I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

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hmederos22
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I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by hmederos22 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:43 pm

Good evening,

I would like to know why Plato, in his dialogue Phaedrus, has written a participle whose subject is αὐτοὺς and is not depending on any other previous word. The text is what follows:

[275α] σύ, πατὴρ ὢν γραμμάτων, δι᾽ εὔνοιαν τοὐναντίον εἶπες ἢ δύναται. τοῦτο γὰρ τῶν μαθόντων λήθην μὲν ἐν ψυχαῖς παρέξει μνήμης ἀμελετησίᾳ, ἅτε διὰ πίστιν γραφῆς ἔξωθεν ὑπ᾽ ἀλλοτρίων τύπων, οὐκ ἔνδοθεν αὐτοὺς ὑφ᾽ αὑτῶν ἀναμιμνῃσκομένους: οὔκουν μνήμης ἀλλὰ ὑπομνήσεως φάρμακον ηὗρες. σοφίας δὲ τοῖς μαθηταῖς δόξαν, οὐκ ἀλήθειαν πορίζεις: πολυήκοοι γάρ σοι γενόμενοι ἄνευ διδαχῆς πολυγνώμονες ’

Why is ἀπομιμνῃσκομένους in that very case? On what is it depending? Is it an accusative absolute?

Thanks for your help!

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jeidsath
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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by jeidsath » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:54 pm

I read the antecedent of that as τυπος, but I could be wrong.
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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by Hylander » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:06 am

It's a slight anacolouthon, as if the direct object of the main verb were τους μαθοντας. Plato is describing how writing affects or impacts those who learn to write and rely on it instead of memory, so in the ἅτε clause they are treated as they if were the direct object of the main verb, even though they originally enter the sentence in the genitive case.

See Smyth 3008a on anacolouthon:
Many cases [of anacolouthon] are due to the fact that a writer conforms his construction, not to the words which he has just used, but to another way in which the antecedent thought might have been expressed: the construction πρὸς τὸ νοούμενον (or σημαινόμενον) according to what is thought.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 99.04.0007

Also, αὐτῶν ὑφ᾽ αὑτῶν ἀναμιμνῃσκομένων would be very inelegant.

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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by Constantinus Philo » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:29 am

Αυτούς αναμιμνησκομενους refers to μαθοντων see Smyth, 1061.
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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by Hylander » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:10 am

Smyth 1061:
A predicate adjective referring to a genitive regularly stands in the genitive, but a predicate substantive or participle generally stands in the accusative in agreement with the unexpressed subject of the infinitive: ““Κύρου ἐδέοντο ώς προθυμοτάτου γενέσθαι” they entreated Cyrus to show himself as zealous as possible” X. H. 1.5.2, ““ὑπὸ τῶν δεομένων μου προστάτην γενέσθαι” by those who begged me to become their chief” X. C. 7.2.23, δέομαι ὑμῶν ἐθελῆσαί μου ἀκοῦσαι, ὑπολογιζομένους τὸ πλῆθος τῶν αἰτιῶν I beg of you that you be willing to listen to me, paying heed to the number of charges Aes. 2.1.
Phaedrus 275a is not the same as Smyth 1061. There's no infinitive with an unexpressed accusative subject that αὐτοὺς or ἀναμιμνῃσκομένους refer to. Phaedrus 275a is a pure and simple anacolouthon.

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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by Constantinus Philo » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:53 am

Then probably this is an elliptical sentence and the verb must be supplied from the main clause, παρεξει.
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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by Hylander » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:55 pm

παρεξει would take a dative complement. αὐτοὺς ὑφ᾽ αὑτῶν ἀναμιμνῃσκομένουςi s just an anacoluthon.

Anacoloutha are more common in Greek prose than one might expect.

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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by jeidsath » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:53 pm

incorrect idea within
Show
Here παρέξει does take an accusative I believe. See the sentence this is replying to:

τοῦτο δέ, ὦ βασιλεῦ, τὸ μάθημα,’ ἔφη ὁ Θεύθ, ‘σοφωτέρους Αἰγυπτίους καὶ μνημονικωτέρους παρέξει: μνήμης τε γὰρ καὶ σοφίας φάρμακον ηὑρέθη.

(Also see LSJ A.V for παρέχω)
And isn't this referring (obliquely) to his theory of the soul being a big ball of wax that takes impressions (Tht 191)? What is inside the souls, I thought, "ἔνδοθεν αὐτοὺς ὑφ᾽ αὑτῶν ἀναμιμνῃσκομένους", was impressions recalling themselves by themselves, as opposed to λήθην ἐν ψυχαῖς due to faith in reference books.
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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by Constantinus Philo » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:57 pm

Hylander ur right, I ve checked a commented edition.
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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by Hylander » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:04 am

Just because a commentary says so doesn't necessarily mean I'm right.
isn't this referring (obliquely) to his theory of the soul being a big ball of wax that takes impressions (Tht 191)? What is inside the souls, I thought, "ἔνδοθεν αὐτοὺς ὑφ᾽ αὑτῶν ἀναμιμνῃσκομένους", was impressions recalling themselves by themselves, as opposed to λήθην ἐν ψυχαῖς due to faith in reference books.
Joel, I think you're probably right that Plato's underlying concept here (i.e., in Phaedrus) is similar to the passage in Theaetetus you're referring to, but I don't think that αὐτοὺς refers back to τύπων. If it did, αὐτοὺς would refer back to ἀλλοτρίων τύπων, not to τύπων in general or to internally generated τύπων, which wouldn't quite make sense here. And it's not the impressions that remember: it's the individuals on psyches the impressions have been stamped. Also, if he were referring to his Theaetetus theory, he would have to develop it at greater length here, because it would not be understood by the audience without further elaboration.

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Re: I cannot understand why that participle is in accusative

Post by hmederos22 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:08 am

Thanks to all of you. I have already understood what happened to that participle! You are incredible!

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