Textkit Logo

Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:14 pm

855
ἄνδρες πολῖται, πρέσβος Ἀργείων τόδε,
οὐκ αἰσχυνοῦμαι τοὺς φιλάνορας τρόπους
λέξαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς· ἐν χρόνῳ δ’ ἀποφθίνει
τὸ τάρβος ἀνθρώποισιν.
οὐκ ἄλλων πάρα
μαθοῦσ’, ἐμαυτῆς δύσφορον λέξω βίον
860τοσόνδ’ ὅσον περ οὗτος ἦν ὑπ’ Ἰλίῳ


856
οὐκ αἰσχυνοῦμαι τοὺς φιλάνορας τρόπους
λέξαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς

There is perhaps a vagueness here τοὺς φιλάνορας τρόπους which is lost in a number of English translations. James C. Hogan (1984:73)
“the love ... husband" also means “my man loving ways”
and Robert Browning “consort-loving manners.” Making it overly specific, “my love for my husband” defeats the irony, assuming there is some irony here. Perhaps this is vain attempt to look for subtleties that are not there.

Κλυταιμήστρα doesn't address Agamemnon initially, and her first reference to him is a demonstrative pronoun οὗτος on line 860 ὅσον περ οὗτος ἦν ὑπ’ Ἰλίῳ "all the time this (man) was under the walls of Ilium." Not a particularly elegant or respectful way to make reference to your husband you haven't seen in ages.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby NateD26 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:30 pm

How strange it is that she does not address her own husband fist after not seeing him
for so long! I'm sure wives of soldiers coming home from long tours in Iraq and Afghanistan
or of POW's released from captivity would not be so shocked as to not address their own
spouses first. Perhaps this is intentional, though her motive for it eludes me.
Nate.
NateD26
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:14 am

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:45 pm

NateD26 wrote:How strange it is that she does not address her own husband fist after not seeing him
for so long! I'm sure wives of soldiers coming home from long tours in Iraq and Afghanistan
or of POW's released from captivity would not be so shocked as to not address their own
spouses first. Perhaps this is intentional, though her motive for it eludes me.


Nate,
Agreed. There isn't much in the opening of her speech that would seem calculated to please Agamemnon. She uses another indirect reference in 867 ἀνὴρ ὅδ’, in a gruesome analogy.

866-868
καὶ τραυμάτων μὲν εἰ τόσων ἐτύγχανεν
ἀνὴρ ὅδ’, ὡς πρὸς οἶκον ὠχετεύετο
φάτις, τέτρηται δικτύου πλέον λέγειν.

And as for wounds, had my husband received so many as rumor kept pouring into the house, no net would have been pierced so full of holes as he.
— H.W. Smyth


I stumbled over this because, for some unknown reason, I wanted to read ὅδ’ as relative rather than an demonstrative with ἀνὴρ. I transcribed my working copy from D.Page who has no comma after ὅδ’. Was trying to unravel the τόσων ... ὡς, thinking ὡς was in a relative clause.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:14 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:There is perhaps a vagueness here τοὺς φιλάνορας τρόπους which is lost in a number of English translations. James C. Hogan (1984:73)
“the love ... husband" also means “my man loving ways”
and Robert Browning “consort-loving manners.” Making it overly specific, “my love for my husband” defeats the irony, assuming there is some irony here. Perhaps this is vain attempt to look for subtleties that are not there.

According to LSJ, in Plato's Symposium φίλανδρος means lewd. Ok, not exactly the same word but I don't think the subtleties are far-fetched here.
Κλυταιμήστρα doesn't address Agamemnon initially, and her first reference to him is a demonstrative pronoun οὗτος on line 860 ὅσον περ οὗτος ἦν ὑπ’ Ἰλίῳ "all the time this (man) was under the walls of Ilium." Not a particularly elegant or respectful way to make reference to your husband you haven't seen in ages.

Chantraine's Grammaire Homérique (t. 2, p. 169) says explicitly that οὗτος has sometimes a shade of contempt. I haven't looked for any references whether it's true for Attic, but it seems very probable to me.

Od. 1.159 τούτοισιν μὲν ταῦτα μέλει, κίθαρις καὶ ἀοιδή That's what interests these guys, the lyre and song. (referring to the suitors of Penelope) (not sure how the English idiom goes to make this derogatory...)
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:12 am

Paul Derouda wrote:Chantraine's Grammaire Homérique (t. 2, p. 169) says explicitly that οὗτος has sometimes a shade of contempt. I haven't looked for any references whether it's true for Attic, but it seems very probable to me.

Od. 1.159 τούτοισιν μὲν ταῦτα μέλει, κίθαρις καὶ ἀοιδή That's what interests these guys, the lyre and song. (referring to the suitors of Penelope) (not sure how the English idiom goes to make this derogatory...)


This reminds me of a scene from Lawrence of Arabia (1962) where Sherif Ali meets Lawrence at the well. Sherif Ali has just a moment before shot[1] and killed the man who Lawrence's guide. Lawrence tells Sherif Ali he was my friend. Ali responds: that?

[1] using a 303 British Enfield.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:23 pm

869-870

εἰ δ’ ἦν τεθνηκώς, ὡς ἐπλήθυον λόγοι,
τρισώματός τἂν Γηρυὼν ὁ δεύτερος

τἂν = τοι ἂν [1]

... if he had died as often as reports claimed,
then truly he might have had three bodies, a second Geryon,


ἦν τεθνηκώς a periphrastic perfect? Provides some rhetorical underlining, in keeping with R. E. Longacre’s notion of an increased processing demand placed on the reader/hearer drawing attention, building stress in advance to a discourse peak. This is phrase level rhetorical underlining. The perfect alone is a marked form in Ancient Greek requiring extra processing and some would claim that perfect without periphrasis is already an attention grabber.

The surrounding paragraph is redundant in using different metaphors and comparisons to draw attention to Clytemnestra's claim that she has been inundated with reports of Agamemnon’s death. This redundancy is paragraph level of rhetorical underlining. So perhaps here we have three levels of rhetorical marking, the word, the phrase and the paragraph.

[1] τοι with ἂν according to Cooper underlines the subjective conviction of a potential assertion. He cites A.Ag. 870 (Cooper. V4 p3126, 2:69.74.1.N).
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:00 pm

Or periphrastic pluperfect? I don't understand perfect/pluperfect. In given instances, I can often guess why the author used them, but there's something I just don't get about them.

Here (in addition perhaps to what you said) I think it's because being dead is a state: someone has died and is still dead at present. But this seems to be a pluperfect, not a perfect, which I suppose is because it's a conditional sentence ('If he were dead').
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:53 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Or periphrastic pluperfect? I don't understand perfect/pluperfect. In given instances, I can often guess why the author used them, but there's something I just don't get about them.

Here (in addition perhaps to what you said) I think it's because being dead is a state: someone has died and is still dead at present. But this seems to be a pluperfect, not a perfect, which I suppose is because it's a conditional sentence ('If he were dead').


Paul,

pluperfect is the past tense of the perfect? I'm a little rusty on traditional grammar. My main point doesn't have anything to do with tense-aspect. The Ancient Greek perfect is generally a more complex form than the aorist, present or imperfect. The pluperfect is even more complex. Both require extra processing. The periphrasis ἦν τεθνηκώς requires more processing than the simple perfect. None of these points are terribly important. Using forms which require increased processing is a form of rhetorical underlining. This is not a grammatical issue. In some schools of text linguistics increased processing demands at the word, phrase and paragraph level are understood as a means of building tension in anticipation of a discourse peak. A peak is not necessarily an ultimate climax. This pattern doesn't prepare for Agamemnon being murdered in the next 10 lines. But there is an increase in tension here in preparation for an important confrontation between two major players.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:45 pm

I'm not objecting what you say about increased processing in the service of rhetorical underlining. I'm the last person to disagree that the perfect is complex. Actually, what I don't understand is how diachronically it didn't disappear more quickly; I mean it's basically a present tense and thus not only complex but also somewhat redundant. But isn't the perfect still alive and well in the NT? So it must be just me, i.e. the distinction the pf makes just isn't important with my linguistic background.

But yes, the pluperfect is just a past form of the perfect. The perfect is basically a state in the present time, so the pluperfect is a state in the past. Here τεθνηκώς is already a perf, so ἦν τεθνηκώς is a periphrastic pluperfect; but here it's in the pluperf not because it's it describes the past but because we have a conditional sentence - I think a present would be reported to the imperfect in a similar case.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:54 pm

Agamemnon 874-879

τοιῶνδ’ ἕκατι κληδόνων παλιγκότων
πολλὰς ἄνωθεν ἀρτάνας ἐμῆς δέρης
ἔλυσαν ἄλλοι πρὸς βίαν λελημμένης.
ἐκ τῶνδέ τοι παῖς ἐνθάδ’ οὐ παραστατεῖ,
ἐμῶν τε καὶ σῶν κύριος πιστωμάτων,
ὡς χρῆν, Ὀρέστης· μηδὲ θαυμάσῃς τόδε.


On account of these malicious tales, many times while hanging with a noose around my neck I was released by others against my will. This is why your son Orestes is not here, as he should be. Don’t be concerned by this.


Clytemnestra is weaving a web of lies and half-truths, to explain the absence of Orestes. We see a chain of causation. The false reports of Agamemnon's wounding and death (863-873) serve as grounds for her multiple attempts at suicide. A discourse function of 874 τοιῶνδ’ ... παλιγκότων[1] is to provide a causal link between the false reports and Clytemnestra’s suicide attempts. At 877a ἐκ τῶνδέ we have second link in causation between the suicide attempts and the absence of Orestes.

One exegetical question: where to attach πρὸς βίαν, an adverbial “by force.” It might be construed with the finite verb ἔλυσαν; she was released forcibly i.e. against her will or it might be construed with the participle λελημμένης[2]; she was held forcibly by the noose.

[1] note the similar language in 863 πολλὰς κλύουσαν κληδόνας παλιγκότους

[2] which is separated (hyperbaton) from ἀρτάνας
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:48 am

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:One exegetical question: where to attach πρὸς βίαν, an adverbial “by force.” It might be construed with the finite verb ἔλυσαν; she was released forcibly i.e. against her will or it might be construed with the participle λελημμένης[2]; she was held forcibly by the noose.

I prefer to take it with ἔλυσαν; if she's attempting to commit suicide herself, what point would it be to say that the noose is holding her forcibly?
ἐκ τῶνδέ τοι παῖς ἐνθάδ’ οὐ παραστατεῖ

I wonder if you could take τοι as an ethic dative, i.e. 'That's why [our] son isn't here for you', instead of a particle ('you see').
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:59 am

Agamemnon 874-879

τοιῶνδ’ ἕκατι κληδόνων παλιγκότων
πολλὰς ἄνωθεν ἀρτάνας ἐμῆς δέρης
ἔλυσαν ἄλλοι πρὸς βίαν λελημμένης.
ἐκ τῶνδέ τοι παῖς ἐνθάδ’ οὐ παραστατεῖ,
ἐμῶν τε καὶ σῶν κύριος πιστωμάτων,
ὡς χρῆν, Ὀρέστης· μηδὲ θαυμάσῃς τόδε.

It's a bit surprising for me that the text has ἕκατι and not ἕκητι. Perseus says ἕκατι is both Attic and Doric; but LSJ says 'Dor. ἕκα_τι (so always used by Trag., as E.Or.26,al.)'. So apparently it's a Doric form, not properly an Attic one, but for some reason used in tragedy in nonchoral parts as well.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:08 am

891-894
[...] ἐν δ᾽ ὀνείρασιν
λεπταῖς ὑπαὶ κώνωπος ἐξηγειρόμην
ῥιπαῖσι θωύσσοντος, ἀμφί σοι πάθη
ὁρῶσα πλείω τοῦ ξυνεύδοντος χρόνου.

πλείω τοῦ ξυνεύδοντος χρόνου 'more than the time that slept with me' (R-T). Strange and difficult expression. Does this mean that Klytaimestra saw more nightmares than should have fit the time she spent sleeping?
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby NateD26 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:02 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:891-894
[...] ἐν δ᾽ ὀνείρασιν
λεπταῖς ὑπαὶ κώνωπος ἐξηγειρόμην
ῥιπαῖσι θωύσσοντος, ἀμφί σοι πάθη
ὁρῶσα πλείω τοῦ ξυνεύδοντος χρόνου.

πλείω τοῦ ξυνεύδοντος χρόνου 'more than the time that slept with me' (R-T). Strange and difficult expression. Does this mean that Klytaimestra saw more nightmares than should have fit the time she spent sleeping?

Very strange indeed! It sounds like an attempt to read some metaphor where perhaps
there isn't any.

LSJ simply took it as the time coincident with sleep.
Nate.
NateD26
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:14 am

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:43 pm

Is it possible to translate πλείω τοῦ ξυνεύδοντος χρόνου 'the greater part of the time coincident with sleep'? I.e. 'the greater part of the time I slept'.

As far as I can see, R-T's and LSJ's interpretations mean more or less the same in the end, though R-T seems to take a detour.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 937
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Κλυταιμήστρα A.Ag. 855-913

Postby NateD26 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:09 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Is it possible to translate πλείω τοῦ ξυνεύδοντος χρόνου 'the greater part of the time coincident with sleep'? I.e. 'the greater part of the time I slept'.

It's a plausible possibility, though it ignores the "usual" construction of a comparative with
the object of comparison in genitive. Tragedy might work differently than what is usual or common.
Nate.
NateD26
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:14 am


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], TheElk and 34 guests