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The syntax of a love-crazed boar

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The syntax of a love-crazed boar

Postby annis » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:38 pm

I recently ran across a poem which used to be attributed to Theocritus (Kiessling makes it number 30), but which Gow (O.C.T. editor of Bucolici Graeci) puts after Bion in the anonymous section.

It's a very curious thing, about the boar who castrated and killed Adonis getting interrogated by Adonis' girlfriend, Aphrodite. The boar claims he didn't want to kill the boy:
[face=spionic]
ou)k h)/qelon pata/cai:[/face]
27
[face=spionic]a)ll' w(j a)/galm' e)sei=don,
kai\ mh\ fe/rwn to\ kau=ma,
gumno\n to\n ei)=xe mhro/n
e)maino/man fila=sai
[/face]

(Dialect note: Bucolic Doric! [face=spionic]e)maino/man[/face] = [face=spionic]e)maino/mhn[/face]).

The syntax of the lines I've underlined is driving me nuts, in particular, the exact syntax of [face=spionic]to\n ei)=xe[/face]. At the moment I assume it is a relative clause, mostly because I can't work it in otherwise.

"I did not want to kill (him)
But I saw (him) like a statue,
and not bearing (not able to bear) the burning desire,
his thigh, which he had naked,
I was mad to kiss.
"

Can anyone chart out what exactly is going on with the syntax?
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Postby annis » Mon Nov 10, 2003 11:37 pm

Naturally, after parading my perplexity in public, another solution presents itself as at least possible:

"I was mad to kiss the naked thigh which he had."

This isn't very elegant English. I don't know how elegant it is in Greek. But it fills out the meter and seems a correct possibility.
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Postby Skylax » Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:18 pm

You are right : it's a relative pronoun. See LSJ sv o(, h(, to/, C. As Relative Pronoun in many dialects ... Never in Comedy or Attic prose.
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Postby annis » Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:17 pm

Skylax wrote:You are right : it's a relative pronoun.


Oh, it's not the pronoun that upsets me - Homer does this all the time - but the wild syntax. A relative phrase separating a noun and its adjective? I know poets have license, but line 30 seems extreme.
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Postby Emma_85 » Tue Nov 11, 2003 10:04 pm

Hmm... I'm not too sure wether philasai belongs to meron, as philasai meaning kissing is normally with the dative (though of course it could be different in this dialect); philasai tw| stomati
With the accusative it often means: do something gladly or just normally or gladly.
mainomai with accusative means to hunger for something.
Could ton be the young man?
Naked that (guy) had his thigh (and) I gladly hungered for it?
or as a relavtive clause:
I gladly hungered for his thigh, which he had naked.
or
I gladly hungered for his naked thigh, which he had.

Lots of choice here :P

just my thoughts :wink: , probably all wrong
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Postby annis » Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:11 pm

Emma_85 wrote:Hmm... I'm not too sure wether philasai belongs to meron, as philasai meaning kissing is normally with the dative (though of course it could be different in this dialect);


L&S gives c.acc. for this meaning, possibly 2 accusatives, so the dative usage seems flexible.

I think I have to accept that Hellenistic and later poets took more liberties with syntax.
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Postby Skylax » Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:47 pm

annis wrote:A relative phrase separating a noun and its adjective?


I think that we have here a prolepsis : the adjective [face=SPIonic]gumno\n[/face] is part of the relative phrase where it is complement of the direct object [face=SPIonic]to/n[/face]. The relative phrase in turn is put before the antecedent. In my mind, the syntax is :

[face=SPIonic]e)maino/man fila=sai mhro/n to\n ei)=xe gumno\n[/face]
It translates as you said.

Another similar prolepsis from Theocritus' [face=SPIonic]Dio/skouroi[/face]
(number uncertain : is it 20, 22, 23 ?), v. 195 :

[face=SPIonic]... polla\ d' e)/nucen a)kribh\j o)/mmasi Lugkeu/j
toi=o sa/kos, foi/nika d' o(/son lo/fon i(/ket' a)kwkh/[/face]
... "so that the (spear) head reached the (helmet's) red crest.

More mixed up syntax : Theocritus' [face=SPIonic]E)gkw/mion Ptolemai/ou[/face] (=Idyll 17), v. 13-14 :

[face=SPIonic]E)k pate/rwn oi(=oj me\n e)/hn tele/sai me/ga e)/rgon
Lagei/das Ptolemai=oj
[/face]
"It is a big work to explain which sort of man Ptolemaios son of Lagos was by his ancestors"
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Postby annis » Sat Nov 15, 2003 4:00 pm

Skylax wrote:Another similar prolepsis from Theocritus' [face=SPIonic]Dio/skouroi[/face]
(number uncertain : is it 20, 22, 23 ?), v. 195 :


22 in Gow's edition.

More mixed up syntax : Theocritus' [face=SPIonic]E)gkw/mion Ptolemai/ou[/face] (=Idyll 17), v. 13-14 :


I'm starting to get the feeling that the Bucolic poets enjoyed this sort of thing. The Dioscouri example doesn't bother me so much, since even Homer does that from time to time. I had thought about the possibility that the [face=spionic]e)maino/man fila=sai mhro/n, to\n ei)=xe gumno/n[/face] reading was correct, but tended to dismiss it at first. I agree now that it's the best interpretation.

Thanks for your comments.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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