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Plb. 6.4.11

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Plb. 6.4.11

Postby pster » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:24 pm

γνοίη δ᾽ ἄν τις σαφέστατα περὶ τούτων ὡς ἀληθῶς ἐστιν οἷα δὴ νῦν εἶπον, ἐπὶ τὰς ἑκάστων κατὰ φύσιν ἀρχὰς καὶ γενέσεις καὶ μεταβολὰς ἐπιστήσας.

A couple of different translations:

No clearer proof of the truth of what I say could be obtained than by a careful observation of the natural origin, genesis, and decadence of these several forms of government.

The truth of what I have just said will be quite clear to anyone who pays due attention to such beginnings, origins, and changes as are in each case natural.


The overall sense is clear enough. One thing I thought was interesting was that ἐπιστήσας does not modify ἀρχὰς, γενέσεις, or μεταβολὰς, but rather is a complement of γνοίη. I hope others will agree. :)

Now to my real question: How do we unpack ὡς ἀληθῶς ἐστιν οἷα δὴ νῦν εἶπον? Is there an implied neuter plural subject pronoun co-referential with τούτων (like αὐτά or a demonstrative) that goes with the prediate ἐστιν οἷα inside this ὡς clause? I guess there must be. But I'm usually wrong, so I put it to you folks.
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby John W. » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:48 pm

pster wrote:γνοίη δ᾽ ἄν τις σαφέστατα περὶ τούτων ὡς ἀληθῶς ἐστιν οἷα δὴ νῦν εἶπον, ἐπὶ τὰς ἑκάστων κατὰ φύσιν ἀρχὰς καὶ γενέσεις καὶ μεταβολὰς ἐπιστήσας.


Hi, pster. I think I'd translate the first bit literally as: 'But a person would know most surely about these matters, that they are truly such as I have now stated, ...'

The construction seems somewhat proleptic - it could perhaps be rewritten as γνοίη δ᾽ ἄν τις σαφέστατα ὡς αὐτά ἀληθῶς ἐστιν οἷα δὴ νῦν εἶπον ... (I've inserted αὐτά as you suggested).

I think ἐπιστήσας specifies the means by which one would know (γνοίη), but I'm not familiar with ἐπιστήσας ἐπὶ ... - is that the construction here, or have I got it wrong?

Apologies if any or all of this is up the creek.

Best wishes,

John
Last edited by John W. on Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby Qimmik » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:53 pm

I think John is right about the first part of the sentence. The second part ἐπὶ τὰς ἑκάστων κατὰ φύσιν ἀρχὰς καὶ γενέσεις καὶ μεταβολὰς ἐπιστήσας is a participial phrase. ἐπιστήσας is the 1st aorist participle, which usually has a transitive meaning, if I'm not mistaken, so ἐπιστήσας ἐπὶ is a little strange--you would have expected the intransitive 2d aorist ἐπιστὰς ἐπὶ, for which LSJ cites Isocrates and Demosthenes to mean "turn one's mind to," i.e., "consider." But there's no candidate for a direct object of ἐπιστήσας, so I think it has to be taken intransitively or with ton noun understood. Does your text show a variant reading?
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby John W. » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:13 am

Qimmik wrote: But there's no candidate for a direct object of ἐπιστήσας, so I think it has to be taken intransitively or with ton noun understood.


This seems very reasonable - certainly I can't think of any other explanation.

John
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby pster » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:42 am

Weil gives three variant readings for this sentence:

1) σαφέστατα

2) σαφές τὰ (Change that accent on σαφές to a grave b/c I'm too font challenged.)

3) σαφῶς τὰ

As for the final word in the sentence. I think we all agree that it is nom. sing. Now the question is whether it is transitive first aorist or intransitive second aorist. Here I make use of Mastronarde's online paradigms to derive the first aorist:

http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ancgreek/ ... verbpdgm59

For the participle without prefix, in the present, the masc. sing. would be ἱστάς.

For the participle without the prefix, in the aorist, the masc. sing. would be στάς.

For the participle with the prefix, in the aorist, the masc. sing. would be ἐπι-στὰς.

Now in Polybius, we have ἐπι-στήσας. This I take to be the second aorist intransitive participle form. And I take the meaning to be as Qimmik indicated:

V. [select] fix one's mind on, give one's attention to, “σφαγῇ” E.Andr. 547; “τῇ τρύγῃ” PFlor.236.4 (iii A. D.); “ἐπί τι” Isoc.10.29, D.18.60; “τοῖς πράγμασιν . . ἐπιστάντες” Id.4.12; ἐπιστάς abs. (sc. τοῖς πράγμασι), Id.18.233; “διὰ ταῦτ᾽ ἐγρήγορεν, ἐφέστηκεν” Id.6.19.

The problem with this line is that LSJ's Demosthenes Med. intransitive example uses what according to my account is the transitive ἐπιστάντες.

Qimmik, do you have any reference for your claim that "ἐπιστήσας is the 1st aorist participle"? Mastronarde, despite spending a fair bit of ink on this verb and its various forms in the aorist and in the perfect, avoids the issue of variant forms for the aorist participle, so on that basis alone, I strongly suspect that there might be some wayward uses, especially in a later author like Polybius. I'm too much of a coward to look at the LSJ forms right now. :(

Thoughts?
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby pster » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:52 am

I guess my derivation above isn't very rigorous. I guess my thinking was that since ἱστάς and στάς are so similar they must both be transitive. :(
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby pster » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:00 pm

At 6.1, we have στήσαντες δ᾽ ἐπὶ τούτων τὴν διήγησιν... which is clearly a transitive use. So once again, I'm wrong.
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby pster » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:02 pm

So what's a ton noun? Not easy to search for it because I just learn that ton is a noun!
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby Qimmik » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:29 pm

ἐπιστήσας is the first aorist form -- transitive "set on".
ἐπιστάς is the second aorist form -- intransitive "stand on"

I have a copy of the new edition of Mastronarde. He discusses the first and second aorists of ἵστημι in Unit 24.

The first aorist (thematic and transitive) 1st pers. sing. indic. is ἔστησα; the participle is στήσας.

The second aorist (athematic and intransitive) 1st pers. sing. indic. is ἔστην; the participle is στάς.

ton noun -- τὸν νοῦν. I'm font challenged, too. To use Greek characters, I have to find a word somewhere on the internet and copy it. I managed to find these words in an on-line Greek text of Plato's Euthyphro 15e5 (I think).

I meant that we should probably understand something like τὸν νοῦν as the object of ἐπιστήσας. That seems consistent with the translations you cited.
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby pster » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:52 pm

Hehe. OK, I see. Yes, that seems like the only game in town doesn't it?

That is new for Mastronarde because in the older editions he doesn't get to any participles until U26.

Thanks to both you and John for help with this. I've actually put a fair bit of effort into that verb, more than any other. I wonder if any thing else fell through the cracks. Oh well, at least I can blame the early editions of Mastronarde!
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby Qimmik » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:42 pm

In the new edition, participles are not introduced until Unit 26, but the first and second aorists of ἵστημι are discussed in Unit 24, and the first aorist participle of ἵστημι is formed just like any other "sigmatic" aorist ending in -σα in the 1st pers. sing. indic. Check out Unit 24 in your edition for the discussion of the two aorists of ἵστημι.
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Re: Plb. 6.4.11

Postby pster » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:28 pm

Oh, believe me, I know my Mastronarde, probably better than anybody except the author. I am very well aware of his discussions of the different forms of the aorist and of the perfect for this verb. But, when he actually gives the participle for the aorist in U26, he only gives the intransitive. Contrast that with his discussion of the two kinds of perfects where he says/implies that there is only one form for the participle. So I wasn't even sure that there were two forms for the aorist. I'm glad he has cleared up the issue in his latest version.
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