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Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

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Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby daivid » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:55 pm

This is from Perseus tufts:
διαλυθέντος δὲ τοῦ Μηδικοῦ. στρατεύματος αἰσχρῶς, ὡς ἐπύθετο τάχιστα ὁ Ἀστυάγης, ἔφη ἀπειλέων τῷ Κύρῳ ‘ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ὣς Κῦρός γε χαιρήσει.’ Hdt. 1.128.1
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ection%3D1

The use of the full stop is for me quite bizarre. It splits the initial clause thus "having been dispersed the Median. army shamefully," The comma at the end is what I'd expect from English but splitting off army and shamefully from the rest looks to me like random noise.

What am I missing?

Also when would the text have acquired its current punctuation?
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby pster » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:59 pm

Seems like a typo to me. My first thought would be that somebody at Loeb screwed up.

I asked before about punctuation and the answer I got was that the Byzantines are mostly responsible. I was also told that scholars do debate punctuation, but I have never seen such a debate myself. :|
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby John W. » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:17 pm

pster wrote:I was also told that scholars do debate punctuation, but I have never seen such a debate myself. :|


There's an interesting (though rarely mentioned) point of debate about the punctuation at Thucydides 1.22.4, where simply moving a comma profoundly transforms the meaning of his famous statement about the value of his work. The suggested change to the standard punctuation was suggested in a paper of 1864 by Goodwin (of Moods and Tenses fame), but astonishingly is not even mentioned in any of the major commentaries (as far as I am aware, only Shilleto's commentary on Book 1 discusses it). I may put a post on this fascinating and important point on the Thucydides thread; in the meantime, anyone interested can find a useful summary in Connor's excellent Thucydides (p. 29, fn. 28).

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby daivid » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:24 pm

pster wrote:Seems like a typo to me. My first thought would be that somebody at Loeb screwed up.

I asked before about punctuation and the answer I got was that the Byzantines are mostly responsible. I was also told that scholars do debate punctuation, but I have never seen such a debate myself. :|


Thanks. Next week I will have a chance to check the print version of Loeb to see if it is an OCR
mistake of if Perseus is faithfully reproducing a Loeb mistake.
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby NateD26 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:01 pm

My TLG version doesn't have a full stop there:
Διαλυθέντος δὲ τοῦ Μηδικοῦ στρατεύματος αἰσχρῶς, ὡς ἐπύθετο
τάχιστα ὁ Ἀστυάγης, ἔφη ἀπειλέων τῷ Κύρῳ· «Ἀλλ' οὐδ' ὣς Κῦρός γε χαιρήσει.»

Loeb's printed edition does include it both in the Greek and their translation (p.193).
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby daivid » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:43 pm

John W. wrote:There's an interesting (though rarely mentioned) point of debate about the punctuation at Thucydides 1.22.4, where simply moving a comma profoundly transforms the meaning of his famous statement about the value of his work.


καὶ ἐς μὲν ἀκρόασιν ἴσως τὸ μὴ μυθῶδες αὐτῶν ἀτερπέστερον φανεῖται: ὅσοι δὲ βουλήσονται τῶν τε γενομένων τὸ σαφὲς σκοπεῖν καὶ τῶν μελλόντων ποτὲ αὖθις κατὰ τὸ ἀνθρώπινον τοιούτων καὶ παραπλησίων ἔσεσθαι<cut> ὠφέλιμα κρίνειν <inserted> αὐτὰ ἀρκούντως ἕξει. κτῆμά τε ἐς αἰεὶ μᾶλλον ἢ ἀγώνισμα ἐς τὸ παραχρῆμα ἀκούειν ξύγκειται.

For those curious, here is the line with the point at which a comma is cut and the point where one is inserted flagged.
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby daivid » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:18 pm

daivid wrote:
καὶ ἐς μὲν ἀκρόασιν ἴσως τὸ μὴ μυθῶδες αὐτῶν ἀτερπέστερον φανεῖται: ὅσοι δὲ βουλήσονται τῶν τε γενομένων τὸ σαφὲς σκοπεῖν καὶ τῶν μελλόντων ποτὲ αὖθις κατὰ τὸ ἀνθρώπινον τοιούτων καὶ παραπλησίων ἔσεσθαι<cut> ὠφέλιμα κρίνειν <inserted> αὐτὰ ἀρκούντως ἕξει. κτῆμά τε ἐς αἰεὶ μᾶλλον ἢ ἀγώνισμα ἐς τὸ παραχρῆμα ἀκούειν ξύγκειται.



If I have grasped the issue (and it is possible I have not) the old version "ὠφέλιμα κρίνειν αὐτὰ ἀρκούντως ἕξει" has the senses roughly as "it is sufficient that (my work) be judged useful.

Moving the comma gets a sense something like those wishing to examine events which which are similar to those of the future so aiding their ability to judge will find here sufficient (examples).

as least I think that is what Goodwin was suggesting.
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby John W. » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:32 am

daivid wrote:
daivid wrote:
καὶ ἐς μὲν ἀκρόασιν ἴσως τὸ μὴ μυθῶδες αὐτῶν ἀτερπέστερον φανεῖται: ὅσοι δὲ βουλήσονται τῶν τε γενομένων τὸ σαφὲς σκοπεῖν καὶ τῶν μελλόντων ποτὲ αὖθις κατὰ τὸ ἀνθρώπινον τοιούτων καὶ παραπλησίων ἔσεσθαι<cut> ὠφέλιμα κρίνειν <inserted> αὐτὰ ἀρκούντως ἕξει. κτῆμά τε ἐς αἰεὶ μᾶλλον ἢ ἀγώνισμα ἐς τὸ παραχρῆμα ἀκούειν ξύγκειται.



If I have grasped the issue (and it is possible I have not) the old version "ὠφέλιμα κρίνειν αὐτὰ ἀρκούντως ἕξει" has the senses roughly as "it is sufficient that (my work) be judged useful.

Moving the comma gets a sense something like those wishing to examine events which which are similar to those of the future so aiding their ability to judge will find here sufficient (examples).

as least I think that is what Goodwin was suggesting.


Daivid - many thanks for this.

My own translation of the traditional punctuation is:

'... however, in the case of all those who will wish to examine the clear truth both about those things which happened in the past and about those which will, in accordance with the human condition, happen in the same or very similar ways at some point in the future, for these people finding this work useful will be enough.'

With Goodwin's suggested punctuation (about which you are of course quite right), I'd translate:

'... however, in the case of all those who will wish both to examine the clear truth about those things which happened in the past, and to draw useful conclusions about those which will, in accordance with the human condition, happen in the same or very similar ways at some point in the future, for these people this work will be satisfactory as it is.'

'The 'as it is' translates αὐτὰ, the meaning being 'without any mythical element'.

I find Goodwin's suggestion very attractive, as I think the second infinitive clause (καὶ τῶν μελλόντων ... ὠφέλιμα κρίνειν) responds to, and balances, the first one (τῶν τε γενομένων τὸ σαφὲς σκοπεῖν), amd gives a far more satisfactory sentence structure. Moreover, as an eminent Thucydidean scholar has pointed out to me, it is difficult to take τὸ σαφὲς ('meaning 'the clear and certain truth') as going with τῶν μελλόντων, since it should not be applied to events in the future (I need to get hold of Hunter Rawlings' article in Rheinisches Museum fur Philologie vol. 153 [2010] which mentions this point).

One issue with Goodwin's proposal is taking τῶν μελλόντων ... ὠφέλιμα κρίνειν as meaning 'to draw useful conclusions about ... the future'. However, such a free use of the genitive would in my view be by no means impossible for Thucydides; in his paper Goodwin suggests it was chosen to balance τῶν τε γενομένων in the preceding clause.

I hope this explains things a bit more; apologies for somewhat sidetracking your thread on Herodotus. Still, Herodotus himself was fond of digressions! :)

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos +Thucydides)

Postby daivid » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:35 pm

John W. wrote:I hope this explains things a bit more; apologies for somewhat sidetracking your thread on Herodotus. Still, Herodotus himself was fond of digressions! :)


Thanks, it does make things a lot clearer. (And no need for apologies - this was intended as a thread
on punctuation rather than just Herodotos)
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby daivid » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:58 am

NateD26 wrote:My TLG version doesn't have a full stop there:
Διαλυθέντος δὲ τοῦ Μηδικοῦ στρατεύματος αἰσχρῶς, ὡς ἐπύθετο
τάχιστα ὁ Ἀστυάγης, ἔφη ἀπειλέων τῷ Κύρῳ· «Ἀλλ' οὐδ' ὣς Κῦρός γε χαιρήσει.»

Loeb's printed edition does include it both in the Greek and their translation (p.193).


Thanks for that.

I did contemplate writing to Perseus to report the change but from their FAQ it is clear
that they see their role as to provide stuff that is faithful to the print editions no matter what.

Normally that is probably sensible but surely not in a case where everyone seems to
agree that the print version was just plain wrong.
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby daivid » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:36 pm

daivid wrote:
I did contemplate writing to Perseus to report the change but from their FAQ it is clear
that they see their role as to provide stuff that is faithful to the print editions no matter what.

Normally that is probably sensible but surely not in a case where everyone seems to
agree that the print version was just plain wrong.


It seems that my interpretation of the FAQ was wrong. The Perseus webmaster has kindly written
to me and in this case they have decided to remove the stray full stop as being clearly
a stray speck rather than a punctuation mark intended by the author.
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Re: Greek punctiation (Herodotos)

Postby Markos » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:27 pm

...in this case they have decided to remove the stray full stop as being clearly
a stray speck rather than a punctuation mark intended by the author.


cf. Mark Twain:

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.


:lol:
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