Thursday, August 20, 2015
I think, then, that Melampus showed himself a clever man, in that he had acquired the prophetic art, and in his teaching of the worship of Dionysus, besides much else, came from Egypt with but slight change.In the English, what is the subject of the verb "came"? Godley seems to say that Melampus came from Egypt little changed.
The Greek is straightforward:
ἐγὼ μέν νυν φημὶ Μελάμποδα γενόμενον ἄνδρα σοφὸν μαντικήν τε ἑωυτῷ συστῆσαι καὶ πυθόμενον ἀπ᾿ Αἰγύπτου ἄλλα τε πολλὰ ἐσηγήσασθαι Ἕλλησι καὶ τὰ περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον, ὀλίγα αὐτῶν παραλλάξαντα.Note that Ἕλλησι ("to Greeks") is also missing from Godley's translation.
There are two aorist infinitives following φημὶ: συστῆσαι ("bring prophetic art into union with himself, i.e. win, acquire it," according to Liddell-Scott-Jones, s.v. συνίστημι, II.b) and ἐσηγήσασθαι ("bring in, introduce...of religious rites," id., s.v. εἰσηγέομαι).
Perhaps Godley's translation could be salvaged thus, by omitting the first "of," adding "to Greeks" (or "to Greece") and making "the worship of Dionysus" the subject of the verb "came":
I think, then, that Melampus showed himself a clever man, in that he had acquired the prophetic art, and in his teaching the worship of Dionysus, besides much else, came from Egypt to Greece with but slight change.But there is a better, more accurate translation of the sentence in Jon D. Mikalson, Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), p. 184:
I say that Melampus, a wise man, devoted himself to the art of prophecy and both learned and introduced to Greeks many other things from Egypt and the things concerning Dionysus and changed few of them.Jon D. Mikalson taught me Greek many years ago. I'm still learning from him.
Eric Thomson points out that Godley's Loeb Herodotus of 1920, before the 1926 revision, reads as follows (p. 337):
I think, then, that Melampus showed himself a cunning man, in that he set himself up as a prophet, and his teaching of the worship of Dionysus, besides much else, came from Egypt with but slight change.
Labels: typographical and other errors