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πάρος + present tense

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πάρος + present tense

Postby huilen » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:35 pm

Hello everybody, could any one explain me why is the present tense used here?

καὶ λίην σε πάρος γ' οὐτ' εἴρομαι οὔτε μετάλλῶ,
ἀλλὰ μάλ' εὔκηλος τὰ φράζεαι, ἅσσ' ἐθέλῃσθα
(Iliad I. 553)

I understand that she says that she have never before (πάρος) neither ask nor inquire him, but he (always?) does what he wants to. If this is correct, why is not some past tense used instead of εἴρομαι/μετάλλῶ? Pharr has not made any comment about this in footnotes.

And another question by-the-way: should I let the conjuntion καί untranslated here? This is always a topic of confusion to me.
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Re: πάρος + present tense

Postby Markos » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:07 pm

huilen wrote:καὶ λίην σε πάρος γ' οὐτ' εἴρομαι οὔτε μετάλλῶ,
ἀλλὰ μάλ' εὔκηλος τὰ φράζεαι, ἅσσ' ἐθέλῃσθα
(Iliad I. 553)

...why is not some past tense used instead of εἴρομαι/μετάλλῶ?


In fact Gaza's paraphrase has imperfects:
καὶ λίαν σε ἐγὼ πρότερον οὔτε ἠρώτων, οὔτε ἀκριβῶς ἠρεύνων...

I think the present is used to make the tone more vivid and lively, sort of like the historical present.

"Before I get my first cup of coffee, I am hating life."

...should I let the conjuntion καί untranslated here?


Yes, the force of the connectives are to be felt rather than ignored or translated.
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Re: πάρος + present tense

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:48 pm

It's an interesting question, and you have more or less hit the correct answer yourself. It's that this is a special case with πάρος. With πάρος, the present is normal in Homer, and this is actually pretty common in Homer. Maybe it's easier to understand the present if you translate πάρος "until now" (at least mentally, to internalize the construction) instead of "before" or "formerly", which is what the dictionaries give.

As for καί, I don't think you should necessarily leave it untranslated - but it doesn't mean "and" here. I think it rather strengthens the word λίην. So I think καί means something like "indeed" here, if it must be translated.
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Re: πάρος + present tense

Postby Bart » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:08 pm

isn't καὶ λίην a frequent combination meaning something like truly or verily or indeed?

For πάρος: Ameis says it is best translated as 'sonst' (otherwise?) with the praesens.
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Re: πάρος + present tense

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:10 pm

Markos wrote:
...should I let the conjuntion καί untranslated here?


Yes, the force of the connectives are to be felt rather than ignored or translated.

The point is not that καί should not be translated, but that καί is not an exact equivalent of "and" and can't be translated mechanically.

In his etymological dictionary, Chantraine says that the primary meaning of καί is "de plus, précisément, également" ("moreover, (more) precisely, likewise" - I'm not completely happy with the these English equivalents I came up with), and the copulative sense ("and") is secondary. τε is the original Greek word for "and" (cf. Latin -que and Sanskrit -ca).
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Re: πάρος + present tense

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:26 pm

Ameis is excellent in this sort of situation, to give a "feeling" for the construction at hand, really taking each particle into consideration. The problem is that my German is rather poor, so sometimes I don't catch all the nuances in German. Here's he says for this:

καὶ λίην πάρος γε, bestätigend und zustimmend, ich frage ja auch sonst nicht.

Maybe Ameis has translated καί "ja" here, but you can't really give exact correspondences, because Ameis has translated the whole phrase, not individual words.
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Re: πάρος + present tense

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:29 pm

Bart wrote:isn't καὶ λίην a frequent combination meaning something like truly or verily or indeed?

I think so, yes.
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Re: πάρος + present tense

Postby huilen » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:45 am

I think the present is used to make the tone more vivid and lively, sort of like the historical present.


Maybe it's easier to understand the present if you translate πάρος "until now" (at least mentally, to internalize the construction)


That helps! Thanks for your answers :)
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