Plat., Protag.

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Plat., Protag.

Post by Constantinus Philo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:30 am

ἐπεὶ δὲ πάντες συνεκαθεζόμεθα, ὁ Πρωταγόρας, νῦν δὴ ἄν, ἔφη, λέγοις, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἐπειδὴ καὶ οἵδε πάρεισιν, περὶ ὧν ὀλίγον πρότερον μνείαν ἐποιοῦ πρὸς ἐμὲ ὑπὲρ τοῦ νεανίσκου. Why is the middle form ἐποιοῦ used here?Would it be possible to use the active ἐποίεις ?
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:24 pm

Why is the middle form ἐποιοῦ used here?
Because ... it was? And if, skeptical for some reason about Plato's knowledge of contemporary Greek, I check out LSJ, I immediately find περί τινος μνείαν ποιεῖσθαι in Andocides and μ. τινῶν ποιεῖσθαι ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν in the Epistle to the Romans, which tells me at least that μνείαν ποεῖσθαι was an everyday idiom that endured through the centuries. Which for me, at least, is all I need to know.

But you want to know,
Would it be possible to use the active ἐποίεις?
Let me play Professor. "That is an excellent question, Mr. Philo. Please find all instances in the TLG of μνεῖα with any form of ποιεῖν and report back to the class!"

What do you mean by "possible"?

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:46 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:24 pm
What do you mean by "possible"?
I once had an international student say to me, "Shall we imbibe drinks tonight?" That's a possible English sentence. It even communicates successfully what the speaker intended. And it just isn't right, and it resulted in a good discussion on idiomatic ways to ask if somebody wants to go out for drinks. I suspect the same here. The active would be "possible" and even understandable, but no one who knew the language would say it that way.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:42 pm

but no one who knew the language would say it that way
How on earth would you know that?

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by mwh » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:28 pm

But Randy he’s right. This is an absolutely typical use of ποιεῖσθαι. The active would be quite wrong.
(How on earth would I know? By having some slight competence in ancient Greek. No more than that is needed.)
So the answers to Constantinus’ two questions are Because it’s the appropriate form to use, and No.

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Prot., 320a

Post by Constantinus Philo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:54 pm

εἰ δὲ βούλει, Κλεινίαν, τὸν Ἀλκιβιάδου τουτουῒ νεώτερον ἀδελφόν, ..... there must be an ellipsis here... but what verb is to be added?
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by jeidsath » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:33 pm

My Greek is less than slight, so I have to think hard about this. I assume this falls under LSJ: "5 freq. in Med. with Nouns periphr. for the Verb derived from the Noun, μύθου ποιήσασθαι ἐπισχεσίην submit a plea, Od.21.71;...."

The English is "make mention", but that's just idiom. It's not really a thing produced, or made, or done.
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Re: Prot., 320a

Post by mwh » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:15 pm

You really must stop thinking in such terms. No verb is to be added, and no particular verb is to be understood.

Imagine this piece of dialogue:
“What shall we do this evening?” “If you like, we could listen to our favorite president.”
Would you think “There must be an ellipsis here” and wonder what verb is to be added?

You’d do well to get away from your grammar books once in a while and learn something of discourse analysis or pragmatics. Here, as should be obvious, εἰ δὲ βούλει means something like “Or to take another example.”

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:58 am

but no one who knew the language would say it that way.
If you know that, Barry, because, like Michael, you have some "slight competence" in ancient Greek, I'll accept that :D . Though I would substitute "experience" for "competence".

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:48 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:42 pm
but no one who knew the language would say it that way
How on earth would you know that?
Notice that I used the word "suspect." Apart from a living linguaculture, nobody can know anything with certainty, but based on the ordinary usage that we've already pointed out, I think it's quite likely.

However, inspired by your "do your homework" comment above, I could find no use in classical literature (and the NT) of μνεία as the object of ποιέω where ποιέω was not in the middle and the sense was not something like "mention." In the papyri, however, it seems to be used in the sense of "remember" both in the active and the middle:

ἤδη δʼ ἐστὶν ἔτος
[4]τούτο δεύτερον. καλῶς ἂν οὖν ποιήσαις ἐπισκεψάμενος καὶ ἐμφανίσας Ἀπολλωνί-
[5][ωι -ca. ?- ]……[ -ca. ?- ]ι̣ π̣ερὶ ἡμ̣ῶ̣ν μνείαν ποίησαι, ὅπως μὴ γυμνοὶ ὦμεν.

P.Cair.Zen.: Zenon Papyri, Catalogue général des antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée du Caire. (n.d.). Perseus Digital Library.

Or in what looks like a somewhat formulaic expression:


[1]Διονυσία Θέωνι τῷ κυρίωι χαίρειν καὶ ἐρρῶσθαι, ἔρρωμαι δὲ καὶ αὐτή, σοῦ τὴν ἀρίστην μνείαν
[2]ἐπὶ παντὸς ἀγαθοῦ ποιουμένη ουʼ διαλείπω.

P.Bad.: Veröffentlichungen aus den badischen Papyrus-Sammlungen. (n.d.). Perseus Digital Library.

So at least in later colloquial Greek, μνείαν ποιῆσαι and μνείαν ποιεῖσθαι both appear to be used in the sense of "remember."

Disclaimer: I most certainly did not examine every usage of the hundreds of hits that I got, only spot checking in various authors until I had some interesting info. Perhaps someone with more time and access to a bigger database can affirm or correct this.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:05 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:58 am
but no one who knew the language would say it that way.
If you know that, Barry, because, like Michael, you have some "slight competence" in ancient Greek, I'll accept that :D . Though I would substitute "experience" for "competence".
Well, I certainly trust Michael's slight experiential competence. As for my own, I simply hope to keep making progress.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:40 pm

π̣ερὶ ἡμ̣ῶ̣ν μνείαν ποίησαι
Michael?

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by jeidsath » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:46 pm

I don't think that this is just a usage pattern thing. Michael indicates that it has to do with how the active and middle of ποιέω get used in general, and if so, we shouldn't need to search through papyrus examples to spot what it is. Though they do seem to confirm the pattern.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:56 pm

Sorry, Joel, but I have no idea what you just said.

Michael, I still look forward (genuinely, nor snarkily) to your comment on π̣ερὶ ἡμ̣ῶ̣ν μνείαν ποίησαι, not only because you are slightly competent in ancient Greek in general but because you know a thing or two about papyrological Greek.

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by jeidsath » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:31 pm

Sorry, Joel, but I have no idea what you just said.
As a native speaker of English, I'd say that I dropped something "under a table," but I would never say that I dropped it "below a table." Even though "below" and "under" would mean exactly the same thing semantically, I choose the one and never the other. This is a usage difference. There will be no way for future generations find this out from a dictionary of English. They will have to search Google Books for the statistical pattern, etc.

On the other hand, I would say "write a book" to describe composing a novel, and "make a book" to describe stitching one together from leaves. This is a semantic rule, trivially investigated through an English dictionary, and centuries hence, I expect our future scholars of the dead language English to be able to make the distinction from their basic understanding of the verb "make," no Google Books search necessary.

So, what I was saying, was that you and Barry are investigating μνείαν ποιεῖσθαι like it's an example of the first sort of rule, but Michael's comment makes it sound like it's an example of the second.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:41 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:56 pm
Sorry, Joel, but I have no idea what you just said.
Ditto. Joel, if you are saying what I think you are saying, then isn't looking for examples in the literature precisely what we need to be doing? Our work is descriptive, not prescriptive.
RandyGibbons wrote:Michael, I still look forward (genuinely, nor snarkily) to your comment on π̣ερὶ ἡμ̣ῶ̣ν μνείαν ποίησαι, not only because you are slightly competent in ancient Greek in general but because you know a thing or two about papyrological Greek.
Ditto ditto. What good is slight competence if we can't avail ourselves of it? :D
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:22 pm

Michael indicates that it has to do with how the active and middle of ποιέω get used in general
It's only 9:00 am west coast time, and Michael is probably still sleeping off a long night of fireworks and excitement about the president's speech, so I'll sneak in one more comment before he awakes to hopefully enlighten us.

So thanks for the clarification, Joel, and I think I see the distinction you are making. If Michael was indicating a semantic 'rule' of sorts about active versus middle (a rule that someone with only "slight competence" would know!) - and if he was, I didn't get that - that's why I asked Mr. Philo what he meant by "possible", because I felt he might be asking if such a rule applied here.

So Mr. Philo, wherever you are, please clarify if that's what you meant by "possible", and Michael, please wake up!

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by mwh » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:02 pm

π̣ερὶ ἡμ̣ῶ̣ν μνείαν ποίησαι. I’m sorry to have to point it out but this is not active but middle. The editor of the papyrus, having some competence in Greek, recognized that and accented accordingly.

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:29 pm

Don't be sorry! Duh.

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:06 pm

mwh wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:02 pm
π̣ερὶ ἡμ̣ῶ̣ν μνείαν ποίησαι. I’m sorry to have to point it out but this is not active but middle. The editor of the papyrus, having some competence in Greek, recognized that and accented accordingly.
Ah, so an imperative, good catch.
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Prot 321c

Post by Constantinus Philo » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:04 am

ἀπορίᾳ οὖν σχόμενος ὁ Προμηθεὺς ἥντινα σωτηρίαν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ εὕροι, this looks like oratio obliqua with an opt replacing dubit subjunctive of oratio recta.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by Constantinus Philo » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:40 am

I have read in one of those grammars that in a number of verbs their middle differs from their active form only in the degree of intensity whatever that might mean, like for instance, in δωρέω δωρέομαι.
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Prot 323a

Post by Constantinus Philo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:57 am

ὡς παντὶ προσῆκον ταύτης γε μετέχειν τῆς ἀρετῆς ἢ μὴ εἶναι πόλεις. it appears that grammatically μὴ εἶναι πόλεις depends on προσῆκον . or is there another explanation?
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Re: Prot 323a

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:27 am

This looks fairly straightforward unless I am missing something?

as it is held that (plus dat and infinitive)..., or (sc. if it is not) states can't exist.

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Re: Prot 323a

Post by jeidsath » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:25 pm

If εἶναι depended on προσῆκον:

As it's proper to all to share in this virtue or to not be cities.

If εἶναι is independent:

As it's proper to all to share in this virtue, or cities not to be.

The subject-shift would be the problem in the first, but it seems possible. In the second case, the εἶναι πόλεις, would have to depend on some other governing verb, I think (is there one in the context?)
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Re: Prot 323a

Post by Constantinus Philo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:49 pm

i cant find any besides προσῆκον. Ok I have checked the comments, it depends on προσῆκον, evidently...
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by mwh » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:11 pm

Here’s the letter Barry inopportunely mentioned (μνείαν ἐποήσατο), written around the middle of the 3rd cent. BCE.

Satyra was a harpist in the employ of one of Ptolemy II’s chief ministers, by name of Apollonius; Zeno was his agent. His voluminous correspondence enlarges the corpus of early Hellenistic Greek.

Σα̣τύρα Ζήνωνι χαίρ[ε]ιν. Ἀπολλωνίου συντάξαντος ἱματισμὸν ἡμ̣ῖν δοῦναι, ἐμοί τε καὶ τῆι μητρί, εὑρήσεις δὲ καὶ τὸ ὑπόμνημα ὃ ἔγραψεν Ἀ̣π̣ο̣λ̣λ̣ώ̣ν̣ι̣ο̣ς̣ π̣ερὶ τούτων, ἀπʼ ἐκε̣ί̣νου γὰρ οὐκ εἰλήφαμεν, ἤδη δʼ ἐστὶν ἔτος τούτο δεύτερον. καλῶς ἂν οὖμ ποήσαις ἐπισκεψάμενος καὶ ἐμφανίσας Ἀπολλωνί[ωι ca.? ]  ̣  ̣  ̣  ̣[ ca.? ]ι̣ π̣ερὶ ἡμ̣ῶ̣ν μνείαν πόησαι, ὅπως μὴ γυμνοὶ ὦμεν. καὶ τοῦτ̣ο̣ δ̣ό̣τ̣ω̣ ἰ̣δ̣ίαι παρὰ σοῦ ἔχειν. [καὶ] περὶ τοῦ ὀψωνίου \ἐπίσκεψαι·/ ὅλως οὐκ εἰλήφαμεν ἀλλʼ ἢ ἅπαξ, καὶ τοῦτο ὃ σὺ τοῖς Δημητρίοις ἀπέστειλας δοῦναι ἡμῖν. καλῶς ἂν οὖμ ποήσαις καὶ περὶ τούτων ἐπισκεψάμενος, εἰ καί σοι δοκεῖ, ὅτι συντομώτατα.
ἔρρωσο.

Satyra to Zenon greeting. Though Apollonios ordered an allowance of clothing to be given to me and my mother, and you will find the memorandum which Apollonios wrote about it, from that day to this we have received nothing, and it is now more than a year ago. Will you kindly then inquire and inform Apollonios . . . remember us and see that we have something to wear. And let him make the gift come privately from you. Inquire also about our wages: only once have we received anything, and that was what you sent to give us at the feast of Demeter. Will you kindly then inquire about this matter also, if you please, as quickly as possible. Farewell.
(transl. C.C. Edgar)

ποεῖσθαι in this kind of locution is what’s known in modern parlance as a "support verb," like “make” in English “make mention” or “make progress,” where Greek uses the middle not the active in accordance with the normal distinction between them.

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Prot., 327d attraction into opt

Post by Constantinus Philo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:23 pm

εἰ δέοι αὐτὸν κρίνεσθαι πρὸς ἀνθρώπους οἷς μήτε παιδεία ἐστὶν μήτε δικαστήρια μήτε νόμοι μηδὲ ἀνάγκη μηδεμία διὰ παντὸς ἀναγκάζουσα ἀρετῆς ἐπιμελεῖσθαι, ἀλλ᾽ εἶεν ἄγριοί τινες οἷοίπερ οὓς πέρυσιν Φερεκράτης ὁ ποιητὴς ἐδίδαξεν ἐπὶ Ληναίῳ. As I understand, εἶεν is attracted into the opt because of εἰ δέοι.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:41 pm

Thanks Michael. I don't feel as bad about myself after taking the time to read the Greek text carefully, which I wouldn't have done if you hadn't supplied the entire text plus translation.

I was perfectly happy believing the construction is μνείαν ποιεῖσθαι based on Philo's original citation from Protagoras and based on what I then saw in LSJ. But I haven't made my living reading gobs and gobs of Greek and wouldn't personally have the confidence to say that μνείαν ποιεῖν is absolutely impossible and unwitnessed. Since I didn't initially try to read the papyrus fragment and since πόησαι [your spelling, which I'm guessing is correct] can be either imperative 2nd sg aor imperat mid or 3rd sg aor opt act, I carelessly and incorrectly assumed the latter (in that sense, I don't think it's the papyrus editor's accent that gives it away, I think it's the context, which, now that I've studied it carefully, makes it clear, despite the preceding lacuna, that it is a (middle) imperative). By the way, what does "ca" mean in the lacuna?

In particular, thanks for the linguistic concept of "support verb". I am unfamiliar with both the term and the concept. The only thing I could find in a random search was this, which is way too technical for me, but I think I get enough of it to get your point in turn about these constructions in Greek.

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by mwh » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:08 pm

ca. more usually c. short for circa, "approximately." Usually followed by estimate of number of letters lost (as would have been better here). And wouldn't 3sing. aor. opt. act. have acute on the penult?

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:00 pm

And wouldn't 3sing. aor. opt. act. have acute on the penult?
Not according to the Perseus Greek Word Study Tool. Or am I making another careless mistake?

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by jeidsath » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:13 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:00 pm
And wouldn't 3sing. aor. opt. act. have acute on the penult?
Not according to the Perseus Greek Word Study Tool. Or am I making another careless mistake?
I'm going to close my eyes for this.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by Aetos » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:28 pm

I think Perseus has it wrong. Final αι in the optative is long, so the accent can only go as far back as the penult.
Smyth §169,§427

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Prot 329b

Post by Constantinus Philo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:46 am

νῦν οὖν, ὦ Πρωταγόρα, σμικροῦ τινος ἐνδεής εἰμι πάντ᾽ ἔχειν, εἴ μοι ἀποκρίναιο τόδε is this opt of wish? Now I lack a tiny bit in order to have all, I wish you could answer this.
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Prot 330a τὸ δὲ ἄλλο

Post by Constantinus Philo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:28 am

ἕκαστον δὲ αὐτῶν ἐστιν, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, ἄλλο, τὸ δὲ ἄλλο; each of them is different for the rest?, τὸ δὲ ἄλλο taken as an adv. or each of them is different, (being) difference itself?
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Re: Prot., 327d attraction into opt

Post by mwh » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:36 am

Doubtless δέοι played a part in determining optative εἶεν, but we can’t simply say that εἶεν is attracted to the optative. Attracted from what? and how to account for it? From the indicative, presumably: ἐστὶν was used in the first part of the relative clause. But it’s important to note that the construction has changed: οἷς does not carry over to this latter clause. This factors into the switch to the more remote optative.

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Re: Prot 329b

Post by mwh » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:39 am

No, it’s the ordinary ει with optative, like εἰ δέοι in your 327d query, a regular if-clause (“if you’d just answer me this”). It’s as if πάντ᾽ αν ἔχοιμι had preceded rather than σμικροῦ τινος ἐνδεής εἰμι πάντ᾽ ἔχειν (“I’d have it all” rather than “I have it all but for one little thing”), so it’s slightly irregular but is easily understood.

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Re: Prot., 327d attraction into opt

Post by Constantinus Philo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:25 am

so this is potential optative without ἄν then.
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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by RandyGibbons » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:11 pm

Thanks, Aetos. I guess Perseus is making the careless mistake (algorithmically? - I don't know how the Word Tool engine works). Joel, you can open your eyes now!

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Re: Plat., Protag, 317e

Post by Aetos » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:28 pm

I've learned to use the Perseus Word Tool with caution, having been burned many, many times!

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