Demosthenes quoted by Poe

By gedwimere, in 'Ancient Greek', Apr 16, 2018.

  1. gedwimere Active Member

    Poe's satirical story "How to Write a Blackwood Article" contains a Greek quotation:
    «In Greek we must have something pretty—from Demosthenes, for example.
    ἁνὴρ ὁ φεύγων καὶ πάλιν μαχέσεται
    There is a tolerably good translation of it in Hudibras
    'For he that flies may fight again,
    Which he can never do that's slain.' »

    I added the accents myself, as they are absent in all editions I have seen. The first word might be ἁνὴρ as a contraction of ὁ ἀνὴρ, or maybe it is just ἀνὴρ.

    I think that the direct translation is "The fleeing man will fight again."

    I have a few questions:

    1. What exactly is the purpose of καί? Is it here just for emphasis?
    2. μαχόμαι is a verb with contracted (Attic) future. Shouldn't the third person singular future form be μαχεῖται then?
    3. I could not locate the source of the quotation. Is it authentic or was it fabricated by Poe?
  2. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Poe apparently couldn't scan or conjugate, or maybe it was the printer, and it wasn't Demosthenes anyway. If you change the verb to μαχήσεται, it's the Ionic future, and will work as an iambic trimeter. Menander, apparently.
    gedwimere likes this.
  3. gedwimere Active Member

    Thank you, I found it now among Menander's Monostichoi.

    Other quotations in the story also contain mistakes, both textual and in attribution. I wonder whether the mistakes might be deliberate or did he just not check his sources.

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