Textkit Logo

Odyssey 12. 73

Are you reading Homeric Greek or studying Homeric Greek with Pharr's Homeric Greek - A Book For Beginners? Here's where you can meet other Homeric Greek learners. Use this board for all things Homeric Greek.

Odyssey 12. 73

Postby huilen » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:42 pm

I am stuck with this verse:
73. οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι ὁ μὲν οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἱκάνει


Circe is describing to Odysseus the second way to his homeland. The first she described at 59. Here is the context and the structure of the antithesis marked by the correlation μέν...δέ:

56. ἔνθα τοι οὐκέτ᾽ ἔπειτα διηνεκέως ἀγορεύσω,
57. ὁπποτέρη δή τοι ὁδὸς ἔσσεται, ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτὸς
58. θυμῷ βουλεύειν: ἐρέω δέ τοι ἀμφοτέρωθεν.
59. ἔνθεν μὲν γὰρ πέτραι ἐπηρεφέες, προτὶ δ᾽ αὐτὰς
...
73. οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι ὁ μὲν οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἱκάνει


Two things I don't understand:
1. What is οἱ standing for?
2. Is it εἰσι understood in each element of the antithesis?

I would expect something like this: ἔνθεν μὲν γὰρ πέτραι... ἑτέρωθι δύω σκόπελοι (εἰσι): "...there are rocks... there instead are two crags". What confusses me is that there is οἱ instead of the expected ἑτέρωθι.
a. If οἱ is a demonstrative pronoun, then why is it masculine and plural, where it's antecedent is femenine and singular (ὅδος)?
b. Could be οἱ the article of σκόπελοι? I thought that Homer always ommits the article in the nominative case, moreover I would say that δύω σκοπέλοι has more sense as an indefinite subject (the first element of the antithesis indeed is "πέτραι" and not "αἱ πέτραι").
c. Is it perhaps that οἱ has a deictic antecedent? So Circe points out with her finger the two crags and says: "οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι...". I don't think so, but it was my last desperate try.
huilen
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:19 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Odyssey 12. 73

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:33 pm

huilen wrote:I am stuck with this verse:
73. οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι ὁ μὲν οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἱκάνει


Circe is describing to Odysseus the second way to his homeland. The first she described at 59. Here is the context and the structure of the antithesis marked by the correlation μέν...δέ:

56. ἔνθα τοι οὐκέτ᾽ ἔπειτα διηνεκέως ἀγορεύσω,
57. ὁπποτέρη δή τοι ὁδὸς ἔσσεται, ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτὸς
58. θυμῷ βουλεύειν: ἐρέω δέ τοι ἀμφοτέρωθεν.
59. ἔνθεν μὲν γὰρ πέτραι ἐπηρεφέες, προτὶ δ᾽ αὐτὰς
...
73. οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι ὁ μὲν οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἱκάνει


Two things I don't understand:
1. What is οἱ standing for?
2. Is it εἰσι understood in each element of the antithesis?

I would expect something like this: ἔνθεν μὲν γὰρ πέτραι... ἑτέρωθι δύω σκόπελοι (εἰσι): "...there are rocks... there instead are two crags". What confusses me is that there is οἱ instead of the expected ἑτέρωθι.

If you put it like this, the μὲν has no δὲ. As it stands in the text, I think ἔνθεν μὲν has εἰσι understood, but I'm not sure about οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι, which I would translate just "as for these two cliffs", i.e. the verb is only in what follows (ἱκάνει etc).
a. If οἱ is a demonstrative pronoun, then why is it masculine and plural, where it's antecedent is femenine and singular (ὅδος)?

I think οἱ has to agree with δύω σκόπελοι.
b. Could be οἱ the article of σκόπελοι? I thought that Homer always ommits the article in the nominative case, moreover I would say that δύω σκοπέλοι has more sense as an indefinite subject (the first element of the antithesis indeed is "πέτραι" and not "αἱ πέτραι").

Properly speaking, Homer really doesn't have an article, it's more like a demonstrative pronoun. You certainly can find it with nominatives, e.g. Il 1.348 δ' ἀέκουσ' ἅμα τοῖσι γυνὴ κίεν "She, the woman, went with them against her will". Some cases are more like Attic, e.g. ὁ ξεῖνος "this guest/our guest" etc. But I don't know if the use of the article in the nominative is more limited than in the other cases, maybe it is.[/quote]
c. Is it perhaps that οἱ has a deictic antecedent? So Circe points out with her finger the two crags and says: "οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι...". I don't think so, but it was my last desperate try.

Merry-Riddell's commentary says: "It is best to take οἱ in the sense of 'Now, on the other side". So it looks like that's the way they interprete this. I don't see any other way at least. It is strange.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 946
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Odyssey 12. 73

Postby huilen » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:42 pm

Properly speaking, Homer really doesn't have an article, it's more like a demonstrative pronoun. You certainly can find it with nominatives, e.g. Il 1.348 ἣ δ' ἀέκουσ' ἅμα τοῖσι γυνὴ κίεν "She, the woman, went with them against her will". Some cases are more like Attic, e.g. ὁ ξεῖνος "this guest/our guest" etc. But I don't know if the use of the article in the nominative is more limited than in the other cases, maybe it is.

Sorry, I didn't want to say that it is more limited in the nominative case (I just mess me up with the personal pronoun, which is often omitted in the nominative case, nevermind). What caught my attention was just the use of οἱ without referring to anything mentioned previously, just as if it were an article, which Homer doesn't have.

If you put it like this, the μὲν has no δὲ. As it stands in the text, I think ἔνθεν μὲν has εἰσι understood, but I'm not sure about οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι, which I would translate just "as for these two cliffs", i.e. the verb is only in what follows (ἱκάνει etc).

Your translation makes much sense, what have confussed me was that I was thinking the cliffs like an indefinite noun: "there are two cliffs, *some* cliffs". So I just couldn't say "in regard to two cliffs...". I thought that way because she had not mentioned the cliffs until that moment, so I was expecting the first mention of the noun to be indefinite. But now, on second thought, these cliffs could be two well-known cliffs, so she could talk correctly about them as "those two cliffs".
huilen
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:19 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Odyssey 12. 73

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:01 pm

huilen wrote:Your translation makes much sense, what have confussed me was that I was thinking the cliffs like an indefinite noun: "there are two cliffs, *some* cliffs". So I just couldn't say "in regard to two cliffs...". I thought that way because she had not mentioned the cliffs until that moment, so I was expecting the first mention of the noun to be indefinite. But now, on second thought, these cliffs could be two well-known cliffs, so she could talk correctly about them as "those two cliffs".

I'm not sure, but I think that it's not so much that these cliffs are well known; maybe it's just that the μέν earlier on means that there is bound to be a δέ later on to contrast the μέν, and this opposition sort of makes οἱ δὲ δύω σκόπελοι definite. I can't articulate this any better.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 946
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Odyssey 12. 73

Postby Qimmik » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:54 pm

I agree with Paul's explanation. The earlier μέν seems to look forward to δέ (though in Homer not every μέν has its δέ; see below). The syntax is a little loose, but I think you could view this as a sort of anacoluthon.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dme%2Fn
Qimmik
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm


Return to Homeric Greek and Pharr's Homeric Greek - A Book For Beginners

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests