Ibycus 282 (a).40-48

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Vershneim
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Ibycus 282 (a).40-48

Post by Vershneim » Thu May 09, 2019 7:24 pm

I was able to work my way through most of this poem, but I got a bit stuck towards the end:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]α χρυσόστροφος 40
Ὕλλις ἐγήνατο, τῶι δ᾿ [ἄ]ρα Τρωίλον
ὡσεὶ χρυσὸν ὀρειχάλκωι
τρὶς ἄπεφθο[ν] ἤδη

Τρῶες Δ[α]ναοί τ᾿ ἐρό[ε]σσαν
μορφὰν μάλ᾿ ἐίσκον ὅμοιον. 45
τοῖς μὲν πέδα κάλλεος αἰέν·
καὶ σύ, Πολύκρατες, κλέος ἄφθιτον ἑξεῖς
ὡς κατ᾿ ἀοιδὰν καὶ ἐμὸν κλέος.
(N.B. There were a couple characters with underdots, but the copy-paste wasn't happy with them so I just deleted and retyped them without.)

My translation:

... golden-girdled Hyllis bore, and to him the Trojans and the Danaans deemed Troilus similar, like gold already thrice-boiled down to orichalcum with respect to his similar, charming form. These things are always with beauty. And you, Polycrates, will have undying glory inasmuch as because of my song and my fame.

I mainly stumbled on lines 46 and 48, but I'm also a bit shaky on the opening comparison.

Hylander
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Re: Ibycus 282 (a).40-48

Post by Hylander » Fri May 10, 2019 1:25 am

I don't have much to offer beyond a few thoughts.

1. I wonder whether the simile runs something like this: The Trojans and the Greek likened/compared Troilus to "him" (Polycrates, I guess) as thrice refined gold to orichalcum (apparently is a type of bright-red copper, not gold but similar in appearance) with respect to their charming outward appearance/beauty. In other words, Troilus is to gold as Polycrates is to orichalcum with respect to their beauty.

2. Line 46 is as inscrutable to me as to you. The modern editor has accented πέδα as paroxytone. Is s/he treating it as a post-position, or simply giving a recessive accent to an Aeolic word?

3. Is ἐμὸν κλέος "my fame" or "the fame that I confer on you though my ἀοιδή? Perhaps ἀοιδὰν καὶ ἐμὸν κλέος is a hendiadys.
Last edited by Hylander on Fri May 10, 2019 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ibycus 282 (a).40-48

Post by Hylander » Fri May 10, 2019 2:00 am

I went and cheated by looking in vol. 3 of Campbell's Greek Lyric in the new Loeb series.

He takes πέδα as μετεστι (like πάρα for παρεστι), and κάλλεος as a partitive genitive: "for them there is a share of beauty forever", "they have a share in beauty always". The man who is compared to Troilus is Zeuxippus, as you undoubtedly know.

He translates the simile as follows: ". . . to him Trojans and Greeks likened Troilus as gold already thrice-refined to orichalc, judging him very similar in loveliness of form."

He also provides an alternative ("less probably"): Among them, for beauty always you too, Polycrates, will have undying fame . . . "

Addendum: Hutchinson, Greek Lyric Poetry (Oxford 2001) and Budelmann, ed., Greek Lyric: A Selection (Cambridge 2018 in the Cambrdige Greek and Latin Classics series) include extended discussions of this poem. Hutchinson favors the alternative translation given (and rejected) by Campbell, reads πεδἀ, and punctuates accordingly. An acute accent on paroxytone πέδα, incidentally, is in the original papyrus, but it represents the interpretation of an ancient editor working centuries after Ibycus, and thus isn't necessarily any more authoritative than a reading of a modern editor.

At any rate, we can take some comfort from the struggles of outstanding contemporary scholars to understand this fragmentary poem.

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jeidsath
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Re: Ibycus 282 (a).40-48

Post by jeidsath » Fri May 10, 2019 11:24 am

I'll need to look up Budelmann's notes, but reading this through, I thought that κλεος was directed towards the τοις. κλεος is fame/glory, but it's something capable of being sent or reported. Compare:

ἀλλ᾿ ἦ τοι τάδε πάντα καταφλέξω πυρὶ κηλέῳ,
οὐδὲν σοί γ᾿ ὄφελος, ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἐγκείσεαι αὐτοῖς,
ἀλλὰ πρὸς Τρώων καὶ Τρωιάδων κλέος εἶναι.”

Here, I think that the fame/report will be "to them", as reports can be. They'll hear about you. "πέδα κάλλεος αἰέν" refers to their being dead/with the gods/among the blessed.

To them, I say, with beauty forever,
you also, Polykrates, will have the undying report,
such as is by my song and my report.

Possibly to be followed by a line about how they would compare him to something even better than χρυσὸν τρὶς ἄπεφθον?
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

Vershneim
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Re: Ibycus 282 (a).40-48

Post by Vershneim » Fri May 10, 2019 4:04 pm

Hylander wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 2:00 am
At any rate, we can take some comfort from the struggles of outstanding contemporary scholars to understand this fragmentary poem.
Certainly ... I'm still a relative beginner at Greek, and only started translating verse a few days ago, so it's certainly comforting to know that at least sometimes I'm not having trouble merely because of personal incompetence. I do like the interpretation of πέδα as μετεστι -- that makes a lot of sense to me. Re: your addendum, I need to get my hands on a collection of lyric with commentary; I've been working off the Loeb copies which, while sufficient, often leave me wanting more.

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Re: Ibycus 282 (a).40-48

Post by Hylander » Sat May 11, 2019 2:28 am

Here are two undergraduate-level selections of Greek lyric with commentary:

https://www.amazon.com/Greek-Lyric-Sele ... 1-fkmrnull

https://www.amazon.com/Greek-Lyric-Poet ... way&sr=8-9

They're complementary: Budelmann has more copious notes and is more up-to-date, but Campbell has more material, and is still very useful. Campbell was the editor of the new Loeb Greek Lyric Poets series.

This is more expensive and is at a more advanced level, with fewer selections than either of the above:

https://www.amazon.com/Greek-Lyric-Poet ... 1-fkmrnull

But if you are new to Greek, sooner rather than later you need to come to grips with the Homeric poems. They're actually much easier to read than lyric fragments, which are generally quite obscure and require a lot more background than Homer. In fact, Homer is a big part of the background you need to get the most out of the lyric poets.

The Odyssey and especially the Iliad are central to classical literature, Greek and Roman. To be sure, there's a learning curve, but it's not a steep as you might think, and before you know it you'll surprise yourself by reading the Iliad or the Odyssey without even having to translate. Someone will swat me down if I assert that Homer is easy, but really he is. I was started on reading Odyssey 9 in the spring semester of my first-year Greek class.

For me, the Iliad and the Odyssey are the most gratifying and enjoyable reading experiences in all classical literature!

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