2.20

Οὔπω δὲ δύο ἢ τρεῖς ἡμέραι διεληλύθεσαν, καὶ προσελθὼν ἐγὼ Ὁμήρῳ τῷ ποιητῇ, σχολῆς οὔσης ἀμφοῖν, τά τε ἄλλα ἐπυνθανόμην καὶ ὅθεν εἴη. τοῦτο γὰρ μάλιστα παρ᾽ ἡμῖν εἰσέτι νῦν ζητεῖσθαι. ὁ δὲ οὐδ᾽ αὐτὸς μὲν ἀγνοεῖν ἔφασκεν ὡς οἱ μὲν Χῖον, οἱ δὲ Σμυρναῖον, πολλοὶ δὲ Κολοφώνιον αὐτὸν νομίζουσιν· εἶναι μέντοι γε ἔλεγεν Βαβυλώνιος, καὶ παρά γε τοῖς πολίταις οὐχ Ὅμηρος, ἀλλὰ Τιγράνης καλεῖσθαι· ὕστερον δὲ ὁμηρεύσας παρὰ τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἀλλάξαι τὴν προσηγορίαν. ἔτι δὲ καὶ περὶ τῶν ἀθετουμένων στίχων ἐπηρώτων, εἰ ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνου εἰσὶ γεγραμμένοι. καὶ ὃς ἔφασκε πάντας αὑτοῦ εἶναι. κατεγίνωσκον οὖν τῶν ἀμφὶ τὸν Ζηνόδοτον καὶ Ἀρίσταρχον γραμματικῶν πολλὴν τὴν ψυχρολογίαν. ἐπεὶ δὲ ταῦτα ἱκανῶς ἀπεκέκριτο, πάλιν αὐτὸν ἠρώτων τί δή ποτε ἀπὸ τῆς μήνιδος τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐποιήσατο· καὶ ὃς εἶπεν οὕτως ἐπελθεῖν αὑτῷ μηδὲν ἐπιτηδεύσαντι. καὶ μὴν κἀκεῖνο ἐπεθύμουν εἰδέναι, εἰ προτέραν ἔγραψεν τὴν Ὀδύσσειαν τῆς Ἰλιάδος, ὡς οἱ πολλοί φασιν· ὁ δὲ ἠρνεῖτο. ὅτι μὲν γὰρ οὐδὲ τυφλὸς ἦν, ὃ καὶ αὐτὸ περὶ αὐτοῦ λέγουσιν, αὐτίκα ἠπιστάμην· ἑώρων γάρ, ὥστε οὐδὲ πυνθάνεσθαι ἐδεόμην. πολλάκις δὲ καὶ ἄλλοτε τοῦτο ἐποίουν, εἴ ποτε αὐτὸν σχολὴν ἄγοντα ἑώρων· προσιὼν γὰρ ἄν τι ἐπυνθανόμην αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὃς προθύμως πάντα ἀπεκρίνετο, καὶ μάλιστα μετὰ τὴν δίκην, ἐπειδὴ ἐκράτησεν· ἦν γάρ τις γραφὴ κατ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἀπενηνεγμένη ὕβρεως ὑπὸ Θερσίτου ἐφ᾽ οἷς αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ποιήσει ἔσκωψεν, καὶ ἐνίκησεν ὁ Ὅμηρος Ὀδυσσέως συναγορεύοντος.

A literary discussion with the shade of Homer.

διεληλύθεσαν: plupf. of δια-ἔρχομαι, “had passed”

προσελθὼν: ao. part. of προσ-ἔρχομαι, “having approached”

σχολῆς οὔσης: gen. abs., “there being leisure”

ἀμφοῖν: dual dat., “to both of us”

τά τε ἄλλα...καὶ: “other things, but especially…”

ὅθεν εἰή: ind. quest. after ἐπυνθανόμην, with the optative in sec. sequence, “where he was from”

τοῦτο...ζητεῖσθαι: implied ind. st. “(saying) that this is questioned”

ἀγνοεῖν: inf. in ind. st., “nor was he claiming that he was unaware” 

ὡς οἱ μὲν...νομίζουσιν: “that some think him Chian...” ὡς indicating an opinion attributed to someone else.  

Χῖον, etc.: These were some of the cities claiming to be Homer᾽s birthplace.

εἶναι μέντοι γε: “but that in fact”

καλεῖσθαι: pr. inf. pas. of καλέω, ind. st. after ἔλεγεν, “that he was called”

ὁμηρεύσας: ao. part. nom. s. of ὁμηρεύω, “being a hostage,” punning on the name Homer

ἀλλάξαι: ao. inf. of ἀλλάσσω after ἔλεγεν, “that he changed”

περὶ τῶν ἀθετουμένων στίχων: “about the spurious lines”

ἐπηρώτων: impf. of ἐπι-ἐρωτάω, “I asked”

εἰ εἰσὶ γεγραμμένοι: perf. pas. of γράφω in ind. quest., “whether they were written”

ὃς ἔφασκε: “he claimed”

αὑτοῦ (= ἑαυτοῦ): “his own”

κατεγίνωσκον: impf. 1 s. of κατα-γινώσκω, “I realized”

Ζηνόδοτον καὶ Ἀρίσταρχον:  Zenodotus of Ephesus (fl. 280) and Aristarchus of Samos (310-230) were two of the most famous Alexandrian scholars under the Ptolemies.  One of their tasks as head of the Library in Alexandria was to study Homer's texts.  They created a system of textual marks that included one to indicate lines that should be removed (athetized) as spurious.

ἀπεκέκριτο: plupf. pas. of ἀπο-κρίνομαι, “he had answered”

τί...ἐποιήσατο: ind. quest. after ἠρώτων, “why he had made”

ὃς εἶπεν: "he said" 

οὕτως ἐπελθεῖν: ao. inf. of ἐπι-ἔρχομαι after εἶπεν, “that it came to him thus”

μηδὲν ἐπιτηδεύσαντι: ao. part. dat. s., modifying αὑτῷ, “pursuing nothing”

καὶ μὴν κἀκεῖνο (=καὶ ἐκείνο): indicating a climax, “and moreover this”

εἰ ἔγραψεν: ind. quest. after ἐπεθύμουν εἰδέναι, “whether he had written”

ἠρνεῖτο: impf. of ἀρνέω, “he denied”

ὃ: rel. pron. whose antecedent is the thought of the previous clause, “which is something else they say”

ἠπιστάμην: impf. of ἐπίσταμαι, “I knew”

ἑώρων: impf., “for I was seeing”

ὥστε...ἐδεόμην: result clause, “so that I did not need”

καὶ ἄλλοτε: “at other times as well”

ἐποίουν...εἴ ἑώρων:  simple condition, emphasizing customary action rather than indefinite action, “I used to do this, if I saw”

ἀπενηνεγμένη: perf. part. pas. of ἀποφέρω, agreeing with γραφὴ, “had been brought”

 ἐφ᾽ οἷς: “on the grounds that”

Θερσίτου: Thersites argues with Agamemnon and is harshly reproved in Book 2 of the Iliad.

ἔσκωψεν: ao. of σκώπτω, “he had mocked”

Ὀδυσσέως συναγορεύοντος: gen. abs. It was Odysseus who reproved Thersites in the Iliad.

 

οὔπω: not yet

διέρχομαι: go through, pass through

προσέρχομαι: come or go to

σχολή, ἡ: spare time, leisure, rest, ease

εἰσέτι: still yet

ἀγνοέω: not to know

φάσκω: say, affirm, assert

Χῖος, -α, -ον: Chian, of or from Chios

Σμυρναῖος: of Smyrna

πολίτης, -ου, ὁ: a citizen

Ὅμηρος, ὁ: Homer

ὁμηρεύω: be or serve as a hostage

Ἕλλην, -ηνος, ὁ: Greek

ἀλλάσσω: change, alter

προσηγορία, ἡ: an appellation, name

ἀθετέω: set aside, remove

στίχος, ὁ: a row or file, line of poetry

ἐπερωτάω: inquire of, question, consult

φάσκω: say, affirm, assert

καταγινώσκω: remark, discover

γραμματικός, -ή, -όν: a grammarian

ψυχρολογία, ἡ: frigid phraseology

ἀποκρίνομαι: answer

μῆνις, -ιδος, ἡ: anger, wrath

ἐπέρχομαι: go or some to

ἐπιτηδεύω: pursue or practice

ἐπιθυμέω: set one's heart upon

Ὀδύσσεια, ἡ: the Odyssey

Ἰλιάς, άδος: the Iliad

ἀρνέομαι: deny, disown

τυφλός, -ή, -όν: blind

ἐπίσταμαι: know

δέομαι: ask

ἄλλοτε: at another time, at other times

σχολή, ἡ: spare time, leisure, rest, ease

πρόθυμος, -ον: ready, willing, eager, zealous

ἀποκρίνομαι: answer

ἀπιφέρω: carry off or away

ὕβρις, -εως, ἡ: wantonness, insolence

Θερσίτης, ου: Thersites

ποίησις, -εως, ἡ: a making, poem

σκώπτω: hoot, mock, jeer, scoff at 

συναγορεύω: join in advocating

Article Nav
Previous
Next

Suggested Citation

Eric Casey, Stephen Nimis, and Evan Hayes, Lucian: True History, Book 1. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-05-4. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/lucian-true/book-2/2-20