Monday, January 24, 2005

Republic 329b3-4 (revised)

But these men, Socrates, seem to me to not blame the root cause.

[Thanks to a helpful e-mail from Michael Gilleland, I see now that the previous long post on this sentence was unnecessary. The chief mistake in my thinking was to overlook the fact that dokousin is third-person plural, not singular. Noticing that would have made the sentence different from the beginning. Once that's corrected, the rest of the sentence, except for the placement of not, falls easily into place. The trouble with not is that it modifies "the root cause" in Greek; I looked at what I think are all the relevant passages in Smyth, but I couldn't find any examples where a phrase intervenes between a negative particle and the word it modifies. This means that the end of the sentence reads literally ". . . seem to me to blame not the root cause," but that sounds awkward even to my ears.]

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