Crit 44d

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Constantinus Philo
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Crit 44d

Post by Constantinus Philo » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:38 am

ἀλλ᾽ ὁρᾷς δὴ ὅτι ἀνάγκη, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ τῆς τῶν πολλῶν δόξης μέλειν. Is μέλειν to be taken personally or impersonally?
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seneca2008
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Re: Crit 44d

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:10 am

Is μέλειν to be taken personally or impersonally?
How can it be it’s an infinitive? The construction is ἀνάγκη ... μέλειν - It is necessary to have regard to (have a care for..). ἀνάγκη Is quasi-impersonal (as the Cambridge Greek Grammar terms it) presumably with an infinitive complement.

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Re: Crit 44d

Post by Constantinus Philo » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:24 am

yes I agree but μέλειν might be either impersonal or personal, but for the personal μέλειν Bailly gives examples only from tragedies. I m just wondering if it can be used personally in Attic prose.
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Re: Crit 44d

Post by jeidsath » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:52 am

LSJ: "3sg. is freq. used impers. with the object in gen., and pers. in dat." I would think that all signs point to impersonal here.

Also, Seneca, I'm not sure what you were trying to say, as of course an infinitive could be either personal or impersonal. It can have a subject just like a finite verb, and in fact often stands for a finite verb.
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seneca2008
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Re: Crit 44d

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:12 pm

My thought was ἀνάγκη is quasi-impersonal so how can μέλειν an infinitive (for the avoidance of doubt as to what it is) be impersonal. I don't understand the relevance of what you have quoted. I will keep out of these personal/impersonal debates in the future especially when the Greek seems very clear and what you call it a matter of terminology which doesn't seem to me to really help.

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Re: Crit 44d

Post by RandyGibbons » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:19 pm

the Greek seems very clear
As it does to me. Constantinus, what about it is unclear to you? Yes, if I happen to know that μέλειν sometimes has a personal subject, sometimes not (i.e., can be personal or impersonal), does that mean that every time I am reading Greek and I happen to see μέλειν in a sentence, that I have to stop and decide if it is being used personally or impersonally before concluding that I understand the sentence? That doesn't seem to me to be a very fruitful way of reading Greek.

Let me ask you this: Are you currently reading the Crito, more or less in its entirety? Do you know the context of this sentence? If so, what about it is unclear to you? If you were telling an English-speaking friend who doesn't know Greek about this passage, how would you translate it for him? (I hope your response is not going to be, "I can't, because I don't know if μέλειν is personal or impersonal".)

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Re: Crit 44d

Post by jeidsath » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:40 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:12 pm
My thought was ἀνάγκη is quasi-impersonal so how can μέλειν an infinitive (for the avoidance of doubt as to what it is) be impersonal.
ἀνάγκη αὐτὸν τρέχειν. He must run. (τρέχειν is personal even if ἀνάγκη is not)
ἀνάγκη ὕειν. It needs to rain. (Both ἀνάγκη and ὕειν are impersonal. Except in Homer, where ὕειν would be personal.)
I will keep out of these personal/impersonal debates in the future especially when the Greek seems very clear and what you call it a matter of terminology which doesn't seem to me to really help.
Philo was asking whether this means: "But you see, Socrates, that you have to consider the opinion of the crowd." Or "But you see Socrates, that the opinion of the crowd must be considered." There is a difference, and in other contexts, it could be a decisive difference. It's incorrect to dismiss the question as meaningless.

Anybody can read Greek as carefully or carelessly as they want, but we careless people should never pooh-pooh the people more careful than us.
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seneca2008
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Re: Crit 44d

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:01 pm

"But you see, Socrates, that you have to consider the opinion of the crowd." Or "But you see Socrates, that the opinion of the crowd must be considered." There is a difference, and in other contexts, it could be a decisive difference. It's incorrect to dismiss the question as meaningless.
I am not dismissing anything!

To put things in context:

ΣΩ. Ἀλλὰ τί ἡμῖν, ὦ μακάριε Κρίτων, οὕτω τῆς τῶν πολλῶν δόξης μέλει; οἱ γὰρ ἐπιεικέστατοι, ὧν μᾶλλον ἄξιον φροντίζειν, ἡγήσονται αὐτὰ οὕτω πεπρᾶχθαι ὥσπερ ἂν πραχθῇ.

d ΚΡ. Ἀλλ’ ὁρᾷς δὴ ὅτι ἀνάγκη, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ τῆς τῶν πολλῶν δόξης μέλειν.

Which suggests that ἡμῖν is to be understood with ἀνάγκη, although equally it could be understood with μέλει. Either way I don't think it makes any difference to the meaning of what is a straightforward piece of Greek.

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