Sunday, August 23, 2009

Concerning Rhapsody


Rhapsody is a part of a poem encompassing some subject. And the rhapsody has been said as if it is some staff-song (rhabdody), because men who went around with the bay-wood staff sang the poems of Homer.

[Greek Text]


  • That section was difficult, especially the last sentence. This section is about the rhapsody which is a section of a poem about a particular subject. Think of the different segments of the Iliad and the Odyssey that are often viewed on their own.
  • The second sentence, I believe, is either an explanation of what Dionysius thinks to be the etymology of rhapsody or an explanation of rhabdody, which maybe a common misspelling of rhapsody.
    • The "because" clause gave me the hardest trouble. Here is the original Greek: ἀπὸ τοῦ δαφνίνῃ ῥάβδῳ περιερχομένους ᾄδειν τὰ Ὁμήρου ποιήματα. First, I had no idea what the object of the preposition was. Then, I also was struggling to find how the infinitive fit into the sentence. I knew that τὰ Ὁμήρου ποιήματα was the object of ᾄδειν and that περιερχομένους was the subject. What I did not know was the infinitive can be used with any prepositions (a little searching through Smyth helped there). Because of my NT background, I thought that infinitives went only with ἐν, μετά, διά, εἰς, πρός, πρό, and that was about it (those were the ones mentioned in Mounce). It is always good to learn one's ignorance. I also decided to translate the απὸ causally though this may be just as much of a source idea. My first translation until I smoothed it out was "because of the singing of ones going around of the poems of Homer with the bay-wood staff." That is a more literal translation that leaves singing as the object of the preposition.

Are there any other ideas about what is going on here or how this should be translated?

Back to Index

No comments: