text-linguistics: the fourth chorus in Eurip. IA

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Stirling Bartholomew
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Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

text-linguistics: the fourth chorus in Eurip. IA

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » April 28th, 2017, 5:48 pm

Having just completed a first pass on a reading of the fourth chorus in Eurip. IA, it seemed to me that it might be worthwhile to not march ahead but pause for a little closer look at this text. With a quick search I wasn’t able to find anyone doing text-linguistics on lyric material in Attic Tragedy. Hardly surprising since I only know of one author that has done any substantial work on this in Tragedy which was focused on dialogue. Anyway, I thought it would be “fun” to explore the question of how we might apply principles from this discipline to poetry. The Biblical Hebrew Poetry guys have been doing this for eons.

So here is the the first portion of the fourth chorus in Eurip. IA ripped from Kovacs LCL 2003.
Eurip. IA 1036-1048
Text and Translation: David Kovacs

ΧΟΡΟΣ
στρ.
τίν᾿ ἄρ᾿ ὑμεναίοις διὰ λωτοῦ Λίβυος
μετά τε φιλοχόρου κιθάρας
συρίγγων θ᾿ ὑπὸ καλαμοεσ-
σᾶν ἔστασαν ἰαχάν,
1040
ὅτ᾿ ἀνὰ Πήλιον αἱ καλλιπλόκαμοι
Πιερίδες μετὰ δαῖτα θεῶν
χρυσεοσάνδαλον ἴχνος
ἐν γᾷ κρούουσαι
Πηλέως ἐς γάμον ἦλθον,
1045
μελῳδοῖς Θέτιν ἀχήμασι τόν τ᾿ Αἰακίδαν,
Κενταύρων ἐν ὄρεσι κλέουσαι
Πηλιάδα καθ᾿ ὕλαν;

chorus
What cry, in their wedding hymns, did they raise
to the Libyan pipe
and the cithara that loves the dance
and to the strains of the reedy syrinx,
when upon Pelion’s ridges the fair-tressed
Pierian Muses were coming,
striking their gold-sandaled
feet on the earth,
to a feast of the gods, the marriage of Peleus?
see also:
http://classicalmodernisms.weebly.com/chorus-41.html

I noticed Kovacs renders this opening section as a question while Philip Vellacott does not. τίν᾿ ἄρ᾿ l.1036 is obviously a question marker. It appears that the chorus raises a question and answers it. Having no better resource on hand I picked up Helma Dik 2007 and looked at her treatment of questions in tragic dialogue. But I can see problems right away with her prototypical format for clause articulation. It isn’t going to work in a chorus. Right?
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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