Your wife's not home, Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.

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dikaiopolis
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Your wife's not home, Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.

Post by dikaiopolis » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:56 pm

Hellenists,

I wonder if I could get your take on the following bT-scholion. Hector has come home, but doesn’t find Andromache:

Ὣς ἄρα φωνήσας ἀπέβη κορυθαίολος Ἕκτωρ·
αἶψα δ᾽ ἔπειθ᾽ ἵκανε δόμους εὖ ναιετάοντας,
οὐδ᾽ εὗρ᾽ Ἀνδρομάχην λευκώλενον ἐν μεγάροισιν,
ἀλλ᾽ ἥ γε ξὺν παιδὶ καὶ ἀμφιπόλῳ ἐϋπέπλῳ
πύργῳ ἐφεστήκει γοόωσά τε μυρομένη τε.


Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.
πύργῳ ἐφεστήκει <γοόωσά τε μυρομένη τε>: τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς ἐξόδου φησί, παραμυθούμενος ἡμᾶς συναχθομένους τῷ Ἕκτορι. βούλεται δὲ ὥσπερ ἱκετήριον τῷ πατρὶ προτεῖναι τὸν παῖδα διὰ τὸ ῥιψοκίνδυνον. b(BCE3)T

Martin Schmidt’s translation of the last sentence seems wrong to me:
He [sc. Homer] mentions the reason for her [sc. Andromache’s] departure, thus comforting us, who worry along with Hector. She wants to show her child to its father as if seeking its protection from danger [sc. that it may be thrown over the wall].


Of course, it’s hard not to think of Astyanax’s fate when seeing anything associated with ῥίπτω, but I think the idea here must be that Andromache wants to hold up the child to her father (down on the plain) because of his recklessness (ῥιψοκίνδυνον). So the note, in addition to sympathizing with Hector, characterizes him as fool-hardy (as elsewhere in bT). Yes?

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Re: Your wife's not home, Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.

Post by jeidsath » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:53 pm

Of the two, your interpretation is the only one that makes sense to me. However, I have to think that it’s a (very dark) pun.
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Re: Your wife's not home, Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.

Post by Hylander » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:44 am

I can't find anything in the Iliad that suggests Andromache goes up onto the tower specifically in order to show Astyanax to Hector on the battlefield to warn him about his foolhardiness, so this would be an imaginative extrapolation by the (b)T scholiast. I can't claim first-hand familiarity with the scholia, but from what I've read, this is consistent with his literary approach to the poem, explaining the characters' motivations, etc.

According to LSJ, the word ῥιψοκίνδυνος and related words are used to mean "foolhardy" in various authors (including Xenophon's Memorabilia and other more obscure authors, though it's not a Homeric word), so I think your suggestion is plausible and consistent with the scholiast's conception of Hector's character -- I've read about this elsewhere -- even if there may possibly be a hint of Astyanax' fate in the scholast's choice of the word.

Does b(T) use this word elsewhere to describe Hector in any context not involving Astyanax? If so, then I think your hypothesis would be even more compelling. Also, it might be worth your while to check out instances of ῥιψοκίνδυνος and related words in other authors to see whether they're used in contexts where there's no suggestion of throwing or hurling.

Xen. Mem. 1.3.9 -- ῥιψοκινδύνων contrasted with προνοητικῶν and similar to ἀνοήτων; nothing about throwing or hurling:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... g=original

Update: As usual, mwh clinches it: it's a gambling metaphor. I should have looked up rhiptw.
Last edited by Hylander on Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

mwh
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Re: Your wife's not home, Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.

Post by mwh » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:11 am

dikaiop., Yes, unquestionably. She wants (or the poet wants her) to hold out their infant child to his father as a nonverbal form of supplication (ωσπερ ικετηριον) on account of his (Hector’s) ριψοκινδυνον—a last-ditch appeal to him to stay safe for the sake of his family. It’s obviously Hector’s ριψοκινδυνον that’s meant—his hazarding all, his recklessness, his foolhardiness. That’s the only thing that ριψοκινδυνος ever means. We see the genesis of the word in the idiom (ανα)ριπτειν τον κινδυνον, quite common, a metaphor from dice gambling apparently (LSJ αναρριπτω II, ῥιπτω VI). Nothing to do with the danger of being thrown from the walls! For confirmation cf. e.g. the bT commentator’s upcoming notes on 407 and 431, as Schmidt would have seen if he’d only read a bit further. It’s a crass mistake.

Incidentally, I wonder if παραμυθούμενος ἡμᾶς συναχθομένους τῷ Ἕκτορι in the first half of the comment means not “comforting us as we worry along with Hector,” as it ordinarily would, but rather “comforting us as we worry along (with her) over Hector.” τῷ Ἕκτορι will be standing for επι τω Εκτορι (scholiastic shorthand), and “we,” the auditors or readers, are assumed to be empathizing—more properly sympathizing—with Andromache, sharing her feelings (rather than Hector’s). Hector is worried about the eventual outcome, to be sure, but the focus is on Andromache here, her extreme anxiety over Hector’s likely fate.

This approach to reading Homer is a million miles away from the text-critical scholarship exemplified by Aristarchus and his predecessors and followers and practised by ancient scholars in general.

Edit. Posted independently of Hylander above. Another instance of the word in the Homeric scholia occurs in an interesting note on Il.2.73: … μισεῖ γαρ τους ριψοκινδυνους στρατηγους ο στρατος. And there are others.

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Re: Your wife's not home, Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.

Post by dikaiopolis » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:50 pm

I’m glad we all agree on the last part of the scholion. I agree that the notes on Z.407 and 431 confirm our reading. This is not the only infelicity I’ve found in Schmidt’s “Portrait of an Unknown Scholiast.”

The mixed characterization of Hector in the scholia is especially pronounced in this section of the scholia. He’s reckless and typical of a barbarian's love of women (cf. the last part of Z.450-4b (bT) ex., though it stands in some tension with the first part). He’s also at times an ideal hero and leader. A few notes describe how Hector ranks necessities over pleasures (cf. Z.280 (A,bT), Z.365-6 (bT), Z.390 (bT)), and throughout Homer is said to use Hector to represent the opposite of Paris and his vices (esp. in Γ and earlier in Z). And the audience sympathizes with Hector (Ψ.184 (bT)).

mwh: though I like it, I don’t think your reading of the first half of the comment is right. It is common in bT (and other classes, but not often Aristonicus) for a single scholion to address (slightly) different topics, separated by δέ. The problem here is the surprise and fear set off by Hector not finding Andromache at home. It makes Hector angry (Z.383 (bT), Z.390 (bT)) and the audience anxious. When Hector has to come all the way back to the Scaean gates (almost to the plain) before finding her, we learn that:

τοῦτο δέ φησιν, ἵνα ἀγωνιώτερος ὁ ἀκροατὴς γένηται. [Z.372 (bT(il))]
(Cf. the textually difficult Z.371 (bT). I would love to hear anyone’s opinion on the text here.)

So the note on Z.373 indicates that Homer tells the audience the reason for her absence (before Hector knows) in order to comfort our anxiety. There are several parallels for Homer preemptively comforting, cheering up, healing, etc. the audience (e.g., K.274(T) on the heron Ath. sends at the beginning of the Doloneia).

I strongly agree that this sort of exegesis is a million miles away from Aristarchan philology. But I don’t think the exegetical scholia are so idiosyncratic in their own (post-Aristarchan) context. They show the basic tendencies (I would speak of a textual ideology) of ancient interpretation in the early imperial period to late antiquity. That's a topic for a much broader discussion.
Last edited by dikaiopolis on Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mwh
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Re: Your wife's not home, Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.

Post by mwh » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:03 pm

Of course you’re right about the first part. Hector is concerned, and so are we, about Andromache’s absence from home. By telling us where she’s gone, Homer assuages our concern about that.

dikaiopolis
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Re: Your wife's not home, Sch. Z.373c (bT) ex.

Post by dikaiopolis » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:20 pm

Off topic, but have you seen Francesca Schironi's brand new book on Aristarchus, The Best of the Grammarians? I highly recommend it.

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