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Plb. 6.3: viva ὅσα!

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Plb. 6.3: viva ὅσα!

Postby pster » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:54 pm

τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων ὅσα πολλάκις μὲν ηὔξηται, πολλάκις δὲ τῆς εἰς τἀναντία μεταβολῆς ὁλοσχερῶς πεῖραν εἴληφε, ῥᾳδίαν εἶναι συμβαίνει καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν προγεγονότων ἐξήγησιν καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἀπόφασιν

Of the Greek republics, which have again and again risen to greatness and fallen into insignificance, it is not difficult to speak, whether we recount their past history or venture an opinion on their future.

What kind of use of ὅσα is this? It seems to be functioning as a relative pronoun, but is there a Smyth number? Or am I missing some sort of fancy attraction, dropping of antecedent, etc.?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:34 pm

pster wrote:τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων ὅσα πολλάκις μὲν ηὔξηται, πολλάκις δὲ τῆς εἰς τἀναντία μεταβολῆς ὁλοσχερῶς πεῖραν εἴληφε, ῥᾳδίαν εἶναι συμβαίνει καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν προγεγονότων ἐξήγησιν καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἀπόφασιν

Of the Greek republics, which have again and again risen to greatness and fallen into insignificance, it is not difficult to speak, whether we recount their past history or venture an opinion on their future.

What kind of use of ὅσα is this? It seems to be functioning as a relative pronoun, but is there a Smyth number? Or am I missing some sort of fancy attraction, dropping of antecedent, etc.?

Thanks in advance.

I know that ὅσα is strictly a quantitive relative pronoun and that its antecendent is often omitted.
Its meaning is generally "as many as.. = all those who..."

However, I don't understand the meaning of συμβαίνει here. You've read it as impersonal which is fine
but how did it become "to speak" or "to describe" as another version reads it?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:37 pm

That's not my translation. I just lifted it off Perseus. Here's how I understand it.

συμβαίνει: =it happens

Now I assume that this impersonal works much like indirect discourse with an infinitive, ie we put the subject in the accusative.

ἐξήγησιν: the subject in the accusative

εἶναι: our infinitive

ῥᾳδίαν: rounds out our predicate

Giving us: it happens that the narrative be easy
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:46 pm

NateD26 wrote:I know that ὅσα is strictly a quantitive relative pronoun and that its antecendent is often omitted.
Its meaning is generally "as many as.. = all those who..."


If we didn't omit the antecedent, what would it be?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby Scribo » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:16 pm

It would still function as a relative clause, just a plainer and less idiomatic one.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:20 pm

Here is one of the things I am struggling with. Consider a basic relative pronoun. It has an antecedent. That antecedent is some kind of noun. Sometimes it is a demonstrative. And sometimes, as with attraction, that demonstrative can drop out.

Now when we get to these osos, oios relative pronouns, I assume it is the same thing. They have antecedents. Sometimes those antecedents are not the correlative demonstratives. Sometimes they are. And sometimes they are correlative demonstratives that are implicit/have dropped out (I guess through attraction??).

Is that story correct?

And if it is correct, what is happening in this passage from Polybius. What exactly is the antecedent for this relative?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby IreneY » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:15 am

Hey there! You mean whether it's όσα πολιτεύματα or not?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:32 am

I don't want to prejudge matters. I think most people would instinctively say it is a relative. So what is the antecedent that provides its referent? Nate seems to suggest that the antecedent has been omitted. If we go that route, then if we unomit it, what do we get? And what allowed us to omit it. Some kind of attraction process? If we don't think the antecedent has been omitted, then it must be somewhere in the sentence. What is it? Or maybe one thinks it needs no antecedent. OK, then how does that work?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:47 am

The first LSJ entry is the clearest and it illustrates the usage with its correlative.

τόσσον χρόνον ὅσσον ἄνωγας

τόσσον is a demonstrative adjective. You can almost imagine somebody pointing at a calender while saying it. So some quantity of time gets fixed in adjective number/quantity land.

Then ὅσσον refers to that same amount.

But you could imagine a similar expression with an actual number in place of τόσσον and do away with the demonstrative and replace it by an explicit adjective.

Roughly: 10 χρόνον ὅσσον ἄνωγας.

But these are the simplest examples. Pretty soon the Greek starts getting stretched and I get lost.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:54 am

Can't really help with this one, though I might as well add that this construction does occur in Thucydides - in my reading of the latter I've just seen an example at 5.10.10:

οὕτω δὴ τὸ στράτευμα πᾶν ἤδη τῶν Ἀθηναίων φυγὸν χαλεπῶς καὶ πολλὰς ὁδοὺς τραπόμενοι κατὰ <τὰ> ὄρη, ὅσοι μὴ διεφθάρησαν ἢ αὐτίκα ἐν χερσὶν ἢ ὑπὸ τῆς Χαλκιδικῆς ἵππου καὶ τῶν πελταστῶν, οἱ λοιποὶ ἀπεκομίσθησαν ἐς τὴν Ἠιόνα.

'And then at last the whole Athenian army was in flight; and with difficulty, and following many different routes through the mountains, all those who were left, and who had not been killed either on the spot in close combat, or by the Chalcidian cavalry and the peltasts, got away to Eion.'

Best wishes,

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:01 am

PS - don't we have a similar idiom in English - 'as many as were left escaped'?

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:06 pm

Thanks John. I am working on your example.

In the meantime, here are my criteria for a full understanding of a use of osos which I present with the reasons behind said criteria:

osos is an adjective. So:

1) One must be able to say what noun it is modifying, or one must say that it is being used substantively.

osos is a relative. As such, it must be Janus faced, looking "back" to some antecedent and "forward" to some what I'll call "relative content", "RC" for short. I put "back" and "forward" in scare quotes because sometimes the antecedent comes after. Moreover, the antecedent is strictly speaking adjectival.

2) One must be able to identify an adjectival antecedent.

3) One must be able to identify the RC.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Here's an English example:

I bought him some beers, as many beers as he wanted.

"osos____" is equivalent to "as many____as".

1) Our relative adjective is modifying the second "beers".

2) The adjectival antecedent is "some".

3) And the RC is roughly "he wanted ____ beers "

----------------------------------

When I try and apply these criteria, criteria that come from our basic understandings of what it is to be an adjective, a relative, and you can even throw in the process of substantialization of adjectives, I get lost.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:19 pm

In the Thucydides example, I guess we would have to say:

1) Our relative adjective is modifying an implied "men" directly following it, or it has itself been substaintialized. Numbers slip back and forth between nouns and adjectives more than any other kind of word.

2) The adjectival antecedent is an implied (adjectival) number modifying λοιποὶ. Note that the antecedent follows.

3) And the RC is roughly "____(men) μὴ διεφθάρησαν ἢ αὐτίκα ἐν χερσὶν ἢ ὑπὸ τῆς Χαλκιδικῆς ἵππου καὶ τῶν πελταστῶν".
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:24 pm

So for Thucydides, we see that several things have to be filled in by hand so to speak. But the Polybius example is less congenial still. And I am still at a loss.

It even seems conceivable that what are being linked are the rises and falls.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:36 pm

There is even an odd competition going on between the number referred to by ὅσα and the number referred to by πολλάκις.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:57 pm

For the brave:

Take the ὅσα challenge!

Find the appropriate entry for the Polybius on the LSJ page!

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... i0&prior=o)/rh&d=Perseus:text:1999.01.0199:book=5:chapter=10&i=1#lexicon

Better link:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:06 pm

To sharpen things, I'm going to tentatively claim that the use here is adverbial.

Of the Greek republics, (which) as often as they have risen, (so often) have they fallen, it happens that the narritive be easy....

Can I have an implied subordinating "which" like that? Or perhaps some kind of implied conjunction can be invoked?? "Since as often..."
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:32 pm

At Smyth 2497b, we see some temporal uses, but I don't understand what is elliptical about them.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:57 pm

pster wrote:For the brave:

Take the ὅσα challenge!

Find the appropriate entry for the Polybius on the LSJ page!

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... i0&prior=o)/rh&d=Perseus:text:1999.01.0199:book=5:chapter=10&i=1#lexicon

Better link:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon


Well, I'd have said that it falls under the first big batch of entries (A), where one of the translations is 'as many as'; in the middle of this batch LSJ comments: 'freq. without antec.'

I should have remembered another good Thucydidean example from 1.22.1, his famous description of his methodology:

καὶ ὅσα μὲν λόγῳ εἶπον ἕκαστοι ἢ μέλλοντες πολεμήσειν ἢ ἐν αὐτῷ ἤδη ὄντες, χαλεπὸν τὴν ἀκρίβειαν αὐτὴν τῶν λεχθέντων διαμνημονεῦσαι ἦν ἐμοί τε ὧν αὐτὸς ἤκουσα καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοθέν ποθεν ἐμοὶ ἀπαγγέλλουσιν: ...

'With regard to all that the two sides said in speeches, either when they were on the verge of war, or when they were actually in conflict, remembering the exact terms of what was spoken was difficult, both for me, in the case of the speeches which I heard myself, and for those who reported them to me from elsewhere; ...'

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:40 pm

Warning: I have already budgeted a quite insane amount of time to master these words by working through all of Smyth, LSJ and probably Goodwin. :D

As for LSJ's 'freq. without antec.' section, it is actually really quite short. It is made up of passages from Homer and one passage from Thucydides, 2.45:

εἰ δέ με δεῖ καὶ γυναικείας τι ἀρετῆς, ὅσαι νῦν ἐν χηρείᾳ ἔσονται, μνησθῆναι, βραχείᾳ παραινέσει ἅπαν σημανῶ.

Here I would claim that we are to imagine an implicit antecedent in front of γυναικείας. Yes, I know, we would have to change it from the abstract adjectival feminine to plural substantial women. But that doesn't phase me in the least. I think at the heart of the meaning and sense that is what is happening.

If it is necessary for me to remark somewhat of feminine virtue, as many as are now widows...

If it is necessary for me to remark somewhat of so many virtuous women, as many as are now widows...

The syntax needs to be massaged, but the sense and meaning point to a clear antecedent. If they didn't, or so I claim, we wouldn't be able to understand it.

-------------------------

I will put up a comment about the Thucydides passage you mention in an hour or two. :)
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:43 pm

I should have added, after spending at least four hours reading through Smyth, I am struck by how there almost always is an explicit or implicit antecedent.

n.b., don't confuse antecedent with correlative. 85% of the time, the antecedent is not the correlative.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:14 pm

Cameron says:

22.1. ὅσα. The antecedent is the following λεχθέντων.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:46 pm

So, I think Cameron is clearly right. Otherwise, I would have no idea what the referent was. If I were to give you an English translation, I wouldn't know whether to emphasize the numerical aspects or minimize them. But I would claim that for an ancient Greek, ὅσα always carried a numerical signifcance. In this case it is the number of words spoken, or the number of speeches given.

----------------------------------------

Since we are here, can you give me a gloss for τοῖς ἄλλοθέν ποθεν?

Is this a case where there we have to supply the substantive ourselves? In which case it would be "others"?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:42 pm

pster wrote:So, I think Cameron is clearly right. Otherwise, I would have no idea what the referent was. If I were to give you an English translation, I wouldn't know whether to emphasize the numerical aspects or minimize them. But I would claim that for an ancient Greek, ὅσα always carried a numerical signifcance. In this case it is the number of words spoken, or the number of speeches given.

----------------------------------------

Since we are here, can you give me a gloss for τοῖς ἄλλοθέν ποθεν?

Is this a case where there we have to supply the substantive ourselves? In which case it would be "others"?


Thanks for the explanation.

Re your query, my understanding is that the parsing is τοῖς ἀπαγγέλλουσιν [participle]
ἐμοὶ ἄλλοθέν ποθεν, 'for those reporting <them> to me from other places'.

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:42 pm

[Deleted - duplicated message]
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:38 pm

I'm still not grasping the ἄλλοθέν ποθεν. Morris says, for these two words, "from the various places where they happened to be". Is there an implied copula?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:46 pm

pster wrote:I'm still not grasping the ἄλλοθέν ποθεν. Morris says, for these two words, "from the various places where they happened to be". Is there an implied copula?

ἄλλοθέν means "from elsewhere"; ποθέν is an indefinite enclitic meaning "from some place".
Together they form the meaning of "from some other place".

See LSJ for their reference of Hom. Od. 7.52:

σὺ δ᾽ ἔσω κίε, μηδέ τι θυμῷ
τάρβει· θαρσαλέος γὰρ ἀνὴρ ἐν πᾶσιν ἀμείνων
ἔργοισιν τελέθει, εἰ καί ποθεν ἄλλοθεν ἔλθοι.

Go thou within, and let thy heart fear nothing; for a bold
man is better in all things, though he be a stranger from another land.
- A.T. Murray,, 1919
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:57 pm

IreneY wrote:Hey there! You mean whether it's ὅσα πολιτεύματα or not?

Hi, pster. I think you've got your answer with IreneY's reply. Instead of using an antecedent
in nominative -- weather it be τὰ πολιτεύματα ὅσα... or inside the relative clause itself as in
his reply -- Polybius chose to use a partitive genitive:
τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων ὅσα...

I don't think there is anything else to it.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:29 pm

Hey Nate, thanks for chiming in. I just got back and so will get into it after making my coffee. But I rejected the partitive genitive idea because he's talking about all of the Greek states, not just some of them. More in a bit.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:57 pm

And don't you think that the genitive of πολιτευμάτων is governed by the end of the sentence τὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν προγεγονότων ἐξήγησιν καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἀπόφασιν?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:28 pm

pster wrote:And don't you think that the genitive of πολιτευμάτων is governed by the end of the sentence τὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν προγεγονότων ἐξήγησιν καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἀπόφασιν?


pster - couldn't the end of the sentence relate to ὅσα as an accusative of respect ('in respect of those Hellenic cities ...'), rather than to the genitive τῶν μὲν γὰρ Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτευμάτων, which I too have been taking with ὅσα? Are you positing the genitive as a sort of genitive of connection or respect? I don't know enough to be sure whether or not that is feasible/likely.

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:47 pm

You can have a partitive genitive as the whole group and then divide it to its separate subgroups
with μέν..δέ as is the case here. John's suggestion of reading this accusative as that of respect
is supported by the extant translations, this one among them.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:53 pm

John, I'm not sure I follow.

Let's break the sentence down to its essentials in pigin English/Greek.

Of-the-republics, osa polakis x polakis y, it happens the narration be easy.

Nate seems to say it is a partitive genitive. I don't see any part/whole relationship to support this. The ones that rise and fall aren't a part of the Greek republics, they are the whole.

You are suggesting that an accusative of respect is in play. We have two accusatives, osa and narration, and one genitive, of-the-republics. But the accusative has to be the thing that follows the "in respect to" phrase. You have put the genitive there, so I don't follow. By the end of the sentence, I basically mean "the narration".

I am struck by a couple of things.

1) There are a huge number of adverbial uses listed in LSJ, many of them temporal.

2) osa has a quantitative character. It's not just a relative. So as I detailed above, one needs to specify the antecedent. (It would also be nice to specify exactly what it is modifying! again as I detailed above.)

3) In so far as I grasp the context, Polybius seems to be saying that every Greek republic that rose, fell.

The Perseus translation brings out both items 2) and 3): "Of the Greek republics, which have again and again risen to greatness and fallen into insignificance..." So, we are talking about the whole bunch of them, and all of them rise and all of them fall. (For Rome it's not so easy to discuss the pros and cons of its constitution, because it is still growing.) So here we see the antecedent for osa, it is in front of the second polakis. osa, or so I claim, is being used to equate the rises and falls. It's not just a relative. I haven't found a single instance where there isn't some implicit linking going on. Here the linking is rises and falls. They are equal in number. So, I would translate it:

Of the Greek republics, as often as they have risen, so often have they fallen, it happens that the narration be easy...

Now the intersting issues left, as I see it, are:

a) Should we just take the osa phrase as parenthetical?

b) Since it seems to be giving the reason for the ease of narration, it would be nice if we could imagine an implicit connective, e.g., a "since as often as..." Is there precedence for that?

c) Can we find some other interesting adverbial cases of osa with polakis? That would cement my view that what we have here is an adverb multiplying an adverb.

d) If we don't find other similar uses, can we rework osa to link the force of the fact of many rises and falls with the force of the ease. See LSJ for adverbial uses along the lines of "as far as". This has the advantage of solving the connective problem. "Of the Greek republics, as far as they have often risen and often fallen, so far it happens that the narration be easy..."

To draw my line in the sand one more time: authors don't use osa when a simple relative pronoun will do. It is a relative adjective/adverb and it links two quantities!! If you disagree, show me an example. I don't know of any! The only exceptions are a few frozen idioms and maybe a few odd ones in Homer.)
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:58 pm

Nate, as I just said, the μέν..δέ cases are the same cases. μέν..δέ just distinguish the rises and falls. Same republics. We don't have one the one hand rising republics and on the other hand falling republics. We have republics that rise and then the same republics fall.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby NateD26 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:46 pm

pster wrote:Nate, as I just said, the μέν..δέ cases are the same cases. μέν..δέ just distinguish the rises and falls. Same republics. We don't have one the one hand rising republics and on the other hand falling republics. We have republics that rise and then the same republics fall.

I stand corrected and I'll grant you that he is referring to the same group.
What is this genitive then? What is its function in this sentence? Is it a simple possessive
governed by ὅσα or is it governed by one of the accusatives in the dependent statement?
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:02 pm

I assume that it is just governed by ἐξήγησιν and ἀπόφασιν in parallel.

Sorry if I seem slightly deragned about this sentence. As much time as I have put into it, so much am I adamant about getting to the bottom of it. :lol:
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:19 pm

pster wrote:I assume that it is just governed by ἐξήγησιν and ἀπόφασιν in parallel.


But - and this is the point I had in mind - is 'an account of the cities'/'an opinion of the cities' an acceptable use of the genitive? It's not really possessive or partitive, so what kind of genitive would it be?

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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:57 pm

pster wrote:Nate seems to say it is a partitive genitive. I don't see any part/whole relationship to support this. The ones that rise and fall aren't a part of the Greek republics, they are the whole.


But where does P. say he is talking about all the Greek republics here? Couldn't he just be talking about some (even if the majority) of them?

John
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby pster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:57 pm

Here you see at least two such genitives:

ἐξήγ-ησις , εως, ἡ,
A. statement, narrative, “ἐ. ποιήσασθαι” Th.1.72; “ὑπέρ τινος” Plb.6.3.1.
II. explanation, interpretation, “περὶ τοὺς νόμους” Pl.Lg.631a; “ἐνυπνίων” D.S. 2.29; Ἐ. τῶν Ἐμπεδοκλέους, title of a work by Zeno Eleaticus; so in Gramm., Sch.Il.8.296.

Here also:

ἀπόφα^σις (B), εως, ἡ, (ἀποφαίνω)
A. = ἀπόφανσις, sentence, decision, of an arbitrator's award, “διαίτης” D.47.45, cf. 33.21; κατά τινος, of an Amphictyonic decree, D.S.16.24; “ἀ. ἔγγραφος” OGI335.72 (Pergam.); of an emperor, PTeb.286.11 (ii A.D., pl.).
2. catalogue, inventory, “ἀ. δοῦναι” D.42.1,14.
3. = ἀπόφανσις, assertion, judgement, Arist.Rh. 1365b27, Epicur.Ep.3p.60U., Phld.Ir.p.75 W., Plb.1.14.8 (pl.), al.; “περί τινος” Plu.Comp.Sol.Publ.1, cf. Str.2.1.19; “καταληπτικὴ ἀ.” S.E. P.2.123.
b. answer, Plb.22.13.7; “πρὸς τὰ κατηγορούμενα” Id.24.2.5.
4. oracle, Jul.Ep.89.
5. = φάσμα, appearance, image, sc. τοῦ ἡλίου, Diog.Oen.8.

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Just recently I have begun to wonder about the classifications of types of cases--genitive of blah, dative of such and such, accusative of what cha ma call it--the putting of every instance into one of n boxes. Sure, we can try and do that. And it is important to try and do that.

But on the other hand, each noun, each adjective, etc is going to have particular usages specified in LSJ. I haven't seen anybody prove or even claim that every such usage in LSJ falls into one of the n boxes.

So when we get a word like ἐξήγησις and we see that it takes the genitive to specify the content, that satisfies me now. If somebody can prove that there is some exhaustive list of n boxes, then maybe I'll try and verify that every time I find a usage that I am interested in in LSJ that it indeed falls into one of the n boxes.

I've been more guilty of this probably than anybody and like I say it is only recently that I have had a change of heart and I am glad you asked the question, but I am going to avoid answering it for the moment. Maybe in an hour I'll have a change of heart. :D But until I am done cooking my chicken and eating it, I will be satisfied with LSJ.
Last edited by pster on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plb. 6.3

Postby John W. » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:00 pm

Thanks for the genitive citations - I'll reflect further.

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