Word order of oracles in prose

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.
Locked
markcmueller
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 11:43 am

Word order of oracles in prose

Post by markcmueller » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:09 am

Topic name was: Belle marquise, vos beaux yeux...

I'm most of the way through Easy Selections from Xenophon and decided to take a break and read Thrasymachus. I realize that in the Xenophon selections I've been shielded from Xenophon's word order, and I realize that the readings from Thrasymachus have been created by the authors, but I assume that those readings reflect natural Greek word order. I'm stumped by the reply to Jason from the priest of Apollo (reading VIII): Ἂνδρα μίαν κρηπῖδ᾽͵ ὦ τλῆμον͵ φεῦγε φέροντα.

I assume the warning means "O Wretch, flee a man bearing one sandal." I'm having a hard time understanding why the word order would seem natural. I can imagine that the first three words are first because they express the key point -- but I cannot see why φέροντα comes at the end. It's probably the least important word in the sentence, but the whole sentence is held in suspense for this unimportant word. He's not, for example, swinging the sandal or throwing it. φεῦγε φέροντα feels like the last two pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that you have to make fit by pounding. What am I missing?

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Belle marquise, vos beaux yeux...

Post by Hylander » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:13 pm

This is a hexameter. The word order to a certain extent is constrained by the meter. And it ends with a catchy alliteration. But Greek word order is difficult to pin down, and strict rules can't be formulated--only general tendencies.

The Pythia could have said Ἂνδρα μίαν κρηπῖδα φέροντ', ὦ τλῆμον͵ φεῦγε. That would be metrical, to be sure, but metrically less effective, with a heavy spondee in the fifth foot.

Jason himself was the man with one sandal, the other having been lost while he was crossing a river. The oracular response was delivered to Jason's uncle, Pelias, who had ousted Jason's father Aeson from the throne of Thessaly, and who was ultimately killed by his own daughters. They were deceived into cutting him up and boiling the pieces by Jason's then consort, Medea. The oracle warned Pelias about Jason.

markcmueller
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 11:43 am

Re: Belle marquise, vos beaux yeux...

Post by markcmueller » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:30 pm

Thanks, Hylander! Since the passage was in prose, I wasn't thinking verse. The idea that a heavy spondee would be metrically less effective is rather beyond me for right now. I did sort of realize there was alliteration, but I was focused on the meaning not thinking the alliteration was driving the word order.

I am glad to hear that some sort of meaning was not at play in the word order!

Aetos
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 6:04 pm

Re: Belle marquise, vos beaux yeux...

Post by Aetos » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:09 pm

I've noticed in reading Herodotus that quite often whenever an oracle's reply is quoted, it's rendered in hexameter. Is this common?
markcmueller wrote: Ἂνδρα μίαν κρηπῖδ᾽͵ ὦ τλῆμον͵ φεῦγε φέροντα
This appears to be dactylic hexameter, so usually the fifth foot would be a dactyl. In this line, all but the first and fifth feet are spondees. Of course, spondees are found on the fifth foot, just not very often and usually with the result of slowing the movement of the verse.

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Belle marquise, vos beaux yeux...

Post by Hylander » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:16 pm

The oracle always responded in hexameters, and I think Herodotus and others usually if not always quote the responses in hexameters. In ancient Greece, hexameters were the original medium of written communication, and prose was a later discovery. In fact, hexameters, or at least metrical communication of important information, probably preceded writing: meter made memorization of information easier before writing became available.

Mark Mueller, I wonder whether you could change the heading of this thread so that the subject is more transparent. I realize that you're quoting a comic discussion of inverted word order from Le bourgeois gentilhomme (I had to look it up myself), but not everyone knows that, and I think others might weigh in if they can see what you're asking about.

Aetos
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 6:04 pm

Re: Belle marquise, vos beaux yeux...

Post by Aetos » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:58 pm

Hylander, thanks for the reply! I never realized that prose came along much later than verse and I would imagine that explains why not only poetry but plays were written in meter (not necessarily hexameter) as well.

markcmueller
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 11:43 am

Word order of oracles in prose

Post by markcmueller » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:01 am

Sorry, Hylander, I couldn't figure out how to rename the topic, unless
changing it on a reply does the trick.

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by Hylander » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:56 pm

Thanks, Mark! Seems to have done the trick. Maybe some others can be lured into commenting.

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3344
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by jeidsath » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:51 am

Apparently oracles gave up hexameter as too troublesome. Plutarch wrote a ΠΕΡΙ ΤΟΥ ΜΗ ΧΡΑΝ ΕΜΜΕΤΡΑ ΝΥΝ ΤΗΝ ΠΥΘΙΑΝ.
ἀλλὰ κἀκείνας αἰτιᾶσθε τὰς πάλαι προφήτιδας ὡς φαύλοις ποιήμασι χρωμένας, καὶ τὰς νῦν καταλογάδην καὶ διὰ τῶν ἐπιτυχόντων ὀνομάτων τοὺς χρησμοὺς λεγούσας, ὅπως ὑμῖν ἀκεφάλων καὶ λαγαρῶν μέτρων καὶ μειούρων εὐθύνας μὴ ὑπέχωσι.
I tried to find a Greek source for something like this Jason line, but couldn't.

Pindar's Pythian 4:
ἦλθε δέ οἱ κρυόεν πυκινῷ μάντευμα θυμῷ, πὰρ μέσον ὀμφαλὸν εὐδένδροιο ῥηθὲν ματέρος τὸν μονοκρήπιδα πάντως ἐν φυλακᾷ σχεθέμεν μεγάλᾳ,
I couldn't find the scene in Flaccus.

Apollodorus:
ἐθέσπισεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν μονοσάνδαλον φυλάξασθαι
Apollonius:
τοίην γὰρ Πελίης φάτιν ἔκλυεν, ὥς μιν ὀπίσσω
μοῖρα μένει στυγερή, τοῦδ᾿ ἀνέρος, ὅν τιν᾿ ἴδοιτο
δημόθεν οἰοπέδιλον, ὑπ᾿ ἐννεσίῃσι δαμῆναι.
Lycophron (a reference only):
Καὶ δευτέρους ἔπεμψαν Ἄτρακας λύκους
ταγῷ μονοκρήπιδι κλέψοντας νάκην,
δρακοντοφρούροις ἐσκεπασμένην σκοπαῖς.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by Hylander » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:56 am

oracles gave up hexameter as too troublesome.
That would have been about 600+ years after Herodotus' time.

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3344
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by jeidsath » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:26 am

Yes, I didn't mean to contradict anything. Herodotus always puts his responses in meter, though I've only read bits and pieces. The Sibylline Oracles are all in hexameters.

However, Plutarch does make me wonder how much of this was just literary convention, rather than actual utterances. It's clear that all of the examples in Herodotus were dreamed up after the fact.

I looked for the text of the famous oracle about Socrates, which would have come up in court, and could perhaps be real. I found an interesting discussion about it in a Scholia on Clouds.

I find it interesting that Xenophon and Plato both use μηδένα instead of οὐδένα, and makes me wonder if their versions derive from a real source.

Xenophon
μηδένα εἶναι ἀνθρώπων ἐμοῦ μήτε ἐλευθεριώτερον μήτε δικαιότερον μήτε σωφρονέστερον.
Plato
ἀνεῖλεν οὖν ἡ Πυθία μηδένα σοφώτερον εἶναι.
Scholia
σοφὸς Σοφοκλῆς, σοφώτερος δ’ Εὐριπίδης, ἀνδρῶν δὲ πάντων Σωκράτης σοφώτερος. τούτου Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Μόλων ἐν τῷ κατὰ φιλοσόφων ἐψεῦσθαί φησι τὴν Πυθί- αν· τοὺς γὰρ πυθικοὺς χρησμοὺς ἑξαμέτρους εἶναι καὶ <ἀ>εί. ἔστι δὲ παρὰ (10) κωμικῷ τινι †συγκεχωρίσθαι τῷ χρησμῷ δύναται†. ὅτι δὲ καὶ ἄλλοι διὰ τριμέτρων πλείους εἰσὶ χρησμοί, οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ πεζῷ λόγῳ λεχθέντες τῇ Πυθίᾳ, δῆλον.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3379
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by mwh » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:33 am

There’s a lot that could be said about the production of oracles (see e.g. Fontenrose’s The Delphic Oracle, but he downplays politicization), but to get back on topic, and to Mark’s excellent query about the word order of this particular oracle. The crucial thing is that it’s not prose but verse, a dactylic hexameter as Hylander pointed out (so the topic title is still a bit misleading?). That should be obvious to anyone reading the passage. The hexameter is the most venerable of the Greek meters, and oracles are delivered in hexameter as a matter of course. Word order in hexameter is in fact not very far removed from prose, and Ἂνδρα μίαν κρηπῖδ᾽͵ ὦ τλῆμον͵ φεῦγε φέροντα illustrates the fact. But it’s not quite the same, and Mark did well to fasten on the position of φέροντα. In prose the participle would probably not be deferred so, but in hexameter its position at the end has no special significance beyond (importantly) completing both the verse and the syntax—just as Mark noted.

Verse is “marked” speech, and word order in verse is routinely somewhat different from how it is in prose. Partly this is due to metrical constraints, but it goes deeper than that. It’s more a matter of stylization, and poets can manipulate word order for effect. Prose writers can too, of course, but not to the extent that poets can. The more elevated the verse form, the more “distortion” you’re likely to get, and the more functional it becomes. Menander for instance, composing in iambic trimeters in more or less ordinary language (and iambics are the closest meter to the rhythms of ordinary speech), departs little from ordinary word order, but a poet like Pindar, operating with a complex metrical system and in highflown language, achieves effects through word order which are simply unattainable in prose.
(In Latin compare Plautus vs. Horace's Odes.)

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3344
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by jeidsath » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:10 pm

I have just corrected all of the mentions of κληπῖδα to κρηπῖδα. I won't mention the names of those who copy-pasted from the initial error (but it was everybody).
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3379
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by mwh » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:42 pm

Thank you Joel. I admit to sometimes copy-pasting without copy-editing, and am not ashamed of it.
Apologies to all for the trivial nature of this post. My previous one had a little more substance to it.

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:03 am

jeidsath wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:26 am
Yes, I didn't mean to contradict anything. Herodotus always puts his responses in meter, though I've only read bits and pieces. The Sibylline Oracles are all in hexameters.

However, Plutarch does make me wonder how much of this was just literary convention, rather than actual utterances. It's clear that all of the examples in Herodotus were dreamed up after the fact.
What I see you suggesting is that the hexameter might be deliberately thought-out compositions in verse form, rather than truly frenzied "utterances" like the Sibyls were supposedly making.

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by Hylander » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:13 am

The oracular responses were not the exact words uttered by the Pythia or Sybil. No doubt, she babbled incoherently. But the priests wrote a fitting response and delivered it to the person consulting the oracle.

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:59 pm

Hylander wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:13 am
The oracular responses were not the exact words uttered by the Pythia or Sybil. No doubt, she babbled incoherently. But the priests wrote a fitting response and delivered it to the person consulting the oracle.
Hylander,
What you are saying is a good, rational explanation of what happened.
Whereas earlier you wrote a different, but also conceivable explanation:
The oracle always responded in hexameters, and I think Herodotus and others usually if not always quote the responses in hexameters.
You see, I have two different conceptions of how the oracles could have occurred, and both can be found in old literature.
One is what Justin Martyr theorized about the Oracle having excited utterances and the other (IIRC from Cicero) is that this must not have been the case because she used Acrostics, which require deliberate composition.

If it was deliberately set into hexameter and Acrostics in a thought-out, intentional careful way, then it was not literally a matter of the oracle always orally making direct responses in excited utterances, frenzied speech, hexameters, and then having the frenzied speech set down into hexameters. That is, these different explanations of what happened are generally mutually exclusive. ie.:

Was it initially produced in frenzied, spontaneous utterances where the oracle serves as a communication device of direct prophecy (as some ancient writers claimed)?
Were the frenzied utterances directly initially given in Hexameter and Acrostics?
Were the frenzied utterances chaotic and then organized in Hexameter and Acrostics (as you theorized above)
Or were the verses deliberately and carefully planned by the author to match the hexameter and Acrostic forms?

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:09 pm

Hylander and Mark,
I value your opinions on this topic.

In Book III, the Sibyl explains how she gets and makes her prophecies:
{I say} these things to you, having left the long Babylonian walls of Assyria, frenzied, a fire sent to Greece, prophesing the disclosures of God to all mortals, so that I prophesy divine riddles to men. ... But when everything comes to pass, then you will remember me and no longer will anyone say that I am crazy, I who am a prophetess of the great God. ... God put all of the future in my mind so that I prophesy both future and former things and tell them to mortals. ... all the latter things have been revealed, so let all these things from my mouth be accounted true.
The implication seems to be that God puts ideas in some prophets' heads and this is the origin of their prophecies. They are in a frenzy and have ideas in their heads about the future and the ideas are their prophecies when they speak them.

But of course, the fact that the Sibyl in the poem described her oracle this way doesn't mean that it actually occurred in that fashion. Maybe some ancient readers imagined that she "miraculously" or "inspirationally" produced her utterances in exactly the form of hexameter while in a frenzied state.

The Study Light page on the Sibylline Oracle says that Justin Martyr
argues that Plato must have had this Sibyl [the Roman one at Cumae, Italy] in his mind when he described in the Phaedrus (244B) and the Meno (99C) the phenomena of prophetic frenzy or rapture, since the Sibyl did not recollect afterwards what she had said during her unconscious ecstasies.
[Note: In the Sibylline oracles, the Sibyl is passive or reluctant under the influence of inspiration. This tallied with some Jewish and Christian conceptions of prophetic inspiration...]
SOURCE: Sibylline Oracles - Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Bible Dictionary
What do you think of Justin Martyr's description of how the prophecying worked?

Justin writes:
And Plato, when he read her oracles, seems to me to have regarded the reciters of oracles as divinely inspired. For he saw that the things which had been spoken of old by her were actually fulfilled; and therefore in the dialogue with Meno [1. Plato, Meno, 99.], expressing admiration and eulogy of the prophets for their sayings, he has thus written: "We might truly name as divine those whom we call prophets. Not least should we say that they are divine and profoundly inspired and possessed of God when they truly speak of many and great matters, knowing nothing of the things of which they speak; "clearly and obviously referring to the oracles of the Sibyl. For she was unlike the poets, who after the writing of their poems have power to correct and polish, especially the accuracy of the meters, but at the time of her inspiration she was filled with the matters of her prophecy, and when the spell of inspiration ceased her memory of the things spoken also ceased. This accordingly is the reason why all the meters of the verses of the Sibyl have not been preserved. For we ourselves, being in the city, learned from the guides who showed us the places in which she uttered her oracles that there was also a vessel made of bronze in which they said her remains were preserved. And besides all other things which they narrated, they also told us this, as having heard it from their forefathers, that they who received the oracles at that time, being without education, often utterly missed the accuracy of the meters, and this they said was the reason for the want of meter in some of the verses, the prophetess after the ceasing of her possession and her inspiration having no remembrance of what she had said, and the writers having failed for want of education to preserve the accuracy of the meters. Therefore it is evident that Plato said this about the reciters of oracles in reference to the oracles of the Sibyl; for he thus said: "When they truly speak of many and great matters, knowing nothing of the things of which they speak."

https://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/sib/sib15.htm

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1941
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by Hylander » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:25 am

Hylander,
What you are saying is a good, rational explanation of what happened.
Whereas earlier you wrote a different, but also conceivable explanation:
The oracle always responded in hexameters, and I think Herodotus and others usually if not always quote the responses in hexameters.
No, my explanations are consistent. The oracle was an institution. The woman who was believed to deliver the response actually uttered nonsense, if anything at all. The priests then cynically composed a response in hexameters to the person asking the question. The response was typically obscure and potentially ambiguous, so that the priests could claim the oracle was right whatever the outcome for the person seeking the response. That's what is meant by "Delphic." Eventually people caught on and grew tired of this, and the oracles stopped functioning.

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:42 pm

Hylander,
You are giving a pretty good, rational explanation of how the Sibylline Oracles and their composition in hexameter could have happened in real life.
I am pretty curious about how the special hexameters of the Sibylline Oracles sounded in poetry, and I found some recordings referring to the Oracles. Can you tell if any of them quote the Oracles?:

ΟΙ ΠΡΟΑΓΓΕΛΟΙ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ (ΣΙΒΥΛΛΕΣ): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKTRIaEyzow
Nenas Venetsanou's 1982 "Oracles of the Sybil": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqqMB4hSa70
Maria Farantouri's performance of the same song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mC6k5wBrS4
Merlin Beggar's "Song of the Sybil" song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G26WoSqpiGw

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1172
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:52 pm

Hylander wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:25 am

No, my explanations are consistent. The oracle was an institution. The woman who was believed to deliver the response actually uttered nonsense, if anything at all. The priests then cynically composed a response in hexameters to the person asking the question. The response was typically obscure and potentially ambiguous, so that the priests could claim the oracle was right whatever the outcome for the person seeking the response. That's what is meant by "Delphic." Eventually people caught on and grew tired of this, and the oracles stopped functioning.
Actually, it was banned along with other such pagan sites by Theodosius 1 in 391-392 CE.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Aetos
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 6:04 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by Aetos » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:00 am

halibot wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:42 pm
I am pretty curious about how the special hexameters of the Sibylline Oracles sounded in poetry, and I found some recordings referring to the Oracles. Can you tell if any of them quote the Oracles?:

ΟΙ ΠΡΟΑΓΓΕΛΟΙ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ (ΣΙΒΥΛΛΕΣ): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKTRIaEyzow
Nenas Venetsanou's 1982 "Oracles of the Sybil": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqqMB4hSa70
Maria Farantouri's performance of the same song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mC6k5wBrS4
Merlin Beggar's "Song of the Sybil" song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G26WoSqpiGw
The short answer is:
Οι προάγγελοι του Χρηστού (Σίβυλλες): is a TV interview with the author of a book on the Prophecies of Apollo and the coming of Christ. There is one quote from Herophile, the Erythraean Sybil which the author mentions, but does not cite his source .
The quote is: "σῆμα δε πᾶσι βροτοῖσι τότε" and supposedly refers to the Mark of the Beast in the last days. He asserts that we are already living in the last days prophesied in Revelations and that the "Mark of the Beast" are microchips embedded in our skin, so take it for what it's worth.
"Oracles of the Sybil" is a song by Manos Xatzidakis in Modern Greek, with lyrics written by Nikos Gkatsos, a noted Greek poet and lyricist. Here are the lyrics:http://www.stixoi.info/stixoi.php?info= ... aaσιβυλλας
There are four lines that might be a modern Greek translation of oracular responses (which I doubt), but there is certainly nothing in those lines that have to do with the coming of Christ.
The last song, "Song of the Sybil" is written in Catalan, so whether there are any translations of oracular responses in the work, I wouldn't know.
One thing is certain: there is nothing in any of the four sources above composed in dactylic hexameter (except for the quote from Herophile, which is incomplete.)

Here is an example of a oracular response composed in dactylic hexameter:
ὦ θείη Σαλαμίς, ἀπολεῖς δε συ τέκνα γυναικών
ἤ που σκιδναμένης Δημήτερος ἤ συνιούσης.
The metrical scheme looks like this:
--/-uu/-uu/-uu/-uu/--
--/-uu/--/-uu/-uu/--
This is a prophecy mentioned by Herodotus regarding the Battle of Salamis, which roughly means:
Oh, divine Salamis, and you will kill mothers' children
when [the fruits of]Demeter are sown or reaped. (In other words, in the spring or fall)

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:55 am

Good investigation by you of the linked recordings, Aetos!
:) :D 8) :P :!:
Image

Can you please do a Google Video search to see if there are any recordings from the Sibylline Oracles online in Greek?

Aetos
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 6:04 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by Aetos » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:47 pm

Thanks for the colourful thank you! I did a cursory search early this morning but couldn't turn anything up. Joel, our moderator, knows his way around the 'net better than most folks; perhaps he can help. I felt I had to help you with your audio links because except for the last one, they're in modern Greek, not ancient. As far as delving deeper into eschatology, I'm afraid I have quite a bit "on my plate" already, so will have to pass. Good Luck to you!

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:50 pm

Thanks for checking on Google, Aetos. I don't think that there is anything online for Sibylline recordings, either.
There are beautiful ones for the Psalms in Hebrew, as well as for Homer's hexameters though.

i like this one for Psalm 30:
תהילים ל - החזן ציון פלאח (Psalm 30),
www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6_OxeZRFs0
The instrumental melody strangely sounds Greek to me.

This performance of Homer's Odyssey's opening lines is neat:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d39VrPwBGkQ
Something about the accent of pronouncing the ancient Greek lines reminds me alot of a Swedish or Danish accent, like with the big round long "A"s, "O"s, and "U"s.

User avatar
BrianB
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:14 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by BrianB » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:57 pm

Hylander wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:13 am
The oracular responses were not the exact words uttered by the Pythia or Sybil. No doubt, she babbled incoherently.
What, if anything, is known about the smoke or vapor rising from the χάσμα beneath the Pythia’s stool? Was it in any way an intoxicant or narcotic?

Aetos
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 6:04 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by Aetos » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:18 pm

halibot wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:50 pm
Thanks for checking on Google, Aetos. I don't think that there is anything online for Sibylline recordings, either.
There are beautiful ones for the Psalms in Hebrew, as well as for Homer's hexameters though.

i like this one for Psalm 30:
תהילים ל - החזן ציון פלאח (Psalm 30),
www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6_OxeZRFs0
The instrumental melody strangely sounds Greek to me.

This performance of Homer's Odyssey's opening lines is neat:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d39VrPwBGkQ
Something about the accent of pronouncing the ancient Greek lines reminds me alot of a Swedish or Danish accent, like with the big round long "A"s, "O"s, and "U"s.
Many of the instruments used in both folk (demotika) and popular (laika) music as well as rembetika have their origins in Asia Minor as well as the Middle East, so it's not surprising that the music retains an oriental quality as well. Remember also that the Greece of the past 500 years was heavily influenced culturally, especially in music, by the Turkish occupation. Eastern influence on Greek music, however, goes back almost to the beginnings of Greek civilization. M.L. West has written an excellent book titled Ancient Greek Music which discusses, among many other things, the types and origins of many of the instruments that were used in ancient Greece.

If you're interested in the pronunciation of Ancient Greek, there is no better guide than W.S. Allen's Vox Graeca.
A friend of mine and I were at a dinner recently and were comparing apps on our phones when he noticed my Ancient Greek app (from the folks who gave us SPQR). It's basically a collection of texts from Perseus formatted to be read on a smartphone. So I opened the Odyssey and we started to read it metrically together, my friend reading with his modern Greek pronunciation and I with my mishmash of modern and 4th century pronunciation. (I learnt modern Greek long before ancient, so it's an effort to even pronounce vowels properly). Well, it was marvelous! Even with Dimitri's iotacised vowels and both of us with our fricatives, we were perfectly in rhythm and the words although pronounced differently blended nicely.

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:58 pm

Nice.

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:44 pm

BrianB wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:57 pm
What, if anything, is known about the smoke or vapor rising from the χάσμα beneath the Pythia’s stool? Was it in any way an intoxicant or narcotic?
There are alot of discussions on the potential chemical sources. One theory goes that there were gases from the rocks underneath. For instance:
By the time Plutarch took office as priest of Apollo at Delphi, the oracle’s powers had significantly diminished. According to Plutarch, emissions of pneuma in the adyton were slight and unpredictable, leading to the decline of the oracle itself. He suggested that whatever produced the pneuma in the rock below the temple had become exhausted, or that the fissures in the rock had been blocked up in the 373 B.C. earthquake.
https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/dai ... ly-stoned/

User avatar
halibot
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Word order of oracles in prose

Post by halibot » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:04 pm

I think Aetos answered my question well. It looks like there are no recordings of the Sibyls in Greek online, and the best that you can get for its hexameter is the Greek Homeric poetry online, although there is a little difference.

Locked