No one who has read the classics with any attention can fail to have been struck by certain oddities in both the Greek and Latin usage of epithets denoting colour. How really strange their application often is may have escaped general notice for three reasons: partly, it may be, because custom has staled their surprising character—phrases such as ‘the wine-dark sea’ having become, so to say, ‘household words’; partly because a natural and on the whole commendable diffidence prevents our attributing, (...) at least to the Greeks, anything that seems in the least derogatory from an artistic point of view; and partly because these instances of curious usage are scattered and so have no cumulative effect on our judgement. (shrink)
Prodelision or Inverse Elision takes place when a word ending in a long vowel or diphthong is immediately followed by another word beginning with a short vowel. Though it is very occasionally found in inscriptions and in the manuscripts of certain prose authors, particularly those of Plato—almost uniquely and its cases—it is to be considered as essentially a verse phenomenon, affecting as it does the metre of the line in which it occurs. Prodelision was unknown to Homer and Hesiod, is (...) rare in lyric, and seems only to come into real use with the dramatists of the fifth century. An examination of the practice of the three tragedians and of Aristophanes is not without interest in itself and may occasionally throw some light on points of textual criticism. (shrink)
There are two ways in which the text as it stands has been construed: Cypris came sweet and smiling ; sweet Cypris also came smiling . Of these is at least grammatical. The order of words, too, can be paralleled . But what I think cannot be paralleled is this curious conjunction of adj. and partic. is frankly ungrammatical. Yet Legrand adopts it, adding: ‘Il faut reconnaitre une construction incorrecte au moins dans ces quatre passages: 1. 95…; 1. 109 ραîος (...) ξδωνις ; 4. 49 οικον τ λαγωβΌλον ; 29. 33 τàν γνυν νδρειαν . Of the last three we can with confidence say that ραîος and νδρειαν are to be taken as predicative; in 4. 49 Legrand himself now accepts the emendation τι for τΌ, as he does in the similar 15. 145 passage. There is not, in fact, sufficient, or indeed any, evidence to convict Theocritus of this solecism. Emendation has been rife, but unhappy. ‘Nescio an ipse rem acu tetigerim, legens νӨ γε μν, νíα δ, καì K. γ.,’ writes Briggs. We think he has not. (shrink)
Faced with the many and grave difficulties of 1.565 Coulon in his Budé edition excises it, putting a colon at the end of 1. 564 and taking as absolute: ‘déplorent leur pauvreté et y ajoutent’. In this he follows Herwerden and Willems, and defends his action.
So Hall and Geldart's text and critical note. The latter needs a correction and an addition: R gives (so, too, ΣR, which has ; γ is found only in B and the Aldine edition, R and V omit it. What is the object of Van Leeuwen says ‘mente suppl.xwhich seems to me inconsequent if not nonsensical. Starkie, printing a dash after the word, notes ‘as the sentence is interrupted by Philocleon, it is impossible to know what was meant to be (...) the object of this verb’. This does not seem very satisfactory. Rogers apparently takes the verb as used absolutely and translates ‘you'll strike by and by’. Coulon, not unnaturally dissatisfied with these explanations, reads and translates ‘tu vas te faire lapider’, adding a note ‘on jetait des pierres aux fous; cf. Otseaux 524’. Starkie also mentions this possibility and attributes its origin to the scholiast—wrongly, for the gloss shows that the scholiast did not take as meaning ‘will be pelted as a madman’. In any case all this is very far-fetched. And there is a further point: the strange future active, is found elsewhere only at line 222 of this same play and nowhere else in Greek. It is therefore rash to postulate an entirely unparalleled middle form of this, and that, too, in a passive sense. Had he intended this meaning Aristophanes would surely have written. (shrink)