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τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

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τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby pster » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:45 pm

Plb. 6.1.5:

ὅταν δὲ τὰς Ἑλληνικὰς πράξεις τὰς κατὰ τὴν αὐτὴν ὀλυμπιάδα γενομένας διεξιόντες ἐπιστῶμεν τοῖς καιροῖς τούτοις, τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς τὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς τῆς Ῥωμαίων πολιτείας ποιησόμεθα λόγον...

Does anybody have any idea how to translate the bolded phrase? Especially the προθέμενοι ψιλῶς?

But when recounting the Greek events happening during the same Olympiad, we arrive at this moment, just then προθέμενοι ψιλῶς we will make for ourselves a discussion about the constitution of the Romans itself.

The very good Weil translation gives:

Lorsque, après avoir rapporté les événements survenus en Grece pendant la même olympiade, nous arriverons à la date où nous sommes, alors nous réserverons à la constitution romaine son livre spécial à titre préliminaire.

I don't see where he gets the bolded expression.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by pster on Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:25 pm

I don't know anything about Polybius or the context here, so don't take me too seriously. I'd take προθέμενοι in the sense προτίθημι LSJ II. 4. "propose, bring forward"

ψιλῶς means, I think, simply or briefly or the like.

I think Weil has merged ἤδη and ψιλῶς into "à titre préliminaire".

τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς: then it will be time to put forward a brief/simple [account of]...
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby pster » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:49 pm

I'm having trouble understanding it as a participle. ποιησόμεθα is the main verb isn't it? So the subject "we" is doing something through the paritcipe and then it is doing something through the finite verb. You translate using an English infinitive, but I am having trouble getting that. Just as in the French, he has only one verb.

The context doesn't matter too much for this question. It is actually a fragment.
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby pster » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:51 pm

I don't think it is that hard. I just am confused. And I don't understand how "titre" gets created.

Thanks.
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:03 pm

"Titre" doesn't mean much. "In a preliminary way".
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby pster » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:45 am

Paul Derouda wrote:I don't know anything about Polybius or the context here, so don't take me too seriously. I'd take προθέμενοι in the sense προτίθημι LSJ II. 4. "propose, bring forward"

ψιλῶς means, I think, simply or briefly or the like.

I think Weil has merged ἤδη and ψιλῶς into "à titre préliminaire".

τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς: then it will be time to put forward a brief/simple [account of]...


It seems to me that since προθέμενοι is an aorist participle, it most likely refers to something antecedent to the main verb. The main verb is the future ποιησόμεθα. So I'm now inclined to read "τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς" in accordance with LSJ I.5:

5. [select] appoint as a task or duty, “τινί τι” S.Tr.1049; “νεωτέρῳ τοῦτο βαστάζειν πρόθες” Id.Ant.216; δμῳαῖς π. πένθος οἰκεῖον στένειν ib.1249, cf. Hdt. 9.94:—Med., propose to oneself as a task or object, “ὅπερ προὐθέμεθα σκέψασθαι” Pl.Phdr.259e, R.352d, cf. Sph.221a, Tht.169c; “π. ψέγειν αὐτὸ ἢ ἐπαινεῖν” Id.Lg.638c, cf. Arist.EN1142b19 (dub.), Hipparch. 1.1.6, Luc.Nec.19.

This would give us:

When, having expounded the Greek events that happened during the same Olympiad (in Books 4 and 5), we will arrive at these times (where we are now at the end of Book 3) , only then, as having tasked ourselves (at the beginning of book 3), we will make for ourselves an account of the Roman constitution (in Book 6).

I just don't see where Weil gets the "preliminary" bit.
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby John W. » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:21 pm

pster - is it possible that τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι means 'at that point, as I previously proposed, ...', and that ψιλῶς goes with τὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς τῆς Ῥωμαίων πολιτείας ποιησόμεθα λόγον, i.e. 'I will give a concise account of ...'?

Best wishes,

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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby pster » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:08 pm

That seems reasonable. So you are taking the adverb and translating it as an adjective qualifiying the account of the constitution? Paul seemed to understand what Weil was up to, but I just can't grasp it. Weil seems to have a double explanation. In his notes he writes (sorry, don't have French accents on this computer):

'"Preliminaire" a ce qui suivra le livre VI; cf. 7b. On comprend aussi: "comme nous l'avons annonce"' (at the beginning of Book 3).

I don't know French scholarly conventions. When he says "On comprend", does that mean "we" or "others"? In other words, are these two parts of one reading, or two different readings?
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby Qimmik » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:02 am

"à titre préliminaire" is the [i]προ-[/i] in τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι.

"At that point, we will discuss the Roman constitution [τὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς τῆς Ῥωμαίων πολιτείας ποιησόμεθα λόγον], putting the discussion at the beginning [προθέμενοι] in a way that yields a smoothly-flowing narrative [ψιλῶς].
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby pster » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:21 am

I prefer the "comme nous l'avons annoncé" reading combined with John's observation. I am afraid a full examination of the matter would take us too far into a lengthy and unrewarding discussion of the fragmentary nature of Polybius' text.
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby Qimmik » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:58 am

I think you're probably right: comme nous l'avons annoncé seems better than à titre préliminaire. I guess Weil is just as uncertain what Polybius was trying to say as we are. But here I don't think it's the fragmentary nature of the text that's the impediment: I think that Polybius just isn't very clear.
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Re: τότ᾽ ἤδη προθέμενοι ψιλῶς

Postby pster » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:06 pm

Strictly speaking you are perhaps correct. But even to get clear on the two possibilities that Weil seems to entertain requires getting clear about the background whereby this bit of text that is from the end of Book III gets repeated as a fragment at the beginning of Book VI. And that has been something to which I have been reluctant to subject my textkit comrades and myself.
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