μὴ πιστεύσητε τοῖς ἀμαθεστέροις ὑμῶν αὐτῶν -> do not believe those who are more ignorant than you yourselves

jmorsay · 12 · 1979

jmorsay

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μὴ πιστεύσητε τοῖς  ἀμαθεστέροις ὑμῶν αὐτῶν.

My translation: Don't believe the fallacious things about yourselves.

Is this correct?

thank you

happy new year
« Last Edit: 10 Jan, 2011, 03:24:34 by billberg23 »


billberg23

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Happy new year to you too, JM!  You've certainly become an "auld acquaintance" of ours!

Here are some things to look into before you try this sentence again:

1.  Πιστεύω takes the dative of the person believed, and the accusative of the thing believed.

2.  ἀμαθεστέροις is dative plural masculine comparative of ἀμαθής, which always refers to persons.  Look it up again.

3.  The genitive by itself can't be translated with "about."  We usually use "of" to translate it.  Sometimes, with a partitive genitive ("genitive of the whole"), we can use "among."  But most likely it should be translated here with "than" (as mavrodon suggests below);  that would be the most common use of the genitive after a comparative.
« Last Edit: 10 Jan, 2011, 03:32:41 by billberg23 »



mavrodon

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You have not answered if the translation is correct. My interpretation is: do not believe those who are more ignorant than you.


billberg23

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Thank you, Thomas, for letting the cat out of the bag.  J.M. Orsay is a young (12 yrs. old) scholar whom we have been helping to learn Greek.  Instead of translating these artificial sentences (from his grammar book) for him, we've been showing him how to get the correct translation for himself, by giving him hints for his study. 




Jorsay

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Jmorsay is my son.  Please pardon me for bragging but I want to mention the following:

Actually, he is still 11 years old.  Besides working hard on Greek, he is a 7 time state champion wrestler for California (4 time Greco-Roman, 2 time Folkstyle, and 1 time Freestyle).

I also have a question.  He finally finished Hardy and Hansen.  I have begun him translating Xenophon's Anabasis.  Since his Greek is much better than mine, I am using the Loeb classis to check his work.  Is Xenophon's Anabasis a good place to start?  I have heard that Thucydides is difficult.

Thanks,

Sorry for the bragging.  I don't know if you can really call it bragging since I have little to do with it.  I am just living vicariously through his achievements.  Yikes! :)


mavrodon

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Congratulations on your son's achievements, capabilities and strong will. He is an exceptional boy and I wish him to fulfill his aims. Concerning the book he intends to read I rimind you that it is Xenophon's Kyrou Anabasis and not Thucydides'. Bill will be more specific.


billberg23

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Good to hear from you after so long, J.  And glad to hear the time hasn't passed as swiftly as I'd thought (JM being still only 11)!  The wrestling championships were news;  please convey our congratulations to JM.  And to yourself!
Xenophon's Anabasis has been the traditional "first text" for the past 3 centuries, at least.  The military theme fit in well with the careers that English schoolboys looked forward to back in the old days.  And the Greek is, as you suggest, infinitely easier than Thucydides.  If you've already gone ahead and got him a text of the Anabasis, with lots of helpful notes and vocabulary, well and good.  Otherwise, I'd recommend Xenophon's "memories of Socrates" that you find on pp. 138-146 of Allen's First Year of Greek, and/or the tales adapted from Herodotus on pp. 150-176 of the same text.  I have a double purpose in making those recommendations:  not only do they offer examples of good, simple colloquial Greek, but I think at this stage it's really important for JM to be kept in touch with a decent first-year grammar, which Allen is.


mavrodon

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I guess that more is missing from the phrase: I have heard that Thucydides is difficult

In English a classic is Xenophon's "The Persian Expedition" translated by Rex Warner (http://www.amazon.com/Persian-Expedition-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140440070#reader_0140440070). For a high quality edition with new introduction and illustrations see http://www.foliosociety.com/book/PEX/persian-expedition.
« Last Edit: 20 Jan, 2011, 23:10:32 by mavrodon »


Jorsay

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As you may have noticed, I have already started my son on Xenophon, and he is struggling with some of the troubles that you predicted.  I will switch him immediately to the Allen text. 

You had originally suggested the Allen text for him long ago.  We tried it, but my obsessive personality, for better or for worse, demanded that he finish what he started.  He has now finished Hardy and Hansen.  As I stated above, I thought I would move him right into Xenophon.  I have a collection of Loeb classics and in my fantasy I pictured my son reading through all the ancient sources as I monitored his progress by comparing his tranlation with the one in the loeb classic. Perhaps this is not realistic.  You suggested that he begin with the pages above, but perhaps he should just begin where we left off on page 12. 

Would you suggest that he just do the entire Allen book from the beginning, or would it be better for him to start somewhere in the middle? 

Is my idea of him translating from the loeb classics practical for the future?

Thanks again,

You guys have been so helpful to him.  I originally thought I would keep up with him and relearn ancient Greek myself, but I just didn't have the will. Without you guys to take over, I don't think he could have had this much success.


billberg23

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I have a collection of Loeb classics and in my fantasy I pictured my son reading through all the ancient sources as I monitored his progress by comparing his tranlation with the one in the loeb classic. Perhaps this is not realistic.
The biggest problem with trying to learn Greek through a translation is that the language of the translation has its own syntax, which is not Greek syntax, and there is no way for a translation to explain why or how its syntax can replace that of the original Greek.  When JM knows a lot more Greek than he does now, he will be very glad that you kept those Loebs for him, because at that point they will be a lot more useful and interesting than they would be to him now.
Quote
You suggested that he begin with the pages above, but perhaps he should just begin where we left off on page 12.
If it were up to me, I'd love to try him with the Herodotus ("The Punishment of Harpagus") on p. 150.  It's an exciting story, and there are lots of helpful notes and references to the grammar which will refresh his memory of whatever he learned from Hansen.  He'll soon get used to looking things up in Allen.  There's also a complete vocabulary at the back of the book.  And of course if he runs into anything totally unfamiliar, he can always ask us for help!



 

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