translation: Il. 2.288

Are you reading Homeric Greek? Whether you are a total beginner or an advanced Homerist, here you can meet kindred spirits. Besides Homer, use this board for all things early Greek poetry.
Post Reply
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 4:29 pm

translation: Il. 2.288

Post by brometheus » Sat May 30, 2015 5:41 pm

Hello everybody! I'm new here, and was just referred to Textkit as I've recently taken on reading the Iliad. I've sort of hit a snag in book 2 ... it's frustrating because the general sense is pretty straightforward, but I don't like to gloss over even little things when I don't fully get the grammar (as I'm sure many of you can understand!).

286 οὐδέ τοι ἐκτελέουσιν ὑπόσχεσιν ἥν περ ὑπέσταν
287 ἐνθάδ᾽ ἔτι στείχοντες ἀπ᾽ Ἄργεος ἱπποβότοιο
288 Ἴλιον ἐκπέρσαντ᾽ εὐτείχεον ἀπονέεσθαι.

Basically I'm trying to figure out what ἐκπέρσαντ᾽ is doing here. Odysseus is reminding Agamemnon of how his Achaeans (in running for the ships) aren't keeping the promise they made as they yet marched from horse-grazed Argos. My first thought was that l. 288 is in apposition to ὑπόσχεσιν (though I'd expect future ἀπονήσεσθαι) ... but how am I supposed to parse this participle?

ἐκπέρσαντ[ες] makes the most sense--the Achaeans promised to [only] return home after sacking well-walled Ilium--but I don't think an apostrophe can stand for a syllable with coda consonant, so that's out.

ἐκπέρσαντ[α] would agree grammatically with a masculine Ἴλιον (though isn't Ἴλιος typically feminine?), but the aorist participle is active, so that doesn't make sense. No reason for it to be neut. pl. either. Does it agree with Agamemnon somehow?

ἐκπέρσαντ[ο] could work as a finite middle verb (they sacked Troy for their benefit), but I don't think a finite verb works in the syntactic context, and wouldn't have a clear relationship with the infinitive at the end.

ἐκπέρσαντ[ι] ... I mean, Agamemnon is τοι earlier in the sentence, so this could somehow agree with that? "They promised you they'd return home after you had sacked Troy"?

ἐκπέρσαντ[ε]: no, obviously.

I think those are all the options! If anyone has a suggestion on this it would be much appreciated, as I am ἀπορέω-ing pretty hard right now.

User avatar
Paul Derouda
Global Moderator
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: translation: Il. 2.288

Post by Paul Derouda » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:16 pm

Hello and welcome! There has been a very long lag before your post got approved (and hopefully we've fixed that problem now for good!). In case you still come here to see this belated answer...

Anyway, the answer is to be found on line 284: ἐκπέρσαντα is accusative singular and goes with σε. It's Agamemnon who's addressed here, "that they'd return after you have sacked Troy". It's strange, but I don't see an alternative (though maybe someone else here does?); it makes ἐκπέρσαντ᾽ and ἀπονέεσθαι have a different subject.

284 Ἀτρεΐδη νῦν δή σε, ἄναξ, ἐθέλουσιν Ἀχαιοὶ
285 πᾶσιν ἐλέγχιστον θέμεναι μερόπεσσι βροτοῖσιν,
286 οὐδέ τοι ἐκτελέουσιν ὑπόσχεσιν ἥν περ ὑπέσταν
287 ἐνθάδ᾽ ἔτι στείχοντες ἀπ᾽ Ἄργεος ἱπποβότοιο
288 Ἴλιον ἐκπέρσαντ᾽ εὐτείχεον ἀπονέεσθαι.

Post Reply