A paraphrase of a line by Plato

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christophershelt
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A paraphrase of a line by Plato

Post by christophershelt » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:37 pm

To One And All--
The line below has given me some troubles, especially as I'm no scholar and had to fumble around Smyth looking for the uses of the genitive. I give my flimsy rendition, but I sincerely hope one of you can do better:


5) δεῖ με λέγειν ὑμῖν ὅτι σώφ?ων εἰμί. εἰ δὲ μὴ τοῦτο λέξω,
Κ?ιτίαν ψευδῆ ?πιδείξω καὶ ἄλλους πολλοὺς οἷς δοκῶ
εἶναι σώφ?ων. Adapted from Plato

[It is necessary] (because I am speaking to you //who
are seeking// wisdom, but if I will not say that Kritan //is// false
and many another //besides// I will prove //it// to //those// whom
I think to be wise //men.// )

Thank you once again, and I do appreciate your assistance.

Chris

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Post by spiphany » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:55 pm

I'm a bit confused. I don't see any genitives in that passage. Were you thinking of σώφ?ων, perhaps? Interpreting -ων as a genitive is a good guess, but here it's the nominative of a third-declension adjective.

Translate the first sentence in the order the words appear. λέγειν is dependent on δεῖ, and με is the accusative subject of the infinitive. ὅτι doesn't mean "because" here, but "that" introducing an indirect statement.

?πιδείξω can take a double accusative; one points out an accusative (thing) to an accusative (person).
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)

christophershelt
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You are right...but how is the whole translated?

Post by christophershelt » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:26 pm

Thank you, but I still can't translate this. I came up with another translation, only a little better than the first:

It is necessary to say to you that I am wise. But if I will
Not say that, I will prove Kritian false and other things
which I think to be wise.

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Post by spiphany » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:55 pm

You're almost there. You forgot to translate με in the first line, which doesn't make a big difference in the meaning of the sentence, but helps in understanding how the next sentence relates to it. τοῦτο refers back to him saying "ὅτι σώφ?ων εἰμί". Thus:
"It is necessary for me to say that I am wise. But if I do not say that (namely, that I am wise)..."

In the second sentence, ψευδῆ is a neuter plural accusative used as a noun ("these false things" or "that these things are false"). ἄλλους πολλοὺς is masculine so must refer to people, not things. Translate it with Κ?ιτίαν.
δοκῶ means "I seem", here, and the dative οἷς refers to the people (Κ?ιτίαν καὶ ἄλλους πολλοὺς) in whose eyes he seems wise. Because σώφ?ων is nominative, it also refers to the "I" and not to some other person.

(I'm not trying to be cryptic or condescending here, so I hope my explanations don't come across that way. Some of these constructions - which are typical of Plato - I don't know how to explain very well without resorting either to grammarese or simply translating them, so I'm trying to indicate the relation of words in the sentence to point you in the right direction. These sentences aren't easy, particularly if you're not used to the Plato's pattern of logical reasoning.)
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)

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Post by Skylax » Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:02 pm



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Post by spiphany » Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:18 pm


IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)

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