Friday, January 07, 2005

Republic 328e4-7

And in particular I would gladly learn of you how this appears to you, since you are already at the time of life that the poets say is "the threshold of old age": whether life is difficult, or how do you report it?

[Shorey has some footnotes on this sentence. Adam notes that what the poets say "occurs first in the Iliad (XXII 60, XXIV 487) to denote the natural limit of the life of man." Both of the instances Adam lists are poignant moments in the Iliad.

Grammatically, the tricky part of this sentence is at the end. In the Greek, it's not necessarily a question, though I suppose maybe it could be: the Greek originally lacked punctuation (so no question marks), but the word I've translated "how" (pos), is not an interrogative (it usually means "in any way," "at all," or "by any means"). Literally, it would be something like "whether life is difficult, or in [what] manner you report it."]

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