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Notes on Plutarch's Life of Marius

  • T. F. Carney (a1)
Abstract

Translations show an appreciation of the technical sense with which is endowed in this passage but the terminology which they employ to express that sense is unfortunate. The English term ‘declination’ when used technically in an astronomical context is irreconcilable with the connotations of the Greek term as used in this particular astronomical context. Allowing the technical meaning normal for it in such passages, upon Plutarch's wording, here compressed almost into incomprehensibility, the following construction must be put.

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page 201 note 1 ‘By reason of the declination of the parallels' Langhorne translation (Plutarch's Lives: Roman; section I, p. 282—no date or editor's name given). So also Perrin (Plutarch's Lives, Loeb vol. ix, p. 491, 1920). The Langhorne translation appears to have introduced the rendering as North—ed. Henley, London, 1895, vol. iii, p. 175—and Reiske—‘ex parallelorum inclinatione’ (Plutarchi Vitae Parallelae, vol. ii, p. 822 foot, 1775)—both render it unobjectionably. Perrin also follows Langhorne's editor (and Reiske) in interpreting the immediately following inline-graphicinline-graphicas ‘… divide the year into two equal parts' and consequently may be assumed to have adopted the former's rendering of inline-graphic

page 201 note 2 Murray: A Mew English Dictionary edited on historical principles, 1897: ‘the angular distance of a heavenly body (N or S) from the celestial equator, measured on a meridian passing through the body: corresponding to terrestrial latitude. Formerly also the angular distance from the ecliptic’

page 201 note 3 L.S.J, gives inline-graphicinclination—of the earth, D. L. 2. 9; of the ecliptic, Arist. G.C. 336b4; of ground, id., Pol. 1330a39; Porph. Antr. 26. The second instance here involves the use of the word which might be interpreted by the English declination. As the genitive in this context defines inline-graphic as meaning a terrestrial slope the English term ‘declination’ is improperly used.

page 201 note 4 At Moral. 53 (De adulat. et amici discrim.), inline-graphic, the word is used in its non-technical sense. Instances of its use in a technical sense in an astronomical context elsewhere in Plutarch are lacking, but such usage is well attested in late Greek —cf. L.S.J, cited footnote 3. At Moral. 410 f–411b Plutarch's grasp of astronomical theory—in a passage where some of the terminology of the present passage recurs—is demonstrably sound. It is therefore reasonable to assume for the word here its normal astronomical significance.

page 201 note 5 I am greatly indebted to the assistance of Dr. J. Willis, U.C.L., in reaching this conclusion.

page 202 note 1 Perrin, p. 525; L.S.J, interprets Plut. Sull. 19 in this sense.

page 202 note 2 A possibility suggested by Prof. H. A. Murray; given suitable topography such a scheme could possibly be effective but to assume that such was the case here is to read disproportionately more into a single word than the detailed treatment of the foregoing stages warrants.

page 202 note 3 The meaning ‘squeeze into a narrower compass of space’ is a natural development of the significance of the verb as can be seen from the fact that both Reiske and Lang- home's editor have given it such a meaning; for such a process must have been conceived as preceding to emerge as the latter's interpretation ‘dam up’. L.S.J. inline-graphic 2, citing Xen. Anab. 3. 4. 19, gives a translation which is really only another form of this meaning. If the treatment of this verb in L.S.J, be compared to that of L.S.7 it will readily be seen how great a contribution the later editor has made.

page 202 note 4 Plut. Mar. 23. 2.

page 202 note 5 inline-graphic read by the common source of Cod. Palatums Gr. 283 and Cod. Vaticanus Urbinas Gr. 97 as also by Cod. Marcianus Venetus Gr. 386.

page 202 note 6 Reiske, vol. ii, p. 845 foot; Langhorne, sect. 1, p. 290 and Loeb p. 525 respectively,

page 203 note 1 The translations of Reiske and Lang-horne's editor show this with the utmost clarity, by their construction of the participle as final in dependence on inline-graphic In any case, the procedure involved in building a dam—works being built from both sides of the river to meet in the middle—has an effect which is exactly portrayed by the picture this verb presents; the river is squeezed out first to less volume then out of place and existence (as Langhorne's editor shows by his interpretation of the word's meaning).

page 203 note 2 A measure suggested by the fact that there exists in the manuscripts a disputed reading of this word and also by the fact that all the translations discussed have been forced to take it as a finite verb.

page 203 note 3 Respectively Reiske, vol. ii, p. 848, foot; Langhorne, p. 291; Perrin, p. 531.

page 203 note 4 Companion to Roman History, Oxford, 1912, p. 198.

page 203 note 5 Veith Kromayer und, Heenvesen der Griechen und Römer, 1928, pp.409–10; cf. Tafel 40 for diagrams of pila.

page 204 note 1 R.-E. s.v. ‘Pilum’, 1357–8 with illustrations at coll. 1350 and 1355.

page 204 note 2 Ibid., col. 1357, U. 52–61.

page 204 note 3 Ibid, respectively col. 1357, 11. 58–61; 1. 59: 1355. Abb. 5,nos. 11 and 12.

page 204 note 4 L.S.J, cites only 2 examples, both from Plutarch, this one and Moral. 2. 968b of windings of roads in an ant-hill.

page 205 note 1 Under inline-graphic I has as its meaning ‘the bellying or bulging out’ of the centre of a line of battle—citing this passage.

page 205 note 2 Vol. ii, p. 850, foot: ‘ut in prominentibus solet frontibus et cornibus productis media acie sinum faciente’, where ‘prominentibus frontibus’, which in reality purports to translate inline-graphic may have been mistaken for sinum, which really quite accurately translates inline-graphic

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The Classical Quarterly
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