Gregory of Nyssa's Apology of the Hexaemeron

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Dustin Trampe
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Joined: December 13th, 2017, 12:33 pm

Gregory of Nyssa's Apology of the Hexaemeron

Post by Dustin Trampe » December 13th, 2017, 1:32 pm

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I'm having trouble translating this text (can be found in PG vol.44 pg. 64.C):

Οἶμαι γὰρ ἐγὼ μὴ καλῶς τινας τὸν σκοπὸν τῶν εἰς τὴν Ἡξαήμερον αὐτῷ πεπονημένων ἐπεγνωκέναι, οὖ χάριν αἰτιῶνται τὸ μήτε περὶ τοῦ ἡλίου σαφῆ παραδεδόσθαι τὴν γνῶσιν αὐτοῖς, πῶς μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ὁ φωστὴρ, οὔτ' ἂν μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων ἀστέρων κατασκευάζεται, ὡς ἀδύνετον ὂν ὄρθρῳ καὶ ἑσπέρᾳ διορισθῆναι τὸ ἡμερήσιον μέτρον, εἰ μὴ πάντως ὁ ἥλιος ἑσπέραν μὲν δυόμενος, ὄρθρον δὲ ἀνατέλλων ποιήσειεν.

I'm trying to understand how μήτε and οὔτε relate the clauses, as well as how the πῶς and ὡς clauses relate to the rest.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Gregory of Nyssa's Apology of the Hexaemeron

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 13th, 2017, 10:01 pm

dtramps23 wrote:
December 13th, 2017, 1:32 pm

I'm having trouble tranlating this text (can be found in PG vol.44 pg. 64.C):

Οἶμαι γὰρ ἐγὼ μὴ καλῶς τινας τὸν σκοπὸν τῶν εἰς τὴν Ἡξαήμερον αὐτῷ πεπονημένων ἐπεγνωκέναι, οὖ χάριν αἰτιῶνται τὸ μήτε περὶ τοῦ ἡλίου σαφῆ παραδεδόσθαι τὴν γνῶσιν αὐτοῖς, πῶς μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ὁ φωστὴρ, οὔτ' ἂν μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων ἀστέρων κατασκευάζεται, ὡς ἀδύνετον ὂν ὄρθρῳ καὶ ἑσπέρᾳ διορισθῆναι τὸ ἡμερήσιον μέτρον, εἰ μὴ πάντως ὁ ἥλιος ἑσπέραν μὲν δυόμενος, ὄρθρον δὲ ἀνατέλλων ποιήσειεν.

I'm trying to understand how μήτε and οὔτε relate the clauses, as well as how the πῶς and ὡς clauses relate to the rest.
First, be careful of your transcription -- ἀδύνετον should be ἀδύνατον.

Secondly, if you run across this translation:

https://tinyurl.com/yc7vbvwb

Don't bother -- based on this text, it looks as though it's basically σκύβαλον, and can't be trusted. Translation:

"For I surmise that some do not have a good understanding of the goal of his [Basil's] compositions in The Six Day Creation Account, since they charge that he has not given to them a clear knowledge of the sun, how after three days the star was not created with the other stars, that it is not possible to obtain a correct measure of the day by means of "evening and morning" unless altogether the sun would make it evening by setting, morning by rising."

[Full disclosure: I was very glad to see the Latin translation in Migne, which clarified a couple of possible ambiguities. Latina regit!]

I think μήτε and οὐτε are used here as simple negatives in their clauses, and not used correlatively. πῶς is an indirect question explaining what it means that Basil has not given clear knowledge of the sun, and ὡς is used to give further explanation to what the πῶς clause means.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Dustin Trampe
Posts: 4
Joined: December 13th, 2017, 12:33 pm

Re: Gregory of Nyssa's Apology of the Hexaemeron

Post by Dustin Trampe » December 14th, 2017, 2:10 pm

Thanks! Yes, I realized pretty quickly that the one available online translation is no good. The latin is helpful, but my latin is beginner level, so it becomes its own project to translate that too. Latina regat, nullam autem civitatem habeo. Also, sorry for the typo.

Ok, it's helpful to know the μήτε and οὔτε aren't coordinated. That helps me sort out the rest.
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