Why are the Australians riding on kangaroos to work?

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
For heaven’s sake, brother Hemo! Whoever produces such nonsense as we are here confronted with, shouldn’t (ab)use one of the most venerable languages.
Hmm, maybe so. But is not Homer himself credited with writing the Batrachomyomachia? He might even chuckle at one or two of these gooferies.
The Greek itself is rather good, & if I recall this chap knows some Sanscrit.
ΤΟ ΤΟΥ ΔΑΚΤΥΛΙΟΥ ΠΟΙΗΜΑ

Τρεῖς δακτύλιοι τοῖς τῶν *Ἀλβίων βασιλεῦσι τοῖς ὑπαιθρίοις.

Ἑπτὰ τοῖς τῶν νάνων ἄρχουσι τοῖς ἐν τοῖς περιστύλοις λίθου.

Ἐννέα τοῖς θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποις τοῖς θανασίμοις.

Εἷς τῷ κελαινῷ δεσπότῃ τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπὶ τοῦ κελαινοῦ θρόνου

ἐν τῷ *Μόρδορι τῇ ἐπεσκιασμένῃ χώρᾳ.

Εἷς δακτύλιος τοῦ πάντων ἄρχειν.

Εἷς δακτύλιος τοῦ αὐτοὺς ἀνευρίσκειν.

Εἷς δακτύλιος τοῦ πάντας εἰς σκότον ἐμβάλλειν καὶ δῆσαι

ἐν τῷ *Μόρδορι τῇ ἐπεσκιασμένῃ χώρᾳ.
Εὖγε, ὦ ἀγαθὲ Οὐόλπιε. ἀλλ' αἱρούμεσθα νεολογισμὸν ἀντὶ τούτω Μόρδορός τυ. ἔγων ὑποτίθημι Ἐρεμνία, ὡς ἔπος εἰπῆν, 'dark (land)'.
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
ΤΟ ΤΟΥ ΔΑΚΤΥΛΙΟΥ ΠΟΙΗΜΑ

Τρεῖς δακτύλιοι τοῖς τῶν *Ἀλβίων βασιλεῦσι τοῖς ὑπαιθρίοις.

Ἑπτὰ τοῖς τῶν νάνων ἄρχουσι τοῖς ἐν τοῖς περιστύλοις λίθου.

Ἐννέα τοῖς θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποις τοῖς θανασίμοις.

Εἷς τῷ κελαινῷ δεσπότῃ τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπὶ τοῦ κελαινοῦ θρόνου

ἐν τῷ *Μόρδορι τῇ ἐπεσκιασμένῃ χώρᾳ.

Εἷς δακτύλιος τοῦ πάντων ἄρχειν.

Εἷς δακτύλιος τοῦ αὐτοὺς ἀνευρίσκειν.

Εἷς δακτύλιος τοῦ πάντας εἰς σκότον ἐμβάλλειν καὶ δῆσαι

ἐν τῷ *Μόρδορι τῇ ἐπεσκιασμένῃ χώρᾳ.
This was truly awesome, hats off for the translation :hat: ! I'll write in English quod, male ἑλληνίζω (ut mediā aetāte scrībēbant "Graeca sunt ergō nōn leguntur").


As a native speaker of a Slavic language where we actively make the distinction between a perfective and imperfective infinitive and imperative too, my feeling is, shouldn't ἀνευρίσκειν and ἐμβάλλειν be rather in aorist?? (aorist infinitive) It certainly is a perfective aspect in Czech in the Ring Poem and I don't see why it shouldn't be anywhere else where the distinction is actively made, it just wouldn't make sense.

- "to rule them all" <- yeah, that's a process => the present infinitive is in place
- "to find them" <- this is not a process though, the end of the action is strongly implied, otherwise it would be something like "to be-finding them" or "to habitually find them" with the present infinitive (certainly in my native tongue)
- "to bring them all" - this also implies the end of the action, with the present infinitive it sounds as "to be-bringing them all" or "to habitually bring them all"
- "to bind them" <- with the present infinitive, judging by my native instinct here about the aspects, that would be "to be binding them / to habitually bind them" with the present infinitive instead of "to bind them", but you used the aorist here, in my view, correctly.

... should be corrected, imo ;)

But then again, maybe I'm too stupid in Greek to recognize that it was, in fact, correct.... but I'll welcome any debate on this topic so I can learn something new! :thumb-up:
 
Last edited:
ἀνευρίσκειν the same: It took a very long time for Sauron to find the ring bearers. But δῆσαι is a sudden action.
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
well you wrote something as: "to throw them into the darkness" <- that means throw them once so they end up "down" and not "falling", the present infinitive still means "to be throwing them into darkness" or "to throw them into darkness habitually" as if they were coming back from the darkness and then being thrown back again and again. The same with "to find them". I'm sure this is wrong, Thomas. If you were learning Czech and used this rationalisation to choose the perfective or imperfective infinitive, you would end up speaking "funny" (erroneously) - you would be corrected. No hard feelings though! Still a good translation :)
 
Last edited:

Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
ἀνευρίσκειν the same: It took a very long time for Sauron to find the ring bearers. But δῆσαι is a sudden action.
No, that would mean, that the ring was supposed to be finding them or to find them habitually so they can just get lost again. That's not what the English says. It doesn't matter how long it took, nor the English verb takes that into regard. Again, if you used this rational in my native language to choose the correct aspect, you would have been corrected. It's 99% wrong.
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
But it's true that I find it too often that Non-Slavic Hellenists get the infinitives or imperatives wrong aspect-wise :-/ I suppose that's just a lost battle. I'm certainly no Greek expert, certainly not as good as you (in fact I think I'm pretty pretty bad in Greek!), on the other hand, I have a native feeling for the aspects from my language. The Germans, the English, the Romance folks do not... :-/
 
Τοῦ *Ὁβίτου δάκτυλον ἀποδακὼν ὁ *Γόλλος μετὰ τοῦ δακτυλίου εἰσπίπτων εἰς τὰς διαπύρους χαράδρᾱς τὰς τοῦ ὄρους τοῦ τῆς μοίρᾱς διέφθειρε τὸν κελαινὸν δεσπότην.
 
Perhaps better:
..., οἷς ὁ μόρος ὀλέσθαι

cf. Hom. Il. 19,421 οἶδα καὶ αὐτός, ὅ μοι μόρος ἐνθάδ᾽ ὀλέσθαι
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
But it's true that I find it too often that Non-Slavic Hellenists get the infinitives or imperatives wrong aspect-wise :-/ I suppose that's just a lost battle. I'm certainly no Greek expert, certainly not as good as you (in fact I think I'm pretty pretty bad in Greek!), on the other hand, I have a native feeling for the aspects from my language. The Germans, the English, the Romance folks do not... :-/
It's safe to say that Slavic speakers have a better sense for perfectivity than most others, but it's not as though the Slavic system is exactly transferable from language to language. That is, English simply doesn't have pairs like читать/прочитать (I understand these affairs are at their most complex in South Slavic, if the sections on Bulgarian & Serbo-Croat in my comparative grammar are any indicator). You may argue that
"to find" in English is inherently perfective by default: you find it once and you have it and it doesn't matter how long it takes.
But that doesn't mean the form (ἀν-)εὑρίσκειν and the like don't occur. There have been plenty of times where the Greek tense simply makes no sense (to me) no matter how I try to reason it. But I also am certainly not an expert.
 

Hemo Rusticus

Lounge Lizard
ॐ दुर्गायै नमः ॥
om durgāyai namaḥ ॥
Om! Hail to Durgā!
सेद्गर्त इव जन्यास्ये नो निषदत् ।
sēdgarta iva janyāsyē nō niṡadat
illa regina in ore nostrum sicut solio sedeat
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
It's safe to say that Slavic speakers have a better sense for perfectivity than most others, but it's not as though the Slavic system is exactly transferable from language to language. That is, English simply doesn't have pairs like читать/прочитать (I understand these affairs are at their most complex in South Slavic, if the sections on Bulgarian & Serbo-Croat in my comparative grammar are any indicator). You may argue that

But that doesn't mean the form (ἀν-)εὑρίσκειν and the like don't occur. There have been plenty of times where the Greek tense simply makes no sense (to me) no matter how I try to reason it. But I also am certainly not an expert.
Thanks, I'll have a look at the link! I didn't meant to say the form wouldn't occur, I meant to say it would be semantically more rare... I can say in Czech both "najít" (to find) and "nacházet" - "to find habitually" / "to find progressively" (e.g. "to find beauty in nature [day by day, as I get older]" = nacházet krasu přírodě). I certainly don't rule the forms out as impossible. These particular instances (the Ring verse) still strongly seem not to be the case*... Nevertheless, I'll indeed be glad to learn anything new concerning Greek, since, unlike you guys, I'm really lame in it! :)


*that is, I would grant if, if the Greek simply decided to provably ignore that aorist-present rule from time to time, which is something I, with my knowledge, couldn't know but you could....
 
Last edited:

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
"to find" in English is inherently perfective by default: you find it once and you have it and it doesn't matter how long it takes.
Agreed.

just like to "to rule" is inherently imperfective by default.
Normally I would agree. However, in the context of the Ring poem, I think "rule" here might best be interpreted as "subdue" or "overcome" or the like. It's not "ruling" like ruling a country, which indeed tends to be imperfective in aspect; he wants to dominate the power of the other Rings, and given what Tolkien says about the process, it indeed sounds like a one-time event:

“He only needs the One; for he made that Ring himself, it is his, and he let a great part of his former power pass into it, so that he could rule all the others. If he recovers it, then he will command them all again, wherever they be, even the Three, and all that has been wrought with them will be laid bare, and he will be stronger than ever."
 

LCF

Elsie Eff
Normally I would agree. However, in the context of the Ring poem, I think "rule" here might best be interpreted as "subdue" or "overcome" or the like.
"To rule" means "to reign over". There is not even a hint of "to subdue" or "to overcome" in that verb.
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
Thanks for the discussion, @Callaina, those are interesting points... I think I see what you mean, but I'm not sure that interpretation is necessary there. No matter the "synonymes" used by JRR (if those were synonymes), I think that "rule" or "dominate" really means here (and the translators of Tolkien to foreign languages seem to agree on that) that he wants to HAVE them under their control. And "having them" that is still a state just like "ruling" is by default.

But yes, if there was clearly "subdue", I would agree... I mean, I think what is described here is how he holds the power and the ring bearers are in his thralldom (like the Ring Wraiths) - forever and do his biddings, are his eternal slaves: the dwarf lords, mortal men, the elven kings*. And that is a process...

*I know they didn't give in

I just think it takes some extra mental effort to "unthink" the process from "to rule" and reinterpret it unless it is somehow respecified in English. I also think that the default meaning for "rule" makes sense in regard to the story (although you made an interesting argument).

But thanks for the input, it's an interesting food for thought...
 
Last edited:
Top