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accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

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accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby daivid » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:00 pm

This from Taylor's Greek to GCSE:
ο ουν Σολων προφασιν εχων την θεωριαν εξεπλευσε και εισ τε την Αεγυπτον ως τον βασιλεα τον Αμασιν και δη και εις την Λυδιαν ως τον Κροισον αφικετο.

Solon has given the Athenians a set of laws to reform their political system. The Athenians have agreed to give the new system 10 years to work and things are set up so that no changes can be made without Solon. To make sure no changes are made Solon decides to make himself scarce.

So to the line itself
The bit that is giving me trouble is "προφασιν εχων την θεωριαν". I am fairly certain that a accusative of respect is involved. But there are two accusatives here.

Should it read
Therefore Solon having sightseeing in respect of a pretext

or
Therefore Solon having a pretext in respect of sightseeing

In the first case Solon's motive is avoid being forced to change the laws so he uses sightseeing as an excuse to be absent from Athens

In the second case a more self indulgent Solon realises that having the pretext that being absent preserves his reforms allows him to go on the sightseeing tour that he has not previously permitted himself.
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby John W. » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:09 pm

Daivid - προφασιν seems to be used absolutely - almost adverbially - to mean 'as an excuse'. Compare Thucydides 3.111.1: πρόφασιν ἐπὶ λαχανισμὸν καὶ φρυγάνων ξυλλογὴν ἐξελθόντες, 'having gone out on the pretext of gathering herbs and firewood'. So perhaps it's the same here.

To be honest I'm not sure I see how you get such different shades of meaning from your two options, but that's probably just me being a bit dim.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby daivid » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:20 pm

John W. wrote:Daivid - προφασιν seems to be used absolutely - almost adverbially - to mean 'as an excuse'. Compare Thucydides 3.111.1: πρόφασιν ἐπὶ λαχανισμὸν καὶ φρυγάνων ξυλλογὴν ἐξελθόντες, 'having gone out on the pretext of gathering herbs and firewood'. So perhaps it's the same here.

Hence:
Solon therefore having his sightseeing tour as a pretext set sail ...
This is not the interpretation I thought most likely so thanks very much

John W. wrote:To be honest I'm not sure I see how you get such different shades of meaning from your two options, but that's probably just me being a bit dim.



The alternative is:

Solon therefore had a pretext [ie that he needed to be absent to prevent himself being forced to change his laws] for his sightseeing tour and set sail...
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby Markos » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:11 pm

ὦ χαῖρε, φίλε Δαυιδ!

ο ουν Σολων προφασιν εχων την θεωριαν εξεπλευσε κτλ...


I often wonder how Ancient Greek can be made less ambiguous. Well, since you asked....

Solon therefore having his sightseeing tour as a pretext set sail ...


ὁ οὖν Σόλων, ἐχων ταύτην τὴν πρόφασιν, τουτ' ἐστιν, τὴν θεωρίαν, ἐξέπλευσε κτλ...

The alternative is:

Solon therefore had a pretext [ie that he needed to be absent to prevent himself being forced to change his laws] for his sightseeing tour and set sail..


ὁ δἐ Σόλων, νῦν ἐχων πρόφασιν περὶ τῆς θεωρίας αὐτοῦ, ἐξέπλευσε κτλ...

Your second interpretation would only make sense if Solon preferred being a tourist to being a lawmaker. Like the guy who ran for President so he could visit New Hampshire and Iowa. :D

θέλω σε ἐρρῶσθαι, ὦ ἄριστε!
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby daivid » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:02 am

Markos wrote:
ο ουν Σολων προφασιν εχων την θεωριαν εξεπλευσε κτλ...


I often wonder how Ancient Greek can be made less ambiguous. Well, since you asked....

Solon therefore having his sightseeing tour as a pretext set sail ...


ὁ οὖν Σόλων, ἐχων ταύτην τὴν πρόφασιν, τουτ' ἐστιν, τὴν θεωρίαν, ἐξέπλευσε κτλ...

The alternative is:

Solon therefore had a pretext [ie that he needed to be absent to prevent himself being forced to change his laws] for his sightseeing tour and set sail..


ὁ δἐ Σόλων, νῦν ἐχων πρόφασιν περὶ τῆς θεωρίας αὐτοῦ, ἐξέπλευσε κτλ...

Your two sentences do indeed do the trick perfectly.
Markos wrote:Your second interpretation would only make sense if Solon preferred being a tourist to being a lawmaker. Like the guy who ran for President so he could visit New Hampshire and Iowa. :D


One could imagine that however keen he was on being a lawmaker at the start he might become exasperated with the self important faction leaders he would have had to deal with.
Also Herodotos, and hence Taylor, really only mentions Solon's lawmaking as an introduction to his
story about meeting Croesus and so I kind of suspect that Herodotos might assume that Solon
would be much more keen on travel than politics.

But expectations aside - it's what the Greek actually says that counts.
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby John W. » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:45 am

daivid wrote:The alternative is:

Solon therefore had a pretext [ie that he needed to be absent to prevent himself being forced to change his laws] for his sightseeing tour and set sail...


Thanks, Daivid - with the aid of your (and Markos') comments I now see what you mean.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby daivid » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:59 pm

daivid wrote:This from Taylor's Greek to GCSE:
ο ουν Σολων προφασιν εχων την θεωριαν εξεπλευσε και εισ τε την Αεγυπτον ως τον βασιλεα τον Αμασιν και δη και εις την Λυδιαν ως τον Κροισον αφικετο.

Solon has given the Athenians a set of laws to reform their political system. The Athenians have agreed to give the new system 10 years to work and things are set up so that no changes can be made without Solon. To make sure no changes are made Solon decides to make himself scarce.

So to the line itself
The bit that is giving me trouble is "προφασιν εχων την θεωριαν". I am fairly certain that a accusative of respect is involved. But there are two accusatives here.

Should it read
Therefore Solon having sightseeing in respect of a pretext

or
Therefore Solon having a pretext in respect of sightseeing

In the first case Solon's motive is avoid being forced to change the laws so he uses sightseeing as an excuse to be absent from Athens

In the second case a more self indulgent Solon realises that having the pretext that being absent preserves his reforms allows him to go on the sightseeing tour that he has not previously permitted himself.

Yesterday I received the answer keys from John Taylor and it turns out the more cynical view of Solon's motives is wrong hence it is the sightseeing that is the pretext and the real motive is to avoid being forced to change his laws.
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby Qimmik » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:34 pm

ο ουν Σολων προφασιν εχων την θεωριαν

This isn't an accusative of respect. The traditional term for this construction is "apposition." A noun that is appositive to another noun agrees with it in case.

Smyth 916: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Asmythp%3D916

Smyth 925.2: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Asmythp%3D925

Smyth 976: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Asmythp%3D976

"Solon, having [or better, 'using'] sightseeing as a pretext . . . "
Last edited by Qimmik on Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby Qimmik » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:25 pm

Both nouns here happen to be accusative because την θεωριαν is the direct object of εχων. In other words, προφασιν is appositive to την θεωριαν, which is accusative because it's the direct object of εχων; therefore, προφασιν is also accusative.
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Re: accusative of respect (taylor book 2)

Postby daivid » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:42 pm

Qimmik wrote:Both nouns here happen to be accusative because την θεωριαν is the direct object of εχων. In other words, προφασιν is appositive to την θεωριαν, which is accusative because it's the direct object of εχων; therefore, προφασιν is also accusative.


I did read the all the refs but didn't quite bring them all together in the right way. Now thanks this extra explanation all is clear. So it has nothing to do with accusative of respect and can only be read one possible way.

It would have been nice of Taylor to explicitly covered appositive in the book. In a class the teacher can quickly direct a student back onto the right path so easily the teacher isn't aware of what they are done. When you are studying on your own these "little" things can lead you way off.

Thanks millions.
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