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Plb. 6.2.9

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Plb. 6.2.9

Postby pster » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:49 pm

μεγίστην δ᾽ αἰτίαν ἡγητέον ἐν ἅπαντι πράγματι καὶ πρὸς ἐπιτυχίαν καὶ τοὐναντίον τὴν τῆς πολιτείας σύστασιν: ἐκ γὰρ ταύτης ᾗπερ ἐκ πηγῆς οὐ μόνον ἀναφέρεσθαι συμβαίνει πάσας τὰς ἐπινοίας καὶ τὰς ἐπιβολὰς τῶν ἔργων, ἀλλὰ καὶ συντέλειαν λαμβάνειν.

One must study the greatest cause in all matters in respect to success and its opposite, the form of the constitution:...

The only way I can explain the first part of this sentence is by way of apposition. Another candidate might be invoking the accusative absolute for the verbal adjective, but that seems not to be allowed because of the presence of ταύτης. But I am a little hazy on how distant the subject of the absolute construction has to be from the grammatical goings on in the main clause. Mastronarde says it can't be subject, object, or anything else in the main clause. Smyth seems to just say it can't be the subject.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Plb. 6.2.9

Postby IreneY » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:21 am

I'm not quite sure I follow you. Ηγητέον is not a participle, it's part of "ηγητέον εστί" (verbal adjective + to be = impersonal constuction)
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Re: Plb. 6.2.9

Postby pster » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:11 am

I did mention the "verbal adjective". My question though is what is the relation between αἰτίαν and σύστασιν. If you go the εστί route, then it seems they are in apposition? Is that your view?

I just feel like I use apposition way too much and so I was imagining somehow I could avoid that by some absolute accusative construction which impersonal expressions do take (they don't take the genitive). In this case you would need an understood participle for the copula, ie οῦσαν or ὄν. I was probably halucinating though because I can get things in the accusative that way, but still need a feminine.

Are they in apposition?
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Re: Plb. 6.2.9

Postby IreneY » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:55 am

Ah, I see. Well, I can't help you there. I mean, if you have to call it something other than free word order, it's a plain old apposition.
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Re: Plb. 6.2.9

Postby IreneY » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:55 am

Ah, I see. Well, I can't help you there. I mean, if you have to call it something other than free word order, it's a plain old apposition.
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Re: Plb. 6.2.9

Postby pster » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:13 am

It's not the word order. It's the fact that there are three things, but the copula has only two places. There is the cause, the form, and the to-be-studied, ie two nouns and an adjective. We could drop the form and we would have a complete sentence. The cause is to-be studied. There is no room left for a third thing. I don't care about the order at all. It's that there is no room left in the boat!
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Re: Plb. 6.2.9

Postby pster » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:24 am

I'm not even really sure how the copula is supposed to work with these adjectives. I think that we have the accusative case here because cause is really the object of the verbal adjective. You can also have the dative and genitive cases. Still, you don't get the extra substantive.
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Re: Plb. 6.2.9

Postby IreneY » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:43 am

Ahh, some light starts to dawn
μεγίστην δ᾽ αἰτίαν ἡγητέον ἐν ἅπαντι πράγματι καὶ πρὸς ἐπιτυχίαν καὶ τοὐναντίον τὴν τῆς πολιτείας σύστασιν:

So you think that

Ηγητέον εστί = our verb
Την σύστασιν = its subject
αιτίαν = the subject's attributive (Την σύστασιν αιτίαν ηγητέον εστί kind of thing)
(see LSJ III 2)

doesn't fly?

How about it following the general syntax of ηγουμαι? Ηγούμαι τινά ειναι? Make something like

Την συστασιν ηγετεόν εστί είναι αιτίαν?

Ι'm sorry I can't delve deeper into it right now and for being slow tonight :(
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Re: Plb. 6.2.9

Postby pster » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:25 am

IreneY wrote:(Την σύστασιν αιτίαν ηγητέον εστί kind of thing)
(see LSJ III 2)


I never considered that. And that probably explains it. I forgot to check the full entry of LSJ for all the key words! :(
IreneY wrote:How about it following the general syntax of ηγουμαι? Ηγούμαι τινά ειναι? Make something like

Την συστασιν ηγετεόν εστί είναι αιτίαν?


I don't think we need another copula. I like your first suggestion. Don't you start having doubts!

Thanks so much Irene.
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