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'Man is the Measure' in Greek

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'Man is the Measure' in Greek

Postby Raya » Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:22 pm

Any idea where I can find the original Greek for Protagoras' statement:

Of all things the measure is Man: of things that are, how they are, and of things that are not, how they are not.

If the full quotation cannot be found: does anyone know at least which word for 'man' was used?
Was it [face=SPIonic]a)/nqrwpoj[/face] (implying Man as opposed to god(s)/animals)?
...or [face=SPIonic]a)nh/r[/face] (implying Man as opposed to Woman)?
...or some other?
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Postby auctor » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:16 pm

Raya
[face=SPIonic]
Pa/ntwn xrhma/twn a)/nqrwpon me/tron ei)=nai
[/face]


in Plato Theaetus 160d

I picked that from ODQ

hope this helps

Paul McK
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Postby Raya » Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:44 am

Thanks a bunch, Paul!
Yes, that much is sufficient for my purposes... although, being me, I'll stay on the lookout in case I can find the full quotation. ;)

My only other lead is from the Protagoras article in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Of Protagoras' works, only a few brief quotations embedded in the works of later authors have survived. [...] Of Protagoras' ipsissima verba (actual words, as opposed to paraphrases), the most famous is the homo-mensura (man-measure) statement (DK80b1): "Of all things the measure is man, of the things that are, that [or "how"] they are, and of things that are not, that [or "how"] they are not."

Although they explain what the reference DK80b1 means, I've had no luck tracking it down.

And, pardon my ignorance, but what is the ODQ?
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Postby Ptolemaios » Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:32 am

DK 80b1 is a passage from Sextus Empiricus (Adversus Mathematicos VII 60) and the already mentioned passage from Plato (Theaet. 151e sqq.). In Sextus Emp. the quotation is in direct discourse:

[face=SPIonic]pa/ntwn tw=n xrhma/twn me/tron e)sti\n a)/nqrwpoj, tw=n me\n o)/ntwn w(j e)/stin, tw=n de\ ou)k o)/ntwn w(j ou)k e)/stin[/face]

Apart from the differences resulting from the difference in discourse, the only remarkable differences are the [face=SPIonic]ou)k [/face]where Plato uses [face=SPIonic]mh/[/face] and the wordorder.

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Postby auctor » Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:04 am

ODQ is the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, a quite reliable source for quotations, quips and lyrics from the ancients and moderns and all who came between.

Glad you now have two lines of attack for your project.
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Postby Raya » Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:48 pm

Ptolemaios:
Many thanks!
What is the effect, though, if [face=SPIonic]mh/[/face] is used rather than [face=SPIonic]ou)k[/face]? I mean I know that [face=SPIonic]mh/[/face] indicates probability (whereas [face=SPIonic]ou)k[/face] gives certainty) - but then for the last phrase I get something like:
of things which probably are not, how they probably are not.
...which just doesn't seem right, somehow.

Paul:
I had a sneaking suspicion it was the Oxford-something-or-other. ;)
Yes, another line of attack indeed! Here's hoping it will add just that edge to the project...
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Postby Ptolemaios » Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:37 am

With participles the difference between [face=SPIonic]ou) [/face]and [face=SPIonic]mh/[/face] is something else:

[face=SPIonic]ou)[/face] is used when the participle refers to a closed set ('those particular things that are')
[face=SPIonic]mh/ [/face]is used when it refers to an open set ('all the things that are')

The difference in negation between Plato and Sextus Emp. is probably (but I haven't checked it) a consequence of different contexts.

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Postby Raya » Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:15 pm

Ack - generic vs specific cases! I'd forgotten all about that... :oops:
Thanks for setting me straight.
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