Author Topic: ἄλογον δὴ τὸ μήτε μάχης ἄρξασθαι μήτε τοὺς φίλους φυλάξαι, ἐὰν ὑπό γε τῶν βαρβάρων ἀδικῆσθε -> It is irrational neither to begin battle nor to guard the friends, if you are ever wronged by the foreigners  (Read 1266 times)

jmorsay

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I think this means "The irrational men  of course neither came before battle nor gaurd the beloved men if you were ruled by these foreign men."


Is this right?


Thank you
« Last Edit: 18 Mar, 2009, 07:45:12 by spiros »


vbd.

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First of all, ἀδικῆσθε > ἀδικέω. Also, ἄρξασθαι > ἄρχω. You should check the definitions of these two.

Now, on to the important part.
ἄλογον. That's neutral and singular. So it's an "it". What is this irrational thing? The rest of your sentence, up to the semi-colon, is in appositive position and explains what exactly is irrational. You will have to assume a copulative verb (usually ἐστι "is").

If it helps you any.
ἄλογον ἐστι: τὸ "μήτε μάχης ἄρξασθαι", καὶ τὸ "μήτε τοὺς φίλους φυλάξαι".
At last, I have peace.

billberg23

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Watch your case endings, JM!  They're important:  ἄλογον, for example, is neuter singular so can't possibly mean "the irrational men." 
ἄρξασται:  is this a miscopy of the aorist infinitive ἄρξασθαι, "to begin" (with genitive)?
Look up ἀδικέω again.
τῶν βαρβάρῶν means "the foreign men."  "These foreign men" would be τούτων τῶν βαρβάρων.
Let's try it again.  Hint:  ἄλογον means "It is irrational."  (-;

Οοps!  We crossed wires in cyberspace, vbd!  Oh well, two teachers are better than one, especially when they're unanimous, right, JM?
« Last Edit: 17 Mar, 2009, 02:15:27 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος


jmorsay

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 That is right that two teachers are better than one.

Does it mean "it is rational niether came before battle nor gaurded the the beloved ones, if you were wronged by the foreign."?


Thank you 

billberg23

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"it is rational niether came before battle nor gaurded the the beloved ones, if you were wronged by the foreign."
"It is irrational (α- means "non-", "not") neither to begin battle (literally "the to begin battle") nor (the) to guard the friends, if you are ever wronged by the foreigners."

ἐὰν with the subjunctive is called a "general condition," usually best translated with "if ever."

Please ask all the questions you can thiink of, JM!
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

jmorsay

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billberg23

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JM, the real verb of the apodosis is present indicative — the (understood) verb ἐστι: ἄλογόν ἐστι = "it is irrational."  What is irrational?  Two things, and they are represented by  τὸ + infinitive, thus making the infinitives ἄρξασθαι and φυλάξαι into neuter nouns, instead of verbs! "The to begin" and "the to guard":  we would say simply "the beginning of battle" and "the guarding of friends," or just "to begin the battle" and "to guard the friends."

Just remember that the Greeks often left out the verb ἐστι:  it was easily understood without being included.  Other examples:  ἡ κόρη καλή, "the girl (is) beautiful";  τὸ μάθημα δύσκολον, "the lesson (is) difficult."
« Last Edit: 18 Mar, 2009, 19:13:39 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος