Ovid Amores 1.1

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seneca2008
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Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by seneca2008 »

I have been looking at the Amores and I stumbled on line 1.1.24:

"questus eram, pharetrā cum prōtinus ille solūtā

lēgit in exitium spīcula facta meum

lūnāvitque genū sinuōsum fortiter arcum

“quod” que “canās, vātēs, accipe” dīxit “opus.”

The modern way of presenting the text with quotation marks leaves the que isolated (and we all know what that feels like now!). I haven't looked for a digital image of the manuscript but I wonder if it is quodeque or quod que?

McKeown points me to Houseman (1897) who refers to "Ovid's favourite practice of appending to the first word of a quotation a que which belongs to the verb of speaking , as at met. iii 644 " obstipui 'capiat' que 'aliquis moderamina' dixi." He then lists "all the instances which I have noted down, marking the true construction by a grotesque employment of inverted commas. (My underlining)

Its a small point but it puzzled me. I am ashamed to say that I didnt remember this from my reading of the metamorphosis although this was some years ago now.

Line 24 is of course simply amazing. As McKeown says "Cupid speaks a mere five words in response to Ovid's long tirade. An inspiring deity could hardly be more laconic."

Apart from Mckeown I have found Ovid's Amores, Book one : a commentary, Maureen B. Ryan and Caroline A. Perkins, University of Oklahoma Press, 2011. useful. Also free on line there is a helpful commentary by William Turpin from Dickinson College Comentaries. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/ovid-amores/amores-1-1
Persuade tibi hoc sic esse, ut scribo: quaedam tempora eripiuntur nobis, quaedam subducuntur, quaedam effluunt. Turpissima tamen est iactura, quae per neglegentiam fit. Et si volueris attendere, maxima pars vitae elabitur male agentibus, magna nihil agentibus, tota vita aliud agentibus.

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

seneca2008 wrote: Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:44 pm I have been looking at the Amores and I stumbled on line 1.1.24:

"questus eram, pharetrā cum prōtinus ille solūtā

lēgit in exitium spīcula facta meum

lūnāvitque genū sinuōsum fortiter arcum

“quod” que “canās, vātēs, accipe” dīxit “opus.”

The modern way of presenting the text with quotation marks leaves the que isolated (and we all know what that feels like now!). I haven't looked for a digital image of the manuscript but I wonder if it is quodeque or quod que?
Ha! Social distancing has precedent in ancient texts, or at least in modern editors of ancient texts. Speaking of the Metamorphoses, Met. 8.692:

...Superi vetuere necari

‘di’ que ‘sumus, meritasque luet vicinia poenas

impia’ dixerunt; ‘vobis inmunibus huius

esse mali dabitur....

I strongly suspect if you look at the manuscripts you will see no such division.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter

Cuncta mortalia incerta...

Aetos
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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by Aetos »

Here's how they did it in 1556:
https://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/00 ... &seite=178

Stay well!

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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by mwh »

quodquecanasvatesaccipedixitopus
or for the uber-fussy
quodquecanas.vates.accipe.dixit.opus.

In antiquity readers would apprehend the syntax in the act of reading the line, no sweat. And no need for quote marks.

The -que is in its regular position, linking this sentence with the previous one, while dixit, the sentence’s main verb, is slipped in before the end of the quote. To a Roman reader this is not at all exceptional but just as it should be. It’s very neat.

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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by Hylander »

To my shame, I haver to admit that modern punctuation helps me, at least for Latin. Though I''m just now getting the hang of text messaging in English -- with minimal punctuation and Propertius-like garblings -- with my younger bros from the dog park. And my register is as puzzling to them as theirs is to me.

But in reading Latin and Greek, it's iportant to be alert to potential punctuations that are different from those in the printed text.
Bill Walderman

Aetos
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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by Aetos »

Hylander wrote: Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:21 am But in reading Latin and Greek, it's important to be alert to potential punctuations that are different from those in the printed text.
We certainly saw that with the passage from Livy that you and Michael helped me with:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=69675

Reading Herodotus, I often found myself wanting to insert commas, particularly after genitive absolutes, or to set apart a clause, but that's probably down to my own (admittedly imperfect) usage of commas in English and initially overlooking the copulatives in Greek. Douglas Adams, in one of his Hitchhiker's Guide books, once started a chapter with the English equivalent of a period and knowing that most folks wouldn't get the meaning on the first read through (I think the overlooked word was "is"), immediately followed with "Read it again-you'll get it." It was a joke of course, but that pretty much describes my reading experience in Greek and Latin.

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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by mwh »

Punctuation is not an altogether scientific business(,) but in classical texts I generally find myself wanting less, not more. It’s largely a matter of conditioning I suppose (a papyrologist gets used to unarticulated texts!), but we should also remember that Greek and Latin syntax does not work the same way that English does—as that quodque canas example illustrates.

A simpler example. An editor of a reported dialogue will print e.g.
“οὐκοῦν,” φησί, “λέγεις …”
with commas and quote marks separating the direct speech from the interposed φησί. For us today, spoilt as we are, it would be disconcerting if the quote marks were not added, and similarly with the commas. But adding them wrecks the experience of reading a text which has not been interfered with so. And worse than that, adding a comma after οὐκοῦν (whether before or after the closing quote mark) is positively wrong, for φησί, like -que, is enclitic, and as such inseparable from οὐκοῦν.

(So contemporary text-messaging practice ends up being closer to ancient Greek and Latin practice than the rules we were taught in school. Except for its disregard for traditional grammar.)

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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by phalakros »

Thank you for getting me to look back at the Amores. A pleasant diversion while stuck inside.

Is it common for gods to bend bows with their knees? (lūnāvitque genū sinuōsum fortiter arcum). I don’t have Mckeown handy.

The typically Ovidian play with meter—Attenuat nervos proximus ille meos…Musa, per undenos emodulanda pedes occurring at just the right spot in the pentameter, heading the second hemiepes—reminds me of the proem to Babrius’s fables, which ends:

ὧν [Aesop’s μύθοι] νῦν ἕκαστον ἀνθίσας ἐμῇ μνήμῃ
μελισταγές σοι λωτοκηρίον θήσω,
πικρῶν ἰάμβων σκληρὰ κῶλα θηλύνας.

Similarly highlighting his choliambs at the metrically-significant position. Ovid’s up to a similar trick in the second line of the Metam.

I’m sure there are many other examples, e.g. in Greek epigram (but probably more common in Latin than Gk?). Can anyone think of one?

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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by mwh »

I imagine Apollo’s way of stringing his bow will have been envisaged as the same as a human archer’s (or vice versa). The image conjured up is obvious enough, but I find it hard to believe that it corresponds to the reality of stringing the double sinuous bow that we know from depictions of it. I’m no archer, but surely the back of the knee would be more realistic, though that’s clearly not how we’re meant to think of it.

The Babrius is interesting, and its idea that the dragged final foot of the choliamb softens or feminizes the “harsh” iambic is unconventional. It was more usual to regard the line as “limping,” as the standard nomenclature “choliamb” or “scazon” implies. Evidently by Babrius’ time the idea of its character had changed, as the ethos of Babrius’ verses itself confirms. But poems such as Catullus 30 and 23 still faithfully reflect the original Hipponactean character of the meter—far from feminine!—and even the well known Cat.8 (Miser Catulle desinas ineptire) retains its mocking associations.

(I have wondered whether κῶλα might be a pun on χωλα, but I think not.)

phalakros
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Re: Ovid Amores 1.1

Post by phalakros »

On the Babrius, I too think the unusual language of softening (also in the prologue to the second book––πρηυνας at the same metrical position, etc) has something to do with the choliambs, perhaps also the παροξυτονησις; not just the subject matter, as some have read it. There’s also the question of the veracity of the prologues. The harmonious golden age between animals and humans immediately gives way to the violent world of the fables. Perhaps the reader shouldn’t be as trustful of the poet’s “messenger” as the lion was of the hunter’s in the first muthos. (I remember reading a dissertation on this a few years back when researching Aesop and Babrius. I don’t have it handy, but can find it if anyone is interested.)

A simpler example. An editor of a reported dialogue will print e.g.
“οὐκοῦν,” φησί, “λέγεις …”
with commas and quote marks separating the direct speech from the interposed φησί. For us today, spoilt as we are, it would be disconcerting if the quote marks were not added, and similarly with the commas. But adding them wrecks the experience of reading a text which has not been interfered with so. And worse than that, adding a comma after οὐκοῦν (whether before or after the closing quote mark) is positively wrong, for φησί, like -que, is enclitic, and as such inseparable from οὐκοῦν.
That’s helpful, specially about setting φησι off with commas. What do you think of the common editorial practice of surrounding vocative expressions with commas (e.g. καὶ σύ, τέκνον)? They’re of course a reflection of modern punctuation, but I don’t think we should understand a pause in speech (cf. elisions like …ἕνεκ’ ὦ ἄνδρες), which the commas may suggest. Eleanor Dickey may have something on this in her book on Greek address.

[One other example, which I hope doesn’t distract from more interesting discussions. The so-called “anti-semitic comma” in 1 Thess 2 shows how much ideology can sneak in even to matters of punctuation:

Ὑμεῖς γὰρ μιμηταὶ ἐγενήθητε, ἀδελφοί, τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν τοῦ θεοῦ τῶν οὐσῶν ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, ὅτι τὰ αὐτὰ ἐπάθετε καὶ ὑμεῖς ὑπὸ τῶν ἰδίων συμφυλετῶν καθὼς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τῶν Ἰουδαίων, τῶν καὶ τὸν κύριον ἀποκτεινάντων Ἰησοῦν καὶ τοὺς προφήτας καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐκδιωξάντων καὶ θεῷ μὴ ἀρεσκόντων καὶ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις ἐναντίων, κωλυόντων ἡμᾶς τοῖς ἔθνεσιν λαλῆσαι ἵνα σωθῶσιν, εἰς τὸ ἀναπληρῶσαι αὐτῶν τὰς ἁμαρτίας πάντοτε.

That is, the commas could be read (according to English practice) as marking a non-restrictive clause, as most translations and traditional commentators take it—the Jews, who, as a people, killed Jesus and persecuted the prophets. Contrast the goyim who don’t know God (τα εθνη τα μη ειδότα θεον, restrictive, no commas) later in the letter. Α case of the German punctuation of a Greek text being interpreted according to English norms and supersessionist prejudice? So NT interpretation goes.]

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