Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

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Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:53 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.

We’re working from Geoffrey Steadman’s Odyssey Books 6-8, a freely-available pdf
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An introduction to Book 6 and a list of resources for deeper study are available in the group dropbox folder

I’ve also been making flashcards to go with Steadman’s text (vocab occurring >8 times in Books 6-8)
Next week (Friday 12th July) we’ll be reading Book 6 Lines 119-140
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:54 am

93 αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ πλῦνάν τε κάθηράν τε ῥύπα πάντα, 94 ἑξείης πέτασαν παρὰ θῖν ̓ ἁλός, ἧχι μάλιστα 95 λάϊγγας ποτὶ χέρσον ἀποπλύνεσκε θάλασσα. 96 αἱ δὲ λοεσσάμεναι καὶ χρισάμεναι λίπ ̓ ἐλαίῳ 97 δεῖπνον ἔπειθ ̓ εἵλοντο παρ ̓ ὄχθῃσιν ποταμοῖο, 98 εἵματα δ ̓ ἠελίοιο μένον τερσήμεναι αὐγῇ. 99 αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ σίτου τάρφθεν δμῳαί τε καὶ αὐτή, 100 σφαίρῃ ταὶ δ ̓ ἄρα παῖζον, ἀπὸ κρήδεμνα βαλοῦσαι· 101 τῇσι δὲ Ναυσικάα λευκώλενος ἤρχετο μολπῆς. 102 οἵη δ ̓ Ἄρτεμις εἶσι κατ ̓ οὔρεα ἰοχέαιρα, 103 ἢ κατὰ Τηΰγετον περιμήκετον ἢ Ἐρύμανθον, 104 τερπομένη κάπροισι καὶ ὠκείῃς ἐλάφοισι· 105 τῇ δέ θ ̓ ἅμα νύμφαι, κοῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο, 106 ἀγρονόμοι παίζουσι, γέγηθε δέ τε φρένα Λητώ· 107 πασάων δ ̓ ὑπὲρ ἥ γε κάρη ἔχει ἠδὲ μέτωπα, 108 ῥεῖά τ ̓ ἀριγνώτη πέλεται, καλαὶ δέ τε πᾶσαι· 109 ὣς ἥ γ ̓ ἀμφιπόλοισι μετέπρεπε παρθένος ἀδμής. 110 ἀλλ ̓ ὅτε δὴ ἄρ ̓ ἔμελλε πάλιν οἶκόνδε νέεσθαι 111 ζεύξασ ̓ ἡμιόνους πτύξασά τε εἵματα καλά, 112 ἔνθ ̓ αὖτ ̓ ἄλλ ̓ ἐνόησε θεά, γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη, 113 ὡς Ὀδυσεὺς ἔγροιτο, ἴδοι τ ̓ ἐυώπιδα κούρην, 114 ἥ οἱ Φαιήκων ἀνδρῶν πόλιν ἡγήσαιτο. 115 σφαῖραν ἔπειτ ̓ ἔρριψε μετ ̓ ἀμφίπολον βασίλεια· 116 ἀμφιπόλου μὲν ἅμαρτε, βαθείῃ δ ̓ ἔμβαλε δίνῃ· 117 αἱ δ ̓ ἐπὶ μακρὸν ἄϋσαν· ὁ δ ̓ ἔγρετο δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς, 118 ἑζόμενος δ ̓ ὅρμαινε κατὰ φρένα καὶ κατὰ θυμόν·
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:56 pm

A very small point to start off the discussion this week.

Line 104 - τερπομένη κάπροισι καὶ ὠκείῃς ἐλάφοισι·

κάπρος seems to be defined everywhere as boar, but Fitzgerald translates it as goat:

"chasing the mountain goats or ghosting deer"

Greek seems to be the only language where the PIE *kápros becomes something other than goat (caper, capra, gafr, &c.) and τράγος only appears in Homer once at Od. 9.239.

In Homer, ὗς/σῦς (swine) is often used to qualify κάπρος:

λείουσιν ἐοικότες ὠμοφάγοισιν ἢ συσὶ κάπροισιν - Il. 5.782 and Il. 7.257
ἐπʼ ἀγροτέρῳ συῒ καπρίῳ ἠὲ λέοντι - Il. 11.290
συὸς κάπρου - Il. 17.20
συῶν τʼ ἐπιβήτορα κάπρον - Od 11.132 and 23.278

Regardless of Fitzgerald's reasoning for his translation, is there perhaps a case to be made that when κάπρος isn't qualified by ὗς in Homer it actually means something more like 'four-legged hoofed wild animal' and so could include goats?
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:17 pm

I think Fitzgerald is just mixing up with Latin and/or other languages. But it's interesting why κάπρος is so often used with together with the word ὗς/σῦς; I have no answer to that. The easiest solution is of course "for metrical reasons", but I wonder if there's more.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by mwh » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:54 pm

"wild boar": the Odyssey displays a well-developed and versatile formulaic system involving καπρος and καπριος and αγριος with συς/ὑς. Parry would have liked it (though while it has wide 'scope' it doesn't have quite total 'economy'?).
καπρ(ι)ος is always a (wild) boar I think, male, destructive, and formidable (witness classic boarhunts, and Odysseus' scar), and like αγριος it ties down the meaning of συς/ὑς, which otherwise is normally(?) female (cf. e.g. 11.132 cited by Sean above) and simply a pig like Eumaeus's. συς καπριος etc. is like genus and species, practically Linnaean (cf. αιξ and τραγος, though not used in combination in Homer?).
(Fitzgerald's "chasing the mountain goats" is a grotesque misunderstanding of τερπομένη κάπροισι, "delighting in boars," which she sends against those who displease her. And Sean we can't go defining Homeric words by reference to English translation of them!)
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:34 pm

My first reaction was the same as mwh's, namely that καπρος/καπριος further defines συς/ὑς as a wild boar. But although I didn't mention it, I actually checked LfgrE, which gives two sub-meanings for καπρος: 1) wild boar, 2) domestic, and cites several examples for the second meaning, all passages being about sacrifice except Op 690, which is about castrating. (The entry says "κ. of sacrificial animal exc. Op. 690", but what does the abbreviation "κ." mean? "All cited passages"?).

Od 11.131
ῥέξας ἱερὰ καλὰ Ποσειδάωνι ἄνακτι,
ἀρνειὸν ταῦρόν τε συῶν τ' ἐπιβήτορα κάπρον,

Il 19.197
Ταλθύβιος δέ μοι ὦκα κατὰ στρατὸν εὐρὺν Ἀχαιῶν
κάπρον ἑτοιμασάτω ταμέειν Διΐ τ' Ἠελίῳ τε.
Beside these are cited, Il. 19.251, 254, 266, Od. 23.278.

Op. 690 (Hesiod):
μηνὸς δ' ὀγδοάτῃ κάπρον καὶ βοῦν ἐρίμυκον
ταμνέμεν, οὐρῆας δὲ δυωδεκάτῃ ταλαεργούς.

But without looking any further, I suppose mwh is at the very least right in saying that the word further defines συς/ὑς and shows that the beast is a rather formidable one, not just any tame pig.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by mwh » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:30 am

I don’t have the LfgrE (I wish I did), but that male pigs (boars) were sometimes sacrificed is unsurprising (so were female pigs and piglets, of course, a lesser sacrifice), and doesn’t affect what I said about the Odyssey’s use of καπρος etc in combination with συς etc. If your “first reaction” was the same as mine, Paul, I don’t know why you shouldn’t have stuck with it. I only wrote because you said you had "no answer" for it. (LfgrE's "κ." presumably stands for καπρος under the “domestic” subhead, by the way.)
Perhaps sacrificial boars were castrated before they could start tearing people to pieces?

Interesting, incidentally, that the same word is used for either operation: ταμέειν Il.19 (of sacrifice), ταμνέμεν Hesiod Op.790 (of castration). Both call for a knife.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by jeidsath » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:45 am

It's unlikely to be the sort of operation that you'd want to perform on an adult boar.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:53 am

mwh wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:54 pm
And Sean we can't go defining Homeric words by reference to English translation of them!
Innocent, m'lud, I swear! 😇 It's more that Fitzgerald's mistake got me wondering about κάπρος for its own sake.

Sorry for being dense - if κάπρος is refining the meaning of ὗς/σῦς, then you're saying this is a bit like roe/deer/'roe deer' where each noun can exist independently or together to refer to the same thing (rather than wild [animal]/pig/'wild [animal] pig' where wild is much more general)?

I'm still not sure why ungulate/pig/'pig ungulate' (κάπρος/σῦς/σῦς κάπρος) is ruled out by this line of thinking, but the reason I thought this was interesting is that I have quite a poor grasp of how lexicographers go about their work which I'm sure is being revealed here!

I suppose we would expect things along the lines of αἴξ κάπρος etc. if that was the case, though, which don't exist.

Edit: I managed to copy κάπρος a load of times with smooth breathing marks instead of acutes and I couldn't bear looking at them any more.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:36 pm

mwh wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:54 pm
(Fitzgerald's "chasing the mountain goats" is a grotesque misunderstanding of τερπομένη κάπροισι, "delighting in boars," which she sends against those who displease her. And Sean we can't go defining Homeric words by reference to English translation of them!)
Fitzgerald got it wrong. Imagine that.

For what it's worth, since Beeke is supposed to be methodologically flawed:

Beeke wrote: •ETYM Agrees with a Italo-Germanic word for ‘he-goat’, Lat. caper, U cabru ‘caprum’, and in Germanic e.g. ON hafr. An uncertain trace of the word in Celtic is supposed in Gallo-Rom. *cabrostos ‘honeysuckle, privet’. The newly created Greek name of the he-goat, τράγος, made another use possible for *kapro-. The word was probably first used appositively with σῦς, as in Homer. Lat. aper ‘boar’ took the vowel of caper, but is further unrelated.

Briand 1997: 91–115 analyzes the attested forms as continuing an old adjective ‘devouring (greedily)’ from the root *kap- ‘to take’ (Lat. capiō ‘id.’, G happen ‘to swallow, snatch’). The root was used for a snatching way of eating (Hom. κάπη ‘crib’, κάπτω ‘to gulp down’, cf. τράγος ‘goat’ beside τρώγω), and the adjective lexicalized in the separate languages, where it came to denote different male animals. See DELG Supp. If the root was Indo-European, it must have been *kh2p-, not *kap-; alternatively, it was borrowed from the European substrate. See ▶κάπτω.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:11 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:36 pm
mwh wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:54 pm
(Fitzgerald's "chasing the mountain goats" is a grotesque misunderstanding of τερπομένη κάπροισι, "delighting in boars," which she sends against those who displease her. And Sean we can't go defining Homeric words by reference to English translation of them!)
Fitzgerald got it wrong. Imagine that.
One thing this blunder seems to prove is that Fitzgerald was at least primarily working with the actual Greek text, not the Loeb or some other crib, as often seems to be the case with translators of classical works nowadays.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:20 pm

Should we imagine then that Greeks occasionally kept wild boars in captivity, perhaps mostly for sacrificial banquets? I know that wild boars are raised in captivity for example in France for their meat, but I don't know how old the practice is (I don't know much about farmkeeping).

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:36 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:20 pm
Should we imagine then that Greeks occasionally kept wild boars in captivity, perhaps mostly for sacrificial banquets? I know that wild boars are raised in captivity for example in France for their meat, but I don't know how old the practice is (I don't know much about farmkeeping).
I don't know about the historical Greeks, but for internal evidence from the Odyssey the male σῦς with white tusks (so, a boar right? Animal husbandry not my strong suit either!) that Eumaeus kills at Od. 14.414-439 seems to have been kept captive to the age of 5 for the very occasion. But then was it originally wild and has it been castrated... 🤷
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:50 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:36 pm
Paul Derouda wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:20 pm
Should we imagine then that Greeks occasionally kept wild boars in captivity, perhaps mostly for sacrificial banquets? I know that wild boars are raised in captivity for example in France for their meat, but I don't know how old the practice is (I don't know much about farmkeeping).
I don't know about the historical Greeks, but for internal evidence from the Odyssey the male σῦς with white tusks (so, a boar right? Animal husbandry not my strong suit either!) that Eumaeus kills at Od. 14.414-439 seems to have been kept captive to the age of 5 for the very occasion. But then was it originally wild and has it been castrated... 🤷
That σῦς is not called κάπρ(ι)ος in the passage, so perhaps we're dealing with a domestic pig (i.e. a different species)?

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by mwh » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:59 pm

Speaking from my massive ignorance of pig farming, I'd assume that pig litters would have both male and female young. I referenced Eumaeus' pigs in bk.14. They are referred to as συες, collectively referred to as female (τας 411), but the one that Eumaeus orders for sacrifice is male (ὑων τον αριστον 414), and his men bring him a five-year-old porker (μαλα πιονα πενταετηρον), which is then ritually slaughtered and cooked. I imagine that this is exemplary of domestic boar-sacrifice. Hesiod prescribes the time for gelding as if it were normal practice, though presumably some would be needed as studs for breeding. Eumaeus' boar has the formulaic epithet αργιοδων, white-toothed/tusked, but is not referred to as a καπρος. A wild boar would be impossible to control or contain (Artemis sends them to ravage crops, and hunting them is liable to get the hunters savaged or killed), and Homer certainly has no instance of their being kept in captivity!

(Written independently of the previous two posts.)

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:14 pm

So, to sum up, κάπρος occurs 15 times in the early hexameter corpus; in 7 instances it refers to a domestic (?) male boar, every time in the context of sacrifice, except once in Hesiod (WD 790, not 690 like I said earlier), where we're dealing with castration. The combination σῦς κάπρος occurs 3 times and always refers to a wild boar, as do the remaining 5 instances of κάπρος alone. κάπριος occurs 4 times (twice joined with σῦς), and always means wild boar.

Having now taken a closer look at the passages, I now think that κάπρος applied to a domestic pig refers to an uncastrated male (domestic?) pig. Perhaps male σῦς without κάπρος (as in the Od. 14.414-439 passage) would then always be castrated? Looking at the passages where κάπρος refers to a domestic boar, it's interesting to note that beside the Hesiod passage that refers to castration (an operation after which, if I'm correct, it ceases to be a κάπρος), we have 2 instances of domestic κάπρος explicitly in the function of a stud for breeding, συῶν ἐπιβήτορα κάπρον "boar that mounts [female] pigs".

Beside these, we're left with 4 instances of domestic κάπρος that have not been accounted for; they all occur in the same passage of Iliad 19; it's funny, as mwh already noted, that the word ταμέειν "to cut" which means "to castrate" in the Hesiod passage is used here in 19.197 in the context of sacrifice – perhaps a "contamination" from castration formulas to a sacrificial passage (if you understand what I mean)? And it is to be noted that in 19.251 the herald Talthybios seems to hold the κάπρος with a single hand κάπρον ἔχων ἐν χειρὶ – indicative of a rather young boar, I'd say.

Here are all the occurrences of κάπρος for your reference:

IL.5.783 ἢ συσὶ κάπροισιν, τῶν τε σθένος οὐκ ἀλαπαδνόν,
IL.7.257 ἢ συσὶ κάπροισιν, τῶν τε σθένος οὐκ ἀλαπαδνόν.
IL.11.324 τὼ δ' ἀν' ὅμιλον ἰόντε κυδοίμεον, ὡς ὅτε κάπρω
IL.17.21 οὔτε συὸς κάπρου ὀλοόφρονος, οὗ τε μέγιστος
IL.17.725 ἴθυσαν δὲ κύνεσσιν ἐοικότες, οἵ τ' ἐπὶ κάπρῳ
IL.19.197 κάπρον ἑτοιμασάτω ταμέειν Διΐ τ' Ἠελίῳ τε.
IL.19.251 κάπρον ἔχων ἐν χειρὶ παρίστατο ποιμένι λαῶν.
IL.19.254 κάπρου ἀπὸ τρίχας ἀρξάμενος Διῒ χεῖρας ἀνασχὼν
IL.19.266 ἦ, καὶ ἀπὸ στόμαχον κάπρου τάμε νηλέϊ χαλκῷ.
OD.6.104 τερπομένη κάπροισι καὶ ὠκείῃς ἐλάφοισι:
OD.11.131 ἀρνειὸν ταῦρόν τε συῶν τ' ἐπιβήτορα κάπρον,
OD.23.278 ἀρνειὸν ταῦρόν τε συῶν τ' ἐπιβήτορα κάπρον,
WD.790 μηνὸς δ' ὀγδοάτῃ κάπρον καὶ βοῦν ἐρίμυκον
SH.172 ἤδη γάρ σφιν ἔκειτο μέγας λῖς, ἀμφὶ δὲ κάπροι
SH.387 κάπρος χαυλιόδων φρονέει [δὲ] θυμῷ μαχέσασθαι

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:49 am

Paul Derouda wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:14 pm
So, to sum up, κάπρος occurs 15 times in the early hexameter corpus.
Paul this is, I think, a significant contribution to swine scholarship.
Paul Derouda wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:50 pm
That σῦς is not called κάπρ(ι)ος in the passage, so perhaps we're dealing with a domestic pig (i.e. a different species)?
In the interests of developing our burgeoning community of susophiles, I've been doing some reading on boar genetics and interbreeding (where I'm on more solid ground than classical philology). I don't claim that any of this is relevant to our reading of κάπρος, but I thought it was interesting.

The Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the same species as the modern domestic pig (S. scrofa domesticus - subspecies) and they can interbreed to produce viable offspring. There is still significant interbreeding between wild and domesticated boars/pigs today, especially in places (including modern day Greece) where domesticated pigs are allowed to roam rather than being kept exclusively in farm enclosures. Wild boar DNA is commonly found in domesticated pigs [1] and there are also wild (/feral) communities of boars/pigs with a high percentage of domesticated pig DNA [2]. Incidentally, that means it's impossible to tell if boar/pig remains are from a domestic or wild pig just from the DNA.

In Neolithic Greece, the decline in the size of pig skeletons suggests that they were in beginning to be in relative (though not absolute) reproductive isolation from wild boars - analysis of tooth wear patterns also suggests these domesticated pigs were free to root for food rather than being confined to pens, but that their diet was different from wild boars (field rather than woodland) [3].

Away from genetics, Ekroth's "Animal Sacrifice in Antiquity" in the Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life has lots of interesting things on the relationship between castration, animal age and the value of the sacrifice. There's too much to quote but on p.344 "Eumaios kills a five-year-old castrated fatted boar at home", which agrees with Paul's conclusion about this particular porker - I think on the grounds that castrated boars >3 yrs have more fat content and are therefore better eating, as Eumaeus' appears to be, though its not clear.

mwh wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:59 pm
Hesiod prescribes the time for gelding as if it were normal practice, though presumably some would be needed as studs for breeding.
Ekroth (p.334): "Overall, fully male victims were rarely sacrificed—presumably due to their scarcity in the flocks—and here the ritual practices adapt to the practicalities of animal husbandry, where one uncastrated male would be enough to service ten to twenty females depending of the species"
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seneca2008 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:30 am

I am somewhat surprised by the language used here to describe the translation of this line by Fitzgerald. Is it really appropriate to describe it as a "grotesque misunderstanding of τερπομένη κάπροισι" or a "blunder" as if we were "Gradgrind like" marking his homework.

Fitzgerald was a poet and he is not writing a crib, he seeks to create a work of art. I think the line is beautiful, "Ghosting deer" is strikingly original.

I have found the subsequent exchanges on animal husbandry about as far as one can get from poetry and Homer.

Although the discovery of Odysseus comes in the next section it is worth noting here that the identification of Nausicaa with Artemis the virgin huntress sets up an interesting reversal of the Artemis/Actaeon myth. Here Odysseus is the naked and not very appealing (caked in salt) object of Nausicaa's gaze.

Perhaps we could come back to this next week but I think its worth thinking about where this scene is set. The sea shore is a liminal space between the unknown and potentially hostile sea and the comforts of land and home. Potentially dangerous things happen here like the bull from the sea killing Hippolytus (another devotee of Artemis).

Finally there may be some people who are not familiar with the ball playing bikini ladies of the Villa Romana del Casale:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Rom ... _girls.JPG

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:00 pm

If we're going to consider it purely as a line of English poetry, then I think "chasing the mountain boar or ghosting deer" is a better line (I say that as someone who was introduced to Homer by Fitzgerald and who loves this translation). Boar sets up a pleasing doublet with deer of words that could be singular or plural, adding some welcome ambiguity to her etherial τερπομένη. Boar is also the less clichéd choice of animal - goats and deer, for me, produce a picture of unthreatening gambolling play. The boar is less bucolic, more threatening, and invites more questions about the power dynamic between Artemis and these animals. Whereas 'mountain goat' is a specific type of goat, the unfamiliar collocation of mountain and boar is refreshing and evokes the setting more distinctly.

"ghosting deer" is undoubtedly beautiful and if I were to argue in favour of "goats" it would be to keep the echoey half-rhyme of "goats or ghosting".

That aside, what we were talking about above started as semantics and lexicology and ended up with what I thought was an interesting digression into ethnoarchaeology. I can only speak for myself, but I get the impression everyone involved knew they weren't discussing poetry and were just interested by a different aspect of Homeric studies. We can talk about poetry here too, there's lots of room.

[🚨 Disclaimer: I don't want to end every week with a lengthy discussion about reception - the views above are my own reception or however you want to label them and we don't need to get into how each point is only my opinion]
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seneca2008 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:09 pm

The boar is less bucolic, more threatening, and invites more questions about the power dynamic between Artemis and these animals.
A good point, although I think the power dynamic is unambiguous. The threatening nature of boars, which mwh alluded to above, is a loss in this translation.

Otherwise I was just expressing my frustration with the approach simply based on the assumption that a poet got something “wrong” as opposed to trying to appreciate how this “error” expands our understanding of the text. I don’t share your image of “gambolling play”. Wild goats can be pretty threatening as indeed can “domestic goats” as anyone who has walked in Greece will testify.

I agree that there is space for everything here. Although I am thinking of marshalling my thoughts on slaves in a separate thread.

Whenever we speak about or translate [a text] it’s an act of reception so “reception” is unavoidable.
Last edited by seneca2008 on Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:44 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:09 pm
Whenever we speak about or translate it’s an act of reception so “reception” is unavoidable.
Yes and every time I tell someone what I did yesterday it's an 'act of recollection' but that doesn't mean it's always relevant to follow it with "but of course, this is only my own memory of the event".

The bikini ladies are cool, though. What are they doing in the top left?
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:19 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:09 pm
The boar is less bucolic, more threatening, and invites more questions about the power dynamic between Artemis and these animals.
A good point, although I think the power dynamic is unambiguous.
Perhaps I should have said 'reminds us more clearly of the power dynamic between Artemis and these animals'.

This did remind me, though, of Shakespeare's Venus

He tells her, no; to-morrow he intends
To hunt the boar with certain of his friends.
'The boar!' quoth she; whereat a sudden pale,
Like lawn being spread upon the blushing rose,
Usurps her cheek; she trembles at his tale,
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seneca2008 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:40 pm

sean wrote:The bikini ladies are cool, though. What are they doing in the top left?
The first figure seems to have some weights. Perhaps training? The second figure has a discus.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:36 pm

Another "very small point" from me:

In line 95 there's a past iterative - ἀποπλύνεσκε.

Is there any particular thought on why iterative forms with σκ dropped out of Greek except in certain verbs? I note that they're particularly good at supplying syllables long by position, which got me wondering whether they're one of the older bits of Homer kept for the metre. As ever, happy to be handed a link instead of an explanation.

Yours naively...
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by mwh » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:55 am

A few disconnected casual pensées on this passage, the first taking off from Sean’s Shakespeare with its reminder of the danger of hunting wild boars.

1. Wild boars (noch einmal).
‘Thou hadst been gone,’ quoth she, ‘sweet boy, ere this,
But that thou told’st me thou wouldst hunt the boar.
O! be advis’d; thou know’st not what it is
With javelin’s point a churlish swine to gore,
Whose tushes never sheath’d he whetteth still,
Like to a mortal butcher, bent to kill.
 
Venus’ fears, of course, were justified. ω τον Αδωνιν, goes the old refrain of her lament—which gives the name to the closing cadence of the hexameter, the so-called adonic section (following the “bucolic” diaeresis).

(Incidentally, for any who don’t know, Homer accurately describes a boar’s tusk helmet, an artifact known only in Mycenean times, showing that the poems preserve memory of a much earlier era—and that boar's tusks were far from impossible to acquire.)

*****
2. Attic tragedy. A pity we don’t have Sophocles’ Nausicaa (aka Πλυντριαι, Washerwomen). Sophocles himself reportedly played Nausicaa and his ballplaying was outstanding. Not our standard image of Sophoclean tragedy.

*****
3. The simile (102-108). One of Homer’s more complex similes, which always have clearly marked entry and exit points: 102 οἵη Artemis (the vehicle, in I.A.Richards’ terms), 108 ὣς Nausicaa (the tenor, a single line). The formal point of comparison is how each of them stood out among her companions, but this is reached only at the end, after the picture of Artemis and her entourage has been painted in loving detail. Homer usually keeps tenor and vehicle quite separate and avoids any interaction between them (no interference or bleeding), but here they mirror one another, so that the image of Artemis & co. at play in the mountains (παίζουσι 106) is a reflection, distorted but unmistakable, of their counterparts at play on the beach (ἔπαιζον 100).

The simile nicely anticipates Odysseus’ own flattering comparison of Nausicaa to Artemis in the next scene. But we don’t get to that till next week.

The archer goddess and her nymphs disporting themselves in the mountains, carefree—a type-scene (beloved of painters), and we know what comes next: an outsider’s intrusion, his discovery, a swift change of atmosphere and dire consequences. (Seneca already mentioned Actaeon, and there are many others.) That’s the template, at the poet's disposal to play with. Cue the discovery of Odysseus. What will the reaction be?

The simile obliquely stresses another thing that Nausicaa has in common with Artemis: they are both virgins. The point is obvious but is withheld till the very end (109): Nausicaa is not called Nausicaa but παρθένος ἀδμής (an emphatic combination)—but for how long will she remain so? The marriage theme has been insistently sounded. Cue Odysseus’ entrance into her maiden life, naked.

*****
4. Gods, and what might have been.
But no! Nausicaa prepares to drive back home (110)! But Athena has other ideas (ἄλλ’ ἐνόησε 112), thereby saving the plot. Just as Athena instigated Nausicaa’s trip to the seaside (15ff.), so here she thwarts an ending that would have avoided the encounter with Odysseus altogether.
The poet insists on having Athena pull the strings throughout. Some sociologically-minded critics cut out the involvement of the gods (which is possible to do, interestingly, since all the poem’s actions are explicable in terms of independent human motivation: hence "double motivation"), but the poet keeps them at the forefront. Actions and events take place on two levels, the human and the divine, the mortal and the immortal (βροτος:αθανατος)—this being the contrast on which the pathos of the poem fundamentally depends, as does the entirety of ancient Greek culture.

Homer has two structures for thwarted potential outcomes. (1) “X was on the point of happening when Y happened” (as here, ἔμελλε 110), and (2) “Then X would have happened had not Y happened.” This second one, deploying εἰ μή, is reserved for momentous events, frustrated in the nick of time.

I would have gone on εἰ μή I’d written more than enough.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by Kakakephales » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:39 pm

seanjonesbw wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:36 pm
Another "very small point" from me:

In line 95 there's a past iterative - ἀποπλύνεσκε.

Is there any particular thought on why iterative forms with σκ dropped out of Greek except in certain verbs? I note that they're particularly good at supplying syllables long by position, which got me wondering whether they're one of the older bits of Homer kept for the metre. As ever, happy to be handed a link instead of an explanation.

Yours naively...
I don't know if we can say why these forms went out of common use (there being no steering committee for Archaic Greek verb forms, unfortunately), but Sihler has a bit to say on them (§456.3B and 467). He notes that the ske/o iteratives are very productive in Anatolian, but less so in Sanskrit and older Greek. By the classical period, he observes that the original sense of the iterative is lost, and that this was true in Sanskrit as well.

The meaning "was accustomed to" is familiar (he gives μαχέσκετο from μάχομαι as an example), but more common with reduplicated verbs (γιγνώσκω for example) than others. One interesting observation he makes is that in some cases an iterative stem is affixed to a verb that already contains one, after the original iterative affix was reinterpreted as part of the root! Consider βοσκέσκοντο (they were accustomed to being fed) from βόσκω (feed [an animal]). Sihler closes his notes on this in 456 by saying that "Large numbers of Hom. forms in -σκ- are uniquely attested, which is what one would expect of a freely productive type, used opportunistically."

So it seems like these iteratives were more prominent in some branches of the family than others, and gradually fell out of use in both Greek and Sanskrit, only remaining around for a few verbs where, perhaps, the iterative had replaced the simplex in common use.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 93-118

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:29 am

Kakakephales wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:39 pm
I don't know if we can say why these forms went out of common use (there being no steering committee for Archaic Greek verb forms, unfortunately)
Well that seems remiss - it's a wonder they made it to modern Greek with that attitude.

Thanks for looking this up. I'm not sure what precisely Sihler means by 'opportunistically' in the context of production of the Homeric poems - where they're useful for the metre compared with a straight imperfect?
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