus 8, 45 (pun intended)

Postby Polyfloisbos » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:28 pm

Hey that's a good one :D. What about "boiled down this isn't a town"?
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Re: Athenaeus 8, 45 (pun intended)

Postby Markos » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:55 pm

τὸ ἄστυ ὀστῶδες.
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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