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Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metaphor

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Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metaphor

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:55 am

Longus 1.13.4 wrote:τὰς αἶγας ἐπεσκόπει κατακειμένας καὶ ὥσπερ τῶν μελῶν ἀκροωμένας

The meaning of this seems quite clear as, "[he] was watching over the goats that were lying on the ground and that had as it were became an audience (non-participatory listeners) to the songs (performance of the pan pipes)."

What does LSJ mean when it says,
LSJ, ὥσπερ wrote:II. to limit or modify an assertion or apologize for a metaphor, as it were, so to speak

What does it mean to limit or modify an assertion in this case?
Why would there have been a need to apologise for a metaphor in this case?
I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the daedal Earth,
And of Heaven -- and the giant wars,
And Love, and Death, and Birth, --
(Shelley, Hymn of Pan)
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Re: Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metap

Postby mwh » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:57 pm

I won’t address your questions about what LSJ mean by their formulation (which seems quite clear enough to me), but it is worth observing what Longus means by adding ωσπερ here. He is studiously avoiding the pathetic fallacy. The animals may be hearing the music but they’re not actually listening to it; unlike humans they don’t have the capacity to. They only look as if they are.
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Re: Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metap

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:18 am

mwh wrote:He is studiously avoiding the pathetic fallacy.

Merriam-Webster wrote:pathetic fallacy: the ascription of human traits or feelings to inanimate nature (as in cruel sea).
[First attested 1856.]


LSJ, ὥσπερ wrote:II. to limit or modify an assertion or apologize for a metaphor, as it were, so to speak

Why would there have been a need to apologise for a metaphor in this case?[/quote]
Rational or emotional? Is "apologize" used here in the sense of "give explanation", or "express shame / say sorry"?

I could accept that it could be a polite modifier, (perhaps an avoidance of hubris) in a statement like, Ἐμὲ αἲξ ἀνέθρεψεν ὥσπερ τὸν Δία (Longus 1.16.3), but it could also simply be the marker of a metaphor - that he is not actually claiming to be Jupiter. The same function of alerting a reader to the fact that he is not literally claiming that something is what he is about to say is true, seems to be found in καθάπερ, eg. καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὅτι μεγάλοι καθάπερ βοός (Longus 1.17.3).

The same sort of warning that what follows should be taken non-literally, is found in the opposite of the pathetic fallacy in Εἷς δὴ κύων τῶν προβατευτικῶν ἀμέλειαν φυλάξας, [2] κρέας ἁρπάσας ἔφυγε διὰ θυρῶν. Ἀλγήσας ὁ Δρύας (καὶ γὰρ ἦν ἐκείνου μοῖρα) ξύλον ἀράμενος ἐδίωκε κατ̓ ἴχνος ὥσπερ κύων. (Longus 3.7.1-2) "went after it, hot on its heels, as if he himself were a dog."
I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the daedal Earth,
And of Heaven -- and the giant wars,
And Love, and Death, and Birth, --
(Shelley, Hymn of Pan)
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Re: Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metap

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:29 am

The use of ὥσπερ (tamquam in Latin) signifies to the reader that he (that author) is deliberately using a metaphor, and not intending it literally. "Apology" in that context might be too strong a word if taken literally. I like the idea of the goats as a "non-participatory" audience, however. It reminds me of my daughter at age 5 teaching school (as it were!) to two dogs and a collection of dolls.
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καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
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Re: Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metap

Postby mwh » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:09 am

If you consider the examples cited in LSJ you should better understand how ωσπερ is used. Longus is not apologizing for a metaphor here, nor in the other Longus passages you cite. τον Δια is not a metaphor, nor is κυων. They’re similes—it’s ὥσπερ that prevents them from being metaphors. Lausberg’s Handbook of Literary Rhetoric might help you, or even Aristotle, who is foundational. It would certainly be more helpful than subjecting LSJ’s formulations to this kind of fruitless interrogation.

And wouldn’t it be more interesting to consider why Longus so scrupulously avoids the pathetic fallacy, unlike Theocritus and most of his pastoral predecessors?
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Re: Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metap

Postby jeidsath » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:51 am

And wouldn’t it be more interesting to consider why Longus so scrupulously avoids the pathetic fallacy, unlike Theocritus and most of his pastoral predecessors?


I was wondering about this, actually. Not that I had realized that Longus was breaking tradition. It seems to be a weaker, less over-the-top, poetic image. But maybe he is trying to add realism?
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Re: Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metap

Postby mwh » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:42 am

Well yes I suppose you could say it’s more realistic, a blow against slushy romanticism. His aversion to metaphor (for that's what it amounts to) seems to be a puristic gesture—no blurring of the boundary between being and seeming, everything crisp and clean and precisely as well as elegantly described. Everything is to be taken literally. But I haven’t really thought about it myself. I should.

A more reasonable alternative for εκηβολος could be to unpack the rhetorical eristics of the Contest between Dorco and Daphnis, say (a variant of the Judgment of Paris). Longus' tale is quintessentially charming, and it would be a shame to appreciate none of its delights.

But I should have been clearer about ωσπερ τον Δια and ωσπερ κυων, both of which are LSJ I, not II, and nothing to do with metaphor. Ἐμὲ αἲξ ἀνέθρεψεν ὥσπερ τὸν Δία “A goat suckled me just as (a goat suckled) Zeus”—we’re expected to remember the Amalthea myth. ωσπερ κυων “like a hound,” a simple simile—the irony of course being that it’s a hound that he’s chasing (but there’s no “himself” as εκηβ. has it).
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Re: Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metap

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:58 pm

mwh wrote:no blurring of the boundary between being and seeming, everything crisp and clean and precisely as well as elegantly described. Everything is to be taken literally. Everything is to be taken literally.

In indivuduals exhibiting that difficulty with metaphor, a deficit in the Theory of Mind has been put forward as one way of accounting for it, Happé (1993). Further to that Mackay & Shaw (2004) found that there are another 6 related figurative uses of language that individuals experiencing difficulty with metaphor also found difficulty with. Here is table 1, from page 16 of Mackay & Shaw's paper:

Image

If there was a place to look and see if this particular authour (Longus) had other difficulties (or idiosyncrasies) with language, it might be in examining the way he dealt with those other 5 uses of figurative (ie. non-literal) language.

References
Happé, F., Communicative competence and theory of mind in autism - a test of relevance theory, in Cognition, Aug 1993, Vol.48(2), p.101
Mackay, G. & Shaw, A., A comparative study of figurative language in children with autistic spectrum disorders, in Child Language Teaching and Therapy, February 2004, Vol.20(1), pp.13-32.
I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the daedal Earth,
And of Heaven -- and the giant wars,
And Love, and Death, and Birth, --
(Shelley, Hymn of Pan)
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Re: Longus 1.13.4 ὥσπερ limit an assertion or apolog. metap

Postby jeidsath » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:08 am

P.Ch.167B Πάλιν τοίνυν, ἦν δ᾿ ἐγώ, τὸ τρίτον τῷ σωτῆρι, ὥσπερ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἐπισκεψώμεθα, πρῶτον μὲν εἰ δυνατόν ἐστι τοῦτο εἶναι ἢ οὔ, τὸ ἃ οἶδε καὶ ἃ μὴ οἶδεν εἰδέναι ὅτι οἶδε καὶ ὅτι οὐκ οἶδεν· ἔπειτα εἰ ὅτι μάλιστα δυνατόν, τίς ἂν εἴη ἡμῖν ὠφελία εἰδόσιν αὐτό.

The use of ὥσπερ is hard for me to understand here. I could understand it if it were related to the drinking metaphor: "τὸ τρίτον τῷ σωτῆρι". But what is it doing after that, followed by a subjunctive and no ἄν, and with (apparently) no force?
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