τὸ γὰρ πράττειν τοῦ λέγειν καὶ χειροτονεῖν ὕστερον ὂν τῇ τάξει, πρότερον τῇ δυνάμει καὶ κρεῖττόν ἐστιν (Demosthenes 3.15) -> for action, even though posterior in the order of events to speaking and voting, is prior in importance and superior

vbd. · 3 · 1215

vbd.

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ἀλλ' οὐχ οὕτω ταῦτ' ἔχει: τὸ γὰρ πράττειν τοῦ λέγειν καὶ χειροτονεῖν ὕστερον ὂν τῇ τάξει, πρότερον τῇ δυνάμει καὶ κρεῖττόν ἐστιν

Hey, Bill, I'm needing an authoritative opinion :-)
This seems to be pretty clear: "But it's not like that: for action, even though posterior in the order of events to speaking and voting, is prior in its consequences and superior". Do you have any other suggestion, am I missing something here?

Also, does κρεῖττόν modify τῇ δυνάμει too or πρότερον only? Obviously the author could have hinted towards that by using the words in another order and/or using "τε" (πρότερον τε καὶ κρεῖττον τῇ δυνάμει), but how can we be sure that is not the case?
« Last Edit: 30 Nov, 2008, 00:16:29 by billberg23 »
At last, I have peace.


billberg23

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Sharpley translates τῇ δυνάμει as "in importance," and Sandys translates it "in essential importance."  Taken this way, it seems naturally to go with πρότερον, but not so naturally with κρεῖττoν.  Kρεῖττoν sounds more like a punchline, able to stand on its own without elaboration — "of higher rank," or simply (as you translate it) "superior."
And I think you're right, Aleko, to point out that D. could have used a "τε καὶ" construction, if he had intended to connect both adjectives through τῇ δυνάμει.




 

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