Author Topic: ὄττω τις ἔραται -> whatever one loves best, whom you desire most (Sappho 1.16.4)  (Read 6414 times)

spiros

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ὄττω τις ἔραται | όττω τις εράται -> whatever one loves best

οἱ μέν ἱππήων στρότον οἱ δέ πέσδων
οἱ δε νάων φαῖσ’ ἐπί γᾶν μέλαιναν
ἔμμεναι κάλλιστον, ἔγω δέ κῆν’ ὄττω τις ἔραται
Sappho


« Last Edit: 15 Feb, 2012, 19:09:22 by spiros »


billberg23

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Thanks, spiros, for posting the best line of the best (IMHO) of Sappho's poems (at least of the few we have).  I once made a translation of this poem, and yielded to the temptation to render the line as "whom you desire most," despite the fact that κῆνo must be neuter (as you've correctly translated it).  The reason I did this, obviously, was the lines that follow:  they reveal that Sappho had her mind not on a "whatever," but on a "whomever" — on a particular girl, Anaktoria, whom she especially loved more than all those other things.  The poem then would go like this:


οἱ μὲν ἰππήων στρότον οἰ δὲ πέσδων,
οἰ δὲ νάων φαῖσ΄ ἐπὶ γᾶν μέλαιναν
ἔμμεναι κάλλιστον͵ ἔγω δὲ κῆν΄ ὄτ-
τω τις ἔραται·

πάγχυ δ΄ εὔμαρες σύνετον πόησαι
πάντι τοῦτ΄͵ ἀ γὰρ πόλυ περσκέθοισα
κάλλος ἀνθρώπων Ἐλένα τὸν ἄνδρα
τὸν πανάριστον

καλλίποισ΄ ἔβα ΄ς Τροΐαν πλέοισα
κωὐδὲ παῖδος οὐδὲ φίλων τοκήων
πάμπαν ἐμνάσθη͵ ἀλλὰ παράγαγ΄ αὔταν
[-]σαν

[ ]αμπτον γὰρ [
[ ]… κούφως τ[ ]οη .[.]ν
..]με νῦν Ἀνακτορί[ας ὀνέμναι-
σ' οὐ ] παρεοίσας,

τᾶς κε βολλοίμαν ἔρατόν τε βᾶμα
κἀμάρυχμα λάμπρον ἴδην προσώπω
ἢ τὰ Λύδων ἄρματα καὶ πανόπλοις
πεσδομάχεντας.


Some might call a cavalry troop the best thing
seen on dark earth, others would name the foot troops,
others still the navy, but I will say it’s
     whom you desire most.

This is very easy to demonstrate to
all and sundry:  Helen, above all humans
judged to be the fairest, abandoned a most
     powerful spouse and

sailed to Troy and neither for child nor parents
(though they loved her) worried the slightest bit, for
she was driven on by the mighty goddess
     firing her passion.

Heart and will are molded by Aphrodite:
nimbly did she turn Helen’s mind.  She brings me
thoughts of Anaktoria now, a girl who’s
     gone from among us.

I would rather gaze at her lovely walk and
watch the play of light on her shining face than
see those horse-drawn Lydian cars and foot troops
     battling in armor.

« Last Edit: 23 Jan, 2012, 15:29:31 by spiros »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

spiros

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Nice one! (Added original side by side).


Οἱ μὲν ἰππήων στρότον οἰ δὲ πέσδων
οἰ δὲ νάων φαῖσ' ἐπ[ὶ] γᾶν μέλαι[ν]αν
ἔ]μμεναι κάλλιστον, ἔγω δὲ κῆν' ὄτ-
τω τις ἔραται


C'è chi dice sia un esercito di cavalieri, c'è chi dice sia un esercito di fanti,
c'è chi dice sia una flotta di navi, la cosa più bella
sulla nera terra, io invece dico
che è ciò che si ama


http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffo
« Last Edit: 23 Jan, 2012, 15:32:59 by spiros »


billberg23

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Che bello!  Miei omaggi!
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

spiros

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Miei omaggi a lei, signore!