It was so X that

Yup, Unit 16 [of TY Classical Greek] starts with clauses of result – οὕτω(ς) + adjective ὥστε + infinitive. But if the opening phrase is an NP, then Greek uses specifiers such as τοιοῦτος of this kind, of such a kind or τοσοῦτος so much, so many. Often the latter pair can be translated as such (a).
The rest of the unit covers the pluperfect, which I don’t recall being an especially common tense, and various other forms of the perfect.

The reading has become a mixture of sentences and short passages. I was vexed by a sentence with λανθάνω again, which might be easier to deal with if the standard gloss was the negative form of some verb of perception or something less cumbersome than “escape the notice of”. John Williams White (1896:191)[1] has the sentence

καὶ οἱ ἱππεῖς ἐλάνθανον αὑτους ἐπὶ τῷ γηλόφῳ γενόμενοι
which means, fairly literally, “And the cavalry escaped their own notice happening on the hill”, but which more naturally might be translated as “And the cavalry reached the hill before they knew it” or “And the cavalry did not notice that they had reached the hill”. But what about something like ἄλλον τινὰ λήθω μαρνάμενος (Iliad 13.273)[2] where the object is more like the subject? thus “others do not notice me while I’m fighting” or you end up resorting to a pseudo-passive such as “I’m unnoticed by others while I’m fighting”. Morwood’s (2001:139)[3] first example is more or less the same sort of sentence: τοὺς φύλακας ἔλαθεν εἰσέλθων “He entered unnoticed by the guards”. The sentence for translation, which comes from a fragment of Sophocles, is like the first sentence above where the subject of both verbs is identical. λέληθεν αὑτὸν τοῖς ξυνοῦσιν ὢν βαρύς “He hasn’t noticed that he’s annoying to those who live with him”.
In my adventures, I’ve found that a new student’s dictionary of Greek is being compiled which seems to be trying to leave some of the inane 19th century glosses behind. I do wish, though, that I had my copy of the intermediate Liddell and Scott.
The extra reading is from Euripdes’ Heracles, which, as usual, I’ll deal with in due course.
1.The First Greek Book, which is available from Textkit. The reading passages mainly come from Xenophon.
2. Could this also be translated as “I don’t notice that I’m fighting others”? That’s obviously not what’s meant (because it’d be nonsensical), but the sentence is potentially ambiguous.
3. Morwood, James (2001). Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek. OUP: Oxford. (Good, I think, as a reference work and the sentences might be used as supplementary reading; but the book lacks longer passages of Greek.)

3 thoughts on “It was so X that”

  1. Do we have your copy of Liddell and Scott here in the dungeon? If so will we post it to you? Liddell…isn’t that the name of a balding bloke who taught at Papanui HS?

  2. Yes, my copy of Liddell and Scott is in one of the boxes, but I don’t know which one. It may not be that easy for you to extract.

  3. OK, but the question is do you want us to look for it and send it over, or has the need passed? Please answer by email as it’s sometimes days between my looks at your blog.

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