1.40

τῷ δ᾽ ἐνάτῳ μηνὶ πέμπτῃ ἱσταμένου, περὶ τὴν δευτέραν τοῦ στόματος ἄνοιξιν - ἅπαξ γὰρ δὴ τοῦτο κατὰ τὴν ὥραν ἑκάστην ἐποίει τὸ κῆτος, ὥστε ἡμᾶς πρὸς τὰς ἀνοίξεις τεκμαίρεσθαι τὰς ὥρας - περὶ οὖν τὴν δευτέραν, ὥσπερ ἔφην, ἄνοιξιν, ἄφνω βοή τε πολλὴ καὶ θόρυβος ἠκούετο καὶ ὥσπερ κελεύσματα καὶ εἰρεσίαι· ταραχθέντες οὖν ἀνειρπύσαμεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸ τὸ στόμα τοῦ θηρίου καὶ στάντες ἐνδοτέρω τῶν ὀδόντων καθεωρῶμεν ἁπάντων ὧν ἐγὼ εἶδον θεαμάτων παραδοξότατον, ἄνδρας μεγάλους, ὅσον ἡμισταδιαίους τὰς ἡλικίας, ἐπὶ νήσων μεγάλων προσπλέοντας ὥσπερ ἐπὶ τριήρων. οἶδα μὲν οὖν ἀπίστοις ἐοικότα ἱστορήσων, λέγω δὲ ὅμως. νῆσοι ἦσαν ἐπιμήκεις μέν, οὐ πάνυ δὲ ὑψηλαί, ὅσον ἑκατὸν σταδίων ἑκάστη τὸ περίμετρον· ἐπὶ δὲ αὐτῶν ἔπλεον τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων ἀμφὶ τοὺς εἴκοσι καὶ ἑκατόν· τούτων δὲ οἱ μὲν παρ᾽ ἑκάτερα τῆς νήσου καθήμενοι ἐφεξῆς ἐκωπηλάτουν κυπαρίττοις μεγάλαις αὐτοκλάδοις καὶ αὐτοκόμοις ὥσπερ ἐρετμοῖς, κατόπιν δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς πρύμνης, ὡς ἐδόκει, κυβερνήτης ἐπὶ λόφου ὑψηλοῦ εἱστήκει χάλκεον ἔχων πηδάλιον πεντασταδιαῖον τὸ μῆκος· ἐπὶ δὲ τῆς πρῴρας ὅσον τετταράκοντα ὡπλισμένοι αὐτῶν ἐμάχοντο, πάντα ἐοικότες ἀνθρώποις πλὴν τῆς κόμης· αὕτη δὲ πῦρ ἦν καὶ ἐκάετο, ὥστε οὐδὲ κορύθων ἐδέοντο. ἀντὶ δὲ ἱστίων ὁ ἄνεμος ἐμπίπτων τῇ ὕλῃ, πολλῇ οὔσῃ ἐν ἑκάστῃ, ἐκόλπου τε ταύτην καὶ ἔφερε τὴν νῆσον ᾗ ἐθέλοι ὁ κυβερνήτης· κελευστὴς δὲ ἐφειστήκει αὐτοῖς, καὶ πρὸς τὴν εἰρεσίαν ὀξέως ἐκινοῦντο ὥσπερ τὰ μακρὰ τῶν πλοίων.

From inside the whale they see an incredible sea battle with islands as ships.

τῷ δ᾿ ἐνάτῳ μηνὶ πέμπτῃ ἱσταμένου (sc. μηνός): "in the ninth month on the fifth day from the beginning (of the month)" (S. 1540; G. 527c). The verb ἵστημι is used for marking the beginning of a month or season (see LSJ B III.4).

ἅπαξ...κατὰ τὴν ὥραν: "once an hour." 

ὥστε ἡμᾶς πρὸς τὰς ἀνοίξεις τεκμαίρεσθαι τὰς ὥρας: "so that we could mark time by the openings" (S. 2251 and 2260).

ὥσπερ κελεύσματα: "something like commands."

ταραχθέντες: aor. pass. part. of ταράττω, "becoming excited."

ἀνειρπύσαμεν: aor. of ἀνερπύζω, "we crept up."

αὐτὸ τὸ στόμα: "the mouth itself" (S. 1206b).

στάντες ἐνδοτέρω τῶν ὀδόντων: aor. intr. part. of  ἵστημι, "standing quite within the teeth," i.e. standing in the spaces between the teeth or perhaps just behind them.  ἐνδοτέρω is a comparative adverb formed from the adv. ἔνδον and here governs the genitive. See Jerram ad loc.

καθεωρῶμεν: impf. of καθοράω, "we saw."

ἁπάντων ὧν: "of all the things I saw," the relative pronoun is attracted into the case of its antecedent, producing ὧν instead of the expected οὗς (S. 2522a; G. 613b). For the case of ἁπάντων, see S. 1306 and 1315.

ἄνδρας μεγάλους...προσπλέοντας: giant men...sailing forth," accusative in apposition to and further specifying the very unexpected sight (θέαμα).

ὅσον ἡμισταδιαίους τὰς ἡλικίας: "about 100 yards tall" (S. 1600 and 1601b).  A stade is a measure of length representing about 607 English feet (= 600 Greek feet) and so at half a stade in height, these men were about 100 yards tall. ὅσον with numbers means "approximately, about," (LSJ IV.3). 

οἶδα...ἱστορήσων: "I know that I am about to relate" (S. 2106; G. 586 and 660).

μὲν οὖν...λέγω δὲ ὅμως: "certainly...but Ι say it all the same" (for μὲν οὖν in an affirmation, see S. 2901a and Denniston GP 478).

ὅσον ἑκατὸν σταδίων ἑκάστη τὸ περίμετρον: "each one about 100 stades in its circumference," (100 stades = 11.5 miles), (for the acc. of respect, see S. 1600 and 1601b).

ἐπὶ δὲ αὐτῶν ἔπλεον τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων ἀμφὶ τοὺς εἴκοσι καὶ ἑκατόν: "and around 120 of those men were sailing on them." The partitive genitive serves here as the subject of the verb (S. 928b and 1318).

τούτων οἱ μὲν παρ᾽ ἑκάτερα τῆς νήσου καθήμενοι: "some of these men, while sitting along each side of the island."

ἐκωπηλάτουν impf. of κωπηλατέω, "were rowing."

αὐτοκλάδοις: = κλάδοις αὐτοίς, “with branches and all" (S. 1525).

αὐτοκόμοις: = κόμοις αὐτοίς "with leaves and all" (S. 1525).

ὥσπερ ἐρετμοῖς:  "as if oars" (i.e. using the cypress trees for oars).

ὡς ἐδόκει: "as it seemed" (S. 2992).

εἱστήκει: plupf. of ἵστημι, "he stood."

πεντασταδιαῖον τὸ μῆκος: "five stades in length" (i.e. half a mile long) (S. 1600 and 1601b).

ὡπλισμένοι: perf. part. of ὁπλίζω, "having armed themselves."

πάντα ἐοικότες ἀνθρώποις: "resembling human beings in all things" (S. 1600 and 1601c).

αὕτη δὲ πῦρ ἦν: "and this (i.e. their hair) was fire."

ὥστε οὐδὲ κορύθων ἐδέοντο: "so that they didn't have any need for helmets" (S. 2251 and 2274). Jerram suggests that this is a reference to the scene at the opening of Iliad 5 (Iliad  5.4 uses κόρυθος) where Athena makes flames shoot out from the helmet of Diomedes. Lucian is saying that these island dwellers have fire for hair and so regularly create a spectacle like the one Athena made for Diomedes except that these people don't even need the protection of helmets to keep the fire from harming them.

πολλῇ οὔσῃ ἐν ἑκάστῃ (sc. νήσῳ): "which was vast on each island" (see πολύς LSJ Ι.4). 

ἐκόλπου ταύτην: impf. of κολπόω, "was filling this (i.e., forest) like a sail."

ᾗ ἐθέλοι: past general conditional relative clause with optative after a past tense, "wherever (the pilot) wished" (S. 2568).

ἐφειστήκει αὐτοῖς: plupf. of ἐφίστημι, "he was in command over them."

πρὸς τὴν εἰρέσιαν:  "under the sway of the rowing" (see πρός LSJ C.III.7).

ὥσπερ τὰ μακρὰ τῶν πλοίων: "like war galleys." πλοῖα μακρά is a term for war ships that appears in Herodotus and Thucydides. Lucian seems to be using τὰ μακρὰ τῶν πλοίων as a variation on the term (it only appears here according to the TLG).

VERB LIST

μείς, μήνος, ὁ: a month

κῆτος, -ους, τό: a sea-monster, huge fish

ἄνοιξις, -εως, ἡ: an opening

ἅπαξ: once

ὥρα, ἡ: period of time

ἄνοιξις, -εως, ἡ: an opening

ἄφνω: suddenly, unawares

τεκμαίρομαι: reckon, judge 

ἄνοιξις, -εως, ἡ: an opening

βοή, ἡ: a loud cry, shout

θόρυβος, ὁ: a noise, uproar

κελεύσμα, -ατος, τό: a command

εἰρεσία, ἡ: rowing

ταράσσω: stir up, trouble, agitate (the mind)

ἀνερπύζω: creep up

θηρίον, τό: a wild animal, beast

ἐνδοτέρω: quite within, inside (+ gen.)

ὀδών, όντος, ὁ: tooth

θέαμα, -ατος, τό:  a sight, spectacle

παράδοξος, -ον: incredible, paradoxical

ἡμισταδιαῖος, -α, -ον: (measuring) half a stade (= 100 yards)

ἡλικία, ἡ: age; stature, height

προσπλέω: sail forth

τριήρης, -ους , ἡ: a trireme

ἄπιστος, -ον: not to be trusted, incredible

ἱστορέω: inquire into; give an account of, relate, record

ἐπιμήκης, -ες: far-stretching, extensive, long

ὑψηλός, -ή, -όν: high, lofty

περίμετρον, τό: the circumference

κάθημαι: be seated

ἐφεξῆς: one after another, in a row

κωπηλατέω: pull an oar, row

κυπάριττος, ἡ: a cypress

αὐτόκλαδος, -ον: branches and all

αὐτόκομος, -ον: shaggy

ἐρετμόν, τό: an oar

κατόπιν: behind

πρύμνα, -ης, ἡ: the stern, poop

κυβερνήτης, -ου, ὁ: a steersman, pilot

λόφος, ὁ: crest

ὑψηλός, -ή, -όν: high, lofty, high-raised

χάλκεος, -έα, -εον: of copper or bronze

πηδάλιον, ου, τό: a rudder or an oar used for steering

πεντασταδιαῖος, -ον: of five stades (= 1000 yards)

μῆκος, -ους, τό: length

πρῷρα, ἡ: a prow, bow

τεσσαράκοντα: forty

ὁπλίζω: arm

κόμη, ἡ: the hair

κάω (Attic for καίω): burn, blaze

κόρυς, -υθος, ἡ: a helmet

ἱστίον, τό: any web, a sail

ἄνεμος, ὁ: wind

ἐμπίτνω: fall upon (+ dat.)

ὕλη, ἡ: a forest

κολπόω: form into a swelling fold, fill

κυβερνήτης, -ου, ὁ: a steersman, helmsman, pilot

κελευστής, -οῦ, ὁ: the boatswain (who gives time to the rowers)

ἐφίστημι: stand on; is set over, has command over (+ dat.)

εἰρεσία, ἡ: rowing

ὀξέως: swiftly 

πλοῖον, τό: a ship, vessel

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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. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/index.php/lucian-true/book-1/1-40