Well, but to you, I say, I shall not tell “The Tale Told to Alkinoos,” but of a stout man, Er son of Armenios, his race Pamphylian, who once was killed in battle. When on the tenth day the already rotten corpses were taken up, he was taken up unspoiled, and when on the twelfth day he had been taken to his house to be buried, he was laid on the pyre, but he rose up alive, and alive again he told of that which he had seen.
He asserted that after leaving his body his soul journeyed with many, and they arrived into some place that was very spooky, in which there existed two chasms on earth bordering on each other, and two chasms in the sky, which all faced on another. Judges were seated between the chasms, whom after they judged, ordered the just to journey to the right hand way into the sky and upward, having fastened signs around the necks of those who had been judged in front of them. The unjust ones were ordered to go to the left and downwards, having had signs fastened around their necks at the back telling all which they had done.
When Er himself approached the judges said that he was to be a messenger to mankind of all the things in that place and they commanded him to listen to them and to behold everything there. He saw in that place through each of the two chasms souls going into the one in the sky or in the earth after being judged, and regarding the other two chasms out of the one in the earth souls came back, all dry and dusty, and out of the other in the sky, other souls came down pure and cleansed. And the souls who were arriving came appearing as if they had been traveling for a long time, and gladly going into the meadow they set up camp just as if they were gathering for a festival.
Holy crap this is way harder than the Apology. I mean, it is but it isn’t– the vocabulary is frustratingly difficult, and I am having to look up nearly every word in the dictionary. This makes the entire process cumbersome, but I can piece it together pretty well with my grammar skills.
I learned from the commentary that saying “the tale told to Alkinoos” is a bit like saying “blathering on,” given that the tale told to Alkinoos is the tale Odysseus told of his days upon the sea.
Also this is hard. But fun. It’s a story, so it at least makes sense most of the time.
Filed under: translation
I may go back to Plato’s Apology but currently I’m more focused on Plato’s “Myth of Er” from Book X of the Republic.
Filed under: translation
Here’s a LOL-ified version of The Suppliant Maidens I did for the heck of it. NERD!
However many while indulging in envy and slander were misleading you– and they themselves having been persuaded in turn persuaded others– all of those are the most difficult to deal with; it is not even possible to bring them here to court to be examined; it is possible neither to bring any one of them to court here nor to examine them, but it is certainly necessary to act as if shadowboxing, both making a defense and examining with no one answering. Think it true, then, just as I say, that I happen to have two kinds of accusers, the ones who just accused me and the others who I say long ago accused me, and assume that it is necessary in relation to the latter I defend myself first, as you have heard those accusations fist and much more often than the former.
Well then. It is clearly necessary to make a defense, oh Athenian men, and it is necessary to attempt to remove the prejudice from you which you have held over much time, and this I must do in a little time. I wish, therefore, this might happen in this way, if it is better to boht you and to me, that I succeed in making my case for myself. I also think this is difficult, and that does not at all escape me. Nevertheless, let this happen in whatever way willed by the gods, one must obey the law and must make a defense.
What the heck, Socrates? Be a little clearer! This section, and the next, were super hard for me and very frustrating after my (relative) success of the previous few pages. These passages are still super hard even after going to my DIS, which was like Plato’s own description of being brought kicking and screaming toward the light. I felt like I forgot Greek reading this, and only the patience of my instructor kept me from throwing a temper tantrum the whole time. I don’t know if I’ve ever been “angry” at Greek before– not really– before this passage. I will press on.
I think what troubled me was the syntax. The words were all there but it was like looking at a puzzle without knowing what the picture shows on the front of the box. Even now that I am putting up this translation I am still not sure since I didn’t make as many corrections during my meeting as I should have. Also, participles!
Filed under: translation
But those men are more terrifying, gentlemen, those men who taught you as children, persuading you and accusing me without any more truth truth to their claims than Anutos’, saying that there is some guy called Socrates, a wise man, a considerer of both celestial phenomena and an investigator of all things under the earth, and a relativist who makes stronger the weaker argument. These, oh Athenian men, are men who have spread widely this rumor, these men are my fearsome accusers; the men listening think that the men investigating these sort things also do not believe in the gods. Secondly, the majority of these accusers accused these things for much time already, speaking to you in an age which you were likely to believe them, some of you at that time being children and young men, simply accusing a person in absentia with no one really making a defense for him. That which is most unreasonable is that their names are not known, unless it is some comedian.
First, therefore, it is just for me to defend myself, oh Athenian men, as regards the first untrue things I have been accused of by my earliest accusers, then secondly as regards later accusations of my later accusers. My many accusers had come before you long years ago already saying many untrue things, and I am afraid of them rather more than those men in agreement with Anutos, although they are also fearsome.
I really wasn’t too hot on the subjects on this one, it wasn’t as smooth for me as others. I had to be coached through the ending part to understand that Plato was more scared of the accusers from long ago than Anutos and his posse, but I got it in the end. Frankly I don’t really remember because I was crappy about posting commentary last week– I did all this for last Wednesday.
So, just as if I actually happened to be a stranger you would have sympathy for me, I suppose, if in that dialect and in that manner i was speaking in those sorts of ways that I had been raised to do. Now, in particular, this I implore you, which is just (at least it seems so to me), if I am speaking in this manner–for better or for worse– to see this the same and by this understand if it is reasonable or not what I say; for of the juror this is virtue, just as for the public speaker speaking truth is virtue.
OK so this is prior to speaking to my professor as well, but I think it’s pretty on track given it is pretty close to the Apology over at the Internet Classics Archive which seems to be a more colloquial translation. I’m not sure if my translation “for better or for worse” is OK, but the actual text reads “it would be likely to be worse and likely to be better” which seems pretty close.
This seemed to go well for me but we shall see. One thing my commentary did which was semi-helpful but made me feel about a hundred years old was provide for me a diagramming of this sentence (in the original it is one long sentence but I changed it to two to give more force in the English to the “Now, in particular, this I implore you” since that gets a lot of force in the original that would be lost if it was buried in a long English sentence). The diagrams were pretty outrageous and I’m still not sure exactly what it told me about the sentence but it certainly helped me to see all the different clauses. Perhaps if I was as good at diagramming as Kitty Burns Florey it might have helped me more?
Updated: errata posted now. I changed the last sentence to reflect that I was translating nouns as adjectives because it sounded more fluid as an English speaker, but less Greek. The original Greek is more represented now: “For the juror this is virtue” rather than “for the juror this is virtuous.”