Saturday, December 03, 2011

Betise folly


Beware the Kelpie! Riding her grasping hide ye'll nae escape when she carries ye under dark waters.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Plato's ION, my translation 535-536b


SOCRATES: Hold this thought now, Ion, and tell me without reservation
what I am about to ask you: When you give a good recital and astound
your audience as you sing of Odysseus leaping forth upon the
threshold, revealing hmself to the suitors and pouring out the arrows
in front of his feet, or of Achilles dashing at Hector or some part of
the piteous tales about Andromache or about Hecuba or about Priam, are
you then in your right mind or out of it?

ION: How clear to me, Socrates, this part of your proof appears!
For I'll tell you plainly, when I recite a tale of woe, my eyes are
filled with tears. And when it is one of fear or awe, my hair stands
on end with terror and my heart leaps.

SOCRATES: So then, can we say, Ion, that such a person is in his senses
at that time or is full of fear as he stands before twenty thousand or
so friendly people, none of whom is ripping his clothes or harming him in any way?

ION: No, by Zeus, not at all, Socrates, to tell the very truth!

SOCRATES: Are you also aware that y'all work these same effects on many people in your audiences?

ION: Yes, I am very well aware, for I look down upon them from the stage above, seeing fear on their faces and wonder in accord with what I am saying.
For it's necessary for me to fix my attention very closely on them, so that if I get them to crying, I myself shall laugh as I'm taking their money; but if to laughing, then I myself shall cry as I'm losing money.

SOCRATES: Are you aware then that your spectator is the last of the rings of which I spoke as receiving from one another the power from the Heraclean stone? And you, the rhapsode and actor are the middle ring; and the poet himself, the first; but it is the god himself who through all these rings attracts the souls of men thither, holding them suspended one from another with his power.

And just like from the lodestone. there is a chain of very many choral performers and of their masters and tutors suspended from the rings that hang down from the Muse.
One of the poets is suspended from one Muse, but another from another---we call this state 'he is held fast' or fascinated; this is about the same as saying he is owned [hip slang, pwned] or possessed.
And from these first rings (the poets and/or musical composers) are suspended a variety of others, some inspired by Orpheus, others by Musaeus, but the majority are held fast [fascinated] or possessed by Homer.


18November2011 Marginal Note from Hilde Monro:

"Ion: ἡ λίθος

"Did you notice that when Socrates talks about this famous magnetic stone,
he calls it ἡ λίθος? I am sure that we all learnt that λίθος was
masculine, when we first came across the word. In fact, any common and
garden stone is ὁ λίθος, and it only turns feminine when it becomes
something special.

"J.K.Rowling's 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' was translated by
Andrew Wilson into ancient Greek as 'ΑΡΕΥΙΟΣ ΠΟΤΗΡ καὶ ἡ τοῦ φιλοσόφου


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rimbaud's most famous quote - with my translation


Un soir, j'ai assis la Beauté sur mes genoux. Et je l'ai trouvée amère. Et je l'ai injurieé. < Une Saison en Enfer

One evening I sat Beauty upon my knees... And I found her vexing... And I abused her.


Rimbaud from 'A Season in Hell' [preface]

'vexing' is, I deem, the sense here rather than the literal French "bitter, harsh; painful, grievous; biting, galling" definition of the lexicographers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Plato's ION, my translation 533D - 534C


For, as I was just saying, this is not art, with which you are speaking well about Homer; but rather divine power which moves you like that in the stone Euripides called a magnet but most people call Heracleian.

For this stone not only attracts iron rings but also charges them with a power by which they to do the same as the stone and draw other rings. So that sometimes a long chain of pieces of iron and rings, suspended from one another, is formed: all depending for this power on that stone. And so also the Muse inspires men herself, and by means of these inspired men the inspiration spreads to others and keeps them connected like a chain.

For all the great epic poets sing all their beautiful songs not from art, but because they are enthused with inspiration and possessed by a divine power, and in like manner the lyric poets, just like the priests of the Great Mother don't dance in their right minds, so also the lyric poets composing these lovely lyrics are not in their right minds. But when they get into the harmony and rhythm, they are dancing in Bacchic frenzy and possessed by a divine power, just as bacchantes are out of their minds and possessed when drawing honey and milk from the rivers, so also the soul of lyric poets performs this work, which is the same thing, so they say.

For the poets tell us, it seems, that the lyrics they bring us from the honey-dripping fountains in certain gardens and groves of the Muses, just as the bees, and winging the same as these [with their winged words]; and they are speaking the truth. For a poet is a light and winged and sacred being, and not able to create unless entered into a different state of consciousness and outside his normal senses, and his own mind is no longer in him, for as long as he holds onto that possession, every man is unable to create poetry or sing an ode.

So as it is not by art they are composing and saying so many things about the deeds of heroes, just like you do about the poems of homer, but rather by divine muses, each is able to compose only that to which the Muse motivated him: one man, dithyrambs; another, another, encomiums; a third, musical productions; a fourth, epodes; a fifth, iambics; but each is useless about the others' specialties.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Odyssey 20:180 & 183 wi' my reading


180 πάντως οὐκέτι νῶϊ διακρινέεσθαι ὀΐω πρὶν χειρῶν γεύσασθαι πρὶν χειρῶν γεύσασθαι

No way are we two going to part from one another without a tasting of each other's fists.

Twitter Remix: methinks we'll nae part w/o tasting fists


183,4 τὸν δ᾽ οὔ τι προσέφη πολύμητις Ὀδυσσεύς, ἀλλ᾽ ἀκέων κίνησε κάρη, κακὰ βυσσοδομεύων.

...but wily Odysseus gave him no reply, but bobbled his head while pondering evils in his heart.


Sunday, October 09, 2011

ODYSSEY Book 20 Lines 166-171 with my translation


"ξεῖν᾽, ἦ ἄρ τί σε μᾶλλον Ἀχαιοὶ εἰσορόωσιν,
ἦέ σ᾽ ἀτιμάζουσι κατὰ μέγαρ᾽, ὡς τὸ πάρος περ;"

"Guest, do the Achaeans regard you more favorably
or are they dissing you in the feasting hall just like before?"

τὸν δ᾽ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη πολυμήτις Ὀδυσσεύς·
"αἲ γὰρ δή, Εὔμαιε, θεοὶ τισαίατο λώβην,

And replying, Odysseus of the many wiles said,
"Ah, Eumaeus... would that the gods exact vengeance

ἣν οἵδ᾽ ὑβρίζοντες ἀτάσθαλα μηχανόωνται
οἴκῳ ἐν ἀλλοτρίῳ, οὐδ᾽ αἰδοῦς μοῖραν ἔχουσιν."

on these agressors wantonly making whoopee in
another's house, and having not a bit of shame."

Friday, October 07, 2011

Platonic Syntax in the ION Dialogue, 532-D,E Pt.2


Σωκράτης: βουλοίμην ἄν σε ἀληθῆ λέγειν, ὦ Ἴων: ἀλλὰ σοφοὶ μέν πού ἐστε
ὑμεῖς οἱ ῥαψῳδοὶ καὶ ὑποκριταὶ καὶ ὧν ὑμεῖς ᾁδετε τὰ ποιήματα, ἐγὼ δὲ οὐδὲν
ἄλλο ἢ τἀληθῆ λέγω, [532e] οἷον εἰκὸς ἰδιώτην ἄνθρωπον. ἐπεὶ καὶ περὶ τούτου
οὗ νῦν ἠρόμην σε, θέασαι ὡς φαῦλον καὶ ἰδιωτικόν ἐστι καὶ παντὸς ἀνδρὸς
γνῶναι ὃ ἔλεγον, τὴν αὐτὴν εἶναι σκέψιν, ἐπειδάν τις ὅλην τέχνην λάβῃ.
λάβωμεν γὰρ τῷ λόγῳ: γραφικὴ γάρ τίς ἐστι τέχνη τὸ ὅλον;

My Englishment Soc: Oh, how I wish that you would tell the truth, Ion! But surely it
is you rhapsodes and expounders and the men, whose poems you keep singing,
that are wise. I however speak nothing other than naked truth such as seems
right to a common man. And then about this thing regarding which I asked you
just now, notice how simple and commonplace is what I just uttered: even
everyman knows the consideration is the same whenever anyone has mastered an
art: he has the whole of it.

Paul Baronoweki SOC: I would wish that you were telling the truth, Ion: but, in
reality, it is you rhapsodes and interpreters and they who sing [chant] the
poems who are wise, but I say nothing but the truth, the same as a common
man. Seeing also that I asked you about this (question) just now, observe
how paltry and amateurish it is and (in the power of) every man to know what
I mean, the inquiry is the same,whenever anyone comprehends an art as a
whole. Let us assume by analogy: Is (the art of) painting some art as a

Hilde Munro Socrates: I wish your words were true, Ion: but I suppose it's you
rhapsodes and actors who are wise, and they whose poems you sing, but I just
tell the truth, like a simple layman. And as for what I asked you just now,
see how ordinary and commonplace my theory is – something that any man might
discover – that when one has acquired an art as a whole it is the same
method of examination. Let's take an example for this assertion: Painting is
an art as a whole?

Michael F Pajack Socrates: If only you were right, Ion, but it is perhaps you rhapsodes and actors and the men whose poems you sing who are wise; I merely speak the truth as it befits an unskilled man. For concerning these matters which I
asked you just now, look how simple and unskilled it is, and what I said is
within the capacity of every man to know, that the mode of inquiry is the
same when anyone has grasped a whole art. For let us take one art for the
benefit of our discussion. For example, there is an art of painting as a


Platonic Syntax in the ION Dialogue, 532-D


Σωκράτης: οὐκοῦν ἐπειδὰν λάβῃ τις καὶ ἄλλην τέχνην ἡντινοῦν ὅλην, ὁ
αὐτὸς τρόπος τῆς σκέψεως ἔσται περὶ ἁπασῶν τῶν τεχνῶν; πῶς τοῦτο λέγω, δέῃ
τί μου ἀκοῦσαι, ὦ Ἴων;

My Englishment: SOC: And whenever anyone has acquired any other art whatsoever as a
whole, will the same way of considering hold true through all the arts? What
do you need to hear from me, as to how I am saying/meaning this, Ion?

Paul Baronowski SOC: Accordingly, whenever someone comprehends also any other art
whatsoever as a complete entity, will the method of inquiry about all the
arts be the same? Do you need to hear from me, Ion, how I mean this?

Hilde Munro Socrates: Well then, if someone acquires any other art at all as a
whole, will there be the same sort of examination for all the skills? Would
you like to hear me explain this, Ion?

Michael F. Pajak MFP Socrates: Therefore when someone takes any other art whatever as a whole, the same method of inquiry will be in all the arts? Do you need to
hear what I mean by this, Ion?


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Thoughts about Friendship from Diogenes Laertius bio of Aristotle


ἐρωτηθεὶς τί ἐστι φίλος, ἔφη, Μία ψυχὴ δύο σώμασιν ἐνοικοῦσα.

[my translation; Upon being asked what a friend is, he said, "One soul in two bodies."]


ᾧ φίλοι, οὐδεὶς φίλος.

["My friends, but there is not one (real) friend (among you all)".]


ἐρωτηθεὶς πῶς ἂν τοῖς φίλοις προσφεροίμεθα, ἔφη, Ὡς ἂν εὐξαίμεθα αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν προσφέρεσθαι.

[ Upon being asked how we ought to behave toward friends, he said, "As we would pray that they continue to behave toward us." ]


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Telemachus - Odyssey XX, 128-133


.. στῆ δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἐπ᾽ οὐδὸν ἰών, πρὸς δ᾽ Εὐρύκλειαν ἔειπε·
"μαῖα φίλη, τὸν ξεῖνον ἐτιμήσασθ᾽ ἐνὶ οἴκῳ

Telemachus stood on the sill, about to go, and said to Eurycleia:
"Nursey dear, did you honor our in-house guest with

εὐνῇ καὶ σίτῳ, ἦ αὔτως κεῖται ἀκηδής;
τοιαύτη γὰρ ἐμὴ μήτηρ, πινυτή περ ἐοῦσα·

bed and food, or lies he by himself, neglected?
For such is my mother's way even though she is prudent:

.. ἐμπλήγδην ἕτερόν γε τίει μερόπων ἀνθρώπων
χείρονα, τὸν δέ τ᾽ ἀρείον᾽ ἀτιμήσασ᾽ ἀποπέμπει."

Mother foolishly honors some get of sentient humankind,
though inferior, but sends a superior man away unhonored."


PS. Had a lot of fun tracking down the signification of
μέροψ, μέροπες which most lexicons say is an epithet of
βροτοι, ἀνθρωποι with "meaning unknown" & μεροποσπόρος, -ον
"'begetting men',ὥρη Man.4-577"LSJ (Manetho: Astro'ogus)

PPS. Perhaps this section is the origin of the dislike some
scholars and critics have for Telemachus?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Telemachus - Odyssey XX, 124-127


.. Τηλέμαχος δ᾽ εὐνῆθεν ἀνίστατο, ἰσόθεος φώς,
.. And Telemachus got out of bed, looking like a god:

.. εἵματα ἑσσάμενος· περὶ δὲ ξίφος ὀξὺ θέτ᾽ ὤμῳ· 125
ποσσὶ δ᾽ ὑπὸ λιπαροῖσιν ἐδήσατο καλὰ πέδιλα,
.. put on his raiment, slung a sharp sword about his shoulder, tied stout sandals beneath his feet;

.. εἵλετο δ᾽ ἄλκιμον ἔγχος, ἀκαχμένον ὀξέι· χαλκῷ·
.. then grabbed his stout spear, tipped with sharp bronze...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can Anacreon and Edgar Allen Poe be juxtaposed?

"For being an idle boy lang syne,
Who read Anacreon, and drank wine,
I early found Anacreon rhymes
Were almost passionate sometimes--
And by strange alchemy of brain
His pleasures always turned to pain--
His naivete to wild desire--
His wit to love--his wine to fire--
And so being young and dipt in folly
I fell in love with melancholy,
And used to throw my earthly rest
And quiet all away in jest--"
from Poe's ROMANCE, also known as INTRODUCTION.
1st text, 1829; but this section first appeared
in the 1831 text.

Videlicet nunc:

Of Anacreon, Prof. David A. Campbell wrote, "Anacreon's
extant poems are mostly witty pieces about love and wine;
he wrote in gay, simple metres, and the architecture of his
poems was masterly... Asked why he wrote hymns not to the gods
but to boys, he replied ὅτι οὗτοι ἡμῶν θεοί εἰσι, 'they are our
gods'...Most of his poems were pieces in lyric metres, especi-
ally the slight and graceful anacreontics and glyconics...but
the SUDA mentions also his elegiacs and iambics... Anacreon is
perhaps the most meticulous craftsman of all the early lyric
writers. He chooses his words carefully and positions them ef-
fectively... He is also the wittiest of these writers and makes
his points concisely... His images are fresh and clearly expre-
ssed... Posterity thought of him as a libertine and a drunkard."
David A. Campbell, GREEK LYRIC POETRY, Macmillan, 1967

Videlicet nunc:


"And long may the sons of Anacreon intwine the myrtle of Venus with Bacchus' vine."

from the lyrics of "The Anacreontic Song", official song of the Anacreontic Society of London, U.K.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ODYSSEY Study Group 13 September 2011

DJG David Goldfarb
HMU Hilde Munro
LXD Lorcan Despanais
MB Mark Brunkahl
ML Mark Lightman

Odyssey υ-93 μερμήριζε δ᾽ ἔπειτα, δόκησε δέ οἱ κατὰ θυμὸν ἤδη γιγνώσκουσα παρεστάμεναι

DJG And he considered anxiously, and it seemed to his heart that now she knew
him and was standing by his head.

HMU then he pondered and in his heart it seemed to him that she had already
recognized him and was standing by his head.

LXD and when he was turning it over in his mind, it seemed to him in his
heart that, already recognizing him, she stood by his head.

MB and then he considered, and it appeared to him in his mind as if she
already understood and would stand next to his head.

ML Then he was conflicted. But she seemed, to his way of thinking, by now,
knowing him, to be standing by his head.>

Is Penelope the subject of δόκησε? If it's impersonal, why is γιγνώσκουσα not accusative?
Mark Lightman

Mark Brunkahl repied:
I must confess that I had great diffifulties with the whole last assignment.
Maybe it has something with this: When the subject of the infinitive is
identical with that of main verb it is out in the nominative, e.g. ἄξιος εἶναι
νομίζει: "she hopes to be worthy (herself)" while
ἄξιον εἶναι νομίζει αὐτόν : "she hopes him to be worthy". So if the participle
is understood adjectively this could account for the nominative.
If you want to do some research along these lines yourself I can only say that
I found this in my grammar under the header of "Substantives with Infinitives".

Otherwise I can only say: The participle is correct because Homer said so!
Mark Brunkahl
Am Mittwoch, 14. September 2011 06:04:09 schrieb Mark Lightman:

Hilde Munro repied:
Looking at other occurrences of δοκέω in Homer, used both personally and
impersonally, I found several examples with the nominative where we might
have expected the accusative. (By the way, this looking up process is made a
lot easier by the Chicago Homer.)
I do not think that Mark B.'s idea works here, as Penelope is not the
subject of both clauses.

Here are some examples:

Ιl.23.459/60 ἄλλοι μοι δοκέουσι παροίτεροι ἔμμεναι ἵπποι, ἄλλος δ᾽
ἡνίοχος ἰνδάλλεται

Il.23.470/7 δοκέει δέ μοι ἔμμεναι ἀνὴρ Αἰτωλὸς γενεήν, ...

Od.01.227/28 ὥς τέ μοι ὑβρίζοντες ὑπερφιάλως δοκέουσι δαίνυσθαι κατὰ δῶμα.

Od.02.033 ἐσθλός μοι δοκεῖ εἶναι, ὀνήμενος.

Od.08.388 ὁ ξεῖνος μάλα μοι δοκέει πεπνυμένος εἶναι.

Od.17.415/16 οὐ μέν μοι δοκέεις ὁ κάκιστος Ἀχαιῶν ἔμμεναι, ἀλλ᾽ ὤριστος,

Od.18.382 καί πού τις δοκέεις μέγας ἔμμεναι ἠδὲ κραταιός,

Lorcan replied: Methinks you are more nearly correct, Mark, on this verse than most of
us who may have been misled by dokei's usual habit of being
impersonal. The giggly participle is, of course, the feminine
nominative, modifying the feminine subject implicit in the aorist
indicative active verb (and also of the perfect active infinitive).
Lorcan ---- POSTSCRIPTUM: I meant Mark Lightman in my reply. Also The main verb of the second clause (which is co-ordinate and not dependent) is the 'governing verb' and has the same subject as the infinitive, and that is why the subject of the infinitive is not in the accusative. viz: Smyth, GREEK GRAMMAR, #1973 & #937

Monday, August 15, 2011

Athena Visiting Upon Odysseus

Came just now across this image,_Marko_i_vila.jpg

which is very close to the image I get from Homer's Odyssey XX,30-33.

Saturday, July 30, 2011



by the blessings of APOLLO...


Tuesday, June 14, 2011



'Twas a cony and cunning conundrum that coined his eponym, euphemized from the then unspeakable CUNT.


Monday, June 13, 2011

from Aristophanes' Nubes


Aristophanes' CLOUDS, line 723 Socrates: Have you [thought of] anything? Strepsiades: Nothing other than the penis in my right hand...
Choryth Ldr: Don't go soft! Cover its head for it must search out a scheme for cheating and getting rid of creditors. Line 728