Author Topic: δῶρα θεοὺς πείθει -> gifts persuade the gods (Hesiod, fr. 272 Rz.)  (Read 1282 times)

Kurama

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Hi, I was trying to translate this phrase. I understand it says something like 'he persuades the gods', but what case is δῶρα in, and why? It cannot be the subject because it would not accord with the verb, and it does not make sense as the direct object. Do you think you could help? Thanks.
« Last Edit: 06 Sep, 2011, 00:46:36 by billberg23 »


valeon

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Re: δῶρα θεοὺς πείθει.
« Reply #1 on: 05 Sep, 2011, 11:12:48 »
Gifts persuade the gods (Euripides, Medea)

According to attic syntax if the subject of the sentence is of neuter gender in plural number (as δῶρα) the verb is put in singular number (πείθει). The word θεοὺς is the direct object.

spiros

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Re: δῶρα θεοὺς πείθει -> gifts persuade the gods
« Reply #2 on: 05 Sep, 2011, 11:42:35 »
A typical example of Attic syntax is "τα παιδία παίζει".

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/pdebnar/greek350/Attic.pdf
« Last Edit: 05 Sep, 2011, 12:04:53 by spiros »


billberg23

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The singular verb with a neuter plural subject is common in ancient Greek generally, Kurama, Attic or otherwise.  Homer, for example, uses the singular verb three times as often as the plural (Smyth para. 959a).  And of course your example here is from Hesiod, who is from Boeotia, not Attica.
« Last Edit: 06 Sep, 2011, 01:00:28 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

spiros

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In Greek schools we were taught this phenomenon by the name "αττική σύνταξη".

αττικός -ή -ό [atikós] Ε1 : που ανήκει, υπάρχει, γίνεται κτλ. στην Aττική ή προέρχεται από αυτήν: Aττικό χώμα / μέλι. ~ ουρανός. Aττικές νύχτες. || (κυρίως προκειμένου για την αρχαία Aττική του πέμπτου και του τέταρτου αιώνα π.X.): H (αρχαία) αττική διάλεκτος / τέχνη. Aττικό αγγείο. ~ συγγραφέας. || (ως ουσ.) η αττική, η αρχαία αττική διάλεκτος. || (γραμμ.): Aττική σύνταξη, στα αρχαία ελληνικά, το να δέχεται ένα ρήμα γ' ενικού προσώπου υποκείμενο ουδέτερου γένους στον πληθυντικό, π.χ. «τα παιδία παίζει».
[λόγ. < αρχ. Ἀττικός]
Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής του ιδρύματος Μανόλη Τριανταφυλλίδη
« Last Edit: 06 Sep, 2011, 01:10:51 by spiros »

billberg23

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Yes, and we too have to struggle with 19th-century holdovers from the "English schoolboy" tradition, where all Greek grammar was referred to as "Attic grammar" because the discipline enforced was based mainly on the Attic orators — Lysias, Demosthenes, Isocrates, etc.  Eventually, of course, many of those "schoolboys" moved on to Herodotus, where the term "Attic" seems wildly out of place.  Ironically, Herodotus first read his work in your town, spiros!  (-:
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος


Kurama

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Well, thank you for your help, indeed. Your baggage of knowledge is amazing! As you can see, I really am a neophyte. I was supposed to know that rule already, but I had to stop studying for about three weeks and now that I have time to resume my study in earnest I wanted to do some reviewing first. It seems that I have forgotten some things, but I have remembered now, hopefully this time for good...