Arisophanes Acharnians 305-8: εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γ᾽ ἅπαξ

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Arisophanes Acharnians 305-8: εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γ᾽ ἅπαξ

Post by Hylander » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:28 pm

Archarnians 305-8 is interesting in the context of the discussion of εἴ/επει ἅπαξ in the previous topic.


ὦγαθοὶ τοὺς μὲν Λάκωνας ἐκποδὼν ἐάσατε, 305
τῶν δ᾽ ἐμῶν σπονδῶν ἀκούσατ᾽, εἰ καλῶς ἐσπεισάμην.


πῶς δέ γ᾽ἂν καλῶς λέγοις ἄν, εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γ᾽ ἅπαξ
οἷσιν οὔτε βωμὸς οὔτε πίστις οὔθ᾽ ὅρκος μένει;

307 δέ γ᾽ mss.] δ'ἐτ' Elmsley, accepted by Wilson and Henderson but rejected by Olson

Dikaiopolis has already made his treaty with the Laconians--that's precisely the point. It's not prospective, just as in the passage from Dio the hunter has already gotten to know Dio. In both cases, the verb is aorist indicative. It seems to me that just "when" or "if" might be the best translation of εἴπερ . . . ἅπαξ here.

ἂν καλῶς λέγοις ἄν -- ἄν reduplicated within three words of the previous instance. (There was recently a discussion of the pleonastic repetition of ἄν: ... 39#p191639.)

Everyone seems to think καλῶς λέγοις means something like "speak sensibly", but I wonder whether the chorus is simply picking up Dik.'s word "καλῶς" in the previous line: "how could you possibly say 'καλῶς'?" The focus is on whether Dikaiopolis has negotiated well and made a good deal, not whether Dik. is talking sense.

The chorus (leader} is sputtering with indignation, which I think is the effect of the repetition of ἄν, and perhaps ἅπαξ with εἴπερ reinforces his indignation? D: "Listen to my treaty and see whether or not I've made the treaty καλῶς/whether or not I've made a good deal." K: "How could you possibly say 'καλῶς'/'good deal' when/if/once you've made a treaty with people who can't be trusted?" "Now that" doesn't quite capture the point that I think the chorus is making: a treaty with untrustworthy scoundrels can't possibly be claimed to have been made "καλῶς".

But maybe Elmsley's conjecture (adopted by Wilson (OCT) and Henderson (Loeb); rejected by Olson) -- ΔΕΤ for ΔΕΓ -- gives better sense with ἅπαξ: "How could you possibly still say 'καλῶς', once you've made a treaty with untrustworthy scoundrels?"

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