Reading Thucydides 2014

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Baker
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Baker » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:10 pm

Jason,

It seems that you are missing ἐλπίσας in your rendition, which is important for ironing out the difficulties. With ἐλπίσας plus ἔσεσθαι, we get "hoping/expecting that it would be..."

μέγαν remains as "great" and needn't be otherwise. He is hoping/expecting that the war will be great but I think that he wishes to focus more on its being, "ἀξιολογώτατον τῶν προγεγενημένων," especially since that is where he comes in and he is providing a justification for such a role here in the introduction.

Hence: "expecting that it would be great and the most noteworthy of all that had been before it." Make note of your final participle there and remember it is in the perfect middle and needs to fit with the time of the previous clause.



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Eliot

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jaihare
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by jaihare » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:57 pm

Actually, I was taking ἐλπίσας to mean "deemed" rather than "expected."
From LSJ:
c. pres. inf., deem, suppose that . ., Emp.11.2; ἐλπίζων εἶναι . . ὀλβιώτατος Hdt. 1.30; ἐλπίζων σιτοδείην τε εἶναι ἰσχυρὴν . . καὶ τὸν λεὼν τετρῦσθαι ib. 22; οἰκότα ἐλπίζων ib.27, cf. A.Th.76, Ch.187; βοῦν ἢ λέοντ' ἤλπιζες ἐντείνειν βρόχοις; E.Andr.720; ἐλπίζει δυνατὸς εἶναι ἄρχειν Pl.R. 573c; ὅστις ἐλπίζει θεοὺς . . χαίρειν ἀπαρχαῖς Trag.Adesp.118.2: sts. of future events, τίς ἂν ἤλπισεν ἁμαρτήσεσθαί τινα τῶν πολιτῶν τοιαύτην ἁμαρτίαν; Lys.31.27; οὐδὲν . . ποιήσειν ἐλπίζων D.4.7.
The 1910 translation on Perseus has:
"and believing that it would be a great war, and more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it."

Benjamin Jowett (1881) on Perseus also has:
"believing that it would be great and memorable above any previous war."

But the other translation from 1843 on Perseus says:
"with expectation it should prove a great one and most worthy the relation of all that had been before it"

I took ἐλπίσας into account, but I didn't take it as "hoping" or "expecting." I figure that he wrote about the war after it had already happened, which means that he wasn't expecting anything of it, but he deemed or considered it to be great and most noteworthy.

:shrug: That's how I took it, anyway.

Baker
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Baker » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:39 pm

jaihare wrote:Actually, I was taking ἐλπίσας to mean "deemed" rather than "expected."
Ah, my error, I didn't note "deemed". But your section from LSJ says "c. pres. inf.", whereas this is a future infinitive, addressed in section one of the entry: "freq. with a dependent clause in inf., hope to do, or hope or expect that..," followed by examples with the future infinitive.

Although Thucydides was writing about a war that had already occurred, his hoping/expecting is in direct relation to his first statement where he says he wrote the war as they warred against each other and not after it was completed. My question is why does he put ἐπολέμηςαν rather than ἐπολέμουv?

Eliot

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jaihare
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by jaihare » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:30 am

Baker wrote:
jaihare wrote:Actually, I was taking ἐλπίσας to mean "deemed" rather than "expected."
Ah, my error, I didn't note "deemed". But your section from LSJ says "c. pres. inf.", whereas this is a future infinitive, addressed in section one of the entry: "freq. with a dependent clause in inf., hope to do, or hope or expect that..," followed by examples with the future infinitive.

Although Thucydides was writing about a war that had already occurred, his hoping/expecting is in direct relation to his first statement where he says he wrote the war as they warred against each other and not after it was completed. My question is why does he put ἐπολέμηςαν rather than ἐπολέμουv?

Eliot
You're right that he placed the "hoping" with the lining up of the armies (καθισταμένου), so it might just be better understood as "hoped," but I don't know. Doesn't really matter, I guess. :)

What is the ὡς clause associated with there, anyway? Is it tied to the previous clause or the following one?

In the 1910 translation above, it seems to be neglected:
"Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment that it broke out, and believing that it would be a great war, and more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it."

The other two somehow tie the phrase into the first clause. Should this mean to us that he was writing the book throughout the war, having started his writing itself (and not just his subject) at the breakout of the war? I would also, then, think that the πολεμέω would appear in the imperfect. Or, do you think it's an inceptive aorist - "as they began to fight against each other"?

Baker
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Baker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:18 am

I think the phrase ἀρξάμενος εὐθὺς καθισταμένου refers to his writing and, therefore, it seems he started to write at the outset.

As for the ὡς clause, I take it to refer to the prior statement. The 1910 translation seems odd in many respects. For example, it seems to translate τεκμαιρόμενος as "This belief was not without its grounds." I don't know what to say about that!

Smyth (1944) helps with the aorist/imperfect question, I think. He says, "In subordinate clauses the action expressed by the aorist may be (a) contemporaneous, (b) antecedent, or (c) subsequent to that set forth by the main verb. The context alone decides in which sense the aorist is to be taken." He then gives a nice quote from Thucydides 1.138 which has the same sense as the one we are dealing with. So now my question is, after having used Smyth for a while now, did the man ever sleep?

Eliot

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by jaihare » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:23 pm

Baker wrote:I think the phrase ἀρξάμενος εὐθὺς καθισταμένου refers to his writing and, therefore, it seems he started to write at the outset.

As for the ὡς clause, I take it to refer to the prior statement. The 1910 translation seems odd in many respects. For example, it seems to translate τεκμαιρόμενος as "This belief was not without its grounds." I don't know what to say about that!

Smyth (1944) helps with the aorist/imperfect question, I think. He says, "In subordinate clauses the action expressed by the aorist may be (a) contemporaneous, (b) antecedent, or (c) subsequent to that set forth by the main verb. The context alone decides in which sense the aorist is to be taken." He then gives a nice quote from Thucydides 1.138 which has the same sense as the one we are dealing with. So now my question is, after having used Smyth for a while now, did the man ever sleep?

Eliot
LOL @ Smyth sleeping!!! Strangely enough, I sleep with Smyth beside me quite often nowadays. :)

I looked up the ingressive aorist last night and he gave ἐπολέμησα as one of the ingressives, giving it the meaning "began the war." (I'd always called this "inceptive," but he calls it "ingressive" in §1924.) Do you think this ingressive/inceptive aspect is intended here?

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Baker » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:33 am

jaihare wrote:Do you think this ingressive/inceptive aspect is intended here?
I hadn't noted that entry and yes I think it works quite well here, especially in the sense of 1925 b. where he says, "The aorist of these verbs denotes also a simple occurrence of the action as an historical fact." With that in mind, I don't think it needs to be "began the war," but could be as Hobbes translates it: "as they warred..."

C. S. Bartholomew
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:01 pm

1:1:3

... ἐκ δὲ τεκμηρίων ὧν ἐπὶ μακρότατον σκοποῦντί μοι πιστεῦσαι ξυμβαίνει οὐ μεγάλα νομίζω γενέσθαι οὔτε κατὰ τοὺς πολέμους οὔτε ἐς τὰ ἄλλα.

The syntax here is marvelous. G. Cooper (vol. 1, 51.92.2.B) joins (construes) the relative ὧν with the participle σκοποῦντί μοι. ἐπὶ μακρότατο limits σκοποῦντί. πιστεῦσαι ξυμβαίνει where ξυμβαίνει indicates that πιστεῦσαι is a consequence following from τεκμηρίων ὧν ἐπὶ μακρότατον σκοποῦντί μοι. This is a first cut. Open to revision.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Dracodon » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:57 am

This post may be a little late, but I'd like to join this group.

I started reading the OCT on 8 Jan, and so far I have managed to keep up with one page per day.

My goal is reading and understanding, rather than translation or detailed analysis.

I'm using the following approach:
1. Read through the whole page at my normal speed, while seeking to understand as much as possible in this first reading.
2. Go through the page again, but this time if I don't understand something, I will look up unfamiliar words or grammar as I go along.
3. Read through the page again at my normal speed.

Dracodon

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:34 pm

1.2.4
διὰ γὰρ ἀρετὴν γῆς αἵ τε
δυνάμεις τισὶ μείζους ἐγγιγνόμεναι στάσεις ἐνεποίουν ἐξ ὧν
ἐφθείροντο, καὶ ἅμα ὑπὸ ἀλλοφύλων μᾶλλον ἐπεβουλεύοντο.

τισὶ is demoted to a dative, Thucydides seems to have a habit of throwing human participants into oblique cases where one might expect them to be in the foreground. Here the excellence of the land ἀρετὴν γῆς occasions the exaltation of some αἵ τε δυνάμεις τισὶ μείζους ἐγγιγνόμεναι leading to (internal) distention στάσεις ἐνεποίουν which in turn becomes an occasion for other tribes ὑπὸ ἀλλοφύλων to lay plots ἐπεβουλεύοντο against [those who currently hold the more valuable land].

This is all pretty abstract. People are just types of groups who are driven by economic forces to do this or that. Like reading an ancient sociologist.
I have managed to keep up with one page per day.
But how are we going to discuss this for mutual benefit if no one is "on the same page"?
I am willing to skip ahead for discussion, but there hasn't been much in the way of questions so far.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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