Author Topic: αἵ τε γὰρ συμφοραὶ ποιοῦσι μακρολόγους -> For, in addition, our misfortunes make us long-winded (Appian, Libyca 389.3)  (Read 1640 times)

Kurama

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This quote is from Appian chapter 12, section 83. I am having difficulties in finding an antecedent to αἵ. The textbook provides the sentence on its own as a translation exercise, so it should be able to be translated as it is. I would say it refers to συμφοραὶ, but I find it strange that it is in that position. The translation thus would be: 'The misfortunes that make great words', but is sounds quite awkward, do you think you can help? Thank you.
« Last Edit: 14 Sep, 2011, 18:30:01 by billberg23 »


billberg23

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The acute accent on the article αἵ (going with συμφοραὶ) is explained by the presence of the enclitic τε that follows it.  The article acquires an accent to give τε something to "lean" on.  (The word "enclitic" derives from ἐγκλίνω [ἐν + κλίνω], literally "lean on.")
« Last Edit: 14 Sep, 2011, 18:26:19 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

Kurama

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I see, so this would be a case of the rule that says that when there are various consecutive enclitics all but the last one are accented? And do you mind if I ask how we can know in this case that the direct object of the verb is 'us'?


billberg23

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I suppose so, although here we have not a series of enclitics, but only one (τε) that needs an accent before it.  The feminine plural article αἱ, though normally unaccented, is not an enclitic, but a proclitic.
We can only know from Appian's context (Tigilla's speech to the Romans) that the implied object of ποιοῦσι is "us."  In that sense, the sentence, which is inscrutable out of context, offers a rather unfair challenge.  It's one of the problems I have with Luschnig, and one of the reasons why I generally recommend James Turney Allen's First Year of Greek (a free download from Google) to beginning students.
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

Kurama

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Well thank you again! I completely agree with you, but this seems to me a bit of a circular logic from the part of Greek spelling: the proclitic needs to be accented to give the enclitic something to lean on, but then the proclitic itself would also need something to lean on, but the enclitic does not have an accent, while if it had one then it would be the enclitic that would have nothing to lean on...

I like the way this book encourages the readers to think flexibly, but I have noted also what you say. I will have a look at the other book you mention. Thanks.

billberg23

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the proclitic itself would also need something to lean on
Actually, the proclitic leans forward, not backward like the enclitic — so it never needs an accent!  ((-;
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος