Herdotus, III, 36,5

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Bart
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Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Bart » Wed May 29, 2019 6:41 pm

I have a question about he following sentence. Cambyses, growing more and more insane, tries to kill Croesus, who narrowly escapes. Then Herodotus writes:

οἱ δὲ θεράποντες ἐπιστάμενοι τὸν τρόπον αὐτοῦ κατακρύπτουσι τὸν Κροῖσον ἐπὶ τῷδε τῷ λόγῳ ὥστε, εἰ μὲν μεταμελήσῃ τῷ Καμβύσῃ καὶ ἐπιζητέῃ τὸν Κροῖσον, οἳ δὲ ἐκφήναντες αὐτὸν δῶρα λάμψονται ζωάγρια Κροίσου, ἢν δὲ μὴ μεταμέληται μηδὲ ποθέῃ μιν, τότε καταχρᾶσθαι.

(They, knowing Cambyses' mood, hid Croesus; intending to reveal him and receive gifts for saving his life, if Cambyses should repent and ask for Croesus, but if he should not repent nor wish Croesus back, then to kill the Lydian.)

The servants are pondering two possibilities: εἰ μὲν..... ἢν δὲ.... Are εἰ and ἢν equivalent here, or is there a distinction suggesting a difference in likelihood of one of them happening in the eye of the servants?

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Constantinus Philo » Wed May 29, 2019 7:00 pm

i think the one without ἀν is an archaism, otherwise they are the same
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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Paul Derouda » Thu May 30, 2019 7:40 am

My Herodotus für den Schulgebrauch erklärt von Dr. K. Abicht (*) has an answer, I think:
εἰ c. Indic. Fut. in protasi. Dem εἰ c. Indic. Fut. enspricht im folgenden ἤν c. conj. S. z. c. 35 S. 5, 38.
I don't know what " S. z. c." stands for, but apparently this means "see Chapter 35, page 5 line 38 with note". The note there reads:
ἤν δ᾽ ἁμάρτω. Der Konjunktiv mit ἤν in protasi im Gedanken hier nicht verschieden von dem Optativ mit εἰ (s. o. εἰ τύχοιμι). In ähnlicher Weise wechseln als Formen des hypothetischen Vordersatzes εἰ c. Indic. Fut. (wenig verschieden von εἰ c. optat.) und ἤν cum coniunctivo c. 36.
So, if I understand this correctly, whether it's εἰ or ἤν depends on which verb form is used in the protasis. And that, according to Abicht, has little effect on the meaning (but it would be nice if someone like mwh who really knows Greek might tell us if he agrees - but I haven't been very active here lately, so I don't know whether he's still hanging around).

(*) A work similar to Ameis-Hentze-Cauer for Homer and almost as good, which I find very helpful and I suspect that Bart might enjoy as well.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by seneca2008 » Thu May 30, 2019 1:06 pm

I would have thought that any difference in the likelihood of the two "if" clauses would be expressed by the mood of the verbs rather than the difference between εἰ/ἢν.

εἰ μὲν μεταμελήσῃ τῷ Καμβύσῃ καὶ ἐπιζητέῃ τὸν Κροῖσον, οἳ δὲ ἐκφήναντες αὐτὸν δῶρα λάμψονται ζωάγρια Κροίσου,

Here μεταμελήσῃ is aorist subjunctive (ἐκφήναντες is an aorist) and λάμψονται future.

Note See below
Abicht seems to think it is an (Ionic) future indicative.


εἰ plus subjunctive seems unusual. εἰ is usually followed by indicative or optative. (However 49.15 of the Cambridge Classical Greek Grammar says in relation to habitual conditions that Herodotus uses εἰ plus subjunctive)

ἢν δὲ μὴ μεταμέληται μηδὲ ποθέῃ μιν, τότε καταχρᾶσθαι.

μεταμέληται and ποθέῃ are present subjunctives, καταχρᾶσθαι a present middle infinitive

So the apodosis is in the first case future and in the second an infinite. I can't see basis for deciding here whether one is more likely than the other. There would have been other ways for Herodotus to make a difference in probability clear and that he doesn't, seems to me, to indicate that they are equally likely.

I would be grateful for any corrections to this.
Last edited by seneca2008 on Thu May 30, 2019 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Paul Derouda » Thu May 30, 2019 2:10 pm

That's how I understand Abicht. And if I understand him correctly, according to him there's little difference in the meaning here between the different moods. I too would be grateful for any corrections!

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by RandyGibbons » Thu May 30, 2019 2:55 pm

Here μεταμελήσῃ is aorist subjunctive
Abicht seems to think it is an (Ionic) future indicative.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Bart » Thu May 30, 2019 7:06 pm

Thanks for giving this your thoughts.

Concerning Abicht: I think you mentioned him before, Paul, but I somehow forgot. How foolish of me, for his commentary seems exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Aetos » Fri May 31, 2019 3:28 pm

Sorry to have been gone so long, but one of my projects happens to be reading Herodotus ( along with the Iliad and working through Dr. Claxton's Attica, as well as refreshing my Latin). I read this passage just a couple of weeks ago and didn't give it much more thought than to consider it having a pair of conditional clauses with a pair of expected outcomes. So I have to also thank you, Paul, for mentioning Abicht. Up till now, I have been referring to the How & Wells commentary in Perseus, which is good for background information but doesn't usually address grammar.

In any event, when Randy mentioned that Abicht had the first clause in the indicative (μεταμελήσεται… λάμψονται), I dug a little deeper and saw that in Hude's Critical Apparatus (I'm using the OCT) μεταμελήσεται was an alternative reading for μεταμελήσῃ. I'm probably mistaken, but to me that means there is a future most vivid condition followed by a future more vivid condition. In Hude's edition, there would simply be 2 future more vivid conditions. My other thought (and this is probably a stretch) is that this is one big result clause with option 1 being more probable denoted by the indicative and option 2 being less probable denoted by the infinitive. I don't even know if that's possible and considering that Cambyses used option 3 (kill them all (except for Croesus) !!!), Herodotus, knowing how this was going to turn out, didn't really need to "nuance" the possible outcomes in this particular sentence.
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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri May 31, 2019 3:47 pm

Thanks, Aetos, for anticipating a request I was going to make, i.e., for someone with a critical edition to check the apparatus.

Do I understand the following correctly?:

Abicht reads εἰ μὲν μεταμελήσῃ τῷ Καμβύσῃ καὶ ἐπιζητέῃ τὸν Κροῖσον and takes μεταμελήσῃ to be an indicative future? Does he take ἐπιζητέῃ to be (indicative) future also?

The OCT reads ...? Aetos, could you kindly show us the text (both verbs, please) the OCT goes with, and tell us, are μεταμελήσῃ and μεταμελήσεται manuscript variants, or is one or the other an emendation?

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Aetos » Fri May 31, 2019 4:59 pm

Hi Randy,
In the critical apparatus, here are the following alternative readings:
μεταμελήσῃ = μεταμελήσει d [V] P
ἐπιζητῇ = ἐπιζητεῖ P : -τήσει d (ει D2) [V]

d= D cod. Vaticanus 2369
R cod. Vaticanus 123
S cod. Sancroftianus (Cantabr. Emm. 30)
V cod. Vindobonensis LXXXV
P= cod. Parisinus 1633

Abicht's edition uses μεταμελήσει and ἐπιζητήσει, otherwise the same text as in the OCT. Here's Abicht's text:https://archive.org/details/p1p2herodot ... /page/n457
Bart's quotation above is the same as in the OCT., except I think he meant to write ἐπιζητῇ, not ἐπιζητέῃ.
What's interesting is that both Hude and Abicht made use of Llhardy, Stein and Bredow in compiling their editions.
EDIT: corrected μεταμελήσεται back to its correct form in the text. D'oh!
Last edited by Aetos on Fri May 31, 2019 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri May 31, 2019 6:48 pm

Abicht's edition uses μεταμελήσεται and ἐπιζητήσει
Thank you, Aetos. Though thanks to your citation I see that Abicht's text is μεταμελήσει, not μεταμελήσεται.

So that clears up one point: When Abicht says indicative future, he's talking about μεταμελήσει, not μεταμελήσῃ. Seneca is clearly correct that μεταμελήσῃ is aorist subjunctive. I'm still mystified in that case by the absence of ἄν/ἤν. Seneca, thanks for the reference to the Cambridge grammar, but the condition in Herodotus doesn't seem to be habitual, do you agree?

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri May 31, 2019 7:27 pm

Stupid of me, not to notice that text is not the same in Abicht!

I suppose it's really an editorial decision; I see that both variants -σει and -σῃ are in the manuscripts, and I'm sure that in general these are very easily corrupted from one form to the other, to the extent that in most relevant places you'll find both variants?

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Aetos » Fri May 31, 2019 7:33 pm

Geez, after all that fine attention to detail, I blow it on a typo! Anyway, I'm going out on a limb here and say that whether or not these are fut. most/more vivid conditionals, in neither case would ἄν be required. If I understand future conditionals (and I probably don't), the only time ἄν would be required is in a fut. less vivid conditon, where you'd have εἰ +the opt. in the protasis, and the opt. + ἄν in the apodosis. ἤν is standing in for ἐάν in the second condition, which would take a subjunctive in the protasis and fut. ind. (or its equivalent) in the apodosis.
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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri May 31, 2019 7:35 pm

By the way, my new OCT by Wilson reads the same as Hude, but the apparatus is more compact:

μεταμελήσῃ A: -σει d
ἐπιζητῇ A: -τήσει d

A is Laurentianus plut. 70.3 and d a consensus of a number of manuscripts (same as in Hude?).

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Aetos » Fri May 31, 2019 7:44 pm

I didn't know the CA had changed again. I did notice that the organisation of the Sigla had changed from the editions posted on archive.org and my hard copy. I'm guessing that d now includes the Parisinus codex. A is the Laurentianus LXX,3 in Hude as well. In any case, Wilson's edition would certainly be more up to date than Hude. At any rate, I would imagine that the organisation of the Sigla is up to the editor.
P.S. @Randy: I wouldn't be familiar with any of this if I hadn't taken your suggestion and read "Scribes & Scholars"!

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by RandyGibbons » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:16 am

Paul, just to beat the last living daylight out of this horse, could you affirm what I think is the case, that the new Wilson OCT goes with A (μεταμελήσῃ, ἐπιζητῇ)? If so, I still don't understand the absence of ἄν/ἤν. With all due respect to Herodotus, is it possible that he was a little rusty on his conditionals, or maybe was traveling and didn't have his Smyth at hand?

Aetos, glad you liked 'Scribes'!

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Aetos » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:53 am

I do know he was fond of introducing his apodoseis with δέ after personal pronouns, which explains "οἱ δὲ έκφήναντες…". From what I've read, he occasionally omits ἄν, which may explain why we see εἰ, instead of ἤν (ἐι+ἄν) in the first condition, εἰ … μεταμελήσῃ, οἱ δὲ … λάμψονται.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by RandyGibbons » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:18 am

he was fond of introducing his apodoseis with δέ
Yes, that's called an apodοtic δέ (Smyth 2837). I see it a lot in the medical treatises of the Hippocratic Corpus (Ionic and for the most part roughly contemporary with Herodotus).
From what I've read, he occasionally omits ἄν
I believe you, but do you have a citation? For me that would be a great takeaway from this thread.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Aetos » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:38 pm

This is from Macaulay's notes to Book III:
https://archive.org/details/book3edited ... t/page/126
Amy Barbour also talks about it in her Selections from Herodotus, Introduction, p. 39 (para. 156):
https://archive.org/details/Barbour1001
Smyth 2283 mentions how ἤν derived (εἰ & ἄν), so if you omit ἄν, you're left with εἰ
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... thp%3D2283

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by RandyGibbons » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:50 pm

That seals the deal for me. Thanks!

Bart asked,
Are εἰ and ἢν equivalent here, or is there a distinction suggesting a difference in likelihood of one of them happening in the eye of the servants?
Bart, thanks for the post. Based on the discussion, unless I'm missing something, it seems the answer to your question is no, no difference. Herodotus (per Aetos' research) simply occasionally drops the ἄν in protases with the subjunctive. (Why he would do this in one protasis, but not the other, in the same sentence ... I guess we'll never know. And of course we can usually never put 100% trust in how well the manuscripts reflect what the author originally wrote.)

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Bart » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:45 pm

Thanks y'all, I agree that there is probably no difference. My question was in fact based on the fact that a Dutch commentator (Van Groningen) hints at a difference in likelihood of the two options. However I only have his commentary, not the text he is using, so maybe his comments reflect the same reasoning Aetos put forth when writing:
Aetos wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:28 pm
In any event, when Randy mentioned that Abicht had the first clause in the indicative (μεταμελήσεται… λάμψονται), I dug a little deeper and saw that in Hude's Critical Apparatus (I'm using the OCT) μεταμελήσεται was an alternative reading for μεταμελήσῃ. I'm probably mistaken, but to me that means there is a future most vivid condition followed by a future more vivid condition. In Hude's edition, there would simply be 2 future more vivid conditions. My other thought (and this is probably a stretch) is that this is one big result clause with option 1 being more probable denoted by the indicative and option 2 being less probable denoted by the infinitive.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Aetos » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:25 pm

I was a little sloppy in that first post, and corrected this mistake a couple posts later:

"In any event, when Randy mentioned that Abicht had the first clause in the indicative (μεταμελήσεται… λάμψονται), I dug a little deeper and saw that in Hude's Critical Apparatus (I'm using the OCT) μεταμελήσεται was an alternative reading for μεταμελήσῃ."

μεταμελήσεται should be μεταμελήσει, still indicative, just not middle/passive.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:47 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:16 am
Paul, just to beat the last living daylight out of this horse, could you affirm what I think is the case, that the new Wilson OCT goes with A (μεταμελήσῃ, ἐπιζητῇ)? If so, I still don't understand the absence of ἄν/ἤν. With all due respect to Herodotus, is it possible that he was a little rusty on his conditionals, or maybe was traveling and didn't have his Smyth at hand?
The Wilson OCT reads:
εἰ μὲν μεταμελήσῃ τῷ Καμβύσῃ καὶ ἐπιζητῇ τὸν Κροῖσον, οἱ δὲ ἐκφήναντες αὐτὸν δῶρα λάμψονται ζωάγρια Κροίσου, ἢν δὲ μὴ μεταμέληται μηδὲ ποθῇ μιν, τότε καταχρᾶσθαι.
Actually there is apparently a difference here with the old OCT in that ἐπιζητέῃ and ποθέῃ are contracted (assuming that the text pasted at the beginning of this thread is the old OCT). But otherwise they are the same. I only checked quickly that the tense and mood are the same, and didn't notice the contraction or lack thereof!

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Aetos » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:09 pm

Hi Paul,
That's the exact same text as in Hude, i.e. μεταμελήσῃ ,ἐπιζητῇ and ποθῇ are the same forms in Hude's edition(old version of the OCT). I think Bart got his quote from Perseus, which comes from the Loeb (Godley) edition.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by Bart » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:33 am

That’s correct.

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Re: Herdotus, III, 36,5

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:32 pm

For the record this is what the Cambridge Grammar says as a note under “habitual conditions”

“In poetry and Herodotus, ἄν is sometimes omitted ( εἰ + subj. is used)”.

But it also says what it calls “habitual conditions” is variously named by others. “Note 1: This type of condition is variously called ‘indefinite', ‘generic' or ‘general'. ” it seems difficult to fit the present case into that grouping.

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