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Callimachus, epigrammata, 41

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Callimachus, epigrammata, 41

Postby Polyfloisbos » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:27 pm

Hi folks,

I have another question for you. It's about the epigram 41 of Callimachus and a textual emmendation. This text is the one editated by Wilamowitz:

ἥμισύ μευ ψυχῆς ἔτι τὸ πνέον, ἥμισυ δ᾽ οὐκ οἶδ᾽
εἴτ᾽ Ἔρος εἴτ᾽ Ἀίδης ἥρπασε, πλὴν ἀφανές.
ἦ ῥά τιν᾽ ἐς παίδων πάλιν ὤιχετο; καὶ μὲν ἀπεῖπον
πολλάκι 'τὴν δρῆστιν μὴ ὑποδέχεσθε νέοι᾽.
ουκισυνιφησον: ἐκεῖσε γὰρ ἡ λιθόλευστος
κείνη καὶ δύσερως οἶδ᾽ ὅτι που στρέφεται.

As far as I have seen -I must admit I haven't read a full critical apparatus on this- there are at least three corrections to this ουκισυνιφησον, which is obviously incorrect.

· οὐκ ἲσον ἔφη σόν (H. W. Tytler)
· οὗ τις συνδιφήσον (A. W. Mair)
· οὗ Κῖσος, δίφησον (H. Beckby)

The first one would be the most accurate according to the common errors of the copists, but makes no sense to me since νέοι is plural, not singular; the second one is my favourite (even if the use of τις as a second person pronoun could be discussed), and the third one is where the struggle is: why is Κῖσος in nominative, if it's for sure the subject of the imperative δίφησον? Could it be some weird abbreviated vocative of Κίσως? Shall we understand "where Kisos (is), (and you) must help"?
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Re: Callimachus, epigrammata, 41

Postby NateD26 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:36 pm

Are you sure that the imperative means to help? Perseus links to διφάω, to search after,
which seems to go well with the relative adv. here. Maybe Κῖσος (the name of her runaway lover?)
is nominative in that relative clause: Where Cisus is, search after [him].
It seems she addresses herself indirectly, as 'I must search where he is, cause if I don't,
he'll eventually come crawling back, utterly ruined'.

This edition has another possibility, but also different punctuation in this and previous lines.
Οὐκ ἐς τὸν Κήφισσον;
Perhaps this reading tries to make an analogy between ἐς παίδων τινὰ ὤιχετο and
jumping into the Cephissus river, tumultuous and unreliable as that boy would surely turn out to be.

Maybe the vocative in the repeated warning was originally singular, and such assertion is reflected
in H. W. Tytler's translation. He seems to ignore the disputed part in his loose translation though.
Nate.
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Re: Callimachus, epigrammata, 41

Postby Polyfloisbos » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:20 pm

NateD26 wrote:Are you sure that the imperative means to help? Perseus links to διφάω, to search after,
which seems to go well with the relative adv. here. Maybe Κῖσος (the name of her runaway lover?)
is nominative in that relative clause: Where Cisus is, search after [him].
It seems she addresses herself indirectly, as 'I must search where he is, cause if I don't,
he'll eventually come crawling back, utterly ruined'.


The translation of διφάω as "help" is a mistake I made based on the Mair edition (LOEB). He translates this imperative as "help me to search", but I didn't read the last verb. My fault :oops: . Anyway, your translation sounds quite good to me, but I also think that this reference to himself -to me Callimachus is the authorial voice- with an imperative is somewhat developed by later poets, such a Catulus. I'm not sure if the Hellenestic greek poets used this figure of speech. But, as I said, I like your translation.

Οὐκ ἐς τὸν Κήφισσον;
Perhaps this reading tries to make an analogy between ἐς παίδων τινὰ ὤιχετο and
jumping into the Cephissus river, tumultuous and dangerous as that boy would surely turn out to be.


This one is excellent. But I think he's talking about his ψυχή (I apologize if the meaning of the poem isn't clear; now I will copy a translation in order to discuss it comfortably), not about a boy. Anyway, this expression (mainly because of the interrogative punctuation) should be understood as "Won't you/it go the Cephissus?", as in Sophocles OT 430 (Οὐκ εἰς ὄλεθρον; = literally Won't (you go) to your ruin?).

Finally, it must also be taken into account that διφάω has "only present", and that συνδιφάω doesn't appear in the dictionaries.

===

Translation of the poem by Mair:

Half of my soul still lives, but half I know not whether Love or Death hath stolen; only it is vanished. Has it gone again to where the boys are? and yet I forbade them often: "O youths, receive not the runaway!" There help me, some one, to search; for there somewhere of a surety flits that lovescik one, worthy to die by stoning.


PD: Note that the translation of οὗ τις συνδιφήσον is incorrect, for the verb is in 2nd person.
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