Od. 15, 42

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Constantinus Philo
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Od. 15, 42

Post by Constantinus Philo » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:15 pm

I wonder what dative it is in ουνεκα οι σως εσσι. Does it refer to Penelope?
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Paul Derouda
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Re: Od. 15, 42

Post by Paul Derouda » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:44 pm

Hello and welcome!

When asking this sort of question, it would be nice to give some context, at least by copy-pasting the text in question at some length.

So here we have the end of a lengthy speech delivered by Athena to Telemachus:
αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν πρώτην ἀκτὴν Ἰθάκης ἀφίκηαι,
νῆα μὲν ἐς πόλιν ὀτρῦναι καὶ πάντας ἑταίρους,
αὐτὸς δὲ πρώτιστα συβώτην εἰσαφικέσθαι,
ὅς τοι ὑῶν ἐπίουρος, ὁμῶς δέ τοι ἤπια οἶδεν.
ἔνθα δὲ νύκτ᾽ ἀέσαι: τὸν δ᾽ ὀτρῦναι πόλιν εἴσω
ἀγγελίην ἐρέοντα περίφρονι Πηνελοπείῃ,
οὕνεκά οἱ σῶς ἐσσὶ καὶ ἐκ Πύλου εἰλήλουθας.

I think οἱ here is a "ethical dative". Yes, it does refer to Penelope. It's difficult to translate into English, but the point is that her son's survival is of particular interest to Penelope. Maybe οὕνεκά οἱ σῶς ἐσσὶ could be translated "that she should know that her son is safe".

Constantinus Philo
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Re: Od. 15, 42

Post by Constantinus Philo » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:10 pm

Thanks, I have just consulted Monro on the dative in Homer: this kind of dativus seems to be pretty common in the poems, however, Monro does not label it in any way, either as ethical or as commodi incommodi.
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