Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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Bernd Strauss
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Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Bernd Strauss » September 4th, 2019, 5:10 pm

Polybius, Histories, book 4, chapter 28, sections 3-4: “ἐπεὶ δὲ τά τε κατὰ τὴν Ἰταλίαν καὶ κατὰ τὴν Ἑλλάδα καὶ κατὰ τὴν Ἀσίαν τὰς μὲν ἀρχὰς τῶν πολέμων τούτων ἰδίας εἰλήφει τὰς δὲ συντελείας κοινάς, καὶ τὴν ἐξήγησιν περὶ αὐτῶν ἐκρίναμεν ποιήσασθαι κατ᾿ ἰδίαν, ἕως ἂν ἐπὶ τὸν καιρὸν ἔλθωμεν τοῦτον ἐν ᾧ συνεπλάκησαν αἱ προειρημέναι πράξεις ἀλλήλαις καὶ πρὸς ἓν τέλος ἤρξαντο τὴν ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν — [4] οὕτως γὰρ ἥ τε περὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς ἑκάστων ἔσται διήγησις σαφὴς ἥ τε συμπλοκὴ καταφανής, περὶ ἧς ἐν ἀρχαῖς ἐνεδειξάμεθα, παραδείξαντες πότε καὶ πῶς καὶ δι᾿ ἃς αἰτίας γέγονεν — λοιπὸν ἤδη κοινὴν ποιήσασθαι περὶ πάντων τὴν ἱστορίαν.”

Loeb Classical Library, W. R. Paton and F. W. Walbank’s translation, volume 2, 2010 revision: “But the fact being that the circumstances of Italy, Greece, and Asia were such that the beginnings of these wars were particular to each country, while their ends were common to all, I thought it proper to give a separate account of them, until reaching the date when these conflicts came into connexion with each other and began to tend towards one end—both the narratives of the beginnings of each war being thus made more lucid, and their interconnexion evident of them all, which I mentioned at the outset, indicating when, how, and for what reason it came about—and finally to make a single narrative of these wars.”

Are the words rendered in the following way in the English translation? Or is the order different?
ἓν—“one”
ἤρξαντο—“began”
ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν—“tend”
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Barry Hofstetter » September 5th, 2019, 12:58 pm

Look up, and you will see the following words in the embedded banner: "This is not a beginner's forum, competence in Greek is assumed."

Secondly, we aren't concerned with English translations, but with the Greek.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Bernd Strauss
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Bernd Strauss » September 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm

I am aware that the preposition εν means "in." But there is another word, ἕνος (which has the form ἓν), which is given a definition which seems to allow for the rendering “one” in some contexts.

There is also the word ἑνάς (which likewise has the form ἓν), and it is shown to be the equivalent of μονάς, which is defined as “solitary.”

So there are at least two words which can be possible forms of ἓν in the text which I have quoted. The writer does not seem to be using the preposition which means “in.”

I need to know whether the text uses the form of the word ἕνος or ἑνάς/ μονάς and whether it should be rendered as “one.”
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Barry Hofstetter » September 5th, 2019, 3:18 pm

Bernd Strauss wrote:
September 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm
I am aware that the preposition εν means "in." But there is another word, ἕνος (which has the form ἓν), which is given a definition which seems to allow for the rendering “one” in some contexts.

There is also the word ἑνάς (which likewise has the form ἓν), and it is shown to be the equivalent of μονάς, which is defined as “solitary.”

So there are at least two words which can be possible forms of ἓν in the text which I have quoted. The writer does not seem to be using the preposition which means “in.”

I need to know whether the text uses the form of the word ἕνος or ἑνάς/ μονάς and whether it should be rendered as “one.”
What you need to do is study the language. ἕν is the neuter singular accusative of the number εἷς, which like nearly all nouns and adjectives in ancient Greek is declined.
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Jason Hare
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Jason Hare » September 5th, 2019, 9:58 pm

Perhaps you meant to place your question in the beginners forum?

The word ἕν is not alone here. It is part of a phrase: πρὸς ἓν τέλος, which means "toward one end." The word ἕν "one" is neuter because it agrees with the word τέλος "end," which is neuter.

πρὸς ἓν τέλος ἤρξαντο τὴν ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν...

"Toward one end they began to have the rising," which means that they were leading up to a specific culmination.

What experience do you have the with Greek language? We prefer to encourage people to engage in study of the language rather than just asking what things mean without being involved in some kind of study.
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Bernd Strauss
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Bernd Strauss » September 6th, 2019, 11:19 am

Perhaps you meant to place your question in the beginners forum?
It could be placed there.
The word ἕν is not alone here. It is part of a phrase: πρὸς ἓν τέλος, which means "toward one end." The word ἕν "one" is neuter because it agrees with the word τέλος "end," which is neuter.
I see now that the word εἷς is used which has the form ἕν.
"Toward one end they began to have the rising," which means that they were leading up to a specific culmination.
This is how I had understood the expression originally but wanted to confirm whether that was the case, with the word ἕν meaning “one” and not something else. One has to pay attention to polytonic diacritic marks which indicate the meaning.
What experience do you have the with Greek language?
I have been reading the New Testament in the Koine Greek language, which is much easier than other ancient texts. There are many words which I do not know, but I still understand the Christian Greek Scriptures because of having already read them in the English language many times. As I continue reading the Greek texts, I notice that my vocabulary increases, because my mind naturally ties the Greek words to what I remember the texts saying in the English Bible translations.

In what ways were the members of this forum learning the language?
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » September 6th, 2019, 1:29 pm

Bernd Strauss wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 11:19 am
What experience do you have the with Greek language?
I have been reading the New Testament in the Koine Greek language, which is much easier than other ancient texts. There are many words which I do not know, but I still understand the Christian Greek Scriptures because of having already read them in the English language many times. As I continue reading the Greek texts, I notice that my vocabulary increases, because my mind naturally ties the Greek words to what I remember the texts saying in the English Bible translations.

In what ways were the members of this forum learning the language?
Your not alone. That is exactly how many of us started out reading the NT in Greek. When you move on to texts your unfamiliar with the task becomes more daunting. It appears that you would benefit from some basic instruction about how the language works. I don't have a book to recommend. Beware of "miracle cures." A lot of that sort of thing going on.
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Shirley Rollinson
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Shirley Rollinson » September 6th, 2019, 5:54 pm

Bernd Strauss wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 11:19 am
Perhaps you meant to place your question in the beginners forum?
It could be placed there.
The word ἕν is not alone here. It is part of a phrase: πρὸς ἓν τέλος, which means "toward one end." The word ἕν "one" is neuter because it agrees with the word τέλος "end," which is neuter.
I see now that the word εἷς is used which has the form ἕν.
"Toward one end they began to have the rising," which means that they were leading up to a specific culmination.
This is how I had understood the expression originally but wanted to confirm whether that was the case, with the word ἕν meaning “one” and not something else. One has to pay attention to polytonic diacritic marks which indicate the meaning.
What experience do you have the with Greek language?
I have been reading the New Testament in the Koine Greek language, which is much easier than other ancient texts. There are many words which I do not know, but I still understand the Christian Greek Scriptures because of having already read them in the English language many times. As I continue reading the Greek texts, I notice that my vocabulary increases, because my mind naturally ties the Greek words to what I remember the texts saying in the English Bible translations.

In what ways were the members of this forum learning the language?
Yes, probably most of us increase our vocabulary by reading the GNT - but one also has to learn how the words fit together in a sentence (one has to learn a bit of grammar).
You're welcome to try the online Greek textbook at http://www.drshirley.org/greek/textbook02/index.html to help with the grammar.
Shirley Rollinson
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Brian Gould
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Brian Gould » September 7th, 2019, 6:13 am

I'd just like to add a further comment about Dr. Rollinson's fine book. A month or two ago I was looking for a suitable textbook for home study. I liked the look of Dr. Rollinson's book, so I downloaded it and showed it to an online acquaintance who is a professor of Classical Greek at Cambridge University, England, to ask whether it met with his approval. He said he liked it so much he’s going to use it himself to clear up his doubts about koine Greek.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Translation of the Words ἓν, ἤρξαντο, ἀναφορὰν ἔχειν

Post by Barry Hofstetter » September 7th, 2019, 6:50 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 1:29 pm
Bernd Strauss wrote:
September 6th, 2019, 11:19 am
What experience do you have the with Greek language?
I have been reading the New Testament in the Koine Greek language, which is much easier than other ancient texts. There are many words which I do not know, but I still understand the Christian Greek Scriptures because of having already read them in the English language many times. As I continue reading the Greek texts, I notice that my vocabulary increases, because my mind naturally ties the Greek words to what I remember the texts saying in the English Bible translations.

In what ways were the members of this forum learning the language?
Your not alone. That is exactly how many of us started out reading the NT in Greek. When you move on to texts your unfamiliar with the task becomes more daunting. It appears that you would benefit from some basic instruction about how the language works. I don't have a book to recommend. Beware of "miracle cures." A lot of that sort of thing going on.
And let me add, is precisely the wrong way to do it. This "method" decodes the English into Greek, rather than starting from the Greek to understand it as Greek. This is why seminary students so often can't really see outside of their English translations and can't transfer their "knowledge" of Greek to texts outside of the NT. It's handy if you are taking an exam for a grade in a class -- I once did much better on an exam for Hebrew because I remembered the English for Psalm 103 (which I had memorized), but it isn't even close to learning the language.

The solution? One way is to use a teaching text which gives you practice readings based on lots of different sources. Athenaze does this, and includes real Greek readings from numerous ancient sources as well as the NT.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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