Thursday, October 13, 2016


Uncertain Interpretations

M.L. West (1937-2015), The East Face of Helicon: West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry and Myth (1997; rpt. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003), pp. 84-85 (on Ugaritic tablets):
And it has to be acknowledged that the interpretation of many passages is more or less uncertain. This is partly because the meanings of many words have to be guessed on the basis of similar-looking roots in Hebrew, Arabic, or other Semitic languages, which often offer more than one possible solution. Thus, where one expert translates '(Tο) the womb I'll descend. When I'm reborn', another renders 'Alone I shall go down into the grave of us both', and a third, 'I have to get out of my underwear alone'.79

79 Gordon, Gibson, and de Moor at KTU 1.2 iii 20.
KTU = Die Keilalphabetischen Texte aus Ugarit.

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