Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Greek Nominative Participle After Verbs of Knowledge or Perception


I received the image of this Grimshaw painting above from Michael Gilleland, who was concerned that he might also be poaching:
I hope I'm not poaching on your private preserve.
If you click on the link, you'll find Sir Gilleland too fine and noble to stoop to poaching, for he has hunted in the wilds of Antiquity and returned with nine trophies, quotes from Greek writers demonstrating the nominative participle in Greek after verbs of knowledge or perception, a grammatical construction that I first blogged about last August 4th in my entry "Milton's 'Awkward' Grecism: "know" with nominative participle?" I was, of course, discussing the by now quite familiar passage on Eve's fall in Paradise Lost 9.791-794:
Greedily she ingorg'd without restraint,
And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,
And hight'nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,
Thus to her self she pleasingly began.
The awkward clause "knew not eating Death" has been thought by some Milton scholars to be modeled on the Greek nominative participle after verbs of knowledge or perception, an issue that I've been belaboring of late . . . and shall continue to do so for some time to come.

Including today.

And I -- lowly and common 'Hodges' that I am -- am not above poaching on Sir Gilleland's preserve, for I have bagged one of his trophies. More precisely, I took it when he wasn't looking. But enough of carefully considered confession and vain hopes for absolution. Here is what I've stolen from Sir Gilleland:
Euripides, Hecuba 397 (tr. David Kovacs):

οὐ γὰρ οἶδα δεσπότας κεκτημένος.

I am not aware that I have a master.
As explained by Michael, in the English translation, "you'll find a clause starting with the word 'that' and containing a finite verb -- in the corresponding Greek there is a participle in the nominative case." If Milton were translating, he might awkwardly render it as follows:
I know not having master.
Unlike Odysseus in this drama by Euripides, however, I am a nobody who knows his Greek master, and that master is Michael Gilleland.

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At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I initially began reading this I thought perhaps (it's deer season in Arkansas mind) I was in for "a hunting story."

Jeff? Sure you're okay? Not hiding anything are ya? It's not only me Jeff, I read over on Big Hominid yesterday that others are concerned too.


At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Upon further consideration - I'm beginning to feel a little queasy myself.


At 3:31 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I was also struck by the proper irony of so many posts on death, only to have death come knocking from the North yesterday . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:59 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

The NK missiles have been reported worldwide.

Hang on, guys.

At 5:03 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Were they missiles? I thought that they were just shells.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:16 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

Apologies. I wrote without checking the sources I had briefly read this morning (many hours ago, in Italy), confusing it with a 'fake' missile attack from Libya against Italy, more than 20 years ago.

At 7:01 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Missiles would be quite an escalation of the North's provocation. I later saw that the artillery shells came from what the papers are calling a North Korean missile base, so the confusion is understandable.

Jeffery Hodges

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