Sunday, December 22, 2013


From Sweet to Sour

Greek Anthology 9.127 (tr. W.R. Paton):
If a little sweet wine remains in a vessel, this remnant turns to vinegar. So the old man who has quite emptied life and has reached the depth of eld becomes sour-tempered.

ἂν περιλειφθῇ μικρὸν ἐν ἄγγεσιν ἡδέος οἴνου,
  εἰς ὀξὺ τρέπεται τοῦτο τὸ λειπόμενον·
οὕτω ἀπαντλήσας τὸν ὅλον βίον, εἰς βαθὺ δ᾽ ἐλθὼν
  γῆρας, ὁ πρεσβύτης γίνεται ὀξύχολος.
Two words in the opening couplet (περιλειφθῇ...λειπόμενον) are an example of compound-simplex verbal iteration, where the simplex verb has the meaning of the preceding compound verb. On this idiom see:
Related post: An Image of Old Age.

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