Sunday, October 24, 2021

A letter to Norton, my ‘security provider’

Dear Norton,

For years, my computer has been interfered with by unwelcome ‘co-editors’ (See ‘Other people are editing this document’ posted on my blog on October 13). Until now it has been mostly just a nuisance, but now it begins to interfere with my work. A day before yesterday I received proofs of my article ‘The Phaedrus and the Charmides – Plato in Athens 405-404’. There were some little orange squares; when I cliqued on them, in yellow squares appeared editor’s suggestions. Firstly, the editor wanted me to go through all notes. This is what I was doing yesterday. In the evening, when I finished with the notes, I wanted to see what else the editor wanted. But all the orange squares ceased to be responsive. Today I have tried again and again, it all remains un-responsive. I thought you were here to protect me from such intrusions.

If you can do anything about it, please do. If you can’t, what am I supposed to do? Shall I try the BBC?

Best wishes,

Julius Tomin

PS

As I was saving this document, the infamous square with its ‘Other people are editing this document’ appeared on the top right-hand sight of my monitor.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Other people are editing this document

In my preceding post, entitled ‘Why Symposium in question marks?’, I wrote in the PS:

I was making slight changes in the letter, and in doing so I incurred a baffling difficulty. In the original I wrote: ‘We know about his dating of Plato’ Phaedrus; why should we waste our time?’ I wanted to correct the quote, for as I began to remember it better, I realized that it was simpler, and that something important was missing in my version of the quote. I wanted to write the better remembered words: ‘He dates Plato’s Phaedrus as his first dialogue: why should we waste our time?’ The first two words were fine, but when I came to ‘Plato’s Phaedrus’, it was put on a new line. I went back to ‘He dates’ and pressed the Del button, and I got He dates lato’s Phaedrus’, I corrected it, and ‘Plato’s Phaedrus’ jumped again to the next line. I tried again and again, until finally a message appeared on the screen Other people are editing this document’.

***

Interestingly, ‘Other people are’ still ‘editing’ that document. For as I opened it, the same message reappeared on my monitor. The last time, I crossed the message as soon as I wrote down the headline ‘Other people are editing this document’ (the computer message cannot be copied); I clicked on the cross at the top right corner of the message, deleting it in disgust. But then I regretted that I did not write down its whole content. Since the message reappeared when I now reopened the document, I wrote the message in full: ‘Other people are editing this document’ is followed by ‘Do you want to automatically share changes as they happen’; lower on the left is a little square followed by ‘Don’t ask me again’. At the bottom are two oblongs, one with YES, emphasized in bold, the other with NO.

I don’t want anyone to share editing my documents.

***

When I was writing my e-mail to Frisbee Scheffield, who figures in Krása’s Programme as the first speaker, a similar thing happened, as will be seen in my PS.

'Dear Frisbee Sheffield,

On October 5, all the participants in the Prague Phaedrus conference received from the organizer, Mr Krása, the programme of the conference. The title of my contribution is wrong; I immediately pointed it out to Mr Krása, and asked him to inform the participants that the title of my contribution is going to be 'The Phaedrus and the Charmides – Plato in Athens 405-404'. Mr Krása has not responded to my e-mail, and I doubt that he did anything about it. How could he possibly explain the wrong title?

I am fascinated with the title of your paper: 'The Unity of the Phaedrus'.

I should greatly appreciate it, if you would read my paper; the two papers appear to be opposing each other. Unfortunately, the online format won't allow any real discussion. Why should you wait for my paper, which is to be delivered in the afternoon? 'Everybody knows Tomin's dating, his rehashing Schleiermacher's long discarded dating of the Phaedrus as Plato's first dialogue.'

But if you take into account the title of my paper, everything looks different. What do we know about Plato in Athens 405-404? On any dating accepted by academics, they know nothing; at best, they can make unwarranted conjectures: 'Plato had to do his military service; he had no time to write the Phaedrus,' as some German Platonists in the 18th century maintained.

The Phaedrus written in 405-404, and the Charmides written in 404, tell us a lot about Plato in those years.

I am sending you the paper in the Attachment. But if you prefer, you may read it on my blog, posted on September 9.

I am looking forward to your paper,

Best wishes,

Julius Tomin

I am sorry, but the computer won't allow me to attach the file. It says that it is a Microsoft Word Document and that it is in use. But I can't see it on my monitor, and so, I cannot close it.

Recently, I had difficulty with my computer; it stopped working for several weeks. Does this then mean that I cannot send anybody anything I have written? All my documents inaccessible as Attachments? Does my letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, to the Director General of MI5, and to the Chief of MI6, posted on my blog on August 24, shed some light on this matter? Is the long-lasting effort to drive me mad still going on? I have hoped that my letter, just mentioned, made an end to it. It appears that I was wrong.'

I was really distraught. I have inherited shaking hand from my father, but my hands were never shaking that bad before.

I did everything I could. At first, I tried attaching 'The Phaedrus and the Charmides – Plato in Athens 405-404' again, and again, and again; without success. In the end I decided to close the computer, and then reopen it. I did not like to do so, for my computer has become very slow in the last few months. I closed the computer, reopened it; then I reopened my letter to Frisbee Scheffield, tried to attach 'The Phaedrus and the Charmides – Plato in Athens 405-404', and failed again. I repeated this whole operation; without success. I then pulled out a plug at the back of the computer, thus stopping the computer; when the computer cooling fan stopped running, I put the plug in again, restarting the computer. I reopened my email to Frisbee, tried to attach my Symposium paper, in vain. I repeated this operation several times, for it is fairly quick. Finally, after all this, I had enough, wrote the PS (being distraught, I forgot the 'PS'), in which I wrote about my unsuccessful attempts to attach my Symposium paper, sent the email, and closed it. And as I closed it, 'The Phaedrus and the Charmides – Plato in Athens 405-404, appeared on my monitor. Obviously, my PS worked.

I closed the paper, reopened my email to Frisbee, and attached the paper. Then I wrote to Frisbee ‘a correction’: ‘Dear Frisbee Sheffield, I finally succeeded in attaching my paper. I am sending it to you in the Attachment. Best wishes, Julius Tomin’. I closed the computer, made my supper, ate it, and went to bed.

I wanted to print this text in order to correct it. The printer does not print, and a message appeared on the monitor: 'This Microsoft document cannot be printed, for other people are editing this document’.

If there are too many printing errors, I apologize.

Why Symposium in question marks?

In the title of my preceding post, I put Symposium in question marks. Why? My correspondence with Eduard Halper provides the best answer.

On October 12 I wrote:

Dear Professor Halper,

On 5 October we received the program of the Prague Symposium on the Phaedrus. I am intrigued by your Dialectic of the Ladder of Lovers. Is Lysias' 'non-lover' (ouk oid' hontina tropon erótikos (227c4-5) at the bottom of the ladder, and does the haimulos (237b4, 'cunning' Rowe or 'wily' Hackforth) lover of Socrates' first speech come next, and does Plato's lover with his boy, who are not devoted to philosophy but to honour, a coarser way of life (diaitéi phortikóteró te kai aphilosophói, philotimói de chrésóntai, 256b7-c1), who resort to sex 'when they get drunk or in some other moment of carelessness' (en methais é tini alléi ameleiai, 256c1-2), come next?

I'd appreciate it, if you sent me your paper. I am sending you in the Attachment my paper: 'The Phaedrus and the Charmides – Plato in Athens 405-404'.

As you can see, Mr Krása gave me a wrong title in the Programme. I asked, on what basis he did so, without consulting me. And so, he reminded me of the e-mail I sent to him on 22 April, in which I informed him that I just put on my blog a draft of the paper I should like to present at the Symposium, entitled 'Dating of the Phaedrus'. I looked at my post of that date; the title is different: 'A paper on Plato for the XIII Symposium Platonicum Pragense'.

And then it all came to my mind. As soon as I pressed the 'Send' button, two incidents came to my mind.

1/ early in this century, 2002 or 2003) I came to Oxford to protest at Balliol College LET US DISCUSS PLATO. A representative of the student magazine Isis asked classical philosophers why they refused discussing Plato with me. The reply he got was the following: 'We know about his dating of Plato's Phaedrus; He dates the Phaedrus as Plato’s first dialogue: why should we waste our time?’

2/ In the early 1990s I got a letter from the Head of the Philosophy department at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague. The Head, Mr Hejdánek, informed me that I was given a post at the Department, just for a year, during which I was expected to write a Professorial Thesis. In reply I accepted the offer, informed Mr Hejdánek of my views on the Phaedrus, which made my view of Plato radically different from any views accepted by academics, and that I shall go to Prague only after discussing Plato with British classical philosophers. Hejdánek promptly replied that the post was given to someone else.

At the next SAAP (Southern Association for Ancient Philosophy) conference, which took place at Corpus Christi College in Oxford, I asked why I cannot present at the Conference my views on the dating of Plato' Phaedrus. And so, I was invited to give my paper on the dating of the Phaedrus at the next conference, at Cambridge University. Christopher Rowe was entrusted with the opening of the discussion. I sent him my paper several months before the conference, hoping to get his critical response as soon as possible. I waited in wain; Christopher gave me his 'critical response' just before I was to read my paper. He found fault with my reference to Denniston concerning the kai gar in Diogenes Laertius’ dating of the Phaedrus. Mistakenly, he thought that I derived my interpretation of this collocation of particles from Denniston; in fact, on Kenneth Dover's advice, I studied for years the way these particles were used in every text I read, not only Plato. The rest of his lengthy 'response' Rowe devoted to his witty criticism of Schleiermacher's dating of the Phaedrus as Plato's first dialogue.

I look forward to your paper on The Dialectic of the Ladder of Lovers.

Best wishes,

Julius Tomin

PS

I was making slight changes in the letter, and in doing so I incurred a baffling difficulty. In the original I wrote: ‘We know about his dating of Plato’ Phaedrus; why should we waste our time?’ I wanted to correct the quote, for it was simpler, as I began to remember it better, and something important was missing: ‘He dates Plato’s Phaedrus as his first dialogue: why should we waste our time?’ The first two words were fine, but when I came to ‘Plato’s Phaedrus’ it was put on a new line. I went back to ‘He dates’ and pressed the Del button, and I got He dates lato’s Phaedrus’, I corrected it, and ‘Plato’s Phaedrus’ jumped again to the next line. I tried again and again, until finally a message appeared on the screen Other people are editing this document’.

Clearly, someone instructed my computer to interfere if I happened to remember the don’s words better. Anybody who read the quote as I wrote it originally, would think that no Oxford don would say it like that. I wracked my mind, and suddenly it came back. The ‘computer’ did not like that. To fool the computer, I rewrote it, thus making it even more complex and thus more improbable; in PS I could explain what happened and put in the better remembered quote: ‘He dates Plato’s Phaedrus as his first dialogue: why should we waste our time?’ But now I think, it was actually: Tomin dates the Phaedrus as Plato’s first dialogue: why should we waste our time?’

Once upon a time, I saw the classical philosopher’s quote in the Isis’ on-line features, and tried to find it, but when I googled ‘Julius Tomin on Isis’, I got completely unrelated references to Tomin.

***

Professor Halper replied:

Good to hear from you, Julius (if I may).  We met in Brighton in 1988 at a World Congress of Philosophy.  I trust that you are well.  I appreciate having a copy of your paper, especially because the time differences are likely to make it impossible for me to be present while it is being presented.  For the same reason, I will miss most of the conference.  

At this point, my paper has not been written down.  I am tempted to say that I have taken the Phaedrus too seriously, but the real reason is that I have not had time.  I hope to write out a draft before the conference, but I don’t usually read papers when I present them.  I am most interested in the back and forth between lover and beloved at 253-256. 

Best wishes,

Ed

 

Edward Halper

Professor of Philosophy

University of Georgia

Athens, GA 30602

 

 

Shall I collaborate? Letter to André Rehbinder, participant in on-line Phaedrus ‘Symposium’

Dear André Rehbinder,

Would you send me your paper on Le rôle du caractère dans l’initiation amoureuse du Phèdre : étude du passage 252c4-253c6? I should like to read it before the Symposium. I can read French, but I can’t speak or write it. And yet, French language played a very important role in my life. After the Soviets with their Warsaw Pact ‘allies’ ended the Prague Spring of 1968 – socialism ‘with a human face’ – by military occupation in Czechoslovakia, I worked as a turbine operator in Prague ancient powerplant. My job was the lowest paid job; I worked at the bottom of the powerplant, and had practically no responsibility. I just had to keep awake, or if I fell asleep, I had to be alert enough in my sleep to wake up when the (well paid) operator on the floor above banged on a metal tube, through which we communicated. With all the noise the turbines were creating, it was quite a task. Having the job with almost no responsibility was essential; it was during those five years that I read for the first time Plato, Aristotle, Homer, some Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, in the powerplant. And I must not forget, in the last two years I studied Descartes, in Latin what he wrote in Latin, and in French what he wrote in French, carrying the heavy volumes of the original edition of Adam & Tannery in the rucksack, each time I went to work. It was there that I wrote my first book, on Descartes, entitled I think I am. This title had a personal significance to me: ‘As long as I can think, I pretty well am’. It was thanks to Le Mond and to Sartre that Descartes’ logos Je pense donc je suis sarx egeneto, for me.

Let me explain. In my free time, I visited the French Library. At the top floor on the upper shelf were all the classics in Budé edition. (But the only available newspaper was the Communist Party l’Humanité.) One day, early in July 1975, as I was descending the steps, I saw a door open to a room where there were some black people, obviously students, and a pile of newspapers. I entered the room, and for the first time in my life I saw Le Mond. I took one of the top issues in my hand, opened it, and there I read: A la suite de la confiscation par la police d’une partie de ses manuscrits Le philosophe tchécoslovaque Karel Kosík écrit à J.-P. Sartre << Mon existence a pris deux forms: je suis mort et an mȇm temps je vis. >>

Kosík’s letter was followed by La réponse de Sartre: si Kosík est coupable, alors tout homme qui pense à ce qu’il fait est coupable.

Let me quote the last paragraph:

Je ne puis m’angager pour personne sauf pour moi: mais j’ai assez souvent et longuement discuté de votre cher et malheureux pays pour vous affirmer que nombreux sont vos amis qui crieront avec moi: << Si Karel Kosík était coupable, alors tout homme (non seulment les intellectuels, mais les paysans, les ouvriers) qui pense à ce q’uil fait est également coupable. >> C’est à partir de cette idée simple qu’il faudra envisager les actions par lesquels, en vous aidant, nous nous aiderons nous-mȇmes.

Je vous assure, mon cher ami, de mes sentiments fraternels.

Jean-Paul Sartre

And so, after coming home, on 4 July 1975, I wrote to Rudé Právo, the Czechoslovak equivalent of l’Humanité: ‘In Le Monde of Sunday 29 – Mondey 30 June I read a letter addressed to J-P Sartre by a Czech philosopher Dr Karel Kosík. Karel Kosík in his letter points to several disturbing things. 1/ For years, he has been deprived of work that would correspond to his professional abilities. 2/ He is excluded from our scientific institutions. 3/ He can’t publish, his books were taken out from all public libraries. 4/ 1000 pages of his manuscripts, which form the basis of the two works he is working on: On Practis and On Truth.

Firstly, I should like to know, whether all this is true. If it is true, I should like to know whether it is in agreement with our laws. If it is not in agreement with our laws, what can I do as a citizen of our Republic to promote the restoration of legality in our country. If it is in agreement with our laws, what can I do as a citizen of this land to promote a change in our laws, so that citizens in our country may not be treated in this way in future.

I am looking forward to your reply, your reader, Julius Tomin’

My ‘Letters to Rudé Právo’ form the first part of my Questionnaire, published in Samizdat Petlice in 1975.

My Questionnaire catapulted me overnight into the front ranks of the ‘undesirables’. In 1977 I opened a seminar for young people, like my son Lukáš, who were deprived of higher education because of their fathers’ involvement in the Prague Spring of 1968. At the end of the first year, in June 1978, I told my students that I should like to invite to my seminar academics from four universities: Oxford and Harvard, Heidelberg and Freie Universität Berlin: ‘Would you agree for me to do so?’ They agreed enthusiastically. It took Oxford dons almost a year of deliberation, but in April 1979 Dr Wilkes commenced the visits of Oxford academics in my seminar.

***

Paradoxically, nowadays I am not allowed to present my views on Plato at the Arts Faculty of Charles University. Can the invitation to the Phaedrus on-line Symposium be viewed as an amend?

 

Mr Krása, the organizer, gave my paper a wrong title on the Programme: 'Dating of the Phaedrus'. On what basis he did so, without consulting me? He reminded me of the e-mail I sent to him on 22 April, in which I informed him that I had just put on my blog a draft of the paper for the Symposium, which I entitled 'Dating of the Phaedrus'. I looked at my post of that date, but the title is different: 'A paper on Plato for the XIII Symposium Platonicum Pragense'.

And then it all came to my mind. As soon as I pressed the 'Send' button, thus sending my e-mail to Mr Krása on 22 April, two incidents came to my mind.

1/ Early in this century, 2002 or 2003, I came to Oxford to protest at Balliol College LET US DISCUSS PLATO. A representative of the student magazine Isis asked classical philosophers why they refused to discuss Plato with me. The reply he got was the following: 'Tomin is dating the Phaedrus as Plato's first dialogue; why should we waste our time?’

2/ In the early 1990s I got a letter from the Head of the Philosophy department at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University in Prague. The Head, Mr Hejdánek, informed me that I was given a post at the Department, just for a year, during which I was expected to write a Professorial Thesis. I accepted the offer, informed Mr Hejdánek that my views on Plato’s Phaedrus differed from any views accepted by academics, and that I shall go to Prague only after discussing Plato with British classical philosophers. Hejdánek promptly replied that the post was given to someone else.

At the next SAAP conference, which took place at Corpus Christi College in Oxford, I asked, why could I not present at the Conference my views on the dating of Plato' Phaedrus. And so, I was invited to give my paper on the dating of the Phaedrus at the next conference, at Cambridge University. Christopher Rowe was entrusted with the opening of the discussion. I sent him my paper several months before the conference, hoping to get from him his critical response as soon as possible. I waited in vain; Christopher gave me his 'critical response' just before I was to read my paper. He found fault with my reference to Denniston concerning the kai gar in Diogenes Laertius’ dating of the Phaedrus. Mistakenly, he thought that I derived my interpretation of this collocation of particles from Denniston; in fact, on Kenneth Dover's advice, I studied for years the way these particles were used in every text I read, not only Plato.

Rowe devoted the rest of his lengthy 'response' to a witty criticism of Schleiermacher's dating of the Phaedrus as Plato's first dialogue.

 

If I participate in the on-line Symposium, I shall be collaborating on burying any proper discussion on Plato’s Phaedrus in the Czech Republic.

 

In the Attachment, I am sending you my paper: 

'The Phaedrus and the Charmides – Plato in Athens 405-404'.

With Best wishes,

Julius Tomin

PS

I wrote about some of these things on my Web-site and on my Blog. My writing to you inspired me to put it in a new way. This is why I’ve put it on my Blog with a question mark: ‘Shall I collaborate?’

Sunday, October 3, 2021

John Pilger’s hero, with an eyesore

It feels good to be one of John Pilger’s heroes. In the chapter on ‘A Prague spring’ Pilger writes: ‘It was the silence of the millions who made the men and women of Charter 77 such heroic individuals. People did not touch them in the street and whisper encouragement. The eyes averted from foreigners were averted from them … The Chartists I met and filmed in secret … The risk they incurred was ill defined, and there was nothing to reassure them, or ourselves, that having touched their lives we had not condemned them. Only their insistence to speak as free Czechs, and their courage, were certain. “If I knew,” said Julius Tomin, a teacher, “that tomorrow I go in prison for it, I shall talk to you anyway”.’

Then comes the eyesore: ‘At thirty-eight, Tomin had endured much. He had refused the military draft and had been sent to a psychiatric clinic for two years.

***

In Czech we have a saying ‘na každém šprochu pravdy trochu‘, which is on Google pedantically rendered as ‘Every statement contains a kernel of truth‘.

When I refused the military draft, I was sent to prison. I saw the communist regime as something that had to be challenged. I knew that it was built on the teaching of Marx, and Lenin, but I knew nothing of what they were saying. I saw my imprisonment as an opportunity to do something about it. I remember reading Lenin’s State and Revolution, but there was nothing by Marx. I insisted on getting Marx’ Kapital, and in the end the Head of the prison lent me his copy. Marx’ Kapital fascinated me.

Released from prison, I worked in a forest, and I decided to apply for the study of philosophy. I lived with my father in Slovakia in those days, and I wanted to go to Prague – I was born in Prague. The application form required a CV. I asked the Head of the Forestry, who happened to be the Head of the Communist party organisation there: ‘Shall I put the imprisonment in my CV?’ He replied: ‘Are you a fool? If you put it in, you won’t be invited to the entry examination.’ I left it out. It was easily done, for I was imprisoned for 15 months, I went to school a year early, and in course of the school reform I jumped a year.

I was invited to the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University. The examination board had five members, but I remember only two, Professor Popelová and docent (Assistant Professor) Milan Machovec. We talked about my reading of Lenin and Marx, the members of the board appeared to be impressed. Then Milan Machovec asked: ‘Tell us, didn’t you have some serious problems in your life?’ And so, I talked about my imprisonment.

I was not accepted, but Machovec asked the examination board to entrust him with my tutelage.

Summoned to the military service, I became a soldier – or almost a soldier. For one became truly a soldier only after making an oath at the end of a month of preliminary training. After three weeks of it I became ill; inflammation of kidneys. I was sent for two months to a military sanatorium, and then released.

What could I do, with my CV, who would give me a job? Milan Machovec decided to intervene. A friend from their days at gymnasium (a secondary school) was a psychologist at the Psychiatric hospital in Dobřany, near Plzeň (Pilsen). To him Milan applied for help. I became an orderly, and worked in the psychiatric hospital for two years.

***

What follows the eyesore? Pilger writes: ‘After 1970 Tomin was prevented from teaching his speciality, philosophy, and the only work he could find was as a nightwatchman at Prague Zoo. He eventually lost this job.’

In fact, after 1970, having returned from a year as a Visiting Professor at the University of Hawaii, I went to work to the Prague powerplant, where I worked for five years. After five years I had enough of it. Milan Machovec provided for me a stipend from West Germany, 300 Marks a month, which, turned into Czech money was twice as much as I was getting at the powerplant as my salary. But these things that could not interest Pilger.

What follows is impeccable: ‘His wife was also denied work and their eldest son, Lukáš, was barred from any form of higher education or apprenticeship.  Summoned regularly to interrogations by the secret police, Julius Tomin refused to answer questions “on the ground that the legal requirements for such an interrogation were not fulfilled; I myself had not committed any crime”. Inevitably, there would come a point when the interrogators would exclaim, “Mr Tomin, you commit a crime with every step you make and with every word you say.” “One morning”, he was told, “you will be found dead in a ditch.” (John Pilger, Heroes, pp. 467-468.)

Towards the end of ‘A Prague spring’ Pilger says: ‘In August 1980 Tomin asked permission to study abroad, and this was granted. In May 1981 he was called to the Czech embassy in London where his passport was confiscated and he was told that he and his wife were deprived of Czech citizenship. Today Julius Tomin teaches at St David’s University College in Wales. Generously, he wrote to me “Every visitor from abroad brought with him an oasis of normal, non-frustrated human communication. In a sense, our interview and similar publicity in the West was the price to pay, and it was worth it. To refuse an interview would have meant giving in and accepting the unfreedom as an integral part of my life, and I was not prepared to live unfree”.’ (pp. 471-472)

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Iliad 1-7 read and understood in Greek

 

Mh=nin a1eide, qea/, Phlhïa/dew  0Axilh=oj

ou0lome/nhn, h4 muri/ 0Axaioi=j a1lge e1qhke

polla\j d i0fqi/mouj yuxa\j  1Aïdi proï/ayen

h9rw&wn, au0tou\j de\ e9lw&ria teu=xe ku/nessin

oi0wnoi=si/ te pa=si, Dio\j d e0telei/eto boulh/,

e0c ou[ dh\ ta\ prw~ta diasth/thn e0ri/sante

 0Atreï/dhj te a1nac a0ndrw~n kai\ di=oj  0Axilleu/j.

 

O GODDESS ! sing the wrath of Peleus’ son,

Achilles; sing the deadly wrath that brought

Woes numberless upon the Greeks, and swept

To Hades many a valiant soul, and gave

Their limbs a prey to dogs and birds of air,—                5

For so had Jove appointed,—from the time

When the two chiefs, Atrides, king of men,

And great Achilles, parted first as foes.

Translation W. C. Bryant, Boston 1870

 

mh=nin ‘wrath’, noun, feminine, accusative, singular; mh=nij nom. sing.

a1eide ‘sing’, verb, present tense, imperative, 2nd person, singular; a0ei/dw ‘I sing’, 1st person, indicative

qea/, ‘O goddess’, noun, feminine, vocative, sing.

Phlhïa/dew ‘of Peleus’s son’, genitive, sing. masculine; Phlhïa/dhj Peleus’s son’, nom.

0Axilh=oj ‘of Achilles’, genitive; 0Axileu/j, nominative

ou0lome/nhn ‘destructive’, ‘accursed’, noun, feminine, accusative, singular

mh=nin ou0lome/nhn ‘the destructive wrath’

h4 ‘which’ relative pronoun, feminine, nominative, singular

muri/a ‘countless’, adjective, neutral (neither masculine nor feminine), nominative plural; it loses its last syllable, the apostrophe stands for the a to avoid hiatus

0Axaioi=j ‘to Achaians’, dative, plural

a1lgea ‘pains’, noun, nominative plural; it loses its last syllable, the apostrophe stands for the a to avoid the hiatus; a1lgoj, eoj, to/

e1qhke ‘caused’, aorist, 3rd person, singular

[mh=nij ou0lome/nh ‘the destructive wrath’ (nom. sing.)] h4 muri/ 000Axaioi=j a1lge e1qhke ‘which gave the Achaians countless pains’

polla/j ‘many’, irregular adjective, feminine, accusative, plural; nom. sing. pollh/

de/ particle serving to continue the narrative, usually untranslatable, ‘and’, ‘further’, ‘again’, ‘but’, ‘also’; here it is introducing additional or corresponding circumstances; the apostrophe stands for e to avoid hiatus

i0fqi/mouj ‘strong’, ‘mighty’, adjective, accusative, plural; i1fqimoj nom. sing.

yuxa/j ‘souls’, accusative, plural; yuxh/ ‘soul’, nom. sing.

1Aïdi ‘to Hades’, dative;  0Ai/dhj ‘Hades’, nom.

proï/ayen ‘send (forth)’ ‘hurl away (to the nether world)’

polla\j d i0fqi/mouj yuxa\j  1Aïdi proï/ayen ‘hurled many valiant souls into Hades’

h9rw&wn ‘of heroes’, genitive, plural; h3rwj ‘hero’, nom. sing.

au0tou/j ‘them (the heroes)’, accusative, plural, pronoun of emphasis

de/ particle serving to continue the narrative, usually untranslatable, ‘and’, ‘further’, ‘again’, ‘but’, ‘also’; here it is introducing additional or corresponding circumstances; the apostrophe stands for e, to avoid hiatus

e9lw&ria ‘prey’, nominative/accusative, plural; e9lw&rion, to/ ‘prey’, nom./acc. sing.

teu=xe ‘prepared’, ‘rendered’ verb, imperfect, 3rd pers. sing.; teu/xw ‘I prepare’, 1st. pers. sing.

ku/nessin ‘to dogs’, dative, plural; ku/wn ‘dog’, masculine, nom. sing.

oi0wnoi=si ‘to birds of prey’ dative pl.; oi0wno/j ‘bird of prey’, masculine, nom. sing.

te/ ‘and’, enclitic, it ‘leans on’ the preceding oi0wnoi=si, which thus acquires a second accent on its last syllable: oi0wnoi=si/ te

pa=si ‘to all’, adjective, dative pl.; pa=j nom. sing. masculine

ku/nessin oi0wnoi=si/ te pa=si ‘to dogs and to all birds of prey’

au0tou\j de\ e9lw&ria teu=xe ku/nessin oi0wnoi=si/ te pa=si ‘and them (the heroes) [mh=nij  0Axilh=oj Achilles’ wrath’] as prey rendered to dogs and to all birds of prey’

Dio/j ‘of Zeus’, genitive of Zeu/j

de/ particle serving to continue the narrative, usually untranslatable, ‘and’, ‘further’, ‘again’, ‘but’, ‘also’; here it is introducing additional or corresponding circumstances; the apostrophe stands for e to avoid hiatus

e0telei/eto ‘was being fulfilled’, ‘was being executed’, verb, imperfect, middle voice, 3rd person, sing.; telei/w ‘I accomplish’, present tense, active voice, 1st pers. sing.

boulh/ ‘will’, noun, feminine, nom. sing.

Dio\j d e0telei/eto boulh/ ‘the will of Zeus was being fulfilled’, ‘the will of Zeus was fulfilling’

e0c ‘from’, preposition

 ou[ ‘from what’, ‘from which’, relative pronoun, genitive sing., nom. sing. neutral o3 ‘what’

dh/ particle of emphasis

ta/ definite article, nominative, plural

prw~ta ‘first’ ordinal numeral, neutral, nom. pl.

ta\ prw~ta ‘first of all’ ‘as soon as’

diasth/thn ‘stood apart, at variance with one another’, verb, dual, perfect tense (referring to what happened in the past)

e0ri/sante ‘contending with one another’. ‘vying with one another’, dual, participle, aorist, nominative; e0ri/zw ‘I quarrel’

0Atreï/dhj ‘the son of Atreus’, nominative

te kai/ ‘and’

a1nac ‘ruler’, noun, nom. sing.

a0ndrw~n ‘of men’ genitive, plural

kai/ ‘and’

di=oj ‘illustrious’, ‘divine’, ‘noble’, adjective, nom. sing.

The main thought: Mh=nin a1eide, qea/, Phlhïa/dew  0Axilh=oj ‘Goddess sing the wroth of Achilles, the son of Peleus’ e0c ou[ dh\ ta\ prw~ta diasth/thn e0ri/sante ‘from the time in which for the first time stood apart in quarrel’ ‘from the point at which originally stood apart in quarrel’ 0Atreï/dhj te a1nac a0ndrw~n kai\ di=oj  0Axilleu/j ‘the son of Atreus, ruler of men, and the divine Achilles’.

Let me end by quoting the introductory paragraphs from W.W. Goodwin’s A Greek Grammar:

Part V. Versification. Rhythm and Meter.

1620. Every verse is composed of definite portions called feet. Thus we have four feet in each of these verses:

Fh/somen pro\j tou\j strathgou/j

Far from mortal cares retreating

1621. In each foot there is a certain part on which falls a special stress called ictus (stroke), and another part on which there is no such stress. The part of the foot on which the ictus falls is called the arsis, and the rest of the foot is called the thesis. The regular alternation of arsis and thesis in successive feet produces the rhythm (harmonious movement) of the verse.

1622. In English poetry the rhythm depends entirely on the ordinary accent of the words, with which the ictus coincides. In the Greek verse, however, the ictus is entirely independent of the word-accent. In Greek poetry a foot consists of a regular combination of syllables of a certain length; and the place of the ictus here depends on the quantity (i.e. the length or shortness) of the syllables which compose the foot, the ictus naturally falling upon a long syllable. The regular alteration of long and short syllables in successive feet makes the verse metrical, i.e. measured in its time. The rhythm of a Greek verse thus depends closely on its meter, i.e. on the measure or quantity of its syllables.

1623. The fundamental distinction between ancient and most modern poetry is simply this, that in modern poetry the verse consists of a regular combination of accented and unaccented syllables, while in ancient poetry it consists of a regular combination of long and short syllables. The rhythm is the one essential requisite in the external form of all poetry, ancient and modern; but in ancient poetry, rhythm depends on meter and not on accent; in modern poetry it depends on accent, and the quantity of syllables (i.e. the metre) is generally no more regarded than it is in prose. Both are equally rhythmical; but the ancient is also metrical, and its meter is the basis of its rhythm. What is called metre in English poetry is strictly only rhythm.

QUANTITY OF SYLLABLES

98. A syllable is long by nature (fu/sei) when it has a long vowel or a diphthong; as in timh/, ktei/nw

99. 1. A syllable is long by position (qe/sei) when its vowel is followed by two consonants or a double consonant; as in i3stantej, tra/peza, o1rtuc.

2. The length of the vowel itself is not affected by position. Thus a was sounded as long in pra/ssw, pra=gma, and pra=cij, but as short in ta/ssw, ta/gma, and ta/cij.

3. One or both of the consonants which make position may be in the next word; thus the second syllable in ou[to/j fhsin  and in kata\ sto/ma is long by position.