ἐκ Χάεος δ' Ἔρεβός τε μέλαινά τε Νὺξ ἐγένοντο... (Hesiod's Theogony 123) -> From Chasm, Erebos and black Night came to be...

Jorsay

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ἐκ Χάεος δ' Ἔρεβός τε μέλαινά τε Νὺξ ἐγένοντο.
Νυκτὸς δ' αὖτ' Αἰθήρ τε καὶ Ἡμέρη ἐξεγένοντο,
οὕς τέκε κῡσαμένη Ὲρέβει φιλότητι μιγεῖσα.

My Dad and I are working on Theogony.  We have the Loeb Classic translation, so we have a sense of what it means.  

Their translation is:

1. From Chasm, Erebos and black Night came to be;
2. and then Aether and Day came forth from Night,
3. who conceived and bore them after mingling in love with Erebos.

However, we have a few questions.

1. Why is there a 'τε' between the adjective 'μέλαινά' and the noun 'Νὺξ'?  What roles does the 'δ'' play?

2. In line 2, we think that 'Νυκτὸς' is genitive because the prefix 'ἐξ' in 'ἐξεγένοντο' takes a genitive.  Is the ' αὖτ' ' short for 'αὖταρ' or 'αὖτος' ?

3. In line 3, 'οὕς' must be the accusative relative pronoun for'Αἰθήρ' and ' Ἡμέρη ' , but how do I know the subject of this clause 'Νὺξ'?

Thanks for your help.

Jmorsay

« Last Edit: 22 Sep, 2009, 05:10:27 by billberg23 »


vbd.

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Hi,

It's nice that you're reading the Theogony.

1: δ' = δέ. It doesn't really mean anything. It just connects words. There is no english equivalent for it, therefore it often remains untranslated. Sometimes however it can/should be translated as "but", or "and".
τέ means "and" or "both... and". Literally: "both Erebos and black Night" or simply "Erebos and black Night". Both are correct.

2: That's why Νυκτός is in genitive indeed.
It's short for "αὖτε". It means "again", but, just like "δέ" it's not a "strong" word. Sometimes it can remain untranslated. In your translation, it's "then". "δ' αὖτε" = and then. Often you'll find it translated as "and".

3: You know it because you follow his train of thought!

"and then Aether and Day came forth from Night,
who conceived and bore them after mingling in love with Erebos"

If you ask "who conceived and bore them?" it's obvious that the answer is "Night", isn't it?
« Last Edit: 22 Sep, 2009, 03:21:58 by vbd. »
At last, I have peace.



billberg23

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In complete agreement with vbd.  Some additional info:
1. Why is there a 'τε' between the adjective 'μέλαινά' and the noun 'Νὺξ'?
Note that τε is always postpositive, i.e., it always follows the word it conjoins with another word.
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What roles does the 'δ'' play?
δέ is the most common "connective" in Greek, and it's also postpositive (follows the first element in a sentence).  You'll find it introducing at least half of all sentences.  We don't need such connectives in English, since we show connection with a previous thought by simply raising or modulating our voice (Greek couldn't do that because of its system of tonal accentuation, where different vocal tones had semantic value).
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Is the ' αὖτ' ' short for 'αὖταρ' or 'αὖτος' ?
Nope, you can't contract consonants, only vowels.
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How do I know the subject of this clause is 'Νὺξ'?
Mιγεῖσα (literally, "having been mixed") is the feminine singular nominative aorist participle of μίγνυμι, "mix."  As such, it must modify the only nominative singular feminine noun in the sentence, which is Νὺξ.
« Last Edit: 22 Sep, 2009, 05:13:14 by billberg23 »




 

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