Saturday, September 13, 2008



Jeffrey Henderson, in his commentary on Aristophanes' Lysistrata (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987; rpt. 2002), lines 421-423, discusses the importation of timber into Attica and cites [Xenophon], Constitution of the Athenians 2.11-12; Andocides 2.11; Meiggs and Lewis, A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions (Oxford, 1969), 91.30; and Thucydides 8.1.3. I recently noticed a mention of this in [Demosthenes] 17.28 (tr. J.H. Vince): "For they cannot allege as their excuse that there is plenty of timber for shipbuilding at Athens, where we import it with great trouble from distant parts, but that it is scarce in Macedonia, where there is a cheap supply for all who want it."

Henderson on 850-851 (ἐκκάλεσόν ... καλέσω): "The simplex normally retains the semantic force of the preceding compound, cf. 971, Eq. 253-4, 1200 ff., Nu.. 1072-4, Ve. 1334-5, Ra. 960-1, 1227-9." This idiom is also discussed byOnly Watkins' article is available to me at the moment. He writes (at 117), "The absence of any examples of this construction from Homer is striking." But it does occur in Homer at least once, in the Iliad at 9.24-25 (κατέλυσε ... λύσει).

My mother used to tell me not to frown so much, because my face would freeze in a permanent frown. She was right; it has. An Aristophanic version of my mother's admonition occurs at lines 7-8 (tr. Henderson) "Don't frown child. / Knitted brows don't become you." (μὴ σκυθρώπαζ᾽, ὦ τέκνον. / οὐ γὰρ πρέπει σοι τοξοποιεῖν τὰς ὀφρῦς).

Line 83 (tr. Henderson) could be used as a pickup line, if you're willing to risk getting your face slapped: "And what a fine set of tits you've got!" (ὡς δὴ καλὸν τὸ χρῆμα τιτθίων ἔχεις).

Update — I now see that many Homeric and other examples of the compound/simplex construction are collected by Robert Renehan, Studies in Greek Texts: Critical Observations to Homer, Plato, Euripides, Aristophanes and other Authors (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1976), pp. 11-27 ("More on Compound and Simplex Verbs").

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