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Questions on Athenaze Chapter XIII

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Questions on Athenaze Chapter XIII

Postby marcofurio » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:19 pm

In Chapter XIII there are some triky sentences I am not able to completely understand:

Οἱ δὲ ἡμέτεροι πατέρες ἡγεμόνες καὶ διδάσκαλοι ἡμῖν ἐγένοντο ὄτι οὐκ ἄμαχός ἐστιν ἡ τῶν Περσῶν δύναμις

Our fathers, leaders and masters ¿developed in us? that not invincible is the strength of the Persians

Ἐκεῖνοι οὗν οἰ ἄνδρες οὐ μόνον τῶν σωμάτων τῶν ἡμετέρων πατέρες ἐγένοντο, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἐλευθερίας τῆς ἡμετέρας.

Therefore those men not only of the bodies of our fathers grew but... ¿of our freedom?

Any help is welcome.
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Re: Questions on Athenaze Chapter XIII

Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:56 pm

marcofurio wrote:In Chapter XIII there are some triky sentences I am not able to completely understand:

Οἱ δὲ ἡμέτεροι πατέρες ἡγεμόνες καὶ διδάσκαλοι ἡμῖν ἐγένοντο ὄτι οὐκ ἄμαχός ἐστιν ἡ τῶν Περσῶν δύναμις

Our fathers, leaders and masters ¿developed in us? that not invincible is the strength of the Persians

Here ἡγεμόνες and διδάσκαλοι don't have the article so they don't go with "our fathers" but rather with ἐγένοντο "became" -- ἡμῖν here you can translate as "for us" but I'd prefer translating as a possessive, so "and our fathers became our guides and teachers that the strength of the Persians is not invincible", i.e. "showed and taught us that..."

(Although I'm a little unsure just because I'm not sure if the ὅτι-clause like that can directly modify the nouns.)

Edit: I searched and this passage is based on a very similar one in Plato, so obviously you can, and so γίγνομαι can basically turn nouns into verb equivalents -- I mean διδάσκαλοι ἡμῖν ἐγένοντο = ἡμᾶς ἐδίδαξαν.

Ἐκεῖνοι οὗν οἰ ἄνδρες οὐ μόνον τῶν σωμάτων τῶν ἡμετέρων πατέρες ἐγένοντο, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἐλευθερίας τῆς ἡμετέρας.

Therefore those men not only of the bodies of our fathers grew but... ¿of our freedom?

Here πατέρες is nominative so it doesn't go with the preceding ἡμετέρων but again with the verb, so "therefore those men became not only the fathers of our bodies, but also [the fathers] of our freedom."
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Re: Questions on Athenaze Chapter XIII

Postby marcofurio » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:40 pm

Thanks for your commentaries. Sometimes one gets trapped in his own mess, mixing up the cases...

About ὅτι maybe the next sentence can help you clarify its meaning:

Οἱ δὲ ἡμέτεροι πατέρες ἡγεμόνες καὶ διδάσκαλοι ἡμῖν ἐγένοντο ὄτι οὐκ ἄμαχός ἐστιν ἡ τῶν Περσῶν δύναμις, άλλὰ πᾶν πλῆθος καὶ πᾶς πλοῦτος ἀρετῇ ὑπείκει.

Couldn't you translate as "because, for, as"?

Our fathers became teachers and leaders for us, because not invincible is the strenght of the persians but all number and richness succumbs to virtue.
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Re: Questions on Athenaze Chapter XIII

Postby modus.irrealis » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:06 pm

I believe you could, but in terms of meanang it seems more natural to read it as "taught us that the Persians' strength is not invincible and that ...", even if the grammar might be odd (it might not be, though, and it might just be my inexperience). In the context of the passage in Plato, though, ὅτι has to be "that" and not "because" and that's influencing what seems natural to me in this case.
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Re: Questions on Athenaze Chapter XIII

Postby marcofurio » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:02 pm

I think you are right, as an example of ὄτι used in the sense you point out together with the power of γίγνομαι of turning names into verbs, see the sentence written by the Athenaze authors in the Exercise Book:

Οἱ δὲ ἡμέτεροι πατέρες ἡμῖν διδάσκαλοι ἐγένοντο ὄτι ἡ ἀρετὴ οὐδέποτε ὑπείκει τῷ τε πλήθει καὶ τῷ πλούτῳ.

Thanks again for your commentaries,

Marco
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Re: Questions on Athenaze Chapter XIII

Postby Swth\r » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:48 pm

Once more "modus.irrealis" is right. ἡμῖν is dative of interest (of advantage in my opinion, or of possession on an extended comprehension-> "...we had our fathers as leaders and teachers...").Typically,it moderates the verb "ἐγένοντο" and not the nouns, and litterally the meaning is "they became for us leaders and teachers". Of course the genitive could be used instead (objective genitive) depended on the nouns, "leaders and teachers of us". The syntax variation affects slightly the meaning in this case. Using the dative the strength is put upon the fact that the action implied by the nouns (ἡγεμόνες, διδάσκαλοι) is done in order to benefit "us-ἡμῖν"; using the genitive stress is laid just on the fact that the object of these actions concerns "us-ἡμῶν", with no reference to some quality of the impact on "us". Of course dealing the case as some short of phrasal verb construction simplifies things in reading, as "modus" has already pointed out.

The "ὅτι" clause is indeed a "that-clause", depended on the nouns, and specifically on "διδάσκαλοι", and it is not a causal one.

The "natural" word order (as in English) would be:

Οἱ δὲ ἡμέτεροι πατέρες ἐγένοντο ἡμῖν ἡγεμόνες καὶ διδάσκαλοι ὄτι ἡ τῶν Περσῶν δύναμις ἐστὶν οὐκ ἄμαχoς.
Our fathers became for us leaders and teachers (of the fact) that the Persian military force can be faced in combat.

Ἐκεῖνοι οὗν οἰ ἄνδρες ἐγένοντο πατέρες οὐ μόνον τῶν σωμάτων τῶν ἡμετέρων, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἐλευθερίας τῆς ἡμετέρας.
Therefore, those men became the fathers not only of our bodies, but also [the fathers, metaphorically] of our freedom.
Dives qui sapiens est...
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