Saturday, April 02, 2016


Aristophanes, Clouds 1414 (Loeb Classical Library)

Aristophanes, Clouds 1410-1414 (Pheidippides arguing that it's acceptable for him to strike his father Strepsiades; tr. Jeffrey Henderson):
Then tell me, if administering beatings is an expression of good will, isn't it right that I show you good will in the same way, with a beating? How is it fair that your body should be immune from blows, but not mine?

                                                            εἰπὲ δή μοι,        1410
οὐ κἀμὲ σοὶ δίκαιόν ἐστιν εὐνοεῖν ὁμοίως
τύπτειν τ᾿, ἐπειδήπερ γε τοῦτ᾿ ἔστ᾿ εὐνοεῖν, τὸ τύπτειν;
πῶς γὰρ τὸ μὲν σὸν σῶμα χρὴ πληγῶν ἀθῷον εἶναι,
τοὐμὸν δὲ μή; καὶ μὴν ἔφυν ἐλεύθερός γε κἀγώ.
In his Loeb Classical Library edition of Aristophanes, Clouds, Wasps, Peace (1998; rpt. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005), p. 199, Henderson didn't translate the last six words of line 1414 — καὶ μὴν ἔφυν ἐλεύθερός γε κἀγώ. I see the same omission in the online Digital Loeb Classical Library. The words mean, "And yet I too was born free."

On καὶ μὴν ... γε see J.D. Denniston, The Greek Particles, 2nd ed. rev. K.J. Dover (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954), pp. 120 (γε) and esp. 357 (καὶ μήν), where this line is cited under "Adversative....The objection may be urged by the speaker against another person, or against himself," although I half expected to find it cited on pp. 351-352 under "Progressive. This is a very common use, particularly in prose, where καὶ μήν often introduces a new argument, a new item in a series, or a new point of any kind. In Attic, the emphatic word or phrase, following immediately upon the particles, is very frequently reinforced by γε....Normally καὶ μήν marks a new departure: it is mainly used after a strong stop..."

Related post: Aristophanes, Clouds 1062 (Loeb Classical Library).


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