CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Are you reading Homeric Greek? Whether you are a total beginner or an advanced Homerist, here you can meet kindred spirits. Besides Homer, use this board for all things early Greek poetry.
Post Reply
User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 2556
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Post by jeidsath » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:21 pm

Again from Budelmann. Happy Halloween.
ἦλθ᾽ ἦλθε χελιδών,
καλὰς ὥρας ἄγουσα
καὶ καλοὺς ἐνιαυτούς,
ἐπὶ γαστέρα λευκά
κἀπὶ νῶτα μέλαινα.
παλάθαν οὐ προκυκλεῖς
ἐκ πίονος οἴκου,
οἴνου τε δέπαστρον
τυροῦ τε κάνυστρον;
καὶ πύρνα χελιδών
καὶ λεκιθίταν οὐκ ἀπωθεῖται.
πότερ᾽ ἀπίωμες ἢ λαβώμεθα;
εἰ μέν τι δώσεις· ἐι δὲ μή, οὐκ ἐάσομεν·
ἢ τὰν θύραν φέρωμες ἢ τὸ ὑπέρθυρον,
ἢ τὰν γυναῖκα τὰν ἔσω καθημέναν;
μικρὰ μέν ἐστι, ῥαιδίως μιν οἴσομεν.
†ἂν δὴ φέρηις τι, μέγα δή τι φέροις·†
ἄνοιγ᾽ ἄνοιγε τὰν θύραν χελιδόνι·
οὐ γὰρ γέροντές ἐσμεν, ἀλλὰ παιδία.
Swallow has come has come
leading the fine seasons
and the fine years,
towards his white breast
and towards his black back.
Won't you roll out a cake
from your wealthy house,
and a cup of wine
and a basket of cheese?
Swallow will not thrust back
even wheaten bread,
or even pulse bread.
Are we to go away or bring away?
Now if you are to give something...but if you will not, we won't suffer that.
Will we carry away the door or the lintel
or the woman sitting inside?
She's small, we will carry her away easily.
If you bring us something, make sure you bring something large,
Open Open the door for Swallow,
For we aren't old men, but children.
Last edited by jeidsath on Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Some changes, ἦλθε aorist, ἐπὶ "towards" instead of "upon"
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1448
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Post by Hylander » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:24 pm

ἦλθ᾽ ἦλθε -- what form?

γαστέρα λευκά -- what forms?

νῶτα μέλαινα -- what forms?

ἀπωθεῖται -- what form?

φέρωμες -- what form?

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 2556
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Post by jeidsath » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:48 pm

ἦλθ᾽ ἦλθε -- what form?
aorist ind 3rd person sing. (At first, I had mistakenly translated this as imperative ἐλθέ and corrected it)
γαστέρα λευκά -- what forms?
γαστέρα is a feminine accusative. I hadn't noticed that λευκά didn't agree. It's a neuter plural or a feminine accusative dual. "The whites on its belly"? I have trouble understanding this.
νῶτα μέλαινα -- what forms?
neuter plural (for the singular here)
ἀπωθεῖται -- what form?
Middle present indicative 3rd person sing. I mistook this as a future.
φέρωμες -- what form?
Present indicative 1st person pl. subjunctive.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1448
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Post by Hylander » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:04 pm

λευκά is fem. nom. sing. (Doric, long α)

μέλαινα is also fem. nom. sing. (Neut. pl. would be μέλανα).

So λευκά and μέλαινα agree with what?

ἐπὶ -- maybe translate "all over".

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 2556
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Post by jeidsath » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:43 pm

So λευκά and μέλαινα agree with what?
Oh, I see now. The χελιδών. White on its belly and black on its back.

Budelmann doesn't suggest this, but Rouse's story surrounding the song in Greek Boy claims that in addition to some sort of swallow effigy, the children dressed up as old men (white beards, etc.). So I imagine it as a group of boys going from house to house, and that the μικρὰ γυνή is a young girl dressed up as her mother. I don't know how historical this might be. Budelmann only mentions the effigy.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2836
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Post by mwh » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:03 pm

Reading through this delightful little ditty for the first time in many years, I instinctively read συ not ου in line 6 as the kids switch from their swallow-description to directly addressing the guy whose home they’ve alighted at; and similarly I excised και in line 2, though conceivably the και was shortened. Otherwise the meter creaks intolerably, and it’s so perfectly regular throughout these first ten or twelve lines before they get down to brass tacks. (Note Doric short alphas in 2 καλας ωρας acc.pl.) Looking at Page’s Lyrica Graeca Selecta, the only text I have to hand, I see that Hermann had the same instinct (followed by Page and no doubt others). Am I to take it that Budelmann rejects the change? That takes conservatism too far I think.
[EDIT. jeidsath has kindly sent me Budelmann’s notes. Budelmann follows West in adopting an "ionic" analysis which allows him to uphold the text as transmitted, even the rhythm-busting ου in line 6. I rarely disagree with West, but here I do.]

The wife is surely not part of the group. (You imagine a single girl in a crowd of boys?) If the householder refuses to give something for the swallow they’ll make off with his front door or with his wife inside—she’s not heavy. (The ersatz swallow will be a displacement of the begging kids themselves, cf. “Penny for the Guy” in the UK.)

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 2556
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Post by jeidsath » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:25 pm

mwh wrote:The wife is surely not part of the group. (You imagine a single girl in a crowd of boys?) If the householder refuses to give something for the swallow they’ll make off with his front door or with his wife inside—she’s not heavy. (The ersatz swallow will be a displacement of the begging kids themselves, cf. “Penny for the Guy” in the UK.)
Not to belabor this too much, but that was exactly the point that I was making. If there was some sort of young-as-old festival going on here, we could assume that the girls would not go out trick-or-treating with the boys. Instead, they would be at home, presumably dressing up as the matron of the house.

Anyway, this is just a possible solution to the small amount of incongruity in "μικρὰ μέν ἐστι" and "οὐ γὰρ γέροντές ἐσμεν, ἀλλὰ παιδία". Equally it could all be explained as gentle mocking of adults.

Role-reversal festivals aren't unknown, of course.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2836
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: CARM. POP. 848 PMG

Post by mwh » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:00 am

“She’s only little” is simply ritualized ragging on the part of the kids, fully intelligible in context as they threaten to make off with the door or the lintel or invade the house and make off with the wife sitting there. It’s fantastic to suppose that the girls dressed up as matrons at home during this communal treat-or-trick ritual, just because the kids going round the houses are posing as oldsters (sporting fake beards and walking sticks, no doubt, as in comedy—and masks?).

Post Reply