ποντίων τε κυμάτων άνήριθμον γέλασμα, παμμῆτόρ τε γῆ (Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound l. 90) -> O infinite laughter of the waves of ocean, O universal mother Earth

Amylkie

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This is line 90 of Aeschylus' (?) Prometheus bound. I only want to part where it says 'the innumerable laughter of the waves of the sea', to put it in an art project, but the English translations I read do not isolate the expression the same way, some only taking the words 'ἀνήριθμον γέλασμα' and others including a few of the other words...

Could somebody help me? Thanks a million in advance!
« Last Edit: 28 Jul, 2009, 23:27:53 by billberg23 »


vbd.

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"the innumerable laughter of the waves of the sea" is a translation for "ποντίων τε κυμάτων άνήριθμον γέλασμα".

παμμῆτόρ τε γῆ would be "Earth, mother of all"
At last, I have peace.



Amylkie

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Wow, that was lightning-fast!

I have some other questions, tell me if there are too many for one post, if that's the case I'll open new threads for them. ;)

1- If I want to make it 'infinite laughter of the waves of ocean', (without the 'and') should I just remove the 'τε'?

2- And how could I make it 'the infinite laughter of the waves of ocean'? There seems to be so many ways of writing 'the' in Greek...

3-And finally, how would that last expression be pronounced?  ('the infinite laughter of the waves of ocean')

I fell in love with that Aeschylus metaphor used in the play 'Le rire de la mer' (literally The laughter of the sea) by Pierre-Michel Tremblay. I'm even thinking of having it tattooed eventually... so you are of great help.

By the way, your site and dictionary are great! Thank you so much again!


billberg23

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Amylkie, if you remove the τε, or insert a τὸ (which means "the") before γέλασμα, you destroy the metrical scheme, the rhythm if you will, of Prometheus' utterance.  Are you sure you want to do that?  In any case, the definite article doesn't have the same standing in Aeschylean poetry that it does in prose.  You can easily translate γέλασμα as "the laughter," without worrying about whether or not a τὸ is present.



Amylkie

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I will keep the original phrase then, ποντίων τε κυμάτων άνήριθμον γέλασμα. I usually never modify quotes, but I wanted it to match the title of Tremblay's play too.

Now I have the best of both worlds: an accurate quote and the meaning I want for it...

Thanks again for the detailed (and very fast again!) answer! Have a great day!


 

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