Author Topic: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.  (Read 5699 times)

Parcelsus

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Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« on: 18 Feb, 2007, 06:22:06 »
As I said in my introduction, I have been working on some Homer recently, and I was interested in the opinions of those who know the original text better than I do.

Of course, I am also interested in any reader's opinion.

My English "translation" is a loose dactylic hexameter - in homage to the same pattern in the entirely different language system of Homeric Greek.


Here is a short passage I refer to as Nausicaa's Epiphany from Book VI, The Odyssey, ll. 224-249.




αὐτὰρ ὁ ἐκ ποταμοῦ χρόα νίζετο δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς
ἅλμην, ἥ οἱ νῶτα καὶ εὐρέας ἄμπεχεν ὤμους, 225
ἐκ κεφαλῆς δ᾽ ἔσμηχεν ἁλὸς χνόον ἀτρυγέτοιο.

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ πάντα λοέσσατο καὶ λίπ᾽ ἄλειψεν,
ἀμφὶ δὲ εἵματα ἕσσαθ᾽ ἅ οἱ πόρε παρθένος ἀδμής,
τὸν μὲν Ἀθηναίη θῆκεν Διὸς ἐκγεγαυῖα

μείζονά τ᾽ εἰσιδέειν καὶ πάσσονα, κὰδ δὲ κάρητος 230
οὔλας ἧκε κόμας, ὑακινθίνῳ ἄνθει ὁμοίας.
ὡς δ᾽ ὅτε τις χρυσὸν περιχεύεται ἀργύρῳ ἀνὴρ

ἴδρις, ὃν Ἥφαιστος δέδαεν καὶ Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη
τέχνην παντοίην, χαρίεντα δὲ ἔργα τελείει,
ὣς ἄρα τῷ κατέχευε χάριν κεφαλῇ τε καὶ ὤμοις. 235

ἕζετ᾽ ἔπειτ᾽ ἀπάνευθε κιὼν ἐπὶ θῖνα θαλάσσης,
κάλλεϊ καὶ χάρισι στίλβων· θηεῖτο δὲ κούρη.
δή ῥα τότ᾽ ἀμφιπόλοισιν ἐυπλοκάμοισι μετηύδα·

ʺκλῦτέ μευ, ἀμφίπολοι λευκώλενοι, ὄφρα τι εἴπω.
οὐ πάντων ἀέκητι θεῶν, οἳ Ὄλυμπον ἔχουσιν, 240
Φαιήκεσσ᾽ ὅδ᾽ ἀνὴρ ἐπιμίσγεται ἀντιθέοισι·

πρόσθεν μὲν γὰρ δή μοι ἀεικέλιος δέατ᾽ εἶναι,
νῦν δὲ θεοῖσιν ἔοικε, τοὶ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσιν.
αἲ γὰρ ἐμοὶ τοιόσδε πόσις κεκλημένος εἴη

ἐνθάδε ναιετάων, καὶ οἱ ἅδοι αὐτόθι μίμνειν. 245
ἀλλὰ δότ᾽, ἀμφίπολοι, ξείνῳ βρῶσίν τε πόσιν τε.ʺ
ὣς ἔφαθ᾽, αἱ δ᾽ ἄρα τῆς μάλα μὲν κλύον ἠδ᾽ ἐπίθοντο,

πὰρ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ Ὀδυσσῆι ἔθεσαν βρῶσίν τε πόσιν τε.
ἦ τοι ὁ πῖνε καὶ ἦσθε πολύτλας δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς


Mighty Odysseus bathed in the river, washing his body,
sluicing the sea-brine coating his back and his broad shoulders,
scrubbing away the dandruff of salt-crust scaling his head.

Once he had bathed, and was glistening with oil, he put on the clothing
the princess had given him, while divine Athena enhanced his appearance,
making him seem taller, more muscled and powerful, and down from his forehead

running his curls in ringlets like clusters of hyacinth blossom.
Masterly as an artisan pouring gold upon silver (and one whom Hephaestus
and Athena had tutored in skillful technique), as he perfects his creation,

Athena now lavished such glory on Odysseus’ head and shoulders.
Walking to the shore, he sat there, alone, shimmering with glamour;
and the breath-taken princess stood and stared at him, lost in wonder.

Turning to her handmaids with the long-braided-hair, she spoke to them, saying:
“Listen to me now, my girls with white arms, the gods on Olympus
surely are not all against this man who visits among us.

Shameful and crude, at first he seemed, but now I confess
that if only a man like this were my husband, and stayed on forever!
Just be sure, my girls, he has plenty to eat and to drink.”

They listened attentively, and hurried away to do her bidding,
bringing Odysseus food and drink; and he feasted greedily;
god-like Odysseus, so hungry, so long since he tasted meat …
« Last Edit: 19 Feb, 2007, 16:05:28 by spiros »


mousafiris

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #1 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 09:43:37 »
As I said in my introduction, I have been working on some Homer recently, and I was interested in the opinions of those who know the original text better than I do.

How does the "περισπωμένη" affect the word in the transliteration text?
« Last Edit: 18 Feb, 2007, 09:46:15 by wings »
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Parcelsus

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #2 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 10:12:07 »
Hi, mousafiris - I take it that "περισπωμένη" refers to the accent in the transliteration.

Here is a note from Harry Thurston Peck's, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)

Quote
The accent in ancient Greek consisted in a raising of the pitch, and not in the stress or duration of the sound. But the latter element was added at the period of the decay of the language, and the Greeks of to-day make all accented vowels long and all unaccented vowels short. When this change took place can be determined only approximately, but it must have been during the Alexandrian period and before the beginning of our era, as may be gathered from some of the rules of prosody observed by such poets as Babrius and Nonnus. The difference between high pitch and low pitch, according to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, amounted to almost a fifth (Dion. Hal. Comp.58).


mousafiris

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #3 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 11:31:50 »
Thanks a lot for the quote. This I know. What I had in mind is what if any effect does the περισπωμένη have on the word being read by somebody who is not Greek. You see, we have stopped using accents in modern Greek.   An accent (') is placed on the syllable that is pronounced "άνθρωπος" and never on one syllable words. So I just wanted to know if the accent I see on your text has a purpose for the reader. 
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

billberg23

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #4 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 16:19:01 »
The circumflex in the Perseus text quoted by Paracelsus is no accent at all, but simply a sign to distinguish the eta from the epsilon, and the omega from the omicron in transliteration.  A perhaps even more awkward alternative is to use a straight line above the vowel, instead of a circumflex.  But this runs the risk of confusion with quantitative (rather than qualitative) length.  Can you think of a better way to do it?
« Last Edit: 18 Feb, 2007, 16:31:38 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

billberg23

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #5 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 17:04:24 »
Mark, what we really need here is the ancient Greek text of the Odyssey, rather than the "Greeklish" of the Perseus text.  I've been racking the Internet, but have only found one at http://www.mikrosapoplous.gr/homer/odm6.htm (with Eftialotis' modern Greek translation).  Unfortunately I can't seem to paste the relevant passage to this thread.  Maybe someone else can.

I appreciate your work.  For some time now I've been searching for a translation of the Odyssey to give to my 12-year-old stepson, preferably a prose tramslation.  Your dactyls come fairly close to it.  I first fell in love with Homer through the old Lang/Leaf translation, with its almost Elizabethan prose. But a twelve-year-old couldn't handle it.  It needs to be simple without being boring, and your rendition seems to be on the right track.

Dactyls are challenging, since English, with its monosyllabic tendencies, isn't really built for them.  Nor is Greek these days.  Even when Kazantzakis revived Odysseus for his own 24-book epic in the 20th century, he used the traditional medieval/modern Greek 15-syllable line — as did Eftialotis in the above-mentioned translation of Homer.
« Last Edit: 18 Feb, 2007, 17:12:16 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος


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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #6 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 17:16:09 »
Hi, Bill. I have added the Homeric text under Mark's translation.

Sorry for being so late to help, but this has been and still is a very busy week.

You can also both have a look at: https://www.translatum.gr/forum/index.php?topic=1849.0 where we have 2 translations of the same rhaspody (the 12th) into Modern Greek, one by Thanassis Georgiadis and the other by professor Dimitris Maronitis.

billberg23

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #7 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 19:08:30 »
You can also both have a look at: https://www.translatum.gr/forum/index.php?topic=1849.0 where we have 2 translations of the same rhaspody (the 12th) into Modern Greek, one by Thanassis Georgiadis and the other by professor Dimitris Maronitis.
Yes, those are all good approximations of the flow (if not the meter) of the Homeric hexameter.  I wonder if, when recited in Greek, they sound more like poetry or like elegant prose.  Of course I can't hear the recitation, but to my (alien) mind they seem more the latter.  And that, IMHO, is not a bad result.
Thanks for posting the original text, Vicky!  Where do you find it?
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #8 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 19:19:30 »
You can download the Iliad and the translation into Modern Greek by Iakovos Polylas at: http://www.mikrosapoplous.gr/links.htm and click here to get the Odyssey (original text only).:-)


Parcelsus

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #9 on: 18 Feb, 2007, 23:15:46 »
Thank you for that response, billberg23, I appreciate it.

I agree that the lines have a prose-like quality. I did start off with a more insistent dactylic beat, but not only is this more difficult to maintain over long passages, but the more-rigid meter begins to tire the reader. Loosening up the meter with more variation makes for easier writing and reading, but moves the translation closer to prose.

I am sorry that the Perseus text is so rough for those who know the ancient Greek (and thank you, Vicky, for pasting in the better version - I have downloaded the text-file). The reason I have been working with the Perseus is the handy online word-tool.

Coming to this project so late in life (nearly 60) and with such a handicap of linguistic ignorance, I wonder about making the commitment to attempt the full translation. I also write my own poetry, and need time for that as well. So I will probably continue to work on short pieces such as this, and perhaps one day I will have enough of the them to join the dots and finish the whole text.

Thanks again.



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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #10 on: 19 Feb, 2007, 00:31:56 »
Mark, you are always welcome to post any of your poems in our poetry section.:-)


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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #11 on: 19 Feb, 2007, 00:54:03 »
Quote
Coming to this project so late in life (nearly 60) and...

Hello, Mark, and welcome to the forum.

You should be inspired by the example of Mrs Amalia Megapanou. Once married to Constantine Karamanlis, she became a writer after their divorce. For the past twelve years she worked on a book that has just come out, titled “People and other proper names in Greek history and mythology (up to the 1st century A.D.)” As she says in a recent interview, she worked from 8.30 in the morning to 4.30 in the afternoon. The result is a 1150-page volume with 21,625 entries, published by the Benaki museum. A rare feat for a single person.

Read more about it here:
http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_columns_2_01/12/2006_207342
http://ta-nea.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=A&f=18651&m=P20&aa=2
http://tovima.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=B&f=14988&m=S03&aa=1



Parcelsus

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Re: Trans. Book VI, The Odyssey, II. 224-249.
« Reply #12 on: 19 Feb, 2007, 01:54:16 »
Thank you for the welcome, nickel, and for the inspiring story.

Yes, the project begins to look a lot less daunting when seen in the context of such heroic dedication.

What's a mere 12,000 lines compared to 1150 pages!

An encouraging example.