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Abridged Herodotus

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Abridged Herodotus

Postby stspitz » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:34 am

I would appreciate some help on a sentence I found in an abridged version of Herodotus. I'm a beginner, so my guess is it should be fairly easy, but I'm just missing something.

Ὡς δὲ οὐκ ἐπείσθησαν, ἐν μεγίστῃ δὴ ἀπορίᾳ ὤν, ᾔτησεν, ἐπειδὴ αὐτοῖς οὕτω δοκοίη, ἐᾶν αὐτὸν στάντα ἐν τοῖς ἑδωλίος ᾆσαι

The context is Arion having just tried to convince his crew to just take his property and not kill him. Arion goes on to promise to throw himself into the sea after singing.

My main problem with the above is δοκοίη and ἐᾶν.

As they were not persuaded, and he (Arion) being in very great difficulty, he begged, [...] him having stood on the rowing benches to sing.

What is ἐᾶν with a circumflex over α? Why the optative for δοκοίη and how does that affect the grammatical function of ἐπειδὴ? I don't need anyone to do the work for me, but maybe just point me in the right direction.

Thanks.
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Re: Abridged Herodotus

Postby NateD26 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:28 am

When you have a main verb of secondary tense, it is common to find a subordinate clause that was originally in subjunctive -
in the optative. And so:

..., αἰτεῖ, ἐπειδὰν αὐτοῖς οὕτω δοκῇ,... would become ...,ᾔτησεν, ἐπειδὴ αὐτοῖς οὕτω δοκοίη,...

ἐᾶν is infinitive of ἐάω, to let, suffer, allow, permit x (acc.) to do y (inf.). ἐᾶν is dependent on ᾔτησεν. (LSJ)
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Re: Abridged Herodotus

Postby stspitz » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:13 am

I think I've got it.

Is it correct to think about it this way:
There is an original temporal sentence: when it seems right to them, they permit him to sing
The verb of begging creates indirect discourse, putting ἐάω in the infinitive
The begging is in secondary tense so subjunctive shifts to optative without ἄν
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Re: Abridged Herodotus

Postby NateD26 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:56 am

Pretty much, except by "dependent on" I meant that it just takes a supplementary infinitive -- much like βούλoμαι.
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Re: Abridged Herodotus

Postby Scribo » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:39 pm

What edition is this? I've been looking for a half decent student version myself...
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