Friday, 23 October 2015

Translating one proverb via another

LSJ is fond of translating Greek proverbs with an idiomatic equivalent (as previously discussed). S.v. θύρᾱ we read, 'ἐπὶ θύραις τὴν ὑδρίαν to break the pitcher at the very door, 'there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip', Arist.Rh. 1363a7; τίς ἂν θύρας ἁμάρτοι; Id.Metaph.993b5;'. Cf. s.v. ὑδρία.

'there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip' is itself a Greek proverb that appears in Aristotle (frr. 571 and 611): πολλὰ μεταξὺ πέλει κύλικος καὶ χείλεος ἄκρου. The proverb is quoted by others and is Anth.10.32.

Let us not forget, 'Every bullet has its billet', s.v. ἀλλοῖος.

On the subject of LSJ, note the contrasting treatments of ἀντιοχεύομαι (only a Latin translation and no capital) and Κορινθιάζομαι (an English explanation) and the hybrid Λεσβιάζω (an English 'definition' of the word's form, but a Latin gloss).

No comments: