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Plb. 6.10.7

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Plb. 6.10.7

Postby pster » Wed May 22, 2013 3:10 pm

ἵνα μηδὲν αὐξανόμενον ὑπὲρ τὸ δέον εἰς τὰς συμφυεῖς ἐκτρέπηται κακίας, ἀντισπωμένης δὲ τῆς ἑκάστου δυνάμεως ὑπ᾽ ἀλλήλων μηδαμοῦ νεύῃ μηδ᾽ ἐπὶ πολὺ καταρρέπῃ μηδὲν αὐτῶν...

so that none of the principles should grow unduly and be perverted into its allied evil, but that, the force of each being neutralized by that of the others, neither of them should prevail and outbalance another...

Why is μηδαμοῦ genitive?? And more generally, can somebody unpack the bolded phrase?

Thanks in advance
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Re: Plb. 6.10.7

Postby Qimmik » Wed May 22, 2013 5:15 pm

From LSJ:
μηδα^μ-οῦ , Adv.
A.nowhere, Th.1.35, Pl.Lg.958d; “μ. ἄλλοθι” Id.Phd. 68a: c. gen., μ. τῶν ὄντων, Lat. nusquam gentium, Id.Prm.162c: metaph., ὅπου τὸ χαίρειν μ. νομίζεται is of no account, A.Eu.423, cf. 624, S.Aj.1007; “μηδαμοῦ παρά τισιν εἶναι” X.Mem.1.2.52: as two words, “μηδὲ ἁμοῦ” IG12.16.11 (v B.C.).

This is buried under the lemma for μηδαμά.

Something like this:

"so that none of them (μηδὲν αὐτῶν) should decline (νεύῃ) anywhere or be weakened ( μηδ᾽ καταρρέπῃ) to any great degree (ἐπὶ πολὺ) "
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Re: Plb. 6.10.7

Postby Qimmik » Thu May 23, 2013 3:16 am

On looking at this again, I think that, consistent with the Loeb translation, the verbs νεύῃ and καταρρέπῃ, which seem more or less equivalent, mean just the opposite of what I originally thought : I think the image here is of a scale, where the weightier side sinks down, not of decline (which seems to be an alternative meaning of both of these verbs). LSJ cites μηδαμοῦ νεύῃ in this passage for "be in equilibrium," i.e., does't sink down. ὑπ᾽ ἀλλήλων seems like it could go with either μηδαμοῦ νεύῃ μηδ᾽ ἐπὶ πολὺ καταρρέπῃ μηδὲν αὐτῶν or possibly with ἀντισπωμένης δὲ τῆς ἑκάστου δυνάμεως. Sorry for my mistake.
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Re: Plb. 6.10.7

Postby GJCaesar » Thu May 23, 2013 9:33 pm

ὑπ᾽ ἀλλήλων goes with ἀντισπωμένης δὲ τῆς ἑκάστου δυνάμεως. μηδαμοῦ is not a genitive, but a proverb, meaning ''nowhere''. In this sense, I believe it means that ''in no case/on no place''.

''not one of them should decline on any place or decisively (ἐπὶ πολὺ) out-balance the others''

Sorry for any English mistakes, but this really is the best I can do for ya.
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Re: Plb. 6.10.7

Postby NateD26 » Fri May 24, 2013 1:37 pm

GJCaesar wrote:ὑπ᾽ ἀλλήλων goes with ἀντισπωμένης δὲ τῆς ἑκάστου δυνάμεως. μηδαμοῦ is not a genitive, but a proverb, meaning ''nowhere''. In this sense, I believe it means that ''in no case/on no place''.

It's not entirely accurate to say μηδαμοῦ is not a genitive. It bears the sign of the genitive, οῦ,
which is also common in adverbs of places. (Smyth 342)

μηδαμοῦ does carry the special meaning you've mentioned, which seems a more apt translation
in this passage, but strictly speaking, it's genitive. (Smyth 346c)
Nate.
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Re: Plb. 6.10.7

Postby Qimmik » Fri May 24, 2013 1:47 pm

μηδαμοῦ does carry the special meaning you've mentioned, which seems a more apt translation
in this passage, but strictly speaking, it's genitive.


LSJ characterizes μηδαμοῦ as an adverb. But adverb vs. genitive are just labels that have been imposed on the language by grammarians. Everyone is right here: it's a genitive in form and it's used adverbially.
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Re: Plb. 6.10.7

Postby GJCaesar » Fri May 24, 2013 2:17 pm

I am aware of the fact that it has a genitive-ending. But I see now that my explanation might have produced some speculations .. What I meant was that a translation with ''from/of'' (the core meaning of the genitive) is not the right one here. But you're absolutely right. Ending-wise: it's a genitive.

Like που (haven't figured out yet how to write accents like circumflex) and loads of other words, their original genitive meaning has ''disappeared'' (this is NOT a suggestion that it is not a genitive form anymore haha).

Thanks though for improving my explanation.
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