Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

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Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:31 am

Welcome to the Odyssey Reading Group! Anyone is welcome to join, regardless of their Greek ability. If you’re itching to explore Homer’s epic tale of survival, adventure, love, lust, kinship, betrayal and spooky dead people, hop on in, you’ll be very welcome. People who have some Greek but have never tried reading Homer before are doubly welcome.

Check the introductory thread for a description of how the group works. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=69277&sid=1af751b1 ... bb1a8b67e6

Resources
We’re working from Geoffrey Steadman’s Odyssey Books 6-8, a freely-available pdf which you can download here https://geoffreysteadman.com/homers-odyssey-6-8/

An introduction to Book 6 and a list of resources for deeper study are available in the group dropbox folder https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bk06uapk0hhh ... 2wL-a?dl=0

Week 2: Friday 14th June
Next week we'll be reading Book 6 Lines 24-47 – Nausicaa's dream.


Text of lines 1-23

ὣς ὁ μὲν ἔνθα καθεῦδε πολύτλας δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς
ὕπνῳ καὶ καμάτῳ ἀρημένος· αὐτὰρ Ἀθήνη
βῆ ῥ ̓ ἐς Φαιήκων ἀνδρῶν δῆμόν τε πόλιν τε,
οἳ πρὶν μέν ποτ ̓ ἔναιον ἐν εὐρυχόρῳ Ὑπερείῃ,
ἀγχοῦ Κυκλώπων ἀνδρῶν ὑπερηνορεόντων,
οἵ σφεας σινέσκοντο, βίηφι δὲ φέρτεροι ἦσαν.
ἔνθεν ἀναστήσας ἄγε Ναυσίθοος θεοειδής,
εἷσεν δὲ Σχερίῃ, ἑκὰς ἀνδρῶν ἀλφηστάων,
ἀμφὶ δὲ τεῖχος ἔλασσε πόλει, καὶ ἐδείματο οἴκους,
καὶ νηοὺς ποίησε θεῶν, καὶ ἐδάσσατ ̓ ἀρούρας.
ἀλλ ̓ ὁ μὲν ἤδη κηρὶ δαμεὶς Ἅϊδόσδε βεβήκει,
Ἀλκίνοος δὲ τότ ̓ ἦρχε, θεῶν ἄπο μήδεα εἰδώς.
τοῦ μὲν ἔβη πρὸς δῶμα θεά, γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη,
νόστον Ὀδυσσῆι μεγαλήτορι μητιόωσα.
βῆ δ ̓ ἴμεν ἐς θάλαμον πολυδαίδαλον, ᾧ ἔνι κούρη
κοιμᾶτ ̓ ἀθανάτῃσι φυὴν καὶ εἶδος ὁμοίη,
Ναυσικάα, θυγάτηρ μεγαλήτορος Ἀλκινόοιο,
πὰρ δὲ δύ ̓ ἀμφίπολοι, Χαρίτων ἄπο κάλλος ἔχουσαι,
σταθμοῖϊν ἑκάτερθε· θύραι δ ̓ ἐπέκειντο φαειναί.
ἡ δ ̓ ἀνέμου ὡς πνοιὴ ἐπέσσυτο δέμνια κούρης,
στῆ δ ̓ ἄρ ̓ ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς, καί μιν πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν,
εἰδομένη κούρῃ ναυσικλειτοῖο Δύμαντος,
ἥ οἱ ὁμηλικίη μὲν ἔην, κεχάριστο δὲ θυμῷ.
Last edited by seanjonesbw on Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:34 am

Hi everyone! I hope you had a good time reading some Homer this week. I re-read books 1-6 in Emily Wilson's translation to get myself in the mood, which reminded me what a great story it is. If this is your first time reading the Odyssey and you have no idea what's happened in Books 1-5, I've uploaded an introduction to Book 6 in the dropbox folder with a summary of what's happened so far. At the beginning of Book 6, we leave Odysseus for 100 lines to get a little backstory for the Phaeacians, who will be very important in the next few books, and to be introduced to Nausikaa, the daughter of king Alkinoos.

I thought it would also be a good idea at this point to say what I, personally, am hoping to get out of the reading group – if anyone else would like to share what they're hoping for, too, that would be great. My main aim is to 'hear' Homer's voice when I'm reading – to be able to distinguish between changes of tone to the point where the character of the narrator shines through, rather than just being able to work out the face meaning of the text. If that's the 'wherefore' of the reading group, then I suppose the 'why' is to use Steadman's edition to not just build my passive vocabulary but to work intensively on small sections and pick apart the nuance, in the hope that it will develop that ability to 'hear' the narrator. Like I say, if you have any particular aims then please do share them.

As promised, I'll be kicking off the group with some of my own notes from the reading this week. Rather than posting every thought I've had and every bit of information I've tracked down, I thought a good format would be to pose some discussion questions based on my own reading. Some of these I've answered for myself this week, others I still don't know the answer to. I thought they would make a good starting point but feel free to bring up anything else you've been thinking about.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:37 am

Edit: Due to popular demand, I've edited my original list of discussion questions to be less overwhelming.

1. Who are the Cyclopes that were harassing the Phaeacians? Are these the same ones that Odysseus talks about later in the Odyssey? Are they really one-eyed?

2. Why are Nausicaa's slaves sleeping either side of the door?

3. Line 8: ἑκὰς ἀνδρῶν ἀλφηστάων - Steadman gives us “grain-getting, grain-eating” as the translation for ἀλφηστάων here. The word appears in several other Greek texts (e.g. Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes line 770), always as part of ἀνέρας ἀλφηστὰς. When we find out more about the Phaeacians later in Book 6, the implication here is clearly that they have moved ‘far away from other people’, so why this strange adjective?
Last edited by seanjonesbw on Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Aetos » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:33 am

Morphology questions:
Here are some brief notes from Stanford's Commentary:
Line 2: "Worn out with sleepiness and toil." ὕπνος is also used to denote sleepiness in the Iliad, Book X, 98.
Line 6: Stanford's comments are in line with Smyth, although he goes as far as to say -φι could be considered "almost a genuine case ending"
Line 7: ἀναστήσας (ingressive aorist), ἄγε - there was some prolongation to his leading, so imperfect, εἶσεν, - the act of settling, hence the aorist.
Line 11: This line is used also in Book 3, line 410. Homer has a quite a lot of formulaic expressions for dying.
Line16: φυὴν καὶ εἶδος specify in what respect Nausicaa is ὁμοίη (like, similar) to the immortals.
Line 23:Stanford doesn't comment on this, but I'm going with metrical convenience for ἔην. Each of those forms (ἦεν,ἤην,ἦν) is metrically different .

Metre:
ευ is a standard diphthong, so it gets one syllable. The one word that gets me is Ζεύς. Somehow one syllable just doesn't seem enough. Be on the lookout though for ἐύ!

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seneca2008 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:37 am

Thank you for starting this thread and for your commendable industry.

I think your post is much too long to invite a considered response. Posting all you can think of in one go might be overwhelming. Perhaps next time you might consider splitting it into separate posts - general questions (who are Cyclopes? etc). Specific grammatical questions (what is the accusative of respect?). My reaction is where do I start do I have time to answer these questions. If you had asked a few at a time it would feel more manageable. I know you have split your post into clear sections but responding feels like work.

Is it not possible for you to answer some of these questions yourself? A google search for Greek accusative of respect quickly brings you here http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ction%3D91. If you don't understand this you could ask here with a focussed question about what you don't understand.

"Handmaidens"

I note that you have read Emily Wilson's translation so you will know that she translates ἀμφίπολοι here as slaves.

Others will disagree but I don't like the translation "Handmaidens". There is a discussion here which started on Translation questions and mentioned Wilson's odyssey. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=68913&p=202366&hili ... ey#p202366

ὕπνῳ καὶ καμάτῳ ἀρημένος

You have to understand the oral origin of the poem and that it consists of phrases in various metrical arrangements. It is also poetry where the sound is an important factor. If you construe it as if it were prose you will go off in the wrong direction. That said surely being overcome by tiredness is not the same as being overcome by sleep, so there is no pleonasm?

Wilson's translation here is interesting "Odysseus had suffered. In exhaustion/ from all his long ordeals, the hero slept." That is pretty much how one might express it in English especially if one is sticking to a strict metrical scheme. But the Greek is obviously different. This immediately raises the problem of what a translation should be doing. Wilson can speak for herself on this in the introduction to her translation - a translator's note.

Grammatically surely it is "he slept overcome by sleep and tiredness". "ὕπνῳ καὶ καμάτῳ ἀρημένος" provides the explanation why he slept.

Thats enough for now

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:00 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:37 am
Is it not possible for you to answer some of these questions yourself? A google search for Greek accusative of respect quickly brings you here http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ction%3D91.
Point taken. I agree that it's a long post, but I should probably clarify what I've done here - this isn't a list of questions that I want people to help me answer. I went and looked up anything I didn't understand before putting the list together. Instead, this is a list of questions that I thought might arise for an intermediate reader, that would be useful to look up if they can't answer the question themselves. So what I'm hoping is that, as you've done, people might pick up on one or two points to react to.

Maybe next week I'll start with one question or point of interest instead and see how we go.
seneca2008 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:37 am
"Handmaidens"
I note that you have read Emily Wilson's translation so you will know that she translates ἀμφίπολοι here as slaves.
I agree - I actually took this from Murray's translation, but the word's quite loaded so I've changed it in my post. My point was more 'why are they sleeping next to the door'? Merry thinks that this is a sign of Nausikaa's chastity, with them so close to the door that no one could open the door without waking them. This could be an echo of Penelope saying she surrounds herself with servants to keep the suitors away in 18.182–4.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:17 pm

Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:33 am
Here are some brief notes from Stanford's Commentary:
Thank you for bring Stanford to the party! This is the only commentary I can't get my hands on.
Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:33 am
Line 7: ἀναστήσας (ingressive aorist), ἄγε - there was some prolongation to his leading, so imperfect, εἶσεν, - the act of settling, hence the aorist.
Merry and Riddell say "The change of tense shows that the second fact is the result and completion of the first", but both of those explanations make sense to me.
Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:33 am
The one word that gets me is Ζεύς. Somehow one syllable just doesn't seem enough.
My British pronunciation as Zoos is a huge help with Ζεύς :)
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Dante » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:10 pm

what I want to know is what do people think about Emily Wilson translating ἄνδρα πολύτροπον as "a complicated man?" lol

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seneca2008 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:12 pm

this isn't a list of questions that I want people to help me answer. I went and looked up anything I didn't understand before putting the list together. Instead, this is a list of questions that I thought might arise for an intermediate reader, that would be useful to look up if they can't answer the question themselves.
That it is very considerate and helpful but maybe its better only to ask questions where you can't find the answer otherwise these threads will soon become unwieldy. You will end up composing a commentary. Also it takes some effort to answer questions. Better to make sure that the answers are really needed. Of course anyone is welcome to ask even the most elementary question. The forum exits in part to provide help.

A start on answering your first three narrative questions can be found by looking at Vol 1 of the OUP Commentary by Heubeck, West and Hainsworth. The Cyclopes seem to be the same as those of book ix " to judge by their lawless behaviour" . Interestingly "this is the only point where the Cyclopes are allowed to be human". But Κυκλώπων ἀνδρῶν seems to be an adaption of the formula Φαιήκων ἀνδρῶν. See p 293 of Heubeck. The Homer Encyclopaedia also has an entry for Cyclopes which is helpful.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:57 pm

I definitely agree with Seneca about keeping the posts to the point. Don't ask more than a couple of questions and don't make more than a few points per post; choose what you find most interesting. The point is to get the discussion started, and then people will raise other points they find interesting. On the other hand, it would be nice if you could copy-paste the relevant text at the beginning of each thread, so that at the beginning of this thread for example we would have lines 1-23 for reference.
Dante wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:10 pm
what I want to know is what do people think about Emily Wilson translating ἄνδρα πολύτροπον as "a complicated man?" lol
I have already expressed my opinion on the subject: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=67835&p=194188&. I propose that if we wish to discuss Wilson's translation, we do it either in that thread or in the one linked by Seneca.
Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:33 am
Line 7: ἀναστήσας (ingressive aorist), ἄγε - there was some prolongation to his leading, so imperfect, εἶσεν, - the act of settling, hence the aorist.
I think you might also call this "inchoative imperfect". It would mean something like "started leading". http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... thp%3D1900

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Aetos » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:04 pm

For the 4th narrative question, why the handmaidens are sleeping on either side of the door, Ameis in his Odyssee für Schulgebrauch, offers simply, "zur Bewachung" (as guards, sentinels, lit. for the purpose of watching out for)

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by afleck » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:42 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:37 am
3. Line 8: ἑκὰς ἀνδρῶν ἀλφηστάων - Steadman gives us “grain-getting, grain-eating” as the translation for ἀλφηστάων here. The word appears in several other Greek texts (e.g. Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes line 770), always as part of ἀνέρας ἀλφηστὰς. When we find out more about the Phaeacians later in Book 6, the implication here is clearly that they have moved ‘far away from other people’, so why this strange adjective?
ἀλφηστής here is an epithet, in Epic poetry it only ever occurs in the various inflections of ἀνέρες ἀλφησταί. It is related to the verb ἀλφάνω, which means to earn. I don't think that it is particularly strange here, just epic formula.
Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:33 am
Line 6: Stanford's comments are in line with Smyth, although he goes as far as to say -φι could be considered "almost a genuine case ending"
Historical Linguistics has progressed a bit on this front, especially after the deciphering of Linear B. -φι can be considered a fossilized instrumental case that is retained in certain set words. other examples include νοσφι and ὄρεσφι. Sihler says "The suffix is more liberally attested in [Mycenean], po-pi 'with feet', ko-ru-pi 'with helmet(s)' ... In other words, the [Proto-Greek] element which is no more than a remnant in the usual [Greek] lexicon here looks like a fully paradigmatic case marker." (257.8 in Sihler)

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:18 pm

afleck wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:42 pm
ἀλφηστής here is an epithet, in Epic poetry it only ever occurs in the various inflections of ἀνέρες ἀλφησταί. It is related to the verb ἀλφάνω, which means to earn. I don't think that it is particularly strange here, just epic formula.
Hi! Welcome to textkit, did you come across from Reddit?

The reason I find this formula so interesting is that there seems to be quite a bit of disagreement about the etymology of ἀλφηστής. Hesychius defines it as inventive (εὑρετικός) and judicious (συνετός) as if from ἀλφάνω, but Heubeck, West and Hainsworth disagree that it's from ἀλφάνω and suggests ἄλφι (grain) + ἔδω (eat), which is the translation Steadman is giving us in the gloss. I think I'm right in saying that ἀλφάνω and ἄλφι are unrelated.

Most of the translations go with something like 'men of toil'. Butler goes with 'all other people'. I just think it's interesting that either 'men who earn/labour' or 'grain-eating men' are taken in this epithet to mean 'the rest of civilisation'.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by afleck » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:46 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:18 pm

Heubeck, West and Hainsworth disagree that it's from ἀλφάνω and suggests ἄλφι (grain) + ἔδω (eat), which is the translation Steadman is giving us in the gloss. I think I'm right in saying that ἀλφάνω and ἄλφι are unrelated.
Ah, right. I had forgotten this other etymology. Chantraine offers an interesting comment in his entry on ἀλφηστής, saying "P. Mazon pense que les deux significations ont coexiste, estimant que S. Phil 709 le sens est 'mangeurs de pain' mais Aesch. Sept. 769 'entrepenants'"

So it seems even the tragedians weren't quite sure what it meant!

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:44 pm

afleck wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:46 pm
Ah, right. I had forgotten this other etymology. Chantraine offers an interesting comment in his entry on ἀλφηστής, saying "P. Mazon pense que les deux significations ont coexiste, estimant que S. Phil 709 le sens est 'mangeurs de pain' mais Aesch. Sept. 769 'entrepenants'"
That's really interesting. I googled mangeurs de pain and ended up down a rabbit hole - seems the French really go in for this as a term, including for this bit in book 10:

οἵ τινες ἀνέρες εἶεν ἐπὶ χθονὶ σῖτον ἔδοντες (line 101)

which is funny, because the men in question actually eat other men. So it seems like eating grain/bread is sort of = making your way in the world which is sort of = living. If 'breadwinning men' didn't sound so god awful it might fit.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:07 pm

afleck wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:46 pm
seanjonesbw wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:18 pm

Heubeck, West and Hainsworth disagree that it's from ἀλφάνω and suggests ἄλφι (grain) + ἔδω (eat), which is the translation Steadman is giving us in the gloss. I think I'm right in saying that ἀλφάνω and ἄλφι are unrelated.
Ah, right. I had forgotten this other etymology. Chantraine offers an interesting comment in his entry on ἀλφηστής, saying "P. Mazon pense que les deux significations ont coexiste, estimant que S. Phil 709 le sens est 'mangeurs de pain' mais Aesch. Sept. 769 'entrepenants'"

So it seems even the tragedians weren't quite sure what it meant!
Beeks wrote:
ἀλφάνω [v.] ‘to earn, gain’ (E.). «IE *h2elgwh- ‘earn’»

•VAR ἀλφαίνω (H., EM); Aor. ἀλφεῖν (Hom.).

•COMP ἀλφεσίβοιος of girls, ‘bringing in (many) oxen’; type τερψίμβροτος, with shortening for *ἀλφησι- as in ἑλκεσίπεπλος.

•DER ἀλφή ‘produce, gain’ (Lyc.).

•ETYM A counterpart to the thematic aorist ἀλφεῖν is found in the Indo-Iranian present Skt. árhati ‘to earn’, YAv. arəjaiti ‘is worth’ < *h2elgwh-. Further, ἀλφή formally corresponds with Lith. algà ‘wages’, but they are probably independent formations. From Hittite, one adduces h̬alkuēššar ‘supplies for a festival’. The Greek aor. is from the zero grade *h2lgwh- with Rix’s Law. On ἀλφαίνω = ἀμείβω in Aetius, see Benveniste L’année sociologique 5 (1951): 19–20.


ἀλφηστής, -ου [m.] ‘grain-eating’, in the epic expression ἀνέρες ἀλφησταί (Od.). «GR»

•DIAL Also a fish name in Dor. ἀλφηστᾱ́ς ‘Labras cinaedus’ (Epich.); also called κίναιδος, cf. Strömberg 1943: 56; also Thompson 1947.

•ETYM Clearly from ἄλφι, in opposition to ὠμηστής, plus *h1ed- ‘eat’, in the expression ἀνέρες ἀλφησταί. In antiquity, the word was strangely enough not understood; cf. the strange gloss ἀλφηστῇσι· τοῖς εὑρετικοῖς καὶ συνετοῖς ‘intelligent’ (H.). The -ι- was lost for metrical reasons; see Fraenkel 1910: 38.


ἄλφι [n.] ‘barley-groats’ (h. Cer. 208). «IE? *h2elbhi ‘barley’»

•VAR Plur. ἄλφιτα (Il.), from which the sing. ἄλφιτον, in Hom. only in ἀλφίτου ἀκτή.

•DER ἀλφιτηρός (Antiph., Herod.), ἀλφιτεύς ‘miller’ (Hyp.), ἀλφιτεύω ‘to grind barley’ (Hippon.), ἀλφιτεία (Hyp., Poll.) and ἀλφιτεῖον (Poll., AB). Further ἀλφιτισμός ‘mixing with barley groats’ (inscr. Delos) as if from *ἀλφιτίζειν; ἀλφιτηδόν (Dsc.).

•ETYM One previously assumed an i/n-stem ἄλφι, plur. *ἄλφατα, as in Skt. ásthi, gen. asthnás ‘bone’, on the basis of ἀλίφατα· ἄλφιτα ἤ ἄλευρα (H.). But i/n-stems are doubtful, and ἀλίφατα has been read as *ἀληφατα (Latte); cf. DELG, which compares ἀλήφατον ἄνθος ἐλαίης (Peek 1897); the form would have been derived from ἄλέω ‘to grind’.

ἄλφι may be identical with Alb. elb, -i ‘barley’ from *albhi; see Demiraj 1997. Further origin is uncertain; perhaps the word is from PIE *h2(e)lbh-i. Also related is Turc. arpa ‘barley’, which is perhaps from an Iranian form *arbi; see Vasmer 1921: 16ff. See Mallory & Adams 1997: 51 for Iranian forms.

On the meaning, see Moritz Class. Quart. 43 (1949): 113ff., who connected ἄλφι with ἀλφάνω, but this is judged improbable by DELG. Connection with ▶ἀλφός ‘leprosy’ and Lat. albus ‘white’ (cf. λεύκ’ ἄλφιτα Σ 560) is rejected by Demiraj 1997.

Beekes, R. (2010). A. Lubotsky (Ed.), Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Vol. 1 & 2, p. 77). Leiden; Boston: Brill.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:10 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:37 am
1. Who are the Cyclopes that were harassing the Phaeacians? Are these the same ones that Odysseus talks about later in the Odyssey? Are they really one-eyed?
In many respects, the Phaeacians are the antithesis of the Cyclopes, and I think they are reminded of for that reason. An important theme throughout the Odyssey is hospitability – note how many times the scene of receiving a visitor occurs, with variations: Telemachus and Athene-Mentes, Nestor, Menelaus, Calypso and Hermes. Generous hospitability is the ideal, but look at the suitors for an example of abusive guests. Phaecians are a fabulously civilized, wonderfully organized people with excellent manners, the Cyclopes are their diametrical opposite in every possible way – asocial, anarchist cannibals, who don't work their land or sow. Could you possibly find a worse host than the Cyclops Polyphemus – eat Odysseus' companions and as guest-gift, offer to eat Odysseus last? So I suspect that hinting at them is part of building up the expectations of the audience – who are these Phaeacians? How will they react to Odysseus?

I don't think it's ever mentioned in the Odyssey that the Cyclopes are one-eyed, though the story clearly requires it. It's a funny omission.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:30 am

Paul Derouda wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:10 pm
Phaecians are a fabulously civilized, wonderfully organized people with excellent manners, the Cyclopes are their diametrical opposite in every possible way – asocial, anarchist cannibals, who don't work their land or sow.
The Phaeacians are such an interesting bunch. The complete opposite of the Cyclopes, you're right, and yet also different from the Achaeans/Argives/Danaans. We've already had Telemachus being received as a guest by Nestor and Menelaus with open arms simply because of the fact that he is a stranger. That, and his apparent nobility when he speaks, seem to be the only qualifications needed for feeding your guests, providing them with a place to sleep and giving guest-gifts. Asking who you are and where you come from is secondary to showing that you are a warm-hearted host.

If the Achaeans are our μέν, then the Phaeacians in Book 7 are our δέ when:

καὶ τότ᾽ Ὀδυσσεὺς ὦρτο πόλινδ᾽ ἴμεν: ἀμφὶ δ᾽ Ἀθήνη
πολλὴν ἠέρα χεῦε φίλα φρονέουσ᾽ Ὀδυσῆι,
μή τις Φαιήκων μεγαθύμων ἀντιβολήσας
κερτομέοι τ᾽ ἐπέεσσι καὶ ἐξερέοιθ᾽ ὅτις εἴη.

The Phaeacians are μεγαθύμων, but this surely can't mean 'great-hearted' in the sense of being warm and welcoming to all strangers if Odysseus has to be shrouded in mist to avoid their taunts. 'High-minded' seems to fit better and I can't help feeling that the narrative voice thinks the slightly messier, warm-hearted guest culture of the Achaeans is better than the colder, neater, more polite reception of guests by the Phaeacians. After all, Odysseus is still desperate to go home after meeting them. It reminds me of how, in the Lord of the Rings, when you meet the elves you're like 'oooh they're so polite and advanced and magical', but you'd still rather live in the Shire with a pint of good ale by the end.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:02 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:30 am
The Phaeacians are μεγαθύμων, but this surely can't mean 'great-hearted' in the sense of being warm and welcoming to all strangers if Odysseus has to be shrouded in mist to avoid their taunts. 'High-minded' seems to fit better and I can't help feeling that the narrative voice thinks the slightly messier, warm-hearted guest culture of the Achaeans is better than the colder, neater, more polite reception of guests by the Phaeacians.
It seems to me that θυμός is the ”breath of life” and corresponds to the impulsive part of the mind - passions, anger, courage, strong emotions in general. Hence θυμόω ”make angry” for instance. φρένες on the other hand are an actual organ - ”midriff” according to the traditional interpretation, but more likely ”lungs” or more generally ”organs of the thoracic cavity”. The θυμός inhabits the φρένες, which correspond to the more intellectual, less impulsive parts of the human mind. This is at least how I see it.

This is discussed in another lengthy and convoluted thread. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=63041&hilit=Midriff

(Edited once. As moderator, when I edit my posts, there is no notice that I did it, so I wrote this myself. And Sean, I have no idea why there was a devil :twisted: before your quote, I didn't put it there on purpose, and now I removed it!)

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by tico » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:47 pm

Hi there,

On v. 9: ἀμφὶ δὲ τεῖχος ἔλασσε πόλει

Is ἀμφὶ connected to πόλει as a preposition (+D.)? Is it common to have the case far away from the preposition? Or is ἀμφὶ just an adverb?

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seneca2008 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:34 pm

Is ἀμφὶ connected to πόλει as a preposition
That’s how I take it. It’s not unusual in poetry to separate the preposition from its noun. It’s a form of hyperbaton. It’s rather effective here because “around the town” encloses the walls - one feels impelled to fast forward to the last word thus getting across the feeling of rapidly erected the walls. Ovid or Vergil would have given much though to how to enclose the town by the walls in the word order. In any event in oral poetry word order is heavily influenced by metrical considerations.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by tico » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:03 pm

Thanks, seneca2008,

Another question: v 21: καί μιν πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν

πρὸς...ἔειπεν tmesis for προσλέγω or for πρόσφημι?

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:33 pm

tico wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:47 pm
Hi there,

On v. 9: ἀμφὶ δὲ τεῖχος ἔλασσε πόλει

Is ἀμφὶ connected to πόλει as a preposition (+D.)? Is it common to have the case far away from the preposition? Or is ἀμφὶ just an adverb?
I would say that either is possible. According to Homeric usage, there is even a third possibility, namely that it is a "preverb" in "tmesis" that goes with ἔλασσε, although the fact that *ἀμφιελαύνω is actually never attested as a compound makes the idea a bit far-fetched in this particular case. But my point is that in Homer it's often not obvious whether we have a preposition, a preverb or an adverb; this is probably an archaism that reflects an earlier stage of the language where the so-called prepositions and preverbs were all adverbs.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:55 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:30 am
After all, Odysseus is still desperate to go home after meeting them. It reminds me of how, in the Lord of the Rings, when you meet the elves you're like 'oooh they're so polite and advanced and magical', but you'd still rather live in the Shire with a pint of good ale by the end.
A good point. Odysseus first rejects immortality with a beautiful sex-crazed goddess (Calypso) and then a comfortable life in Phaeacian Utopia married to the local virgin princess. These episodes emphasize Odysseus' determination to get back home; he will not get distracted, no matter what.

By the way, I think that there is more humor in the Calypso episode than is usually recognized. If the Odyssey itself is to be taken as reliable evidence, these poems were told in banquets by men to a predominantly male audience. It seems to me that in the macho culture that Ancient Greece must have been, the sexy goddess who just couldn't get enough of Odysseus was meant to be funny. But I digress.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:34 am

Another question: v 21: καί μιν πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν

πρὸς...ἔειπεν tmesis for προσλέγω or for πρόσφημι?
Well ἔειπεν is an epic form of εἷπον. πρόσφημι is a close version of the present tense. I don’t think it’s worth trying to reconstruct tmesis in this case as the verb is defective ie there is no present tense of εἷπον. προσεἷπον Is an attested form see https://logeion.uchicago.edu/προσεῖπον

The important thing is to recognise the form preverb/preposition ... verb without always wanting to reconstruct a compound verb. It is interesting that according to Pulleyn (Iliad 1 OUP 2000) to call this phenomenon tmesis “is misleading in that it implies that the epic dialect has severed an existing compound. In fact, tmesis is a relic from an extremely early period before compound verbs existed. The evidence of the Linear B tablets shows that preverbs had already coalesced with their verbs in the Bronze Age: it is thus a mark of the extreme antiquity of the epic tradition that Homer preserves a linguistic practice older than that of the Linear B tablets.

The Cambridge Grammar defines Tmesis as follows:
25.44 In a compound verb a postpositive particle (such as τε, δέ, μέν, ὦν) may separate the prefix
from the verb: e.g. κατ᾿ ὦν ἐκάλυψε he buried (Hdt. 2.47.3): this is called tmesis.

I am sure this is not meant to be an exhaustive definition but it adds a gloss on how this term is used.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:03 am

:twisted: :wink:
Paul Derouda wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:02 pm
It seems to me that θυμός is the ”breath of life” and corresponds to the impulsive part of the mind - passions, anger, courage, strong emotions in general.
That was an interesting thread, thanks. So for μεγαθύμος would you suggest something like 'impassioned' or 'passionate' in the sense of having an object that the θυμός is directed at, or more like 'emotional' or 'tumultuous' in the sense that the θυμός is unpredictable. Or, perhaps, something else?
Paul Derouda wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:55 pm
By the way, I think that there is more humor in the Calypso episode than is usually recognized. If the Odyssey itself is to be taken as reliable evidence, these poems were told in banquets by men to a predominantly male audience. It seems to me that in the macho culture that Ancient Greece must have been, the sexy goddess who just couldn't get enough of Odysseus was meant to be funny.
I agree. I think it's a perfect little comic vignette - the contrast we get with Odysseus crying on the shore, describing how dearly he wants to go home to his wife and how horrible it is being Calypso's plaything, followed by the 'once more for old time's sake'

ὣς ἔφατ᾽, ἠέλιος δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔδυ καὶ ἐπὶ κνέφας ἦλθεν:
ἐλθόντες δ᾽ ἄρα τώ γε μυχῷ σπείους γλαφυροῖο
τερπέσθην φιλότητι, παρ᾽ ἀλλήλοισι μένοντες.

couldn't really be played any other way than comedy, I don't think.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:31 am

seneca2008 wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:34 am
Another question: v 21: καί μιν πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν

πρὸς...ἔειπεν tmesis for προσλέγω or for πρόσφημι?
The Cambridge Grammar defines Tmesis as follows:
25.44 In a compound verb a postpositive particle (such as τε, δέ, μέν, ὦν) may separate the prefix
from the verb: e.g. κατ᾿ ὦν ἐκάλυψε he buried (Hdt. 2.47.3): this is called tmesis.
To add to this - "πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν" or "πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπε" appears more than 30 times in Homer in this exact position occupying the final two feet with the dactyl and spondee that the poet prefers. Like seneca2008 says, it's probably best to consider this as an ancient poetic fragment rather than a piece of malleable syntax which could be reworked - especially as μῦθον in this phrase is effectively redundant when we translate into English.

I'd be interested to know whether people have any thoughts or links about the tendency of Greek to use verbs of speech with a direct object like μῦθος or λόγος or (esp. in Koine) ρήμα which often goes untranslated in English. The implication would seem to be that, in the same way that in English "I said to her, and then left" is not possible, but "I spoke to her, and then left" is, that the verbs are transitive and require the object, but these verbs (λέγω, εἶπον etc.) also act intransitively. Am I making an error in applying English requirements of transitivity to Greek?
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Aetos » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:18 pm

Seneca 2008 said:
The important thing is to recognise the form preverb/preposition ... verb without always wanting to reconstruct a compound verb. It is interesting that according to Pulleyn (Iliad 1 OUP 2000) to call this phenomenon tmesis “is misleading in that it implies that the epic dialect has severed an existing compound. In fact, tmesis is a relic from an extremely early period before compound verbs existed.
One of the concepts I learnt early on with Homer is that prepositions do not govern the case of the noun, but the other way round. The nature of oblique cases in the epic dialect already yields locational information. The preposition or preverb expresses further the relationship of the noun and the verb. Instead of saying πρός takes the accusative case, one would say μῦθον can take πρός, but not ἀπό.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:46 pm

Aetos wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:18 pm
One of the concepts I learnt early on with Homer is that prepositions do not govern the case of the noun, but the other way round. The nature of oblique cases in the epic dialect already yields locational information. The preposition or preverb expresses further the relationship of the noun and the verb. Instead of saying πρός takes the accusative case, one would say μῦθον can take πρός, but not ἀπό.
Pietro Bortone (Greek Prepositions: From Antiquity to the Present, p.133) gives the following neat little historical survey of the attachment of prepositions to Greek verbs and the semantic completeness of oblique cases in Homer. There are quite a few examples from Homer on the subsequent pages showing prepositional particles governing nouns, attached to verbs or standing completely independently. He makes some parallels with Dutch "separable verbs" that are also worth a read.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:53 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:03 am
:twisted: :wink:
Paul Derouda wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:02 pm
It seems to me that θυμός is the ”breath of life” and corresponds to the impulsive part of the mind - passions, anger, courage, strong emotions in general.
That was an interesting thread, thanks. So for μεγαθύμος would you suggest something like 'impassioned' or 'passionate' in the sense of having an object that the θυμός is directed at, or more like 'emotional' or 'tumultuous' in the sense that the θυμός is unpredictable. Or, perhaps, something else?
The Lexikon des frühgrieschichen Epos says it means "mit großer Energie, Antriebskraft, kraftgeladen, hochgemut". It's a long article, too long to copy here... "Full of vital energy", perhaps, in English?

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by tico » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:26 pm

Coming back to v. 21: μιν πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν.

Could we think about connecting μιν and πρὸς (ἔειπεν μῦθον πρός μιν)?

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Aetos » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:48 pm

Hi Paul,
I just read the highly entertaining thread on LfgrE. Aside from theft or raiding my pension fund is there any other access yet to this incredible resource? I found one copy of Band 2 on Amazon for US 21.00. All other Volumes appear to be unavailable.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:37 am

Aetos wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:48 pm
Hi Paul,
I just read the highly entertaining thread on LfgrE. Aside from theft or raiding my pension fund is there any other access yet to this incredible resource? I found one copy of Band 2 on Amazon for US 21.00. All other Volumes appear to be unavailable.
A university library. Other than that, the full 4 volume set may crop up from time to time on Abebooks; that’s where I found it. It wasn’t cheap but it was a lot less than buying them one Band or Lieferung at a time, which may even be impossible, because some parts are scarce. I suspect that what you found for $21 are just ”Einbanddecken” - covers so that you have the 8 or 10 first ”Lieferungen” bound together to make the first volume or ”Band”.

In my opinion, a project like this funded with public money for 50+ years should be made available online for everyone.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seneca2008 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:37 am

Coming back to v. 21: μιν πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν.

Could we think about connecting μιν and πρὸς (ἔειπεν μῦθον πρός μιν)?
I am not sure how rearranging the text in this way is helpful. πρὸς ...ἔειπεν is clearly a syntactic unit, μιν and μῦθον two accusative objects. μιν and πρὸς are obviously connected but via the verb. The proximity of μιν and πρὸς should not lead you to take them closely together.

As has been said "πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν" is a phrase occurring often in Homer, in the following example would you want to take τὸν with πρὸς?

"τὸν δʼ αὖτʼ ὀτρηρὴ ταμίη πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν" (Il.6.380)

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Aetos » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:01 am

Paul Derouda wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:37 am
Aetos wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:48 pm
Hi Paul,
I just read the highly entertaining thread on LfgrE. Aside from theft or raiding my pension fund is there any other access yet to this incredible resource? I found one copy of Band 2 on Amazon for US 21.00. All other Volumes appear to be unavailable.
I suspect that what you found for $21 are just ”Einbanddecken” - covers so that you have the 8 or 10 first ”Lieferungen” bound together to make the first volume or ”Band”.

In my opinion, a project like this funded with public money for 50+ years should be made available online for everyone.
I should have looked a little closer. Just the Einbanddecke was available. I did find the full set at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. I'll just teleport over to Leipzig or Frankfurt the next time I want to look something up!

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:12 am

seneca2008 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:37 am
Coming back to v. 21: μιν πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπεν.

Could we think about connecting μιν and πρὸς (ἔειπεν μῦθον πρός μιν)?
I am not sure how rearranging the text in this way is helpful. πρὸς ...ἔειπεν is clearly a syntactic unit, μιν and μῦθον two accusative objects. μιν and πρὸς are obviously connected but via the verb. The proximity of μιν and πρὸς should not lead you to take them closely together.
It might be helpful to think of an English example like this:

I threw over the king (i.e. threw something over him) over the king, I threw (same as above) I threw the king over (phrasal verb throw over) I threw over the king (same as above) I overthrew the king (compound verb)

In the first two examples, 'over' is acting to modify the noun. In the second two, it's acting adverbially to modify the verb, and in the final example it has a different (metaphorical), sense in combination with the verb. As you can see, examples 1 and 4 are identical, but there is ambiguity and it's left to the reader to feel where it the preposition is most strongly attracted. There's not the strength (as with overthrew) of προσλέγω or πρόσφημι in πρὸς ...ἔειπεν, because this is an earlier stage of Greek, so πρὸς is kind of doing its own thing and modifying ἔειπεν and μιν (and much less strongly, perhaps, μῦθον) while remaining distinct.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seneca2008 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:27 pm

There's not the strength (as with overthrew) of προσλέγω or πρόσφημι in πρὸς ...ἔειπεν, because this is an earlier stage of Greek, so πρὸς is kind of doing its own thing and modifying ἔειπεν and μιν (and much less strongly, perhaps, μῦθον) while remaining distinct.
I don’t agree with this. Nor do I think it is helpful to appeal to English syntax to explain Greek.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:50 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:27 pm
I don’t agree with this.
Could you elaborate slightly?
seneca2008 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:27 pm
Nor do I think it is helpful to appeal to English syntax to explain Greek.
I'm don't think ever I've learned anything meaningful about the syntax of another language without an appeal to analogy with or difference from my own language.

Presumably your concern is that analogies with English will lead to the wrong idea being absorbed, leading to further problems down the road. My point in the post was merely that, as in all languages I've ever had experience of, words do not just exist in an idealised sequence of thoughts independent of their order but stand in relation to each other in context. So, while it might be tempting to reorder a Greek sentence to show the 'correct' influence of prepositional meaning on either a verb or noun, the context is part of what dictates that influence. If you think that's wrong, I'd be interested to find out more.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:01 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:27 pm
There's not the strength (as with overthrew) of προσλέγω or πρόσφημι in πρὸς ...ἔειπεν, because this is an earlier stage of Greek, so πρὸς is kind of doing its own thing and modifying ἔειπεν and μιν (and much less strongly, perhaps, μῦθον) while remaining distinct.
I don’t agree with this. Nor do I think it is helpful to appeal to English syntax to explain Greek.
I'm with Seneca here about not agreeing. But the example is an analogy, not appealing to English syntax.

I would say that the English example is similar to the Greek to a point, not different. There are instances in Homer just as in English where the meaning would be different according to whether we interpret an instance as verb + preposition or phrasal/compound verb. While it's possible or even likely that at some earlier stage the preposition/preverb/adverb was fully independent, that's not the case in Homer any more, even if there are ambiguous cases and even if Homeric helps us to see where this thing originally comes from. Come to think about it, it's possible that to this ur-situation goes back to Proto-Indo-European, because I believe that the phrasal verbs in English are also a very old inherited feature and share their origins with their Greek equivalents (but I'm not a linguist and this is just speculation).

We'll soon see an example of such an ambiguity later in book 6, πασάων δ᾽ ὑπὲρ ἥ γε κάρη ἔχει ἠδὲ μέτωπα. See this thread and my first comment: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=61331&p=162750&#p162675

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 1-23

Post by seanjonesbw » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:42 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:12 am
There's not the strength (as with overthrew) of προσλέγω or πρόσφημι in πρὸς ...ἔειπεν, because this is an earlier stage of Greek, so πρὸς is kind of doing its own thing and modifying ἔειπεν and μιν (and much less strongly, perhaps, μῦθον) while remaining distinct.
Paul Derouda wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:01 pm
I would say that the English example is similar to the Greek to a point, not different. There are instances in Homer just as in English where the meaning would be different according to whether we interpret an instance as verb + preposition or phrasal/compound verb. While it's possible or even likely that at some earlier stage the preposition/preverb/adverb was fully independent, that's not the case in Homer any more, even if there are ambiguous cases and even if Homeric helps us to see where this thing originally comes from.
You're right, I think I was too hasty with my use of the word 'distinct' to describe this relationship. I've just read this excellent article by James Hessinger arguing against any interpretation of Greek prepositions as pure adverbs (which, I'm sorry to say, contains several excellent uses of English sentences to illustrate points by analogy) and it's clarified my thinking.

Like you say, the level of attachment of of the preposition to the verb varies considerably in Homer (only three lines later we have τῇ μιν ἐεισαμένη προσέφη γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη), but tico's original question was whether we should attach πρός to μιν and consider this as ἔειπεν μῦθον πρός μιν, or whether we should consider it as tmesis of πρὸς...ἔειπεν (so presumably μιν πρὸς ἔειπεν μῦθον). I suppose the point I was trying to make is that, in the same way that each of my English sentences has its own distinct meaning in context, πρός is governing both and neither here. It is semantically modifying μιν... ἔειπεν as a whole based on its meaning as a preposition, whereas the solid attachment of πρόσφημι presents the opportunity for semantic changes as its own independent verb unit (which can be subtle or, to hazard another example from English, as different as uplift and 'lift up').
ἁλὶ γὰρ δέδμητο φίλον κῆρ 🌊

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