Soph. OT 785

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Stirling Bartholomew
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Soph. OT 785

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 21st, 2015, 6:49 pm

Κἀγὼ βαρυνθεὶς τὴν μὲν οὖσαν ἡμέραν
μόλις κατέσχον, θἀτέρᾳ δ' ἰὼν πέλας
μητρὸς πατρός τ' ἤλεγχον· οἱ δὲ δυσφόρως
τοὔνειδος ἦγον τῷ μεθέντι τὸν λόγον.
785
Κἀγὼ τὰ μὲν κείνοιν ἐτερπόμην, ὅμως δ'
ἔκνιζέ μ' αἰεὶ τοῦθ'· ὑφεῖρπε γὰρ πολύ.

Oedipus says he was pleased, relieved or comforted ἐτερπόμην: "So far as concerned them I was comforted" LCL but the syntax at first glance seems to suggest three arguments for ἐτερπόμην; the subject Oedipus, κείνοιν (dual dat.) Πόλυβος ... Μερόπη and τὰ μὲν (acc. of respect) these matters, i.e., the accusation that Oedipus was not the son of Πόλυβος. I looked at Cooper and he cited τὰ μὲν Soph. OT 785 as an adverbial accusative.

This is pretty simple syntax but none of the translations I looked at took into account both τὰ μὲν and κείνοιν. Probably something I am overlooking.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

cwconrad
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Re: Soph. OT 785

Post by cwconrad » February 22nd, 2015, 7:50 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:Κἀγὼ βαρυνθεὶς τὴν μὲν οὖσαν ἡμέραν
μόλις κατέσχον, θἀτέρᾳ δ' ἰὼν πέλας
μητρὸς πατρός τ' ἤλεγχον· οἱ δὲ δυσφόρως
τοὔνειδος ἦγον τῷ μεθέντι τὸν λόγον.
785
Κἀγὼ τὰ μὲν κείνοιν ἐτερπόμην, ὅμως δ'
ἔκνιζέ μ' αἰεὶ τοῦθ'· ὑφεῖρπε γὰρ πολύ.

Oedipus says he was pleased, relieved or comforted ἐτερπόμην: "So far as concerned them I was comforted" LCL but the syntax at first glance seems to suggest three arguments for ἐτερπόμην; the subject Oedipus, κείνοιν (dual dat.) Πόλυβος ... Μερόπη and τὰ μὲν (acc. of respect) these matters, i.e., the accusation that Oedipus was not the son of Πόλυβος. I looked at Cooper and he cited τὰ μὲν Soph. OT 785 as an adverbial accusative.

This is pretty simple syntax but none of the translations I looked at took into account both τὰ μὲν and κείνοιν. Probably something I am overlooking.
I wonder whether κείνοιν isn't genitive rather than dative: "And from them I did get some satisfaction, but still this matter continued to grate on me all the time -- it kept creeping up on me -- a lot."
As for τὰ μὲν, I find myself wondering more and more whether it might not be the case that accusatives that we customarily call "direct objects" aren't all "adverbial accusatives." I remember Joshua Whatmough insisting, "All accusatives are adverbial limiters of a verb, adverb, or adjective." That comes back to me more forcefully now that I ponder verbs of perception where the accusative (e..g εἶδον τὸν ἄνδρα ἐκεῖνον) is not really a "direct object" of vision but the source whence the image derives.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Soph. OT 785

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 22nd, 2015, 10:21 am

cwconrad wrote:As for τὰ μὲν, I find myself wondering more and more whether it might not be the case that accusatives that we customarily call "direct objects" aren't all "adverbial accusatives." I remember Joshua Whatmough insisting, "All accusatives are adverbial limiters of a verb, adverb, or adjective." That comes back to me more forcefully now that I ponder verbs of perception where the accusative (e..g εἶδον τὸν ἄνδρα ἐκεῖνον) is not really a "direct object" of vision but the source whence the image derives.
+1

I think "direct object" is a forced understanding of Greek.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stirling Bartholomew
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Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: Soph. OT 785

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 22nd, 2015, 12:14 pm

cwconrad wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:Κἀγὼ βαρυνθεὶς τὴν μὲν οὖσαν ἡμέραν
μόλις κατέσχον, θἀτέρᾳ δ' ἰὼν πέλας
μητρὸς πατρός τ' ἤλεγχον· οἱ δὲ δυσφόρως
τοὔνειδος ἦγον τῷ μεθέντι τὸν λόγον.
785
Κἀγὼ τὰ μὲν κείνοιν ἐτερπόμην, ὅμως δ'
ἔκνιζέ μ' αἰεὶ τοῦθ'· ὑφεῖρπε γὰρ πολύ.

Oedipus says he was pleased, relieved or comforted ἐτερπόμην: "So far as concerned them I was comforted" LCL but the syntax at first glance seems to suggest three arguments for ἐτερπόμην; the subject Oedipus, κείνοιν (dual dat.) Πόλυβος ... Μερόπη and τὰ μὲν (acc. of respect) these matters, i.e., the accusation that Oedipus was not the son of Πόλυβος. I looked at Cooper and he cited τὰ μὲν Soph. OT 785 as an adverbial accusative.

This is pretty simple syntax but none of the translations I looked at took into account both τὰ μὲν and κείνοιν. Probably something I am overlooking.
I wonder whether κείνοιν isn't genitive rather than dative: "And from them I did get some satisfaction, but still this matter continued to grate on me all the time -- it kept creeping up on me -- a lot."
As for τὰ μὲν, I find myself wondering more and more whether it might not be the case that accusatives that we customarily call "direct objects" aren't all "adverbial accusatives." I remember Joshua Whatmough insisting, "All accusatives are adverbial limiters of a verb, adverb, or adjective." That comes back to me more forcefully now that I ponder verbs of perception where the accusative (e..g εἶδον τὸν ἄνδρα ἐκεῖνον) is not really a "direct object" of vision but the source whence the image derives.
Carl,

I was using the metalanguage from Geoffrey Steadman's commentary. I agree with your comments about direct object and adverbials. Geoffrey Steadman actually had marked ἐκεῖνον dative direct object of ἐτερπόμην. I think what he is saying is that ἐτερπόμην sometimes takes a dative complement. I find the genitive reading of ἐκεῖνον easier to understand. The translations including Jebb seem to collapse τὰ μὲν κείνοιν into a single English constituent which is probably justifiable for the sake of readability but isn't helpful for syntax analysis.

Thank you for helping out with this.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Soph. OT 785

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » February 22nd, 2015, 1:13 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote: Geoffrey Steadman actually had marked κείνοιν dative direct object of ἐτερπόμην.

Geoffrey Steadman didn't say that! He marked κείνοιν as a dative object of ἐτερπόμην.
The translations including Jebb seem to collapse τὰ μὲν κείνοιν into a single English constituent which is probably justifiable for the sake of readability but isn't helpful for syntax analysis.
Actually I think that τὰ μὲν is left untranslated because in English it would be understood from the context. Oedipus was comforted "with regard to these matters" which is superfluous wording.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Soph. OT 785

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 22nd, 2015, 7:29 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:The translations including Jebb seem to collapse τὰ μὲν κείνοιν into a single English constituent which is probably justifiable for the sake of readability but isn't helpful for syntax analysis.
Yeah. If one is looking for syntax analysis out of a translation, then it's probably not going to be a readable translation.

I learned from one author of a Loeb Classical Library translation that he was encouraged to make the translation as readable as possible without worrying about conveying how the Greek is structured. The thought is that, if the reader really cares about the particular Greek, it's printed right there on the facing page.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

cwconrad
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Re: Soph. OT 785

Post by cwconrad » February 23rd, 2015, 7:37 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:The translations including Jebb seem to collapse τὰ μὲν κείνοιν into a single English constituent which is probably justifiable for the sake of readability but isn't helpful for syntax analysis.
Yeah. If one is looking for syntax analysis out of a translation, then it's probably not going to be a readable translation.

I learned from one author of a Loeb Classical Library translation that he was encouraged to make the translation as readable as possible without worrying about conveying how the Greek is structured. The thought is that, if the reader really cares about the particular Greek, it's printed right there on the facing page.
Beyond stating my agreement with Stephen on this point, I think it is really important to distinguish between a translation or version that's intended to explain the structure of a text in an alien language from one that conveys the sense or meaning of that text. For one thing, the idiomatic formulation is often considerably different in the two languages: the woodenly literal version can actually be misleading. Moreover, it's often easier to make the sense of the original text intelligible if one abandons the structure of the original. I think it's important to distinguish sharply between understanding a text in an alien language and re-expressing that sense in another language. It is true, as Stephen says, that any time spent with a Loeb version of a Greek or Latin original text will drive that point home.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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