Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

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donhamiltontx
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Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by donhamiltontx » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:38 pm

Probably I am overlooking something very obvious, but why is "κλοπαῖσι" plural in the following sentence?

ἐς δόμον τὸν Ἀτρειδᾶν
ᾔσχυνε ξενίαν τράπεζαν κλοπαῖσι γυναικός.
Agamemnon 402-03

For context, the chorus is going on about the dire punishment due Paris. Neither the commentaries of Sidgwick or of Denniston and Page treats this word, and I find nothing in Smyth about a special use of dative plurals.
ἐς Τροίαν πειρώμενοι ἦνθον ᾿Αχαιοί,
καλλίστα παίδων: πείρᾳ θην πάντα τελεῖται.
Theocritus, Idyll 15

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by Aetos » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:39 pm

This is a stretch, but could it imply multiple thefts? Not only of Helen by Paris, but Bryseis (Achilles' prize) by Agamemnon?

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by jeidsath » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:04 pm

There's a discussion in The Poetic Plural of Greek Tragedy, on pg. 103.
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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by Aetos » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:00 pm

The subject of ᾔσχυνε (Πάρις ἐλθών) pretty much rules out multiple thefts anyway. Next time I'll look up the quotation. This was a case of "tunnel vision" on my part.

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by Aetos » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:51 am

Here's what Smyth has to say concerning the poetic plural:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... apter%3D35
1000.b
b. The plural, especially in poetry, may correspond to the English indefinite singular: ἐπὶ ναυσί by ship.

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by jeidsath » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:48 pm

In Helen 362, not referenced in my earlier link, these are ἔργ᾿ ἄνεργα.
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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by Aetos » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:32 pm

jeidsath wrote:There's a discussion in The Poetic Plural of Greek Tragedy, on pg. 103
This is cool. This is Horace Leonard Jones' doctoral thesis, the same Jones who translated Strabo's Geography.
I think I've already come across the poetic plural in the Iliad:
‘ἦ δὴ λοίγια ἔργ᾽ ὅ τέ μ᾽ ἐχθοδοπῆσαι ἐφήσεις (a nasty mess) Book 1, ln 518
οἳ δ᾽ ἱστὸν στήσαντ᾽ ἀνά θ᾽ ἱστία λευκὰ πέτασσαν, (there was only one sail) Book 1, ln 480
ἐν στήθεσσιν ἑοῖσι. (in his breast) Book 1, ln 83

It's present in Modern Greek as well. In one song by my favourite singer, Stelios Kazantzides, he laments:'
"μου πλήγωσες τα στήθια και πονούνε"(you wound in my breast and it hurts), in another " δεν πήξαν τα μυαλά σου." (you (still) haven't got your head together)

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by donhamiltontx » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:00 am

Thanks Aetos and Jeidsath for helping me with this question.
Jones' remarks bring up the thought that seducing another man's wife and spiriting her out of the country would be more than one act of stealth. It occurs to me, too, that there is also a another matter, the singular wouldn't fit the meter, but that would be a mere trifle for Aeschylus to work around.
ἐς Τροίαν πειρώμενοι ἦνθον ᾿Αχαιοί,
καλλίστα παίδων: πείρᾳ θην πάντα τελεῖται.
Theocritus, Idyll 15

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by opoudjis » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:29 am

Aetos wrote:It's present in Modern Greek as well. In one song by my favourite singer, Stelios Kazantzides, he laments:'
"μου πλήγωσες τα στήθια και πονούνε" (you wound in my breast and it hurts), in another "δεν πήξαν τα μυαλά σου." (you (still) haven't got your head together)
Yes, I know I'm more interested in Modern than Ancient Greek :-) , but it strikes me that this is not so much poetic, as vernacular. (Then again, the poetic plural of antiquity was probably not merely "poetic" either.)

I don't know that the singular στῆθος for "breast" had survived in the vernacular at all: neuters in -ος did not fare well, and the plural στήθια corroborates that.

In vernacular Modern Greek μυαλά (< μυελός "marrow") refers in the plural to the physical stuff of the brain, while the singular refers to the brain as the seat of intellect. (The saying "your brains have not yet congealed" is a physical metaphor for immaturity.) In fact, English makes the same distinction between brain and brains: you bash someone's brains in, not their brain.

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by Aetos » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:16 am

In "Σαν πεθάνω", Mondanaris' lyrics contain "Μάνα μου το στήθος μου πονεί", which admittedly is from the '30s, so perhaps it did make it to somewhat modern times. My father-in-law (ο συγχωρεμένος) used it regularly as we discussed his medical issues, but then he was Pontian and every now and then words from the Pontian dialect would creep into the conversation. As for μυαλό vs. μυαλά, thanks for correcting me. I never made much of a distinction between the two and after consulting Babiniotis, I guess I should have.

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by donhamiltontx » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:53 pm

There is more about the number of thefts by Paris. Later for line 534, Denniston and Page's commentary says, "Others refer ἁρπαγή here to the rape of Helen, κλοπή to the theft of property from Menelaus' palace . . ." They then cite several sources for this: "Il. 3.70, 91, 282, 285, 458, 7.350, 22, 114, etc.; . . . Herodotus 2.114, 118-119," and so on.*

*J. D. Denniston and Denys Page, Aeschylus: Agamemnon. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986 (but originally published 1957), page 121.

Here are a couple of those references:
Il 7.350-351:
δεῦτ᾽ ἄγετ᾽ Ἀργείην Ἑλένην καὶ κτήμαθ᾽ ἅμ᾽ αὐτῇ
δώομεν Ἀτρεΐδῃσιν ἄγειν: . . . .
(from Perseus)
Herodotus 2.114
«ἥκει ξεῖνος γένος μὲν Τευκρός, ἔργον δὲ ἀνόσιον ἐν τῇ Ἑλλάδι ἐξεργασμένος· ξείνου γὰρ τοῦ ἑωυτοῦ ἐξαπατήσας τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτήν τε ταύτην ἄγων ἥκει καὶ πολλὰ κάρτα χρήματα . . .
(from Sacred Texts, http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh2110.htm, accessed Nov. 11, 2018).

Thinking of Paris' theft as two not one can explain Aeschylus' use of the plural in line 402.
ἐς Τροίαν πειρώμενοι ἦνθον ᾿Αχαιοί,
καλλίστα παίδων: πείρᾳ θην πάντα τελεῖται.
Theocritus, Idyll 15

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by jeidsath » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:58 pm

I for one have no trouble imagining that Paris' actions towards Helen were of a repeated nature.
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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by Aetos » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:39 pm

jeidsath wrote:I for one have no trouble imagining that Paris' actions towards Helen were of a repeated nature.
Shouldn't that be followed by one of these? :wink:

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by Aetos » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:12 pm

donhamiltontx wrote:Later for line 534, Denniston and Page's commentary says, "Others refer ἁρπαγή here to the rape of Helen, κλοπή to the theft of property from Menelaus' palace . . ." They then cite several sources for this: "Il. 3.70, 91, 282, 285, 458, 7.350, 22, 114, etc.; . . . Herodotus 2.114, 118-119," and so on.*
I think this refers to the use of ἀρπαγή and κλοπή in the same line, the former referring to the taking of Helen and the latter the theft of Menelaus' treasure. I'm also leaning towards the meaning of κλοπαῖς in line 402 meaning simply theft, mostly because it's tied to γυναικός. (so, theft of a spouse).

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by donhamiltontx » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:46 pm

Aetos wrote:
donhamiltontx wrote:Later for line 534, Denniston and Page's commentary says, "Others refer ἁρπαγή here to the rape of Helen, κλοπή to the theft of property from Menelaus' palace . . ." They then cite several sources for this: "Il. 3.70, 91, 282, 285, 458, 7.350, 22, 114, etc.; . . . Herodotus 2.114, 118-119," and so on.*
I think this refers to the use of ἀρπαγή and κλοπή in the same line, the former referring to the taking of Helen and the latter the theft of Menelaus' treasure. I'm also leaning towards the meaning of κλοπαῖς in line 402 meaning simply theft, mostly because it's tied to γυναικός. (so, theft of a spouse).
Yes, you're right about this, and I agree.
ἐς Τροίαν πειρώμενοι ἦνθον ᾿Αχαιοί,
καλλίστα παίδων: πείρᾳ θην πάντα τελεῖται.
Theocritus, Idyll 15

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Re: Agamemnon 402 κλοπαῖσι

Post by Aetos » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:13 am

Thank you, Don, for the bringing up the question. I learned a lot about the Poetic plural! Pharr's commentary in the Iliad explains individual instances of plural usage, but doesn't really give it a name, so you gave me an opportunity to broaden my knowledge. Enjoy Aeschylus!

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