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puzling extra των - sandwich construction

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puzling extra των - sandwich construction

Postby daivid » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:32 pm

This is from Taylor who is adapting and summarizing Herodotos. Xerxes has just been convinced to invade Hellas and speaks to his nobles:

ανδρες Περσαι, νεον νομον ουκ εθελω εν υμιν ποιησαι · των μεντοι βασιλεων των προτερον ουδεις ραθυμος εγενετο.

My somewhat over literal translation is
Brave Persians, new customs I do not want for you to make, however of the kings earlier none became lazy.

But what is the final των of "των μεντοι βασιλεων των" doing? it looks like a sandwich but there is nothing on the end that agrees with it.
Last edited by daivid on Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: puzling extra των

Postby NateD26 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:17 pm

I think it's the adverb πρότερον which modifies τῶν μέντοι βασιλέων with a repetition of the article.
The construction is article noun article modifier (adj./adv./pron./prep. phrase/etc.).
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Re: puzling extra των - sandwich construction

Postby daivid » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:26 pm

NateD26 wrote:I think it's the adverb πρότερον which modifies τῶν μέντοι βασιλέων with a repetition of the article.
The construction is article noun article modifier (adj./adv./pron./prep. phrase/etc.).


I have just reread what Taylor says on sandwich forms. The inner part of the sandwich (ie πρότερον in this case) specifies which of of the outer part is being talked about. He was a little laconic but with your pointer it all makes sense.

(I'm not sure what gave me the idea there must be grammatical agreement between the inner and outer part.)

Thank you
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Re: puzling extra των - sandwich construction

Postby Qimmik » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:11 am

Smyth explains both of the idiomatic usages here in secs. 1096 and 1158. Sec. 1096: πρότερον is an adverb used as an adjective. Sec. 1158: Instead of των [μεντοι] πρότερον βασιλεων, "of the previous kings", art. - attributive adverb - noun, he writes των μεντοι βασιλεων των προτερον, art. - noun - art. - attributive adverb. This isn't as common as putting the attributive word between the article and the noun, but it's quite common in Greek.
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Re: puzling extra των - sandwich construction

Postby daivid » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:34 pm

Qimmik wrote:Instead of των [μεντοι] πρότερον βασιλεων, "of the previous kings", art. - attributive adverb - noun, he writes των μεντοι βασιλεων των προτερον, art. - noun - art. - attributive adverb.<snip>


Thanks for the fuller explanation
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