11 October 2008

De Dή

I forgot something yesterday.    Highlight also a word in the first clause of the sentence:  

Διττῆς δὴ τῆς ἀρετῆς οὔσης ..., 

since the codices have δέ, δή being Susemihl's correction.   It seems that all the translators quoted by Gotthelf go along with this (since all of them use a roughly postpositive 'then') but should they?

 This is not as insignificant a point as many fine points of translation, since δή serves to underline the chapter break (doesn't it?) --and perhaps here, as sometimes elsewhere, the chapter break should be viewed as irrelevant for the argument.

Also, Gotthelf had asked whether the genitive absolute construction at the beginning was more accurately rendered in English as a dependent or an independent clause: and, if what Aristotle really wrote was δέ, then presumably he was taking that construction itself to be bearing the weight of connecting his new point to what had preceded (cp. 1101b10, perhaps 1108b11, 1111b4, 1162a34, 1176a30.  Is there a rule?   I don't know.)   In English, I think, the same force would be achieved with an independent clause (beginning with 'So' or the equivalent).   

And then, interestingly, it wouldn't be true that, as Gotthelf claims, "a closer mapping onto the Greek syntax is more accurate".   Or, rather, as is so often the case, it turns out that what looks to be a closer mapping really isn't.




AGotthelf said...

Dear Michael,
I will leave it to readers to judge the quality of my review of Taylor w.r.t. the points you grumble about. But I do confess surprise that you completely missed my note 5.
Allan Gotthelf