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odd (to me) present participle in Herodotos

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odd (to me) present participle in Herodotos

Postby daivid » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:38 pm

This is the story where the King of Lydia wants to build ships to fight the Aegean islanders. His advisor, rather than tell him that the idea is silly directly, tells him the islanders are raising cavalry to fight him on land. The King says "The chance would be a fine thing"....

νησιώτας δὲ τί δοκέεις εὔχεσθαι ἄλλο ἤ, ἐπείτε τάχιστα ἐπύθοντό σε μέλλοντα ἐπὶ σφίσι ναυπηγέεσθαι νέας, λαβεῖν ἀρώμενοι Λυδούς ἐν θαλάσσῃ, ἵνα ὓπερ τῶν ἐν τῇ ἠπείρῳ οἰκημένων Ἑλλήνων τίσωνταί σε, τοὺς σὺ δουλώσας ἔχεις;’

Hdt. 1.27.4

This is the closest I can get (with no attempt to put it into natural English):
And what do you expect the islanders to long for other than, (as soon as they learn [that] you are intending against them to build ships) to catch [the islanders] praying the Lydians in the sea, in order to, on the behalf of those mainland living Greeks, [i.e.] those you having enslaved hold.


(The bits in square brackets in the translation are where I've put stuff in that seem to me to be strongly implied by the Greek but not explicit)
It's the orange highlighted participle that puzzles me. I can't work it in to the rest of the sentence. What does it add to the meaning?
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Re: odd (to me) present participle in Herodotos

Postby John W. » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:44 pm

Daivid - I'm no expert, but is ἀρώμενοι perhaps just (albeit tautologously) resumptive after ἐπείτε ... νέας? In other words, it repeats the thought previously expressed as νησιώτας δὲ τί δοκέεις εὔχεσθαι after the intervening passage. If so, I presume it's nominative because it's the subject of this clause.

Perhaps others with greater knowledge could comment.

Best wishes,

John
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Re: odd (to me) present participle in Herodotos

Postby Qimmik » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:20 pm

This is not the king's response to the minister, it's the minister's response to the king.

I wonder whether ἀρώμενοι could be from ἀείρω, which can mean "put out to sea," not ἀράομαι, "pray," though I'm at a loss to explain the form. Maybe the text is corrupt. The mss. have ἄρασθαι, with ἀρώμενοι written in the margin as a correction in one of them.

See I.5, IV.3: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Da%29ei%2Frw

Otherwise, it would be "what do you think the islanders will hope to do, as soon as . . . , other than, praying/hoping ("hopefully"), to catch the Lydians at sea, in order to punish you on behalf of the Greeks who live on the mainland, whom you have enslaved/conquered and hold under your dominion.

The islanders is the understood subject of λαβεῖν ἀρώμενοι; the Lydians is the object.
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Re: odd (to me) present participle in Herodotos

Postby John W. » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:25 pm

Qimmik wrote:I wonder whether ἀρώμενοι could be from ἀείρω, which can mean "put out to sea," not ἀράομαι, "pray," though I'm at a loss to explain the form.


That was my first thought (partly based on similar expressions in Thucydides), but I ran into the same problem.

John
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Re: odd (to me) present participle in Herodotos

Postby daivid » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:32 pm

Qimmik wrote:This is not the king's response to the minister, it's the minister's response to the king.

Yes, I didn't make that clear.
Qimmik wrote:I wonder whether ἀρώμενοι could be from ἀείρω, which can mean "put out to sea," not ἀράομαι, "pray," though I'm at a loss to explain the form. Maybe the text is corrupt. The mss. have ἄρασθαι, with ἀρώμενοι written in the margin as a correction in one of them.

See I.5, IV.3: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Da%29ei%2Frw

I am kind of relieved that it turns out that this sentence is really quite challenging. :)
If it should be a form of ἀείρω what form might have been the original?

Qimmik wrote:Otherwise, it would be "what do you think the islanders will hope to do, as soon as . . . , other than, praying/hoping ("hopefully"), to catch the Lydians at sea, in order to punish you on behalf of the Greeks who live on the mainland, whom you have enslaved/conquered and hold under your dominion.

That would work. However, from the fact that you didn't give it as your first choice, am I right in suspecting that Herodotos doesn't usually use ἀρώμενοι with that idiomatic sense?
Qimmik wrote:The islanders is the understood subject of λαβεῖν ἀρώμενοι; the Lydians is the object.

I stuck islanders in there because the participle refers back to the islanders but the way I wrote does indeed make it look as if its the islanders being taken.

And thanks to both of you for replying so quickly.
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Re: odd (to me) present participle in Herodotos

Postby Qimmik » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:30 pm

"from the fact that you didn't give it as your first choice, am I right in suspecting that Herodotos doesn't usually use ἀρώμενοι with that idiomatic sense?"

Without claiming profound knowledge of Herodotus, it struck me as odd, just as it did you, and I had the same reaction as John--that it might be a form of ἀείρω, perhaps aorist middle, ἀράμενοι based on the form ἦρα attested at Hdt. 9.59, according to LSJ. It seems to me I've seen the middle of ἀείρω used to mean "put out to sea" (the idea is "hoisting the sails") in material I've read recently--Thucydides, Demosthenes, Aeschines, Isocrates.
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