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Archilochus 6 D. 5 W "Lost my shield!"

Posted: March 17th, 2015, 5:41 pm
by cwconrad
Archilochus 6 D. 5 W. "Lost my shield!"
Perhaps a mercenary soldier, the poet expresses his disdain for the heroic ideal of a brave death on the battlefield; centuries later, Horace emulated Archilochus, noting in a Latin poem that he abandoned his shield and the Roman Republican cause on the field of the battle of Philippi in 42 BCE.

Meter: Elegiac couplet: the first line is a dactylic hexameter, the meter of the Homeric poems; the second line is most simply understood as half of a dactylic hexameter with a strong stop followed by another half dactylic hexameter. I’ve marked in bold print the syllables bearing the beat.

1 ἀσπίδι μὲν Σαΐων τις ἀγάλλεται, ἣν παρὰ θάμνωι
2 ἔντος ἀμώμητον | κάλλιπον οὐκ ἐθέλων,
3 αὐτὸς δ᾽ ἐξέφυγον θανάτου τέλος. ἀσπὶς ἐκείνη
4 ἐρρέτω· ἐξαῦτις | κτήσομαι οὐ κακίω.

line 1 ἀσπίς, -ίδος, ἡ: shield;
line 1 Σαΐων: gen. pl, dependent on τις; who were the Saians? I have no idea, but one of them is the proud possessor ...
line 1 ἀγάλλεσθαι + dat.: take delight (in), rejoice (cf. Koine ἀγαλλιᾶσθαι)
line 1 ἢν: antecedent is ἀσπίδι
line 1 θάμνος, -ου, ὁ: bush, shurb
line 2 ἔντος, -ους, τό: weapon, instrument
line 2 ἀμώμητος/ον: faultless, blameless (α-privative + μέμφεσθαι: find fault
line 2 κάλλιπον: syncopated form of κατέλιπον < καταλείπειν: abandon
line 3 αὐτὸς: intensive with the implicit subject of ἐξέφυγον (ἐκφεύγειν: evade)
line 3 θανάτου τέλος: interesting expression: death is a limit, an end, a goal — “end of one’s rope” or “end of the line”; τελεύτη (end) ordinarily means “death”; τελευτᾶν ordinarily means “die” (come to an end)
line 3 ἐκείνη: the demonstrative here has a distancing effect, the shield is just one of its kind, not the defining attribute of a warrior who, if he is the man he “ought” to be, is either the bearer of the shield or the one borne upon that shield (away from the battlefield); note also the effect of the position of ἐκείνη at the end of the line with a pause before the new line begins with the verbal complement of ἀσπὶς ἐκείνη.
line 4 ἐρρέτω: imperative 3d sg. of ἔρρειν, “be gone” (present tense with stative sense); ἐρρέτω has overtones of “To hell with it!” or “Good riddance to it!”
line 4 ἐξαῦτις: adv.: hereafter, with overtones of “soon enough”
line 4 κτήσομαι: κτᾶσθαι: acquire
line 4 κακίω (contraction from κακίοσα: acc. sg. comparative of κακός/ή/όν, “worthless” — the poet expects to be the possessor soon enough of a shield every bit as good as the one he has abandoned.

Re: Archilochus 6 D. 5 W "Lost my shield!"

Posted: March 18th, 2015, 10:56 am
by Stephen Hughes
The version that I've read of that has a different version on line 3.
Archilochus 6 D. 5 W. Line 3 wrote:αὐτὸν δ᾽ ἔκ μ᾽ ἐσάωσα: τί μοι μέλει ἀσπὶς ἐκεινη;
i.e. ἐμαυτὸν δ᾽ ἐξεσάωσα, (< ἐκσαόω = ἐκσῴζω) "I saved myself."

After I read your post, I quickly scratched up something in reply while the students were doing an exercise. I'll post the image rather than a transcription so it doesn't go into search engines. It is like Markos' You Tubes - impromptu and full of errors - and it's a pity I didn't dust the board more thoroughly before I put chalk to slate.
Image

Re: Archilochus 6 D. 5 W "Lost my shield!"

Posted: March 18th, 2015, 12:09 pm
by cwconrad
My version is that of Bruno Snell's Teubner of the Anthologia Lyrica Graeca, cited on the Bibliotheca Augustana site at: http://www.hs-augsburg.de/~harsch/graec ... _eleg.html
The poem is cited independently of each other by Plutarch and Sextus Empiricus. The version I've cited is that found in Plutarch, Lacon. Instit. §34. Presumably the other is cited by Sextus Empiricus, to a text of whose work I have no access.

Re: Archilochus 6 D. 5 W "Lost my shield!"

Posted: March 18th, 2015, 12:42 pm
by Stephen Hughes
cwconrad wrote:My version is that of Bruno Snell's Teubner of the Anthologia Lyrica Graeca, cited on the Bibliotheca Augustana site at: http://www.hs-augsburg.de/~harsch/graec ... _eleg.html
If I read the legend rightly, the poem is cited independently by Plutarch and Sextus Empiricus.
The text I used was just from Perseus. I can't remember which version I read many, many years ago as an undergraduate. Probably the OCT if there is one for this.

The spelling mistakes that I can seen now are; μισθόφορος, ἀποτιθῶν τὸν θυρεόν μου, Θρᾴκιος (even better perhaps Θρᾷξ), χαιρομένος ἦν τούτῳ, ὁ θυρεός, χρησιμοτέρους, χειροποιήτων.