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Reading Thucydides 2014

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:59 pm

I think it is fine to distinguish between those Siceliots in the big Greek cities on the coast and those Sicels in the smaller interior towns. Most of the time some Sicel town or some Sicels from some region join in the fighting. They were treated much better by the northern Ionians than the southern Dorians, so typically tend to side against Syracuse. But I'm halfway through Finley's Ancient Sicily and there just hasn't been any purely Sicel on Sicel violence. None. Any Sicel on Sicel violence is ancilliary to some larger struggle involving at least one of the Hellenized costal cities. So, Smith's assertion just seemed to have nothing to do with the Sicily I have been reading about. Segeste does assert itself from time to time, but they are Elymes not Sicules. Possibly Th. could be referring to some of their interminable troubles with Selinonte. But things out west seem pretty quiet circa 427.

If we knew for a fact that apposition is not in play, then I would assume that it was Elymes rather than Sicules fighting at the beginning of that sentence. They do make overtures to Athens and there is even a theory that that famous (unfinished) temple was built to seduce the Athenians into helping them. While Th. may distinguish between Sicels and Siceliots, here he opts for alloi, which lends some support to this line.

But the appostion in the 1910 translation gave me hope that it would be much easier to massage the grammar than the history.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:05 pm

ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἦν αὐτῷ --

I think it's clear that in καὶ χρήματά ποτε αἰτήσας αὑτὸν οὐ τυχὼν τὴν ἔχθραν οἱ προθοῖτο,
the understood subject is H., and αὑτὸν and οἱ refer to T., since T. wouldn't have asked H. for money. The referent of αἰτήσας must be the subject of προθοῖτο, and that must be H. Therefore ἔχθραν is H.'s hostility towards T. I think that in ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἦν αὐτῷ, it's the same ἔχθρα as at the end of the sentence, and it must also be that of H. towards T. Thus, αὐτῷ refers to H. and πρὸς αὐτὸν to T.

H. harbors a grievance towards T. because H. asked T. for money and T. wouldn't give it. You don't hold a grudge against someone you refuse to give money to when asked--you hold a grudge against someone who refuses to give you money when you ask for it.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:17 pm

"there just hasn't been any purely Sicel on Sicel violence. None. Any Sicel on Sicel violence is ancilliary to some larger struggle involving at least one of the Hellenized costal cities."

Fighting among Sicel and other non-Greek communities must have going on all the time, just as it was among Greeks. But Thucydides is really only interested in Greeks, and we don't have any information from other sources about warfare among the non-Greek populations of Sicily. I don't think there's much point in trying to give precision--exactly who was fighting whom--where Thucydides left it vague. Trying to draw inferences here about what Thucydides had in mind from extraneous information is futile, since he didn't bother to tell us. The sentence is a throw-away anyway, since it's just an introduction that allows Thucydides to focus on the Athenians.

Antithesis is really too strong a word. The three καὶ are more or less parallel, but I think that καὶ ἄλλοι . . . καὶ expresses "especially," "particularly".
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:27 pm

Qimmik wrote:ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἦν αὐτῷ --

I think it's clear that in καὶ χρήματά ποτε αἰτήσας αὑτὸν οὐ τυχὼν τὴν ἔχθραν οἱ προθοῖτο,
the understood subject is H., and αὑτὸν and οἱ refer to T., since T. wouldn't have asked H. for money. The referent of αἰτήσας must be the subject of προθοῖτο, and that must be H. Therefore ἔχθραν is H.'s hostility towards T. I think that in ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἦν αὐτῷ, it's the same ἔχθρα as at the end of the sentence, and it must also be that of H. towards T. Thus, αὐτῷ refers to H. and πρὸς αὐτὸν to T.

H. harbors a grievance towards T. because H. asked T. for money and T. wouldn't give it. You don't hold a grudge against someone you refuse to give money to when asked--you hold a grudge against someone who refuses to give you money when you ask for it.


Many thanks, Qimmik - this makes good sense, and (subject to any other comments) I'm inclined to go with this interpretation.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:26 pm

ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἦν αὐτῷ αἰεί ποτε περὶ τοῦ μισθοῦ τῆς ἀποδόσεως: καὶ τὰ τελευταῖα φυγόντος ἐκ Συρακουσῶν τοῦ Ἑρμοκράτους καὶ ἑτέρων ἡκόντων ἐπὶ τὰς ναῦς τῶν Συρακοσίων ἐς τὴν Μίλητον στρατηγῶν, Ποτάμιδος καὶ Μύσκωνος καὶ Δημάρχου, ἐνέκειτο ὁ Τισσαφέρνης φυγάδι ὄντι ἤδη τῷ Ἑρμοκράτει πολλῷ ἔτι μᾶλλον καὶ κατηγόρει ἄλλα τε καὶ ὡς χρήματά ποτε αἰτήσας αὑτὸν καὶ οὐ τυχὼν τὴν ἔχθραν οἱ προθοῖτο.

John, if I'm correct that πρὸς αὐτὸν is Tissaphernes and αὐτῷ is Hermocrates, it looks as if Thucydides' explanation for Hermocrates' hostility -- that it stemmed from Tissaphernes' reductions in the pay of Hermocrates' troops -- is at variance with Tissaphernes' account -- that Hermocrates' hostility stemmed from Tissaphernes' failure to give him money he asked for -- which leaves open the implication that Hermocrates was demanding money for himself (and of course Hermocrates, being an exile, can't easily defend himself against such an imputation). I think that Tissaphernes' allegation might be viewed as a somewhat misleading distortion of Thucydides' explanation for the hostility if πρὸς αὐτὸν and αὐτῷ are interpreted as I'm inclined to do, and that's another reason, in my view, for adopting that interpretation.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:32 pm

John, sorry that I am late to your party. I'm still brooding over kai. But Hornblower reads it: "now Tissaphernes had a grudge against Hermokrates ever since they quarrelled about the payment of the sailors and when afterwards he had been bainshed from Syracuse" ie after the events of ch. 45.

I have to do a few things but will try and read through what you and Qimmik have come up with when I get back.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:32 pm

In what immediately precedes the quoted passage from 8.85, we're told that Hermocrates was going to expose Tissaphernes for acting against Lacedaemonian interests and playing both sides. So it looks to me like ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἦν αὐτῷ αἰεί ποτε περὶ τοῦ μισθοῦ τῆς ἀποδόσεως is an explanation for Hermocrates' actions--his grudge against Tissaphernes, not the other way around.

πολλῷ ἔτι μᾶλλον seems to me to refer back to Tissaphernes sending his representative to Mindarus to bad-mouth the Milesians and tell his side of the story, with the implication that Tissaphernes was impugning Hermocrates' behavior along with that of the Milesians, or does φυγάδι ὄντι ἤδη suggest that the fact that Hermocrates was now an exile gave Tissaphernes the opportunity to slander Hermocrates much more vehemently? (But is Hermocrates coming to Mindarus along with the contingent of Milesians?)

Again, I think that it makes more sense for Hermocrates to bear a grudge against Tissaphernes for paying Hermocrates' men less than what they and Hermocrates wanted, than for Tissaphernes to bear a grudge against Hermocrates for demanding more money.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:58 pm

pster wrote:John, sorry that I am late to your party. I'm still brooding over kai. But Hornblower reads it: "now Tissaphernes had a grudge against Hermokrates ever since they quarrelled about the payment of the sailors and when afterwards he had been bainshed from Syracuse" ie after the events of ch. 45.

I have to do a few things but will try and read through what you and Qimmik have come up with when I get back.


Thanks, pster - I look forward to hearing what you think.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:11 pm

Qimmik wrote:In what immediately precedes the quoted passage from 8.85, we're told that Hermocrates was going to expose Tissaphernes for acting against Lacedaemonian interests and playing both sides. So it looks to me like ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἦν αὐτῷ αἰεί ποτε περὶ τοῦ μισθοῦ τῆς ἀποδόσεως is an explanation for Hermocrates' actions--his grudge against Tissaphernes, not the other way around.

πολλῷ ἔτι μᾶλλον seems to me to refer back to Tissaphernes sending his representative to Mindarus to bad-mouth the Milesians and tell his side of the story, with the implication that Tissaphernes was impugning Hermocrates' behavior along with that of the Milesians, or does φυγάδι ὄντι ἤδη suggest that the fact that Hermocrates was now an exile gave Tissaphernes the opportunity to slander Hermocrates much more vehemently? (But is Hermocrates coming to Mindarus along with the contingent of Milesians?)

Again, I think that it makes more sense for Hermocrates to bear a grudge against Tissaphernes for paying Hermocrates' men less than what they and Hermocrates wanted, than for Tissaphernes to bear a grudge against Hermocrates for demanding more money.


Qimmik - many thanks for this, and your other comments.

I'm disposed to think that Tissaphernes' allegation about Hermocrates' demanding money from him is a pure fabrication - there has certainly been no suggestion of this elsewhere in the text - intended to distract attention from Tissaphernes' own wrongdoing.

The reference at the end of the passage to τὴν ἔχθραν - rather than simply ἔχθραν - perhaps reinforces the view that it is the same as the ἔχθρα referred to at the start. Since τὴν ἔχθραν is clearly Hermocrates' towards Tissaphernes, the ἔχθρα at the start would be too.

The πολλῷ ἔτι μᾶλλον had been troubling me, in case it referred back to (Tissaphernes') ἔχθρα - i.e. he had constantly been hostile to Hermocrates, and now assailed him far more. (I presume that Lattimore and Mynott base their translations on this interpretation.) If not, Tissaphernes' having previously assailed Hermocrates is not mentioned directly in the text, and must be inferred as his response to Hermocrates' ἔχθρα over the issue of pay. I'm still a little uneasy over this.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:50 pm

"Tissaphernes' allegation about Hermocrates' demanding money from him is a pure fabrication"

I think it may be a deliberately misleading distortion of Hermocrates' dissatisfaction with the pay cuts, framed in a way to suggest that Hermocrates was seeking money for personal reasons.

I see your point about πολλῷ ἔτι μᾶλλον -- it might refer to a pre-exsisting ἔχθρα of Tissaphernes. But it might be a reference back to the self-justification Tissaphernes' agent is supposed to convey to Mindarus, which would include Tissaphernes' complaints about Hermocrates' hostility. And I think it also might mean that now that Hermocrates was an exile, he was more vulnerable, and Tissaphernes could slander him all the more.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:49 pm

Qimmik wrote:"Tissaphernes' allegation about Hermocrates' demanding money from him is a pure fabrication"

I think it may be a deliberately misleading distortion of Hermocrates' dissatisfaction with the pay cuts, framed in a way to suggest that Hermocrates was seeking money for personal reasons.

I see your point about πολλῷ ἔτι μᾶλλον -- it might refer to a pre-exsisting ἔχθρα of Tissaphernes. But it might be a reference back to the self-justification Tissaphernes' agent is supposed to convey to Mindarus, which would include Tissaphernes' complaints about Hermocrates' hostility. And I think it also might mean that now that Hermocrates was an exile, he was more vulnerable, and Tissaphernes could slander him all the more.


Thanks, Qimmik - I think you're quite right about the first point; Tissaphernes is distorting Hermocrates' solicitude over pay for the troops into a desire for personal gain.

I also agree with you on the second point. I think we may identify three phases:

(i) Hermocrates' concerns over pay;

(ii) Hermocrates' visit to Lacedaemon to denounce Tissaphernes, and the latter's defence there via Gaulites;

(iii) Hermocrates' subsequent exile, at which time (as he was more vulnerable) Tissaphernes assailed him far more vigorously than he had done (via Gaulites) at Lacedaemon.

If this sequence is correct, it would make sense of πολλῷ ἔτι μᾶλλον (which would mean 'far more than at Lacedaemon', i.e. phase (ii) above), and obviate my concerns on that score.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:51 pm

OK, I haven't caught up with you guys yet. But as far as grudges go, I am struck by the fact that at 8.29 Hermocrates wants more pay and at 8.43 Tissaphernes flies into a rage when new terms are requested of him. Probably you two know all about this. But it seems Tissaphernes could easily hold a grudge given this background.

Also, just glancing at Hornblower, there seems to be a rather large debate about the chronology of certain events in Bk. 8.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:08 pm

Having only read part of the passage in question, I thought that the Milesians, along with Hermocrates, as well as Gaulites, went to Mindarus, Astyochus' successor as commander of the Spartan fleet, to plead their case, not to Astyochus (despite αὐτῷ being closer to Astyochus than to Mindarus in the passage that precedes the quoted passage)--why would they go to Astyochus, who had been relieved of command? But reading further, I see that Astyochus, the Milesians and Hermocrates all went to Lacedaemon together, and presumably Gaulites went there, too.

At 8.43, Tissaphernes' anger seems to be directed at Lichias, not Hermocrates, doesn't it?
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:05 pm

Qimmik wrote:Having only read part of the passage in question, I thought that the Milesians, along with Hermocrates, as well as Gaulites, went to Mindarus, Astyochus' successor as commander of the Spartan fleet, to plead their case, not to Astyochus (despite αὐτῷ being closer to Astyochus than to Mindarus in the passage that precedes the quoted passage)--why would they go to Astyochus, who had been relieved of command? But reading further, I see that Astyochus, the Milesians and Hermocrates all went to Lacedaemon together, and presumably Gaulites went there, too.

At 8.43, Tissaphernes' anger seems to be directed at Lichias, not Hermocrates, doesn't it?


My understanding of the start of chapter 85 is that, having been relieved by Mindarus, Astyochus headed back to Lacedaemon, accompanied by Gaulites, whom Tissaphernes sent (a) to remonstrate over the Milesians' having captured one of Tissaphernes' garrison posts (chapter 84), and (b) to defend him against the Milesians and Hermocrates, whom Tissaphernes knew were on their way there to denounce him.

You're right that in chapter 43 Tissaphernes is angry with Lichas, for suggesting the need for a replacement treaty between the Persian King and the Lacedaemonians. Chapters 29 and 45, which relate Hermocrates' objections to Tissaphernes' reductions in pay, do not expressly refer to anger or vexation on the part of Tissaphernes (though it can be inferred).

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:20 pm

Anger was perhaps a posture assumed by someone negotiating from a position of strength, though Thucydides doesn't seem to say or imply that.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:42 pm

It is a tricky sentence. I think that the Hornblower interpretation is preferrable because: 1) Tissaphernes' mental state has already been described in more vivid terms than Hermocrates' (the rage at 8.43); 2) Tissaphernes was probably also still mad about Hermacrates not going along with the bribery plan; 3) most importantly, in 8.85, we have already had a description of Hermocrates' motives (he was upset with Tissaphernes' double dealing) and so at this moment, it seems more likely that it is Tissaphernes' motives that are being described.

But I'll look more in depth tomorrow.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:22 am

Qimmik wrote:Anger was perhaps a posture assumed by someone negotiating from a position of strength, though Thucydides doesn't seem to say or imply that.


That seems quite possible. Tissaphernes was clearly a very wily operator, and it may even be that he was not completely unhappy about having to make some concession to Hermocrates on the pay front in order to avoid alienating the Peloponnesians completely.

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:31 am

pster wrote:It is a tricky sentence. I think that the Hornblower interpretation is preferrable because: 1) Tissaphernes' mental state has already been described in more vivid terms than Hermocrates' (the rage at 8.43); 2) Tissaphernes was probably also still mad about Hermacrates not going along with the bribery plan; 3) most importantly, in 8.85, we have already had a description of Hermocrates' motives (he was upset with Tissaphernes' double dealing) and so at this moment, it seems more likely that it is Tissaphernes' motives that are being described.

But I'll look more in depth tomorrow.


Thanks, pster. I infer from this that Hornblower takes αὐτῷ as referring to Tissaphernes (as do Tucker, Lattimore and Mynott). My main reason currently for not following this view is the reference to τὴν ἔχθραν at the end of the passage I quoted. The use of the same word here, reinforced by the reference to τὴν ἔχθραν, rather than simply ἔχθραν (i.e. perhaps implying that the ἔχθραν has been referred to already, and so is known to the reader), seems to link back to ἔχθρα referred to at the start; since τὴν ἔχθραν is definitely felt by Hermocrates towards Tissaphernes, the same would then apply to the opening ἔχθρα.

At least, that's my view so far!

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:43 am

Comments and observations:

a) Tucker opts for the Hornblower interpretation:

ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν (sc. τὸν Ἑρμοκράτη) ἦν αὐτῷ (sc. τῷ Τισσαφέρνει), since Tissaphernes is the subject of the passage.

b) ὁ Τισσαφέρνης is explicitly the subject later on, so it would somewhat awkward if he weren't the subject at the outset. Perhaps this is exactly Tucker's point.

c) The Hornblower interpretation is the only way I can make sense of μᾶλλον. What is T's pressing more than if not T's anger prior?

-------------------------------------------------------------------

d) Hornblower rejects the view that Th. is writing proleptically when he says τὰ τελευταῖα φυγόντος ἐκ Συρακουσῶν τοῦ Ἑρμοκράτους. The traditional view, which is to be found in Xenophon, places that in 410. Hornblower rejects the Xenophon chronology, rejects that "afterwards" refers to the present moment, and says "afterwards" somehow refers to ch. 45. I'm skeptical and confused. Today I will be looking at everthing about Hermocrates so I'll see what I can come up with.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:21 pm

The clause preceding the disputed sentence: τὸν Ἑρμοκράτη μετ᾽ αὐτῶν, ὃς ἔμελλε τὸν Τισσαφέρνην ἀποφαίνειν φθείροντα τῶν Πελοποννησίων τὰ πράγματα μετὰ Ἀλκιβιάδου καὶ ἐπαμφοτερίζοντα.

Then Thucydides writes: ἔχθρα δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἦν αὐτῷ αἰεί ποτε περὶ τοῦ μισθοῦ τῆς ἀποδόσεως . . . It seems to me that this makes more sense, coming as it does after the statement that Hermocrates is going to expose Tissaphernes' duplicity, as an explanation of Hermocrates' motivation for heading to Lacedaemon with Astyochus and the Milesians. And then, as John notes, τὴν ἔχθραν at the end of the section seems to relate back to ἔχθρα at the beginning, and τὴν ἔχθραν can only be Hermocrates' hostility towards Tissaphernes, not the other way around.

It seems to me that if the first ἔχθρα were that of Tissaphernes towards Hermocrates, Thucydides would have mentioned that there was mutual ἔχθρα on Hermocrates' part in using the same word at the end of the section.

πολλῷ ἔτι μᾶλλον can be explained on the grounds that Tissaphernes has already sent his henchman Gaulites to press Tissaphernes' case against the Milesians, which would include bad-mouthing Hermocrates, since Tissaphernes knew that Hermocrates was going to expose his duplicity.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:43 pm

I'm unmoved by the τὴν ἔχθραν repetition.

-T is trying to turn the tables. Best defense is a good offense: I don't hold a grudge against him, he holds one against me kind of thing.

-The οἱ is I guess called for by the grammar alone, but seems to make explicit this kind of turning of the tables.

-However that may be, neither man likes the other and ἔχθραν is an extremely general term that seems to apply to both. If it were a more specific passion, then this line would be much more persuasive.

-Until he is exiled (a pretty common thing in Sicilian politics--Syracuse had banishment like Athens did), H is basking in the glow of his victories in Sicily, standing up for better pay for his men. T, on the other hand, has already been described as irrascible and rage prone. That inclines me to think that the main ἔχθραν in play is in himself and his accusations.

I'm glad you brought this up again, as I forgot to mention it earlier just before. Not just playing devil's advocate. ;)
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:54 pm

-Also, when they get to Sparta, H, backed by Astyochus, is found completely credible. And revenge is best served cold. :lol:
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:25 am

pster wrote:I'm unmoved by the τὴν ἔχθραν repetition.

-T is trying to turn the tables. Best defense is a good offense: I don't hold a grudge against him, he holds one against me kind of thing.

-The οἱ is I guess called for by the grammar alone, but seems to make explicit this kind of turning of the tables.

-However that may be, neither man likes the other and ἔχθραν is an extremely general term that seems to apply to both. If it were a more specific passion, then this line would be much more persuasive.

-Until he is exiled (a pretty common thing in Sicilian politics--Syracuse had banishment like Athens did), H is basking in the glow of his victories in Sicily, standing up for better pay for his men. T, on the other hand, has already been described as irrascible and rage prone. That inclines me to think that the main ἔχθραν in play is in himself and his accusations.

I'm glad you brought this up again, as I forgot to mention it earlier just before. Not just playing devil's advocate. ;)


pster - many thanks for this, and my apologies for the delay in replying.

I note what you say, and the interpretation you suggest is certainly possible. At present, however, I'm still inclined (though my view may change!) to take τὴν ἔχθραν οἱ προθοῖτο as Tissaphernes' (disingenuous) explanation for the ἔχθρα which Hermocrates had displayed towards him - i.e. it wasn't really about pay for the troops, or wider concerns over Tissaphernes' undermining the Peloponnesian cause, but simply stemmed from personal frustration on the part of Hermocrates at Tissaphernes' refusal to give him money.

I guess (unless you, Qimmik or Nate have any further thoughts) we''ll have to leave it there for now. But I'm grateful to all of you for chipping in on this one. It's amazing how much interesting discussion can be generated by just a few words in Thucydides!

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:32 am

John W. wrote:I'm still inclined (though my view may change!) to take τὴν ἔχθραν οἱ προθοῖτο as Tissaphernes' (disingenuous) explanation


I think that on this much we are in agreement.

I have moved onto the fourth century, so probably won't have more to say.

Although I did find a very choice quote about just how unbarbarian the Sicilians were that I may put up later today.

By the way, "Siciliot" was a proud self-designation of the those who lived in the costal cities.

And as for my original question that reopened the thread, I suspect that Th. had Ségeste (excuse my French spellings!) in mind: it was the biggest of the cities not founded by a Greek, it was the least Greek by virtue of location and continued use of the Elyme language (albeit written with Greek letters), it asserted itself the most (continually fighting with Sélinonte), made repeated appeals to Athens, and in the end tricked Athens into the war. Th. was probably aware of it and it's less Greek alloi nature because of the repeated appeals and could quite safely describe it as fighting that year because it was always fighting Sélinonte (hence the repeated appeals). (The biggest thing they seemed to have fought over was reciprocal marriage recognition! Reminds me of a quote in Peter Brown book about some tribes (possibly ancient): "they are our enemy, we marry them." So arguably once again, Venus called the shots.)
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:43 am

With the help of all those on this forum who have taken the trouble to discuss knotty points with me, I'm now nearing the end of my reading of Thucydides (though I may have one more query on Book 8, on which I'll post separately).

For my current reading I've been using Alberti's edition, and I recall that someone else (Qimmik?) has also acquired a copy of this. At the end of volumes 2 and 3 there are lists of corrigenda, but even in volumes 1 and 2 I've spotted some typos that aren't listed there, and inevitably there are also a number in the final volume. In a couple of cases, I'm unsure whether what I've spotted is actually a typo in the normal sense, or simply a printing error in my copy. The two instances are:

(i) vol. 3, p. 80, l. 20 (6.85): should be ἄλογον, but in my copy this appears as ἄλογ ν (i.e. 2nd omicron missing, with just a space there);

(ii) vol. 3, p. 194, l. 17 (7.81): should be ξυνεταράχθησαν, but in my copy the ρ is missing (with the possible exception of a dot below the line which may be part of the tail), as is the start of the ά immediately following.

The reason I'm asking is that, in the footnotes to my translation, I'm recording typos not picked up in the corrigenda to Alberti's edition, such as στατηγὸν for στρατηγὸν at vol. 1, p. 90, l. 10 (1.74), but if the two instances I've queried above are merely inking problems in my copy alone, I won't bother to record them in this way. The faulty ξυνεταράχθησαν looks as if it is probably an inking issue, but I'm less sure about the ἄλογ ν. If, therefore, Qimmik (or anyone else with a copy of Alberti) can advise as to how these two words appear in their own copy, I'd be most grateful.

With thanks and best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:00 pm

John, my edition has the same two errors in volume 3. In the second instance, I too have the same small vertical stroke below the line but the rest of the rho, as well as part of the following alpha, is missing.

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:16 pm

Qimmik wrote:John, my edition has the same two errors in volume 3. In the second instance, I too have the same small vertical stroke below the line but the rest of the rho, as well as part of the following alpha, is missing.

Bill


Many thanks, Bill. I've rectified both errors in footnotes to my translation for the sake of clarity; that makes some twenty typos I've found in Alberti over and above those identified in the corrigenda to volumes 1 and 2.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:19 pm

John, believe it or not--and I don't blame you if you don't!--I have finally, twenty plus months after beginning this thread, started reading Thucydides in earnest. Vocabulary cards have been made, Polybius project has been completed, and I have blocked out 1hr per day for however many years it takes to get to the end of Book VIII. I am happy for you that you are finishing up your translation, but I do hope you will be around to answer some of my random questions.

I noticed a remark of Hornblower's to the effect that Hobbes very rarely makes mistakes. Did you find that to be true? And is that new Cambridge translation something I must have?
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:53 pm

pster wrote:John, believe it or not--and I don't blame you if you don't!--I have finally, twenty plus months after beginning this thread, started reading Thucydides in earnest. Vocabulary cards have been made, Polybius project has been completed, and I have blocked out 1hr per day for however many years it takes to get to the end of Book VIII. I am happy for you that you are finishing up your translation, but I do hope you will be around to answer some of my random questions.

I noticed a remark of Hornblower's to the effect that Hobbes very rarely makes mistakes. Did you find that to be true? And is that new Cambridge translation something I must have?


pster - good to hear from you. That's great news! Reading (and rereading) Thucydides has been one of the most challenging, but also most rewarding, things I've ever done, and I hope (despite the inevitable frustrations) it proves the same for you.

I'm currently copy-editing my translation (for consistency etc.) but will still be around on here, and will be very happy to discuss any points you may wish to raise.

Hobbes' translation is vigorous and often very insightful. He does sometimes make mistakes - often due to the state of the text in his day - but is always worth consulting.

The new Cambridge translation (by Mynott) appeared only towards the end of my own labours, and I've only dipped into it, but it seems pretty good from what I've seen, and would I think be worth having on hand as a resource. There's also a fairly recent Oxford translation (by Hammond), but I haven't consulted that. Lattimore's translation (published by Hackett) is fairly literal, but is marred by the omission of quite a few passages, ranging from a few words to a few lines.

Anyway, all the very best with your reading; I look forward to many more Thucydidean discussions with you (and others).

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:28 pm

Th. 1.3.1:

πρὸ γὰρ τῶν Τρωικῶν οὐδὲν φαίνεται πρότερον κοινῇ ἐργασαμένη ἡ Ἑλλάς

How can φαίνεται just take a participle?

Or are we to understand it thus:

Before the Trojan war, Greece doing nothing in common is visible

?
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:39 pm

Before the Trojan War Greece does not appear to have done anything in common (or, as a common venture).

or

Before the Trojan War it does not appear that Greece did anything in common.

or

Before the Trojan War Greece apparently did nothing in common.

Smyth sec. 1965.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0007%3Asmythp%3D1965

This is a very frequent idiomatic use of φαίνομαι. With a present participle, it can sometimes be translated as "clearly" or "obviously".

Maybe "accomplished" would be better than "did" here.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:06 am

Argh. I knew that. I forgot it and LSJ buries that point. Some English writer (historian?) complained of Th. and asked, "Why does he write like that?" I think the same could be asked of LSJ!
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:27 pm

Qimmik wrote:This is a very frequent idiomatic use of φαίνομαι. With a present participle, it can sometimes be translated as "clearly" or "obviously".


Qimmik - does this apply only with a present participle? The reason I ask is that I'd translated the current passage as 'Hellas evidently undertook no concerted action'. Moreover this construction also occurs at 8.97.2:

καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα δὴ τὸν πρῶτον χρόνον ἐπί γε ἐμοῦ Ἀθηναῖοι φαίνονται εὖ πολιτεύσαντες ...

The precise meaning of this passage has been much debated, but I've rendered it as:

'And for the first time, in my lifetime at least, the Athenians adopted a form of government which was manifestly excellent ...'

The sense of 'seem to' for φαίνονται in this passage, which is otherwise couched in such categorical terms of approval, doesn't feel right to me.

More generally, I've been operating on the (perhaps simplistic) basis that φαίνομαι + infinitive = 'seem to ...', whereas φαίνομαι + participle = 'manifestly/evidently be/do ...'.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:04 pm

I think that φαίνομαι + infinitive suggests things aren't necessarily as they seem.

φαίνομαι + participle suggests that things are as they seem, but I'm not completely sure as to the choice between "clearly," "manifestly," versus "evidently," "apparently". As to current circumstances, I think that it is more likely to mean "clearly," but with events in the remote past, as in Th. 1.3, where Th. didn't have direct knowledge, "evidently" or "it appears that" seems more appropriate than "it is clear that". So it seems to me that your translations of both passages are correct.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:57 pm

Qimmik wrote:I think that φαίνομαι + infinitive suggests things aren't necessarily as they seem.

φαίνομαι + participle suggests that things are as they seem, but I'm not completely sure as to the choice between "clearly," "manifestly," versus "evidently," "apparently". As to current circumstances, I think that it is more likely to mean "clearly," but with events in the remote past, as in Th. 1.3, where Th. didn't have direct knowledge, "evidently" or "it appears that" seems more appropriate than "it is clear that". So it seems to me that your translations of both passages are correct.


Many thanks, Qimmik - that's a relief!

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby pster » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:47 am

I'm pretty confused now.

Mastronarde: with a participle it means "be clearly, obviously, openly doing X", with an infinitive it means "appear (seem) to be doing X".

Smyth: with an aorist participle it means "appear".

LSJ: cite examples with aorist, present, and perfect participles where it means "to be manifest".

John: basically takes Mastronarde's view.

Thucydides: both examples have aorist participles

Me: the tense of φαίνομαι, whether it is used with an infinitive or a participle very likely indicates when the appearing or the manifesting is occuring. In English we would say: Then it seemed she loved him, now it seems she does not. Or: It was then manifest that she loved him, it now no longer is.

Hornblower: on 8.97, "seem to me to have had a good constitutional arrangement". Despite a quite long note on this important passage where we get Th.'s opinion directly, Hornblower is mostly concerned with matters of chronology, and nowhere takes up what seems to me a very important question about whether Thucydides is saying something "appears" a certain way or whether it is "clearly" a certain way! Also problematic is H's gratuitous addtion of "to me" to his gloss.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough how big the difference between something being clearly X and something appearing to be X is in Western thought. LSJ, John, and Mastronarde seem to find a sharp distinction in the Greek. Hornblower and Qimmik seem to find something less sharp.

Qimmik, what sayest thee? Let's go back to the outset, where do you find the distinction between present and other participles?
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:06 am

As I've said, I think 'seem' is too feeble a meaning at 8.97.2, where Thucydides is giving a strong endorsement of the Government of the Five Thousand, and so would be unlikely to qualify it by 'seem'. I think it would also be too feeble a sense at 1.3.1, since there Thucydides is saying that the weakness of ancient times is demonstrated to him not least by this fact; he would hardly say something was 'demonstrated' (or 'made clear') to him (δηλοῖ δέ μοι) if he could only apply the term 'apparently' to the evidence he cites.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:09 pm

"the difference between something being clearly X and something appearing to be X" This is the distinction between φαίνομαι with the participle and φαίνομαι with the infinitive.

φαίνομαι + infinitive suggests things aren't necessarily as they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream.

φαίνομαι + participle suggests that things are as they seem. It literally means "to be shown" or "to be seen". Translate it "clearly" if you like with all tenses.

I think that in Thucydides 1.3 it probably means something like "there is no evidence that the Greeks did anything in common before the Trojan War," suggesting that in fact they did nothing in common before the Trojan War, but maybe you could translate it "clearly." Or else "The Greeks are not shown to have done anything in common . . . ." I don't see much difference between "evidently" and "apparently" here, but maybe "clearly" is a little too strong.

When I wrote that φαίνομαι with the present participle can be translated as "clearly", I was misleading--this is not exactly right. I meant that in describing contemporary events, it can be translated as "clearly." For events in the remote past, I'm not sure it's appropriate to ascribe that degree of certainty to Thucydides.

We probably shouldn't get too caught up in fine distinctions between English words--again, the core meaning of the Greek is "the Greeks are not shown to have achieved . . . " And the most important point is that he's not suggesting that there is a possibility that the Greeks did in fact, contrary to appearances, achieve something in common before the Trojan War. Here absence of evidence is evidence of absence.
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby John W. » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:51 am

Qimmik wrote:We probably shouldn't get too caught up in fine distinctions between English words--again, the core meaning of the Greek is "the Greeks are not shown to have achieved . . . " And the most important point is that he's not suggesting that there is a possibility that the Greeks did in fact, contrary to appearances, achieve something in common before the Trojan War. Here absence of evidence is evidence of absence.


I think this must be right. The position is complicated by the way English itself has changed - 'apparently' once meant 'clearly', and only later shifted towards implying a contrast with reality. We still say 'it is apparent that ...' when we mean 'it is clear that ...'.

It would be interesting to trace how, in Greek, the distinction between φαίνομαι + infinitive and
φαίνομαι + participle evolved.

In my translation of 1.3.1, I think 'evidently' - referring to Thucydides' conclusion based on the available evidence of the past - is appropriate, whereas the stronger 'manifestly' sits better at 8.97.2, where he is talking (in positive terms) of events in his own lifetime.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Postby Qimmik » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:24 am

In my translation of 1.3.1, I think 'evidently' - referring to Thucydides' conclusion based on the available evidence of the past - is appropriate, whereas the stronger 'manifestly' sits better at 8.97.2, where he is talking (in positive terms) of events in his own lifetime.


I think these are good choices in both passages.
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