Reading Thucydides 2014

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Qimmik
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by Qimmik » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:09 pm

It's my idea that φαίνομαι + participle should probably be translated in a way that implies less absolute certainty and more reliance on the absence of evidence when referring to events in the remote past than when referring to contemporary events. But in neither case does φαίνομαι + participle suggest that appearances don't necessarily reflect reality (as would be the case with φαίνομαι + infinitive).

In English, "apparently" or "it appears that" or "evidently" don't carry an implication that things aren't as they seem unless you go on to say so.

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pster
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by pster » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:26 pm

That seems like a perfectly reasonable position. But if I wanted to be difficult I would point out that while that may help with Thucydides translation, grammar doesn't track whether something is remote in the past. And moreover, participles have aspect meaning only, while the time is tracked by the tense of the main verb, which is not on the table. So the question remains: where did Smyth get his claim?

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pster
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by pster » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:32 pm

I'm not saying Smyth is wrong. But it is a very interesting claim and I want to know whether there is something to it.

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by John W. » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:10 pm

pster wrote:I'm not saying Smyth is wrong. But it is a very interesting claim and I want to know whether there is something to it.
I'm not sure why Smyth felt moved to differentiate the aorist participle in section 1965; in section 2143 he just refers to 'φαίνομαι with part.' as meaning 'I am plainly', and gives an example with a present participle. Perhaps it's just a case of 'Even Homer nods'! (Incidentally, in section 1965 I think his wording 'it will appear' may be an old idiom for 'it will be apparent/clear' rather than 'it will seem'.)

I've had a look in Goodwin's Moods and Tenses (1889 edn), which mentions the idiom in section 914.5. Regarding φαίνομαι + participle = 'manifestly', and φαίνομαι + infinitive = 'seems to', Goodwin comments that this distinction 'generally holds ... but in some cases the two constructions cannot be distinguished in sense.' Goodwin makes no mention of any distinction between aorist and other participles.

I see there's another example coming up in Thucydides 1.11.1:

φαίνονται δ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἐνταῦθα πάσῃ τῇ δυνάμει χρησάμενοι

which I've translated:

'it is clear that even then they did not employ their whole force'.

Best wishes,

John

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by pster » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:46 am

Marchant says that this τε is displaced. Is it? 1.3.4:

οἱ δ᾽ οὖν ὡς ἕκαστοι Ἕλληνες κατὰ πόλεις τε ὅσοι ἀλλήλων ξυνίεσαν καὶ ξύμπαντες ὕστερον κληθέντες οὐδὲν πρὸ τῶν Τρωικῶν δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν καὶ ἀμειξίαν ἀλλήλων ἁθρόοι ἔπραξαν.

Here's my reading.

οἱ (δ᾽ οὖν) (ὡς ἕκαστοι) Ἕλληνες κατὰ πόλεις τε ὅσοι ἀλλήλων ξυνίεσαν καὶ ξύμπαντες ὕστερον κληθέντες οὐδὲν πρὸ τῶν Τρωικῶν δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν καὶ ἀμειξίαν ἀλλήλων ἁθρόοι ἔπραξαν.

So, the Greeks, each by itself, both city by city as many as understood each other, and later all (so) denominated...

Or maybe better, viewing ὡς just as a strengthener:

So, all the damned Greeks, both city by city as many as understood each other, and later all (so) denominated...

τε doesn't come directly after κατὰ because κατὰ πόλεις gets treated as a unit.

And so "both...as many as...and...all together..." is in apposition to "the Greeks".

Marchant says:

οἱ ... ὡς ἕκαστοι ... κληθέντες—the main subject is οἱ Ἕλληνες κληθέντες, those who came to be called H. This is divided into (a) ὡς ἕκαστοι κατὰ πόλεις τε ὅσοι ἀλλήλων ξυνίεσαν, referring to καθ᾽ ἑκάστους μὲν ἤδη ... Ἕλληνας 3.2; (b) καὶ ξύμπαντες ὕστερον, referring to οὐ μέντοι ... ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι. In (a) τε = both is misplaced, the irregularity being explained by the fact that κατὰ ... ξυνιέσαν is added to ὡς ἕκαστοι as an afterthought. Possibly, however, τε = and, but it is hard to see any distinction between ὡς ἕκαστοι and κατὰ π. The sentence is overloaded, since ὕστερον, i e. long after the Trojan War (cf. 3.3), is combined with a statement of what happened πρὸ τῶν Τρωικῶν. Observe also that this apparent recapitulation (οἱ δ᾽ οὖν κτλ.) does not agree entirely with the statements made in 3.2, where nothing is said about a common language. Thuc., as others have noticed, does not seem to have a clear view of the matter.

But I don't really see a problem where he does. And Cameron doesn't seem to agree that οἱ Ἕλληνες κληθέντες is the subject but rather sees what follows as explaining ὡς ἕκαστοι.

More generally, is it just me, or do commentaries not only not agree on what the solution, but at least half the time don't even agree on what the problem is?

Thoughts?

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by John W. » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:08 pm

pster wrote:Marchant says that this τε is displaced. Is it? 1.3.4:

οἱ δ᾽ οὖν ὡς ἕκαστοι Ἕλληνες κατὰ πόλεις τε ὅσοι ἀλλήλων ξυνίεσαν καὶ ξύμπαντες ὕστερον κληθέντες οὐδὲν πρὸ τῶν Τρωικῶν δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν καὶ ἀμειξίαν ἀλλήλων ἁθρόοι ἔπραξαν.


More generally, is it just me, or do commentaries not only not agree on what the solution, but at least half the time don't even agree on what the problem is?

Thoughts?
Re your last point, it isn't just you! As you suggest, commentators not infrequently disagree on the precise nature of the problem in a particular passage, not just on the solution. Moreover some commentators skate silently over passages which have caused others considerable angst!

I think you're probably right about the reason for the placement of τε.

My own rendition of the passage is:

'Anyway, the various peoples called Hellenes – those who acquired this name city by city, in the case of all who came to understand a common language, and to whom it was collectively applied later on – achieved nothing jointly before the Trojan War on account of their weakness and lack of contact with each other.'

Comparing it with yours, the main difference appears to be that I've taken κληθέντες as going with οἱ δ᾽ οὖν ὡς ἕκαστοι Ἕλληνες, and as then being explained by κατὰ πόλεις τε ὅσοι ἀλλήλων ξυνίεσαν, καὶ ξύμπαντες ὕστερον [κληθέντες]. On this interpretation, ὡς will be fulfilling its familiar role when conjoined with an adverb or (as here) adjective, as part of an adverbial expression, i.e. ὡς ἕκαστοι ... κληθέντες. This use is common in Thucydides, e.g. at 1.15.2: κατ᾽ ἀλλήλους δὲ μᾶλλον ὡς ἕκαστοι οἱ ἀστυγείτονες ἐπολέμουν, 'but rather neighbouring cities individually warred with each other'.

I'll have another look and let you know if I have any further (or second!) thoughts on this passage.

Best wishes,

John

Qimmik
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by Qimmik » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:21 pm

Here's a very tentative alternative suggestion--and I offer it without any confidence that it's correct:

οἱ δ᾽ οὖν Ἕλληνες

ὡς ἕκαστοι κατὰ πόλεις τε ὅσοι ἀλλήλων ξυνίεσαν

καὶ ξύμπαντες ὕστερον κληθέντες

οὐδὲν πρὸ τῶν Τρωικῶν δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν καὶ ἀμειξίαν ἀλλήλων ἁθρόοι ἔπραξαν.

Suggested rough interpretation:

The Hellenes did nothing jointly before the Trojan War on account of weakness and isolation from one another, either in confederations of communities [ὡς ἕκαστοι κατὰ πόλεις] to the extent they could understand each others' dialects, or as the whole nation subsequently called "Hellenes."

But I think this passage could be read a number of different ways. And, yes, commentators do differ markedly in their interpretations. But Thucydides is a thorny text, written 2400 years ago in a deliberately tortured style. It's to be expected that many passages won't be well understood.

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pster
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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by pster » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:01 pm

1.4:
Μίνως γὰρ παλαίτατος ὧν ἀκοῇ ἴσμεν ναυτικὸν ἐκτήσατο...

Obviously, there is some incorporation of the relative into its antecedent. But beyond that, is there an implicit verb or participle here?

Or is this just to be translated: For Minos, oldest of those whom we know, established a navy...

That seems to have scope problems and thus an incorrect sense.

In English, we would more often say something like: For Minos was the oldest of those whom we know to have established a navy...

If we wanted to translate this back into Greek, what would we say?

I'm scared. I'll work on it tomorrow.

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by NateD26 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:35 pm

The sense is that Minos was the first one (the eldest) of whom we know by hearsay/report/evidence
to have established an army.

But the question is what was the original relative pronoun? Why is it genitive plural and not
singular? Or, better yet, why is the verb singular and not plural?
Is it partitive - "Of all the people who've established an army at one point or another,
Minos was the first one we know to have done so", that is, παλαίτατος τούτων ὃ... ἐκτήσατο?
Seems like quite an ellipsis much more than a mere attraction.
Nate.

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Re: Reading Thucydides 2013

Post by John W. » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:06 pm

Can't we take παλαίτατος here as an instance of an adjective being used where in English we would generally expect an adverb (Smyth 1042-3)? In other words, 'Minos most ancient(ly) of those of whom we know by report acquired a navy', i.e. 'Now of those of whom we have knowledge by report, Minos was the first to acquire a navy'?

John

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