5.,4., 29

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Constantinus Philo
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5.,4., 29

Post by Constantinus Philo »

καὶ ἵππους δὲ ἦγε πολλοὺς
Here, I would render this δέ as 'in addition, ' 'besides' but the English translation renders it as 'and, most important of all, he brought many horses', which, to me, looks too outré.
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Re: 5.,4., 29

Post by phalakros »

Xenophon is notable for his fondness for καὶ…δέ. He uses this particle combination more than anyone else.

Here’s the passage:

ἐπεὶ δὲ παρεσκευάζετο ἤδη ὁ Κῦρος ὡς ἀπιών [note again future use of ptcp of εἶμι!], παρῆν ὁ Γαδάτας ἄλλα τε δῶρα πολλὰ καὶ παντοῖα φέρων καὶ ἄγων ὡς ἂν ἐξ οἴκου μεγάλου, καὶ ἵππους δὲ ἦγε πολλοὺς ἀφελόμενος τῶν ἑαυτοῦ ἱππέων οἷς ἠπιστήκει διὰ τὴν ἐπιβουλήν.

Both your translation and Miller’s are fine. Miller’s is nice, in fact. But translation is of limited use when it comes to discussing the exquisite nuances of Greek particles.

With καὶ…δέ, καί (“and”) connects an item, often a single word, to a preceding item or list; δέ is adverbial—it shifts the focus to the new item and sets it apart from the preceding item(s). “…apart from that” or “for that matter” come close to the meaning of δέ in this context. In pragmatic terms, δέ individualizes the new item and marks a shift in topic. δέ (as adverbial) is optional; καί (as connective) is required. In some contexts that means that the item distinguished by δέ will be the most important, as it does here with the horses.

But that’s not all. Here, καὶ..δέ comes as part of the very common idiom ἄλλα τε…καί, “both others…and,” or just “…and especially.” ἵππους is set apart as especially important both by ἄλλα τε…καί and καὶ…δέ, which Miller’s translation captures.

Note that this understanding of καὶ…δέ (καί as connector; δέ as adverbial) differs from Smyth, who thinks of καί here as adverbial (“also”) and δέ as connective (“and”). Your Xen. passage is a good example of why this doesn’t work. The καί is clearly connective there, coordinated with τε, not adverbial. There is a good article by Rijksbaron about this, I believe originally published in the influential volume New Approaches to Greek Particles.

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