Vacation reading

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Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:00 pm

I'm going to be up in northern Michigan for a few days, relaxing from work. I thought that I would bring along "Homerus Odyssea Martin L. West (ed.)", and see how much I could get through without a dictionary or other aids. I haven't read more than snatches of the Odyssey since I was a teenager reading it in translation.

If I run into lines that I don't understand after a few passes, I will ask about them in this thread, rather than looking them up or searching through notes. I would appreciate it if people would reply in the same spirit. If you know the answer off the top of your head, then put in a note, otherwise leave the question for someone else to answer. LSJ-quoting (Barry!) or translation-quoting (Seneca!) will be moved out of the thread.

I read through the first couple hundred lines last night, and I'll ask about lines 90-92 later this evening. What does ἀπειπέμεν mean in 91? Is it from πείθω, so "to disobey"?
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Hylander » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:09 pm

ἀπεῖπον - "forbid", "deny", "renounce"

LSJ glosses this line: "give them full notice". Honestly, I'm not going to post an answer on the internet without checking to make sure I'm not utterly wrong.

Homeric 2d aorist infinitive in -έμεν.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:45 pm

jeidsath wrote:If I run into lines that I don't understand after a few passes, I will ask about them in this thread, rather than looking them up or searching through notes. I would appreciate it if people would reply in the same spirit. If you know the answer off the top of your head, then put in a note, otherwise leave the question for someone else to answer. LSJ-quoting (Barry!) or translation-quoting (Seneca!) will be moved out of the thread.
Dont worry I have no intention of looking things up for you which you can perfectly well do for yourself.

I had no idea you had never read the Odyssey.

Enjoy your vacation.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by scotistic » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:35 pm

I've been doing this myself lately, reading the Odyssey with no help but Stanford's commentary, and the Aeneid straight out of the OCT. I don't get absolutely everything, but I get most of it and it's a lot more fun than laboring over a desk full of ancillaries!

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:20 am

seneca2008 wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:45 pm
Dont worry I have no intention of looking things up for you which you can perfectly well do for yourself.
Good. At its best this board makes it possible for a bunch of scattered people to be digitally in the same room together, and imagine if we were all resorting to the LSJ or Google in a conversation.
I had no idea you had never read the Odyssey.
I never really liked the Odyssey, except for the return. It doesn't have the magic or pathos of the Iliad for me. Being a hobbiest only, I get to choose my own reading, and have avoided it. Your recent threads made me want to give it a chance.
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:32 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:20 am

Good. At its best this board makes it possible for a bunch of scattered people to be digitally in the same room together, and imagine if we were all resorting to the LSJ or Google in a conversation.

I never really liked the Odyssey, except for the return. It doesn't have the magic or pathos of the Iliad for me. Being a hobbiest only, I get to choose my own reading, and have avoided it. Your recent threads made me want to give it a chance.
I had much the same feeling about the Iliad, and can only hope that you are as pleasantly surprised reading the Odyssey as I have been reading the Iliad. But LSJ ἀπόρρητον? μὴ γένοιτο!
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:56 pm

jeidsath wrote:Good. At its best this board makes it possible for a bunch of scattered people to be digitally in the same room together, and imagine if we were all resorting to the LSJ or Google in a conversation
This is pretty much what can happen in a seminar. I really see no problem with using digital resources or reference books in a discussion.

As Hylander has observed posting things without checking is potentially misleading.

Your thread you can decide what you want.
Last edited by seneca2008 on Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:56 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:20 am
I never really liked the Odyssey, except for the return. It doesn't have the magic or pathos of the Iliad for me. Being a hobbiest only, I get to choose my own reading, and have avoided it. Your recent threads made me want to give it a chance.
The Odyssey is mostly known for Odysseus' wanderings in strange places among strange beings, but we must remember that the poem is only halfway when he lands on Ithaca. The Odyssey is not centered on the Big Questions of Life like the Iliad (Heroism, Honor, Death, etc.,) and it has a penchant for moralism that the Iliad doesn't have, but it has a charm of it's own. It gives prominence to the small things in life and many of the central characters are women or humble people like slaves, even if their depiction can be shown to be problematic in modern eyes.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:24 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:It gives prominence to the small things in life and many of the central characters are women or humble people like slaves,
Interesting juxtaposition! :D

ps I disagree with what you say about the "Big Questions of Life". The Odyssey is very focussed on Heroism, Honour and Death - the Dead even make an appearance!

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:32 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:24 pm
Paul Derouda wrote:It gives prominence to the small things in life and many of the central characters are women or humble people like slaves,
Interesting juxtaposition! :D

ps I disagree with what you say about the "Big Questions of Life". The Odyssey is very focussed on Heroism, Honour and Death - the Dead even make an appearance!
The point being that not all important "speaking" characters are elite men, unlike in the Iliad. (I haven't forgotten about Thersites, Helen and Andromache, who do utter a few words).

Those themes are in the Odyssey as well, but it doesn't invite to reflect upon them like the Iliad, they are omnipresent but in the background. It doesn't present itself as a "grave" poem like the Iliad, or at least not in the same degree..

I think in both respects ("gravity" and focus on elite men) the Iliad is to the Odyssey what Thucydides is to Herodotus.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by mwh » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:58 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:20 am
At its best this board makes it possible for a bunch of scattered people to be digitally in the same room together, and imagine if we were all resorting to the LSJ or Google in a conversation.
But Joel this is Textkit, not any old chat room, and I’d say it’s at its best when people come for help and receive it. If you can easily find for yourself the answer to a question you have, then why trouble the whole board with the question? I’m happy to help with difficulties, but I’m not about to humor someone who refuses to look anything up.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:47 pm

Well maybe Textkit has gotten a bit stale lately. And sometimes I feel like I'm as bad with the LSJ as any KJV-only backwoods fundamentalist. "If Liddell said it, I believe it", etc. With luck I'll survive a 4-day withdrawal period.

Meanwhile, I'm through α. I had to read every page about 4 times, on average, before it clicked. And the concentration required is draining. Hopefully that gets easier.

Paul, I like the more human setting of the Odyssey. But the characters just aren't as psychologically true. The first book of the Iliad is big and melodramatic...but there is depth to everything when you push. And the poet of the Iliad sympathizes with all of his characters, for all that he takes a Spielberg sort of delight in having Jaws sneak up on them. The Odyssey is all good guys and bad guys.

Questions for book α: What exactly is the idea about this conclave of the Achaeans in Ithaca? Who would be there? (Is Ithaca that big a place?, I probably naively, thought of it as Odysseus' private island.) Also, what are Telemachus' rights to his father's possessions and positions? I didn't fully understand the back and forth with Eurymachus.

Penelope doesn't come across as very strong in 360-366.

On the language, the μνηστηρες are obviously suitors, but I don't recognize the root.

Maybe I'm being prurient, but what does 433 χολον δ αλεεινε γυναικος mean? I don't recognize αλεεινε.
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:51 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:24 pm
Paul Derouda wrote:It gives prominence to the small things in life and many of the central characters are women or humble people like slaves,
Interesting juxtaposition! :D

ps I disagree with what you say about the "Big Questions of Life". The Odyssey is very focussed on Heroism, Honour and Death - the Dead even make an appearance!
I think there's room for both here, and I don't think the Iliad ignores "the small things."
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:11 am

The beginning of β answered some of my questions on the conclave.

Re-reading the very start of α -- for my daughter's bedtime story; she doesn't complain as long as I give an English paraphrase translation as I go, though I censor a bit) -- I saw 36 γῆμ᾽ ἄλοχον μνηστήν, and 39 μήτε μνάασθαι ἄκοιτιν, which answered my question about μνηστῆρες. And I suppose the original meaning from which this derives is in 29 μνήσατο γὰρ κατὰ θυμὸν ἀμύμονος Αἰγίσθοιο, and 31 τοῦ ὅ γ᾽ ἐπιμνησθεὶς ἔπε᾽ ἀθανάτοισι μετηύδα.

The only issue has been that my daughter asked me where Ithaca was, and when I told her Greece, and that we could fly there in about 16 hours, she informed me that she would like us to "go there tomorrow."
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:38 am

In β 52-54, is it saying that Penelope's father, Icarius, is giving approval to every suitor who comes, and hence the problem?
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:19 am

No, the point is that the correct procedure for the suitors would be to go to Icarius and have him arrange the marriage.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:07 am

Paul Derouda wrote:No, the point is that the correct procedure for the suitors would be to go to Icarius and have him arrange the marriage.
I thought the point being made here is that if the suitors are serious about marriage they should offer Icarius bride-gifts rather than consume Telemachus' patrimony.

Having now consulted (pace Joel) S. West I see it's not as straightforward as this. "ἐεδνώσαιτο " only occurs here in Homer and its interpretation depends on how we take ἔεδνα. Is it a a dowry given to the suitor or a gift from the suitor? West suggests the non-committal "betroth".

An example of where we can be led into error without commentaries.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:13 am

jeidsath wrote:The only issue has been that my daughter asked me where Ithaca was, and when I told her Greece, and that we could fly there in about 16 hours, she informed me that she would like us to "go there tomorrow."
It's great that you use Homer as a bedtime story for your daughter.

You might read her this and see if it curbs her impatience. Often the journey is more important than the destination.

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy -
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don't in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn't anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn't deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you'll have understood what these Ithakas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:26 am

jeidsath wrote:Maybe I'm being prurient, but what does 433 χολον δ αλεεινε γυναικος mean? I don't recognize αλεεινε.
Odysseus avoided the anger of his wife by not sleeping with Eurycleia (εὐνῇ δ᾿ οὔ ποτ᾿ ἔμικτο).

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:02 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:26 am
jeidsath wrote:Maybe I'm being prurient, but what does 433 χολον δ αλεεινε γυναικος mean? I don't recognize αλεεινε.
Odysseus avoided the anger of his wife by not sleeping with Eurycleia (εὐνῇ δ᾿ οὔ ποτ᾿ ἔμικτο).
It's interesting how often in Homer whenever there is question of how people treat each other, the focus is on outward reactions rather than emotions. Here Laertes (not Odysseus!) avoided the anger of his wife by not sleeping with Eurycleia, while we would say that he didn't want to hurt her feelings.

In the Iliad, there is never question that Agamemnon should show that he's "really sorry" for insulting Achilles, but it rather always revolves around the question of what would constitute an adequate compensation (even if Achilles thinks that no gift is valuable enough).

When you look at a word like φιλέω, I'd argue that it has almost always also a nuance of "treating kindly", which doesn't quite exactly correspond to our "love", which is primarily a mental process.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:25 pm

I wouldn't worry too much about falling into error -- especially on Textkit's only Vacation Reading thread -- language errors are self-correcting and commentary errors are self-perpetuating.

*

433: Ah, "wife" makes more sense. When I read it, I thought that he was avoiding the "bile of the woman" by not sleeping with her, though he otherwise treated her like a lawful wife. It had me wondering if she was going to turn evil in later chapters.

*
When you look at a word like φιλέω, I'd argue that it has almost always also a nuance of "treating kindly", which doesn't quite exactly correspond to our "love", which is primarily a mental process.
Yes, this rings true. There is hiding of feelings in Homer, but usually they are like big children (especially the gods) in how their outward emotion matches their inner selves. Maybe it's a reflection of a rustic society, or Homer's dramatic technology? I'd argue that this isn't as noticeable in Herodotus.
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Aetos » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:43 pm

@Seneca:
You may not understand all the Modern Greek, but you'll enjoy the music!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5lPCeT8Ex0

And here is the text:
http://users.uoa.gr/~nektar/arts/poetry ... _poems.htm

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Manuel » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:56 pm

mwh wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:58 pm
jeidsath wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:20 am
At its best this board makes it possible for a bunch of scattered people to be digitally in the same room together, and imagine if we were all resorting to the LSJ or Google in a conversation.
But Joel this is Textkit, not any old chat room, and I’d say it’s at its best when people come for help and receive it. If you can easily find for yourself the answer to a question you have, then why trouble the whole board with the question? I’m happy to help with difficulties, but I’m not about to humor someone who refuses to look anything up.
Reading Greek tends to be a solitary, and often very lonely activity for most, even though historically it was most certainly not. The only opportunity for most people to read Greek in a group is in a college class, in which you're constrained by the fact that most people there are just taking the class for credit and will only do the bare minimum to keep up. On top of that, once all those students graduate they have to go off and have jobs and lives which doesn't leave time to regroup and read Greek together. Perhaps a modified version of what Joel is attempting could be tried - i.e., a thread where everyone does a blind translation of a few passages by themselves and then regroups to discuss what issues they had, what they found interesting, and what other questions they might have.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:00 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Here Laertes (not Odysseus!) avoided the anger of his wife by not sleeping with Eurycleia, while we would say that he didn't want to hurt her feelings.
Ouch! I tried to post too many things in a rush. There is a moral here. Apologies.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:07 pm

I was out hiking most of the day, but made it through β in the evening. Telemachus' speeches were fairly clear, but I didn't entirely understand all of the suitors' arguments at the assembly and will have to re-read eventually. I understood the bit about Penelope making the promise about the weaving and undoing it at night because I knew the story, but all of those textile terms would have been too much for me otherwise.

It mentions at around that point, that the suitors have only been doing this 3-4 years total? I realize that we're at year 20 in the story, but are there any chronology irregularities in the story? We're clearly not meant to imagine Penelope as an old lady. And Telemachus says something like "now that I'm μεγας" later. I suppose 19 years old fits well for him. Almost capable, but not quite. But we'd probably make him 15 or 16 in a modern story of the same type.

Athena the divine babysitter was wearing on me, but by the time the ship was outfitted and she joined the crew, I think that I've accepted it.
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Manuel » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:06 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:07 pm

It mentions at around that point, that the suitors have only been doing this 3-4 years total? I realize that we're at year 20 in the story, but are there any chronology irregularities in the story? We're clearly not meant to imagine Penelope as an old lady. And Telemachus says something like "now that I'm μεγας" later. I suppose 19 years old fits well for him. Almost capable, but not quite. But we'd probably make him 15 or 16 in a modern story of the same type.
Do we know at what age girls/women tended to be given for marriage in Homeric society? I believe that in Classical times a girl would be married at 14 or perhaps even younger. That would mean Penelope is in her mid-30s.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by donhamiltontx » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:22 pm

Manuel wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:56 pm

Reading Greek tends to be a solitary, and often very lonely activity for most, even though historically it was most certainly not. The only opportunity for most people to read Greek in a group is in a college class, in which you're constrained by the fact that most people there are just taking the class for credit and will only do the bare minimum to keep up. On top of that, once all those students graduate they have to go off and have jobs and lives which doesn't leave time to regroup and read Greek together. Perhaps a modified version of what Joel is attempting could be tried - i.e., a thread where everyone does a blind translation of a few passages by themselves and then regroups to discuss what issues they had, what they found interesting, and what other questions they might have.
What you suggest is a good idea, and such projects have already been done.
One such still active thread about Odyssey 6 is here: Odyssey 6 Reading Group.
ἐς Τροίαν πειρώμενοι ἦνθον ᾿Αχαιοί,
καλλίστα παίδων: πείρᾳ θην πάντα τελεῖται.
Theocritus, Idyll 15

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:02 pm

@Aetos

Thanks for the link to the video. Very atmospheric, and Bach is always welcome. I once went to a modern Greek class but it was full of women who were learning Greek so that they could work out what their Cypriot mother-in-laws were saying. My classical pronunciation and their Cypriot accent did not make for a happy union. Perhaps one day I will try again.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:39 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:It's interesting how often in Homer whenever there is question of how people treat each other, the focus is on outward reactions rather than emotions. Here Laertes (not Odysseus!) avoided the anger of his wife by not sleeping with Eurycleia, while we would say that he didn't want to hurt her feelings.
An interesting point, although I have difficulty with the way you have formulated it. I don't see that avoiding someone's anger and not wanting to hurt someone's feelings are alternative ways of expressing the same thing. Perhaps that's not what you meant.

I wonder, however, if Laertes is motivated by not wanting to hurt his wife's feelings? Seeking to avoid an angry reaction seems to me to be about self-preservation rather than concern for someone else's feelings. If he were concerned about her feelings perhaps he wouldn't have bought and brought a female slave home, giving her equal status to his wife. Perhaps because what Laertes does is such an unusual course for a homeric hero it implies he does have conflicting feelings of care for his wife on the one hand and satisfying his appetite on the other. Perhaps it's a mixture of both feeling care and fear of wrath. The feeling of care is rather oblique.

At line 420 we do have an example where Telemachus says one thing but thinks another which gives some hint to his emotional state. So homeric characters do have an interior life which we can sometimes glimpse.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:33 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:39 pm
I wonder, however, if Laertes is motivated by not wanting to hurt his wife's feelings?
That's a legitimate question, and I can't tell you for sure. There is no doubt that the characters have an interior life, as for example line 420 testifies. But I meant something different: I challenge you to find one single instance in Homer where a character says or does something to another character just in order to provoke an emotional response without immediate external repercussions. It seems to me that Homer simply has no way to say "he didn't want to hurt her feelings".

In the same way I don't think there are many instances where the inner sentiments of a character towards another character are described without an outward expression of those sentiments, or at least contemplated expression. φιλέω doesn't qualify, because it usually if not always means "treat with affection" rather than just "love" (hence the meaning "kiss", though I'm not sure if it exists in Homer). Phrases like κεδνὰ ἰδυῖα (Od. 1.428), ἀνάκτεσιν ἤπια εἰδώς (Od. 15.557) might qualify though. But even there it is question of loyalty, and the point is that these servants can be trusted should the need arise, it's not so much about their interior life.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:30 pm

In γ, what exactly are Menelaos and Agamemon arguing about in Nestor's account? I don't know ερυκακεειν in βουλετο γαρ ρα / λαον ερυκακεειν ρεξαι θ ιερας εκατομβας, but it sounds like the difference is that Agamemnon wants to sacrifice before he goes to appease (? - εξακεσαιτο) the δεινον χολον of Athena. But it's not going to persuade her since the immortal gods don't change their minds easily ου γαρ τ αιψα θεων τρεπεται νοος αιεν εοντων.

And then Zeus εστορεσεν ποντον. The verb makes me think "darken" for some reason, but I don't actually know it -- did he send a storm?
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seneca2008
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:57 pm

Menelaus wants to go home and Agamemnon wants to delay the departure to make a sacrifice to Athena to appease her (ἐξακέομαι heal completely - make amends). ἐρυκακέειν is aor inf of ἐρύκω curb, keep back.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:19 am

Good, that's what I understood for the context. I had gotten used to breezing through lately, but the description of the return took me at least 5 times through, if not more.
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by jeidsath » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:40 am

donhamiltontx wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:22 pm
Manuel wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:56 pm
...a thread where everyone does a blind translation of a few passages by themselves...
What you suggest is a good idea, and such projects have already been done.
One such still active thread about Odyssey 6 is here: Odyssey 6 Reading Group.
The "blind translation" is the operative part of the suggestion, and I'm not aware of its being tried as a thread.

As fun and rewarding as they are, the Iliad and Odyssey have had far more secondary literature written about them than they really deserve, and it makes sense to think of tricks to keep threads text-focused.
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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:45 pm

jeidsath wrote: the Iliad and Odyssey have had far more secondary literature written about them than they really deserve,
I nearly ignored this but I thought I can't let it pass. Perhaps its a joke?

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:00 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:45 pm
jeidsath wrote: the Iliad and Odyssey have had far more secondary literature written about them than they really deserve,
I nearly ignored this but I thought I can't let it pass. Perhaps its a joke?
Well, you can never have too much good secondary literature on the foundation for the Western literary tradition, I should think. But anything which generates a lot of good scholarship will also attract bad, and that we could do without.
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καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:01 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:40 am
As fun and rewarding as they are, the Iliad and Odyssey have had far more secondary literature written about them than they really deserve, and it makes sense to think of tricks to keep threads text-focused.
Funny, I've actually read a scholarly article about the quarrel of Agamemnon and Menelaus, about which there is no mention anywhere else – I didn't tell you about it because of the casual nature of this thread. :D Anyway, I don't remember the gist of the argument any more but I would have found the piece.

Are you insinuating that when I bought the Lexikon des Frühgriechischen Epos and "forgot" to tell my wife about the price, it was all for nothing?

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:23 pm

Ah, I found it. Really, no need to thank me!

This articles advances a theory that this quarrel points to a different tradition where Menelaus is not the same mild-mannered fellow as we see him in the Iliad, always subordinate to Agamemnon.

https://www.academia.edu/5829023/Quarre ... d_Menelaus.

(Poor Joel! No matter how try to keep it simple, we won't let you.)

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by seneca2008 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:39 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:But I meant something different: I challenge you to find one single instance in Homer where a character says or does something to another character just in order to provoke an emotional response without immediate external repercussions. It seems to me that Homer simply has no way to say "he didn't want to hurt her feelings".
I have thought about this but I am having difficulty in understanding the point you are making. Assuming you don’t exactly mean “just in order” which implies a rather gratuitous provocation, are you saying that Homeric characters always react explicitly and in a concrete way to interactions with other characters? If you are saying that doesn’t the example I quoted at 420 provide a counter example? Telemachus keeps his true thoughts to himself.

I am sure I have not understood you properly but it sounds like you are making an interesting point about Homeric psychology. Could you elaborate? Maybe this deserves its own thread?

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Re: Vacation reading

Post by donhamiltontx » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:59 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:40 am
donhamiltontx wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:22 pm
Manuel wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:56 pm
...a thread where everyone does a blind translation of a few passages by themselves...
What you suggest is a good idea, and such projects have already been done.
One such still active thread about Odyssey 6 is here: Odyssey 6 Reading Group.
The "blind translation" is the operative part of the suggestion, and I'm not aware of its being tried as a thread.

Actually what I was suggesting that a member could simply start a thread about a "blind" reading of a passage. Like, who wants to join me in reading, say, a Homeric hymn, without any aids whatsoever (except the dictionary, of course)? [BTW, this is NOT a suggestion to be taken seriously from me!]
ἐς Τροίαν πειρώμενοι ἦνθον ᾿Αχαιοί,
καλλίστα παίδων: πείρᾳ θην πάντα τελεῖται.
Theocritus, Idyll 15

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