The River Acheloos

And the sentence which flowed.

The affect of Latin and Greek on the style of English writing reminded me of a sentence I quite like, which I found on the Greek Prose Style site at CUNY. The sentence is

For the river Acheloos, flowing down from Mount Pindos through Dolopia and the Agraioi and Amphilochoi, and through the Akarnanian plain, skirting the city Stratos upland and discharging into the sea by Oiniadai and creating a marsh around their city, makes it impossible, because of the water, in winter to mount a campaign.

Broken down into its components the sentence is

For the river Acheloos,
flowing down from Mount Pindos through Dolopia and the Agraioi and Amphilochoi,
and through the Akarnanian plain,
skirting the city Stratos upland
and discharging into the sea by Oiniadai and creating a marsh around their city,
makes it impossible, because of the water, in winter to mount a campaign.

The ending is, by English standards, a little odd, but I like the way the whole sentence flows like a river, even if the subject is a somewhat mundane. It doesn’t, as I feel some of my long-ish sentences do, lose its way when you look at it a second time and realise that the sentence drifts away from the original topic without maintaining cohesion.

The Greek is

ὁ γὰρ Ἀχελῷος ποταμὸς ῥέων ἐκ Πίνδου ὄρους διὰ Δολοπίας καὶ Ἀμφιλόχων καὶ διὰ τοῦ Ἀκαρνανικοῦ πεδίου, ἄνωθεν μὲν παρὰ Στράτον πόλιν, ἐς θάλασσαν δ’ ἐξιεὶς παρ’ Οἰνιάδας καὶ τὴν πόλιν αὐτοῖς περιλιμάζων, ἄπορον ποιεῖ ὑπὸ τοῦ ὕδατος ἐν στρατεύειν.

The GPS site has a graphical version of the sentence which shows how this is structured.

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