A Christmas treat

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jeidsath
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A Christmas treat

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:05 am

This is a bit early, but it will probably take me a few weeks. (Or months?)
Τοῦ ἐν ἁγίοις πατρὸς ἡμῶν Μεθοδίου πρεσβυτέρου καὶ ἡγουμένου εἰς τὸν βίον καὶ τὰ λείποντα τοῦ ὁσίου πατρὸς ἡμῶν Νικολάου ἀρχιεπισκόπου Μύρων.

Ἐπειδὴ ἡ τῶν καθ’ ἡμᾶς λόγων πλοκὴ τῇ ἀσαφείᾳ τῆς πρωχονοίας τὸ γρῖφόν σοι ἐντυγχάνοντι ἐπέχειν νομίζεται, ζητεῖ δὲ ἡ καθαρά σου ἁπλότης, ὦ ἀνδρῶν ἄριστε καὶ περιφανέστατε Θεόδωρε, λόγον ἐγκωμίου τῇ φράσει ἀποίκιλον καὶ νοήμασι τὸν εὐκάτοπτον, πρὸς δὲ καὶ τῷ ποσῷ τὸν ἀπέριττον — ἐγώ, ῖνα μὴ δόξω ἀνήκοος καὶ ὅπως σοι φανείην παρέτοιμος, τῇ πίστει καὶ κελεύσει σου χαριζόμενος, ἀνιστορῆσαι μᾶλλον τὰ τοῦ περιβοήτου Νικολάου μέγιστα κατορθώματα καὶ οὐκ αὖθις ἐγκωμιάσαι τὸ λοιπὸν προαιρήσομαι, ὡς τάχα τῆς ἱστορίας συνήθως ἐχούσης τὸ εὐκατάκουστον.

Source
From our holy father, Methodius, our elder and leader, the biography and remnants of our pious father Nikolaus, Archbishop of Myra.

After complicated discussion among ourselves, with our poverty of mind, the riddle that you left is considered locked. So your unblemished simplicity is being sought, O noble and most famous Theodore, the plain-spoken answer with simple words and obvious definitions, and straight to the point -- I, that I may not expect to appear to you ignorant and unprepared, am obliging your faith and command with more unrecorded great virtuous acts of the famous Nikolaus (and what is not laudable I’ve deliberately left out so that the stories will quickly be grasped).

EDIT: προαιρήσομαι was confusing me. Updated the last sentence, replacing "and not once again to praise what I’ve deliberately left out."
Last edited by jeidsath on Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Christmas treat

Post by bedwere » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:11 am

I'd say that is not early at all, since tomorrow, at least in the Gregorian calendar, is the feast of St. Nicholas.

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Re: A Christmas treat

Post by jeidsath » Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:43 pm

My wife told me the same thing today. Ah well. Besides, 2015 may well be a good goal. I've had to look up nearly every other word in Lampe (thanks to @Shenoute in the other thread for the link to his Lexicon).

Here is most of page 1 (out of 10), and a revision of what I posted above. I'm hoping that the actual biography is easier as he seems to promise:
Τοῦ ἐν ἁγίοις πατρὸς ἡμῶν Μεθοδίου πρεσβυτέρου καὶ ἡγουμένου εἰς τὸν βίον καὶ τὰ λείποντα τοῦ ὁσίου πατρὸς ἡμῶν Νικολάου ἀρχιεπισκόπου Μύρων.

Ἐπειδὴ ἡ τῶν καθ’ ἡμᾶς λόγων πλοκὴ τῇ ἀσαφείᾳ τῆς πρωχονοίας τὸ γρῖφόν σοι ἐντυγχάνοντι ἐπέχειν νομίζεται, ζητεῖ δὲ ἡ καθαρά σου ἁπλότης, ὦ ἀνδρῶν ἄριστε καὶ περιφανέστατε Θεόδωρε, λόγον ἐγκωμίου τῇ φράσει ἀποίκιλον καὶ νοήμασι τὸν εὐκάτοπτον, πρὸς δὲ καὶ τῷ ποσῷ τὸν ἀπέριττον — ἐγώ, ῖνα μὴ δόξω ἀνήκοος καὶ ὅπως σοι φανείην παρέτοιμος, τῇ πίστει καὶ κελεύσει σου χαριζόμενος, ἀνιστορῆσαι μᾶλλον τὰ τοῦ περιβοήτου Νικολάου μέγιστα κατορθώματα καὶ οὐκ αὖθις ἐγκωμιάσαι τὸ λοιπὸν προαιρήσομαι, ὡς τάχα τῆς ἱστορίας συνήθως ἐχούσης τὸ εὐκατάκουστον. εἰ δέ τι συμπλεκείη που τῇ ἱστορί ἐγκώμιον, θεῷ ἀναθετέον τὸ χάρισμα καὶ τῇ πίστει σου, τῷ δόντι καὶ τῇ χορηγηθείσῃ παρὰ τῆς αὐτοῦ μεγαλοδωρεᾶς, εὕρασθαι σὺν ἐξηγήσεσι τὸ ἐγκώμιον. ἔστι δὲ τῶν περὶ πάντας ἀκροατὰς διηγήσεων πλησιέστερον, μετὰ τὸ εἰπεῖν γένος καὶ πόλιν καὶ ἐπιτήδευμα, τὴν ἐκ νεαροῦ τοῦ σώματος ἀγωγήν τε καὶ αὔξησιν διαγράψασθαι, ἵν’ ὁμολογουμένην ἤτοι θαυμαζομένην τὴν ἀνάταξιν ἤ ἐπαύξησιν εἰς δύναμιν ἐκ δυνάμεως καὶ πρὸς τοιάνδε ἐκ τοιᾶσδε ἀγωγὴν ἤ προσαγωγὴν ὁ ἱστορεῖσθαι τολμώμενος τῇ τῶν ἀκουόντων διανοίᾳ σαφέστατα ἐγκατάθηται. καὶ δὴ θεοῦ διδοῦντος λόγον ἐν ἀνοίξει εὐθέτῳ τοῦ στόματος, ἅπερ ὄψις εἴτ’ οὖν ἐν βίβλοις ἀνάγνωσις δέδωκε, ταῦτα διηγησόμενος καὶ παρέστηκα.
From the our holy father Methodius, elder and leader, the biography and leavings of our pious father Nikolaus, archbishop of Myra:

After our complicated discussion, the intricate question that you left was thought to be unsolvable due to my poverty of mind. But your unblemished purity seeks, O Theodore, best and most famous of men, an encomium using simple words and clear images, over and above this a quantity of straightforwardness — I, that I may not appear to have ignored you nor appear to you unprepared, am obliging your faith and request with more unrecorded great virtuous acts of the much spoken of Nikolaus, and I have deliberately left out anything not laudatory [ἐγκωμιάσαι], so that the story will quickly grab hold of the understanding. And if somewhere the encomium’s story was tangled up, by the grace that is God’s and your faith, the giving and the bestowing of from his generosity, the encomium was found through interpretation. [[Very shaky on this next sentence, will come back to it later: But it is the closest to the stories heard by all, speaking of the family and city and trade, the raising up from youth and the training of his growth, that the pattern of the marvel to that all speak goes from strength to strength, from to such to such, bringing or giving, I undertake the narrative that the thought of those hearing may shine inwardly most wisely.]]. And indeed, the speech given by God that he well arranges from my open mouth, just as perhaps the snake that we read of in the Bible [pl.] that he has given, this I shall narrate and have set down [future + perfect? I will look that up later and revise].
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Re: A Christmas treat

Post by mwh » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:47 am

This is your idea of a treat?!

A couple of bits to give you a little boost:
(Since you want just a simple straightforward account, to oblige you) from now on I’ll choose rather to tell the story of N’s greatest successes and not to sing his praises over again, since perhaps a narrative is usually easy on the ear. And if encomium somehow gets intertwined with the narrative, that gift of grace is to be attributed to God and to your faith, to God that gives and to your faith that is furnished by His generosity …

… I stand ready to tell what eye-witness or book-reading has provided.

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Re: A Christmas treat

Post by jeidsath » Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:58 pm

Yes, that would make a lot of sense. I was trying to make all of the ἐγκωμι- mean the same thing (so substantive panegyric and verb panegyricize). That made me a little confused by why Theordore was seeking for "λόγον ἐγκωμίου τῇ φράσει ἀποίκιλον" but Methodius would say "καὶ οὐκ αὖθις ἐγκωμιάσαι τὸ λοιπὸν προαιρήσομαι." It does make more sense to consider the verb as "praising" rather than "making a praise narrative."

I'm noticing that this exercise is really causing me to absorb the text. I doubt that the final translation will look anything like the first draft. That's what I was worried about: I thought that writing it down early would fix bad initial interpretations in my head. Also, the next section seems much easier than the first.
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Re: A Christmas treat

Post by mwh » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:55 am

All of the ἐγκωμι- do mean the same thing, and perhaps I should not have varied it. As I read it, Theodore is asking not for a λογος εγκωμιου, as you seem to take it, but for a λογος unadorned with the diction of an εγκωμιον; he wants a plain factual account instead of a prettied-up encomium. Encomia are written in a more highflown style.

Yes perhaps it was not the best idea to attempt a translation before figuring out what the gist of it all is; you won’t be left with much of your first drafts. But unless you’re steeped in this kind of greek (which I most certainly am not), this is a difficult passage. Start by casting out the snake! (psi not phi)

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Re: A Christmas treat

Post by jeidsath » Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:43 pm

εὐχαριστώ! τὸ μὲν ὁρᾶν λέγομεν ὄψιν· ὁ δὲ ὄφις ἐστι φρονιμώτατος πάντων τῶν θηρίων.
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