Josephus Antiquities 7.127

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Josephus Antiquities 7.127

Postby Andrew Chapman » July 10th, 2014, 7:04 am

Τοῦτο τὸ πταῖσμα τοὺς Ἀμμανίτας οὐκ ἔπεισεν ἠρεμεῖν οὐδὲ μαθόντας τοὺς κρείττονας ἡσυχίαν ἄγειν,

This defeat did not persuade the Ammanites to remain quiet or to keep the peace in the knowledge that their enemy was superior. [Loeb]

This defeat did not still induce the Ammonites to be quiet, nor to own those that were superior to them to be so, and be still, [Whiston]

I had read the participial phrase as a positive - nor, despite having learnt that their enemies were stronger, [were they persuaded] to keep the peace.

But I see that Whiston understands Josephus as saying that they had not so learnt. The Loeb translation leaves it open, I think. I can see how it could be read Whiston's way, but I would like to ask if it is possible to tell which is right.

Thanks, Andrew

P.S. It seems to me that there might be a progression in view, despite the fact that ἡσυχίαν ἄγειν has a very similar lexical range to ἠρεμεῖν according to L & S. First, they were not subdued and quieted by their defeat; and second, even though the Israelites were stronger, they did not make a strategic decision to keep the peace. Any thoughts? I also wondered about the meaning 'acquiesce in a verdict', given in L & S for ἠρεμέω, as a possible nuance.
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Re: Josephus Antiquities 7.127

Postby Ken M. Penner » July 10th, 2014, 8:12 am

Andrew Chapman wrote:Τοῦτο τὸ πταῖσμα τοὺς Ἀμμανίτας οὐκ ἔπεισεν ἠρεμεῖν οὐδὲ μαθόντας τοὺς κρείττονας ἡσυχίαν ἄγειν,
I had read the participial phrase as a positive - nor, despite having learnt that their enemies were stronger, [were they persuaded] to keep the peace.
But I see that Whiston understands Josephus as saying that they had not so learnt. The Loeb translation leaves it open, I think. I can see how it could be read Whiston's way, but I would like to ask if it is possible to tell which is right.

My initial reading is more like Whiston's than yours, Andrew, probably because the participle immediately follows a negator. But I don't think your reading is wrong.
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University
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Re: Josephus Antiquities 7.127

Postby Andrew Chapman » July 10th, 2014, 10:14 am

Thanks, Ken, I am probably thinking in English too much: nor, having learnt [their enemies to be] stronger, to be at peace.

Andrew
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