Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Sophocles, Ajax, Again

These are some more nit-picking comments on the translation of Ajax in Sophocles, Ajax, Electra, Oedipus Tyrannus. Edited and Translated by Hugh Lloyd-Jones (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994), a volume in the Loeb Classical Library series. My previous comments are here.

182-184 (pp. 48-49):
οὔποτε γὰρ φρενόθεν γ᾿ ἐπ᾿ ἀριστερά,
παῖ Τελαμῶνος, ἔβας
τόσσον ἐν ποίμναις πίτνων.

Never were you in your right mind when you went so far astray as to fall upon the flocks!
Ll-J didn't translate the vocative παῖ Τελαμῶνος (son of Telamon) in line 183.

208-213 (pp. 50-51):
τί δ᾿ ἐνήλλακται τῆς ἡμερίας
νὺξ ἥδε βάρος;
λέγ᾿, ἐπεί σε λέχος δουριάλωτον
στέρξας ἀνέχει θούριος Αἴας·
ὥστ᾿ οὐκ ἂν ἄιδρις ὑπείποις.

And what is the grievous change from the fortune of the day brought by this night? Child of Phrygian Teleutas, tell us; for valiant Ajax has embraced you and maintains you as his spear-won bride, so that you would not answer without knowledge.
In the 1994 edition, line 210 (παῖ τοῦ Φρυγίου Τελεύταντος = Child of Phrygian Teleutas) is missing from the Greek. It does appear in the digital Loeb Classical Library edition, although with the spelling Τελλεύταντος (found in some manuscripts).

394-398 (pp. 68-69):
σκότος, ἐμὸν φάος,
ἔρεβος ὦ φαεννότατον, ὡς ἐμοί,
ἕλεσθ᾿ ἕλεσθέ μ᾿ οἰκήτορα,
ἕλεσθέ μ᾿·

Ah, darkness that is my light, gloom that is most bright for me, take me, take me to dwell in you!
The imperative ἕλεσθέ occurs three times in the Greek, but is only translated twice.

460-461 (pp. 74-75):
πότερα πρὸς οἴκους, ναυλόχους λιπὼν ἕδρας
μόνους τ᾿ Ἀτρείδας, πέλαγος Αἰγαῖον περῶ;

Shall I cross the Aegean sea, leaving behind the station of the ships and the sons of Atreus, and go home?
Ll-J didn't translate μόνους in line 461. Cf. Jebb:
Shall I forsake the station of the ships, and leave the Atreidae forlorn, and go homeward across the Aegean?
Jebb's note on μόνους:
leaving them bereft of my aid.
574-576 (pp. 84-85):
ἀλλ᾿ αὐτό μοι σύ, παῖ, λαβὼν τοὐπώνυμον,
Εὐρύσακες, ἴσχε διὰ πολυρράφου στρέφων
πόρπακος ἑπτάβοιον ἄρρηκτον σάκος·

but do you, boy, take the thing from which you take your name and carry it, wielding it by means of its well-sewn thong, my shield unbreakable, made of seven hides.
Ll-Jones omitted the name, Eurysaces, from the translation in the 1994 edition, although it does appear in the digital Loeb Classical Library edition. A note might be helpful: the name Eurysaces comes from εὐρύς (broad) and σάκος (shield).

702-705 (pp. 94-95):
Ἰκαρίων δ᾿ ὑπὲρ κελεύθων
μολὼν ἄναξ Ἀπόλλων
ὁ Δάλιος εὔγνωστος
ἐμοὶ ξυνείη διὰ παντὸς εὔφρων.

And may Apollo, lord of Delos, come over the Icarian sea and be with me, forever kindly!
Ll-J didn't translate εὔγνωστος in line 704 (Liddell-Scott-Jones: "easy to discern," Jebb: "in presence manifest," with his note: "'easily recognised,' i.e. in a visible shape").

800 (pp. 104-105):
οἴμοι τάλαινα, τοῦ ποτ᾿ ἀνθρώπων μαθών;

Ah me, from what man did he learn this?
Ll-J didn't translate τάλαινα (suffering, wretched). Likewise at 838 (pp. 106-107) and 902 (pp. 112-113) he didn't translate τάλας.

955-960 (pp. 118-119):
ἦ ῥα κελαινώπᾳ θυμῷ ἐφυβρίζει
πολύτλας ἀνήρ,
γελᾷ δὲ τοῖσδε μαινομένοις ἄχεσιν
πολὺν γέλωτα, φεῦ φεῦ,
ξύν τε διπλοῖ βασιλῆς
κλύοντες Ἀτρεῖδαι.

In truth the much-enduring man exults over us in his dark mind, and laughs loudly at our frenzied sorrows, and with him will laugh, when they hear the news, the two sons of Atreus.
At line 958 Ll-J didn't translate φεῦ φεῦ (alas, alas).

977-978 (pp. 120-121):
ὦ φίλτατ᾿ Αἴας, ὦ ξύναιμον ὄμμ᾿ ἐμοί,
ἆρ᾿ ἠμπόληκας ὥσπερ ἡ φάτις κρατεῖ;

O dearest Ajax, O brother who gave me comfort, have you in truth fared as the rumour said?
I don't see "who gave me comfort" in the Greek: ὦ ξύναιμον ὄμμ᾿ ἐμοί literally means "o face kindred to me."

990-991 (pp. 122-123):
καὶ μὴν ἔτι ζῶν, Τεῦκρε, τοῦδέ σοι μέλειν
ἐφίεθ᾿ ἁνὴρ κεῖνος, ὥσπερ οὖν μέλει.

Why, that man while he still lived asked that you should take care of him, as you are now doing.
Ll-J didn't translate the vocative Τεῦκρε in line 990.

1231-1234 (pp. 144-145):
ὅτ᾿ οὐδὲν ὢν τοῦ μηδὲν ἀντέστης ὕπερ,
κοὔτε στρατηγοὺς οὔτε ναυάρχους μολεῖν
ἡμᾶς Ἀχαιῶν οὔτε σοῦ διωμόσω,
ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὸς ἄρχων, ὡς σὺ φής, Αἴας ἔπλει.

since you who are nothing have championed him who is also nothing, and have declared on oath that we did not come as commanders nor as leaders of the fleet of the Achaeans, but that Ajax sailed—so you say—as his own chief.
In the 1994 edition, Ll-J didn't translate οὔτε σοῦ in line 1233, although the words are translated ("over the Achaeans or over you") in the digital Loeb Classical Library edition.

1283-1287 (pp. 148-149):
χὤτ᾿ αὖθις αὐτὸς Ἕκτορος μόνος μόνου,
λαχών τε κἀκέλευστος, ἦλθεν ἀντίος,
οὐ δραπέτην τὸν κλῆρον ἐς μέσον καθείς,
ὑγρᾶς ἀρούρας βῶλον, ἀλλ᾿ ὃς εὐλόφου
κυνῆς ἔμελλε πρῶτος ἅλμα κουφιεῖν;

And again when he came against Hector, man to man, by lot and without orders, having thrown in a token that was no runaway, no lump of wet earth, but one that was bound to leap first out of the helmet?
In the 1994 edition, Ll-J didn't translate εὐλόφου (well-plumed) in line 1286, although the word is translated ("crested helmet") in the digital Loeb Classical Library edition.

1334-1335 (pp. 152-153):
μηδ᾿ ἡ βία σε μηδαμῶς νικησάτω
τοσόνδε μισεῖν ὥστε τὴν δίκην πατεῖν.

Violence must not so prevail on you that you trample justice under foot!
Ll-J didn't translate τοσόνδε μισεῖν in line 1335. Jebb:
and in no wise let violence prevail with thee to hate so utterly that thou shouldest trample justice under foot.

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