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Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

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Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby jeidsath » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:31 am

οὔτ’ ἂν μνησαίμην οὔτ’ ἐν λόγωι ἄνδρα τιθείην
οὔτε ποδῶν ἀρετῆς οὔτε παλαιμοσύνης,


Neither would I remember nor speak of a man who is either an excellent racer or wrestler,

I thought that he might be talking about writing praise poetry (like Pindar), and "memorialize" & "set down in speech" might be better. But having read through 10-12 (so far), it may be that the setting is a general talking about who he wants in his army, not a poet talking about who he likes to write poetry about?

I think that I understand the οὔτε/οὐδὲ construction here. The first οὔτε corresponds to the four οὐδὲ line beginnings of the following odd numbered lines. The οὔτε/οὔτε on line two is its own thing.

οὐδ’ εἰ Κυκλώπων μὲν ἔχοι μέγεθός τε βίην τε,
νικώιη δὲ θέων Θρηΐκιον Βορέην,


Nor if he should have the stature and the strength of a Cyclops or running defeat the Thracian North Wind,

οὐδ’ εἰ Τιθωνοῖο φυὴν χαριέστερος εἴη,
πλουτοίη δὲ Μίδεω καὶ Κινύρεω μάλιον,


Nor if he should be more graceful of form than Tithonus, or more wealthy than Midas and Cinyras,

οὐδ’ εἰ Τανταλίδεω Πέλοπος βασιλεύτερος εἴη,
γλῶσσαν δ’ Ἀδρήστου μειλιχόγηρυν ἔχοι,


Nor if he should be more kingly than Pelops son of Tantalus, or have the honey-voiced tongue of Adrastus

If I didn't look up the mythology, I would have thought Tantalus son of Pelops, from the word order, which is generally the opposite?

οὐδ’ εἰ πᾶσαν ἔχοι δόξαν πλὴν θούριδος ἀλκῆς·
οὐ γὰρ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς γίνεται ἐν πολέμωι
εἰ μὴ τετλαίη μὲν ὁρῶν φόνον αἱματόεντα,
καὶ δηίων ὀρέγοιτ’ ἐγγύθεν ἱστάμενος.


Nor if he has all repute but that for voracious courage. For a man does not become serviceable in battle, if he should not indeed dare to see blood-red slaughter and strive to to stand closer to battle.

Campbell recommended reading Goodwin's Moods and Tenses 501 (c) for a discussion of the optative following a present apodosis, as with τετλαίη. It makes the possibility more remote, he seems to say.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby Hylander » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:51 pm

οὔτ’ ἂν μνησαίμην -- "nor would I mention/remember/call to mind," or maybe "celebrate" would work best here.

οὔτε ποδῶν ἀρετῆς οὔτε παλαιμοσύνης -- "either for his fleetness of foot or wrestling"; Smyth calls this the genitive of "cause"; see Smyth 1405.

οὐδ’ εἰ Κυκλώπων μὲν ἔχοι μέγεθός τε βίην τε -- "not even if he were to have the stature of the Cyclopes . . . " κτλ

This is what is generally called a "future less vivid" conditional, but mwh explains it much more helpfully:

Protasis: εἰ + opt. -- "if . . . were to"
Apodosis: opt. + ἂν -- "would"
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby mwh » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:31 pm

οὔτ’ ἂν μνησαίμην οὔτ’ ἐν λόγωι ἄνδρα τιθείην
οὔτε ποδῶν ἀρετῆς οὔτε παλαιμοσύνης,

οὐδ’ εἰ Κυκλώπων μὲν ἔχοι μέγεθός τε βίην τε,
νικώιη δὲ θέων Θρηΐκιον Βορέην,
Just a couple of comments on these first two couplets. These are things that can apply to any piece of Greek.

The structure.
Note that οὐδ’ εἰ Κυκλώπων μὲν ἔχοι μέγεθός τε βίην τε refers to the wrestler, while νικώιη δὲ θέων Θρηΐκιον Βορέην refers to the runner. It’s a "chiasmus," ABba.

The negatives.
οὔτ’ ἂν μνησαίμην οὔτ’ ἐν λόγωι ἄνδρα τιθείην is simply “Neither … nor.” (This may well be the beginning of the poem.)
ουδ’ (ει Κυκλωπων …) is “not even”, as Hylander rightly says. It’s always worth distinguishing ουδε from ουτε. (ουτε is normally doubled, as twice above.)

The continuing chain of ουδε’s that kick off the succeeding couplets (|οὐδ’ εἰ Τιθωνοῖο …, |οὐδ’ εἰ Τανταλίδεω …, |οὐδ’ εἰ πᾶσαν …), on the other hand, exemplifies a different use of ουδε, meaning “nor.” Running and wrestling are left behind as he moves on to other conventionally admired things.
It’s always worth distinguishing these two syntactically different uses of ουδε: (i) “not even” as in the 2nd couplet, (ii) “nor”, as in the following couplets. This latter ουδε is just a negatived δε (just as any ουτε is a negatived τε), and with this set we “understand” the opt.+αν pair of the first line.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby jeidsath » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:42 am

Thank you both. Hylander, I'm going to try to do something from Mimnermus after this one is done.

ἥδ’ ἀρετή, τόδ’ ἄεθλον ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν ἄριστον
κάλλιστόν τε φέρειν γίνεται ἀνδρὶ νέωι.


And this virtue, which is the best and finest prize to bear among men, comes to a man who is young.

ξυνὸν δ’ ἐσθλὸν τοῦτο πόληΐ τε παντί τε δήμωι,
ὅστις ἀνὴρ διαβὰς ἐν προμάχοισι μένηι


And this good is in common to the city and to all the populace, if a man having planted legs wide remains at the battlefront

I didn't understand the subjunctive here.

νωλεμέως, αἰσχρῆς δὲ φυγῆς ἐπὶ πάγχυ λάθηται,
ψυχὴν καὶ θυμὸν τλήμονα παρθέμενος,


perseveringly, and entirely forgetting shameful flight, soul and spirit supplied with steadfastness,

θαρσύνηι δ’ ἔπεσιν τὸν πλησίον ἄνδρα παρεστώς·
οὗτος ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς γίνεται ἐν πολέμωι.


presenting brave words to the one who is his nearest neighbor, that is a man who is serviceable in battle.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby Hylander » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:08 pm

Pressed for time right now, but as a start:

ὅστις ἀνὴρ διαβὰς ἐν προμάχοισι μένηι
didn't understand the subjunctive here.


"General" relative clause without αν/κε, common or even usual in epic language (which is what Tyrtaeus uses, even in Sparta, because he is writing elegy). See Smyth 2567b Your translation as a conditional is appropriate.

θαρσύνηι δ’ ἔπεσιν τὸν πλησίον ἄνδρα παρεστώς

"he encourages the man next to him with speeches/words, standing beside him"

There are numerous instances in the Iliad where one fighter standing beside another encourages him or suggests an action to him.

Well, I started adding to this, but then I saw mwh had already covered the points I wanted to make. ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν is not just men, but men and women. too: the whole community and beyond.
Last edited by Hylander on Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby mwh » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:19 pm

ἥδ’ ἀρετή, τόδ’ ἄεθλον …: τόδε is not “which.” “This is αρετη, this is the finest αεθλον …” Then “for a young man to bear/win/carry.” γινεται “is”

ὅστις … μένῃ: an indefinite clause, without αν. In early verse αν or κε/κεν is often dispensed with. Homer too.

λαθηται in parallel with μενῃ, so not “forgetting.”

παρθέμενος middle (transitive) not passive. risking, hazarding, laying his life on the line.

θαρσύνηι δ’ ἔπεσιν τὸν πλησίον ἄνδρα παρεστώς· It’s hard to match your translation to the Greek. θαρσύνηι is the verb and is in parallel with μενῃ and λαθηται (so it’s continuing the ὅστις clause, which is tripartite, bookended by |ξυνον δ’ εσθλον … and |ουτος ανηρ αγαθος …).
τὸν πλησίον ἄνδρα is the object of θαρσυνῃ. παρεστώς “standing beside (him).”

οὗτος ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς γίνεται ἐν πολέμωι: a new sentence, in asyndeton, summing up. “This (man) is an ανηρ αγαθος in war” or “This man is αγαθος in war.”

EDIT. Crossed w/ Hylander. He can take it from here on.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby jeidsath » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:58 am

αἶψα δὲ δυσμενέων ἀνδρῶν ἔτρεψε φάλαγγας
τρηχείας· σπουδῆι δ’ ἔσχεθε κῦμα μάχης,
αὐτὸς δ’ ἐν προμάχοισι πεσὼν φίλον ὤλεσε θυμόν,
ἄστυ τε καὶ λαοὺς καὶ πατέρ’ εὐκλεΐσας,
πολλὰ διὰ στέρνοιο καὶ ἀσπίδος ὀμφαλοέσσης
καὶ διὰ θώρηκος πρόσθεν ἐληλάμενος.


And quickly, in hostility, he turns the rough ranks of men. With haste he holds the wave of battle, and himself having fallen in the front ranks he loses his own life, bringing honor to his village and his people and his father, struck much from in front through his breast and bossed shield and through his chest plate.

Gnomic aorists describing the sort of actions habitual to a ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby jeidsath » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:14 am

τὸν δ’ ὀλοφύρονται μὲν ὁμῶς νέοι ἠδὲ γέροντες,
ἀργαλέωι δὲ πόθωι πᾶσα κέκηδε πόλις,
καὶ τύμβος καὶ παῖδες ἐν ἀνθρώποις ἀρίσημοι
καὶ παίδων παῖδες καὶ γένος ἐξοπίσω·
οὐδέ ποτε κλέος ἐσθλὸν ἀπόλλυται οὐδ’ ὄνομ’ αὐτοῦ,
ἀλλ’ ὑπὸ γῆς περ ἐὼν γίνεται ἀθάνατος,
ὅντιν’ ἀριστεύοντα μένοντά τε μαρνάμενόν τε
γῆς πέρι καὶ παίδων θοῦρος Ἄρης ὀλέσηι.


They lament for him both the young and old, and with pain and regret the whole city mourns. Both his tomb and his children are notable, both the children of his children and his descendants left behind. And never does his good report perish and never his name, but though he is under the earth he becomes immortal, whoever being the best, standing firm and fighting for his ground and his children, rushing Ares destroys.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby jeidsath » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:08 am

εἰ δὲ φύγηι μὲν κῆρα τανηλεγέος θανάτοιο,
νικήσας δ’ αἰχμῆς ἀγλαὸν εὖχος ἕληι,
πάντες μιν τιμῶσιν, ὁμῶς νέοι ἠδὲ παλαιοί,
πολλὰ δὲ τερπνὰ παθὼν ἔρχεται εἰς Ἀΐδην,
γηράσκων δ’ ἀστοῖσι μεταπρέπει, οὐδέ τις αὐτὸν
βλάπτειν οὔτ’ αἰδοῦς οὔτε δίκης ἐθέλει,
πάντες δ’ ἐν θώκοισιν ὁμῶς νέοι οἵ τε κατ’ αὐτὸν
εἴκουσ’ ἐκ χώρης οἵ τε παλαιότεροι.
ταύτης νῦν τις ἀνὴρ ἀρετῆς εἰς ἄκρον ἱκέσθαι
πειράσθω θυμῶι μὴ μεθιεὶς πολέμου.


And if he escapes Ker of long woe-bringing death, and having been victorious seizes the glory of the spearpoint, everyone will honor him, both the young and the old. And having experienced many pleasures he goes to Hades, and growing old he is distinguished among the townsfolk. And no one is willing to hinder him from either an honor or a privilege, and everyone in office, both the young men and and the older, make way before him from their spot. Now let any man attempt with spirit to come to the peak of this virtue of never ceasing in the fight.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:03 pm

It's some time since I last visited Textkit! A couple of comments.

ὅντιν’ ἀριστεύοντα "whoever being the best" - ἀριστεύω means, I think, something like "to display military excellence".

φάλαγγας τρηχείας - why are the ranks "rough"? I think it is sort of funny - I suppose the idea is that spear points stick out from the ranks, and that's what makes them rough. τρηχυς is applied to sharp rocks as well.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby mwh » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:39 pm

αἶψα δὲ δυσμενέων ἀνδρῶν ἔτρεψε φάλαγγας, the first line of this little batch. Joel, you managed to misread this, failing to see that δυσμενέων ἀνδρῶν must go together. I’ll leave the rest for someone else.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby jeidsath » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:50 pm

I wanted them to go together. But I mistook δυσμενέων for the participle.

δυσμενέων κάκ’ ἔρεξεν ἐυκνήμιδας Ἀχαιούς

But it's actually the adjective

ἔγχος δ’ οὐ δύναμαι σχεῖν ἔμπεδον, οὐδὲ μάχεσθαι
ἐλθὼν δυσμενέεσσιν
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby mwh » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:21 am

Well, no-one’s corrected the rest, so here’s a few rough comments.

ἄστυ τε καὶ λαοὺς καὶ πατέρ’ εὐκλεΐσας,
Not bringing honor but bringing fame and glory. There’s an important difference.

ἀργαλέωι δὲ πόθωι πᾶσα κέκηδε πόλις,
ποθος is the longing for something that’s now lost.

καὶ τύμβος καὶ παῖδες ἐν ἀνθρώποις ἀρίσημοι
καὶ παίδων παῖδες καὶ γένος ἐξοπίσω·
his children and his children’s children.

οὐδέ ποτε κλέος ἐσθλὸν ἀπόλλυται
Cf. εὐκλεΐσας above.

ἀλλ’ ὑπὸ γῆς περ ἐὼν γίνεται ἀθάνατος,
An extraordinary assertion, quite unHomeric. Traditionally κλεος may be immortal but not people.

ὅντιν’ ἀριστεύοντα μένοντά τε μαρνάμενόν τε
γῆς πέρι καὶ παίδων θοῦρος Ἄρης ὀλέσηι.
ἀριστεύοντα cf. the αριστειαι of various Homeric heroes in the Iliad. As Paul indicates, it means being the best in a martial sense, the most valorous and destructive.
ὀλέσηι without αν/κεν, as earlier. Syntax gets regularized as time goes on.
Not fighting for his ground but fighting for his land, his country, Sparta.

εἰ δὲ φύγηι μὲν κῆρα τανηλεγέος θανάτοιο,
νικήσας δ’ αἰχμῆς ἀγλαὸν εὖχος ἕληι,
Here’s the other possible outcome, the alternative to αὐτὸς δ’ ἐν προμάχοισι πεσὼν φίλον ὤλεσε θυμόν etc. It’s a major break. Die or survive, it’s a win-win. (Just don’t run away and incur everlasting ignominy.)
ει not εαν/ην unclassical. Syntax gets regularized as time goes on.
αἰχμῆς ἀγλαὸν εὖχος ἕληι a remarkable locution.

πολλὰ δὲ τερπνὰ παθὼν ἔρχεται εἰς Ἀΐδην,
The weight falls on the participial phrase. The following lines describe the τερπνα he’ll enjoy in the meantime, before he goes to Hades.

βλάπτειν οὔτ’ αἰδοῦς οὔτε δίκης ἐθέλει,
αιδως not “an honor” but respect (with a touch of awe). And δικη not “a privilege” but justice, his due, his rights.

πάντες δ’ ἐν θώκοισιν ὁμῶς νέοι οἵ τε κατ’ αὐτὸν
εἴκουσ’ ἐκ χώρης οἵ τε παλαιότεροι.
Not “everyone in office.” The idea is that everyone gives up their seats for him.
οἵ τε κατ’ αὐτὸν and those of his own age (I think).

ταύτης νῦν τις ἀνὴρ ἀρετῆς εἰς ἄκρον ἱκέσθαι
πειράσθω θυμῶι μὴ μεθιεὶς πολέμου.
Note the asyndeton in conclusion.
τις ανηρ not any man but every man. We’ve had this before.
Not “to the peak of this virtue of never ceasing in the fight.” It’s not the virtue “of” anything. It’s simply “this αρετη”—the αρετη he’s been describing throughout the poem, the only αρετη that counts, so far as Tyrtaeus is concerned—as he explained at the outset of the poem. (Ring-composition.) Remember how the first 9 lines went:
“I wouldn’t rate a good runner or wrestler even if he were the tops, nor (would I rate anyone even) if he … had every conceivable claim to fame πλην θουριδος αλκης.” That brief phrase is effectively the protasis of all that precedes, it’s what the catalogue of excellences has been leading up to. It’s tantamount to ει μη αλκην εχοι: I wouldn’t consider anyone of any account, no matter what his excellence and fame, unless he had αλκη. It’s the linchpin of the entire poem.
There he continued with an asyndeton introduced by ἥδ’ ἀρετή: “This is αρετη, …” (ἥδε forwarding-looking) and proceeds to describe the behaviors that serve to define it. Now with this final couplet he closes with an exhortation to strive to reach the peak of “this αρετη” (ταυτης backward-looking).

PS Next time I think it would be helpful if you gave line numbers for reference.

EDIT. Before you go bouncing off to the next thing, I suggest you absorb all the comments you've received and carefully read through the whole poem again (without translating it even in your head), with a view to understanding it better as a composition.
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby jeidsath » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:00 pm

EDIT. Before you go bouncing off to the next thing, I suggest you absorb all the comments you've received and carefully read through the whole poem again (without translating it even in your head), with a view to understanding it better as a composition.


Thank you. It's probably not obvious from my comments, but I try to do exactly that. Your and Hylander's comments and those of the others helping me on these threads, all get multiple reads, as does the Greek, which gets more. And I try to integrate the corrections into my understanding for re-reads.

I will try to do something of Mimnermus next (per Hylander in the other thread), followed by Callinus (per dikaiopolis).
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Re: Tyrtaeus Fr. 9

Postby jeidsath » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:22 pm

Coming back to line 36 before I go on: νικήσας δ’ αἰχμῆς ἀγλαὸν εὖχος ἕληι

Campbell says "in victory he obtains his glorious spear-prayer" and talks about the lack of parallels. He suggests that the genitive is like πόλεμος Ἀχαιῶν or Τρώων πόνος, which strikes me as a weak argument.

(Also shouldn't this be prayer-object instead of prayer, if we're being literal?)

West gives a textual note: "αἰχῆς S a.c." (I'm not sure what he means by "a.c.")

But why can't it just be corrected to αἰχμῇ? Parallels:

Archilochus Fr. 23 l.19 ν]ῦ̣ν εἷλες αἰχμῆι κα̣[ὶ μέγ’ ἐ]ξήρ(ω) κ̣[λ]έος
Archilochus Fr. 96 l. 5 [ ]αν εἷλες αἰχμῆι καὶ .[ @1
Hdt. 5.94 τὸ εἷλε Πεισίστρατος αἰχμῇ παρὰ Μυτιληναίων

The metrical objection isn't very strong: It's at the caesura, and there are plenty of metrical parallels in Homer.

Α.430 τήν ῥα βίῃ ἀέκοντος ἀπηύρων· αὐτὰρ Ὀδυσσεὺς
Β.162 ἐν Τροίῃ ἀπόλοντο φίλης ἀπὸ πατρίδος αἴης·
(etc.)

But the lack of correption could explain a copyist's "correction" to αἰχμῆς at some point.
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