Reading Thucydides 2014

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pster
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by pster » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:35 am

I just finished reading the pdf in the apothneskw thread about how passives are really pretty middle. Check it out. It inspired this reading. OK, we have:

τῶν δὲ πρότερον ἔργων μέγιστον ἐπράχθη τὸ Μηδικόν.

τὸ Μηδικόν = The Persian War = TPW
prattw = to make
πρότερον = (adv.) earlier
n.b. Middle Liddle:adv. often between Art. and Subst., e. g. ὁ πρότερον βασιλεύς
μέγιστον = (adj.) greatest
τῶν ἔργων = of events

So, with an active verb, we would have:

The Greeks and the Persians made TPW greatest of the earlier events.

The DJs and the dancers made the party raunchiest of the earlier parties.

Now, let's make it passive:

The party was made raunchiest of the earlier parties.

TPM was made greatest of the earlier events.

Note how PRATTW in the passive is almost like a copula. Perhaps this connects with its being able to take two accusatives in the active.

One of the morals of the pdf in the other thread is that each verb has its own quirks that you need to master, especially when it comes to the non-active forms.

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:13 pm

pster wrote:I just finished reading the pdf in the apothneskw thread about how passives are really pretty middle.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of true passives. All ambiguity, in regard to voice, is removed by an explicit agent in an oblique case or a prepositional phrase:

Thucid. 1.23.2.1 οὔτε γὰρ πόλεις τοσαίδε ληφθεῖσαι ἠρημώθησαν, αἱ μὲν ὑπὸ βαρβάρων, αἱ δ' ὑπὸ σφῶν αὐτῶν ἀντιπολεμούντων


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Paul Derouda
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Paul Derouda » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:52 pm

The beginning of 1.32 is utterly incomprehensible to me...

Δίκαιον, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, τοὺς μήτε εὐεργεσίας μεγάλης μήτε ξυμμαχίας προυφειλομένης ἥκοντας παρὰ τοὺς πέλας ἐπικουρίας, ὥσπερ καὶ ἡμεῖς νῦν, δεησομένους ἀναδιδάξαι πρῶτον, μάλιστα μὲν ὡς καὶ ξύμφορα δέονται, εἰ δὲ μή, ὅτι γε οὐκ ἐπιζήμια, ἔπειτα δὲ ὡς καὶ τὴν χάριν βέβαιον ἕξουσιν

1) why is προυφειλομένης in the genetive?
2) μάλιστα μὲν ὡς καὶ ξύμφορα δέονται: WHAT does this MEAN?

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by pster » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:30 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:The beginning of 1.32 is utterly incomprehensible to me...

Δίκαιον, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, τοὺς μήτε εὐεργεσίας μεγάλης μήτε ξυμμαχίας προυφειλομένης ἥκοντας παρὰ τοὺς πέλας ἐπικουρίας, ὥσπερ καὶ ἡμεῖς νῦν, δεησομένους ἀναδιδάξαι πρῶτον, μάλιστα μὲν ὡς καὶ ξύμφορα δέονται, εἰ δὲ μή, ὅτι γε οὐκ ἐπιζήμια, ἔπειτα δὲ ὡς καὶ τὴν χάριν βέβαιον ἕξουσιν

1) why is προυφειλομένης in the genetive?
2) μάλιστα μὲν ὡς καὶ ξύμφορα δέονται: WHAT does this MEAN?


1) I think it is in the genitive for the same reason that εὐεργεσίας is genitive: δεησομένους takes the genitive.

2) I think it means that most of all they want [something] expedient (ie useful for those receiving the request). Marchant says that ξύμφορα is an internal accusative, but I don't see how that can be the case since expedient seems to externalize the meaning quite a bit. But maybe I don't understand Th. or internal accusatives or both.

I hope I got at least one of them right. :)

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Paul Derouda » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Thanks.

1) is clear now. I just couldn't link προυφειλομένης with δεησομένους, too many interfering words... I somehow thought it wasn't on the "same level" as the other genitives (whatever the correct grammatical term is, I thought it governed the other genitives or vice versa).

2) is still hazy. I can accept that it means this, though ;). I was confusing σύμφορα with συμφορά, that was part of the problem. I must try to digest internal accusatives too...

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by pster » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:44 am

It's a tricky sentence. Hopefully some others will chirp in with their takes on it. I still don't see how it is internal.

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by NateD26 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:56 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:1) is clear now. I just couldn't link προυφειλομένης with δεησομένους, too many interfering words... I somehow thought it wasn't on the "same level" as the other genitives (whatever the correct grammatical term is, I thought it governed the other genitives or vice versa).
I'm still not convinced that they are linked. Indeed δεησομένους takes genitive but not these genitives;
the latter are part of the Subject of this acc.+inf. construction dependent on δικαιόν (ἐστι),
τοὺς ἥκοντας παρὰ τοὺς πέλας, those who have come to their neighbors, ἐπικουρίας δεησομένους,
asking for their aid, [ὥσπερ καὶ ἡμεῖς νῦν (δεόμεθα)], μήτε εὐεργεσίας μεγάλης μήτε ξυμμαχίας
προυφειλομένης,* [who are] without a great kindness or alliance meriting a long overdue payment,
it is fair that they first clearly show that...

* These are simple genitives with a participle modifying them (lit. who possess neither x nor y that is z),
all as part of the substantive participle serving as the subject in this construction.
Nate.

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by pster » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:21 am

Thanks Nate. I would bet that you are correct. What I couldn't produce was the "[who are] without." It seems a bit of a cheat to get "without" from μήτε. Really, what needs to be supplied is "who are without." Do you have a Smyth number for that? I'm probably just dumb, but can you explain how you get that.

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:58 pm

NateD26 wrote: * These are simple genitives with a participle modifying them (lit. who possess neither x nor y that is z),
all as part of the substantive participle serving as the subject in this construction.
Probably you're right. But I have the same problem as pster in producing "[who are] without".

Should I interpret something like this?

μήτε εὐεργεσίας μεγάλης = "neither x"

μήτε ξυμμαχίας = "nor y"

προυφειλομένης = "[who possess] ... that is z"

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by John W. » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:56 pm

As a newcomer to this forum, I hope you won't mind my commenting.

Surely what we have here is a simple genitive absolute construction, describing the circumstances in which the request is being made. 'Proupheilomenes' (apologies for not yet having sorted out how to type in Greek!) is passive, and means 'already being owed'; in other words, the Corcyraeans are making their request for aid without any existing debt for previous alliance or great service already being owed (i.e to them by the Athenians); in other words, they are venturing to make their request even though no such debt is owed to them.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,

John

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