Translating Thucydides II

I am moving this elsewhere, but will put the first eight sections in this post: the attempt is to invent a new jazzed up style of translation for that author….
E.g.: “Only long years of wave toss at league seas gave them brash moment to sail against Troy”.
:…With no markets, without money, no intercourse by land or sea, farming such land as bare survival want, nor planting fields if here then there yield equal crust to shiftless men,…

Thucydides, an Athenian, composed a chronicle of war between the Peloponesians and the Athenians, starting at its onset, considering it would be greater and more noteworthy than all that had gone before (than all ere fought), judging that both sides were in full readiness, as the rest of Greece took sides, some straightway, some intending to do so in the future. For this was the greatest martial kinetic (kinesis, commotion) to have beset the Greeks, including even some barbarians, indeed much of mankind. In fact, the history just prior to our present and that more ancient still, as difficult as that might be to assess given the passage of time, squinting to furthest extent possible to me, are lost to us now but would seem to have been not as great, either militarily or otherwise.
here’s the first paragaph’s greek…
Θουκυδίδης Ἀθηναῖος ξυνέγραψε τὸν πόλεμον τῶν Πελοποννησίων καὶ Ἀθηναίων, ὡς ἐπολέμησαν πρὸς ἀλλήλους, ἀρξάμενος εὐθὺς καθισταμένου καὶ ἐλπίσας μέγαν τε ἔσεσθαι καὶ ἀξιολογώτατον τῶν προγεγενημένων, τεκμαιρόμενος ὅτι ἀκμάζοντές τε ᾖσαν ἐς αὐτὸν ἀμφότεροι παρασκευῇ τῇ πάσῃ καὶ τὸ ἄλλο Ἑλληνικὸν ὁρῶν ξυνιστάμενον πρὸς ἑκατέρους, τὸ μὲν εὐθύς, τὸ δὲ καὶ διανοούμενον. [2] κίνησις γὰρ αὕτη μεγίστη δὴ τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἐγένετο καὶ μέρει τινὶ τῶν βαρβάρων, ὡς δὲ εἰπεῖν καὶ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀνθρώπων. [3] τὰ γὰρ πρὸ αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ ἔτι παλαίτερα σαφῶς μὲν εὑρεῖν διὰ χρόνου πλῆθος ἀδύνατα ἦν, ἐκ δὲ τεκμηρίων ὧν ἐπὶ μακρότατον σκοποῦντί μοι πιστεῦσαι ξυμβαίνει οὐ μεγάλα νομίζω γενέσθαι οὔτε κατὰ τοὺς πολέμους οὔτε ἐς τὰ ἄλλα.


Clearly the land now called Hellas had no fixed population in ancient times, migrants ceding their homes to press of numbers. With no markets, without money, no intercourse by land or sea, farming such land as bare survival want, nor planting fields if here then there yield equal crust to shiftless men, too prey to raiding bands fearing no walls
from those who built no cities–nor reached to other greatness. Lush soils claimed many masters, thus Thessaly, Boetia, most of the Peloponese, except Arcadia, and the most fertile parts of Hellas. Good land made some grandees at faction thence to frequent ruin and invasion. The scrabble soil of Attica freed it from conflict, its population constant. This proves my point that migration stunted the rest of Greece, as many took refuge in Athens,on increase to many depatures to colonies in Ionia.

It seems the Greeks shared no common ventures prior to the Trojan War, proving again the weakness of times so ancient. I think the land still lacked a shared name, before the coming of Hellen, son of Deucalion. The several tribes, spreadmost the Pelasgian, named places after themselves. But when Hellen and his sons were empowered in Phthiotis, plead of succor from weak cities soon called them Hellenes by association, though only in time did the country claim that name. Homer gives the best proof, living long after the War he nowhere invokes whole country thus, speaking only of the followers of Achilles from Phthiotis as the original Hellenes. The host he calls Danaans, or Argives, or Achaeans. Nor does he cite the barbarians, with none so-called to so contrast. Thus the tribes of Hellenes, those who while separate, had one name and language, were never united before the Trojan War. Only long years of wave toss at league seas gave them brash moment to sail against Troy.


The first we know from tradition to found a navy is Minos. He took control of the Hellenic sea, ruled over the Cyclades, sending them the first colonies, driving out the Carians, and making his own sons king. He would thus suppress piracy in those seas, to claim such plunder as his own.
In ancient times both the Hellenes, and Barbarians, whose homes were on the coast or on the islands, converging the one on the other succumbed to piracy, strong chiefs at command to such increase of spoils, for themselves and their poorer kin. Plundering unwalled towns some yet villages they existed on such booty, their custom held sure by thieves’ honor to no disgrace. Tribes to this day show this as they brag their piracy, while poets attest thus if their verses query arriving sail, if they are pirates. This implies neither the asker nor the questioned disclaim the judgment. Landed tribes preyed on each other, and in much of Hellas the old ways persist, as among the Ozolian Locrians, Aetolians, Acarnanians, and nearby regions of the mainland. Bearing arms is a relic of their old piracy.


In ancient times all Hellenes like the barbarians bore arms in their daily life, their homes defenseless, their encounters nervous face, sword ready. And continuing custom diverse-where shows this was once prevalent everywhere. The Athenians were the first to lay down their arms for the luxe and leisure of an easier life. Until recent times the old elegance of dress lingered among the elders of the wealthy who word linen under-garments, binding their locks with clasps of gold grasshoppers, these customs surviving in Ionia, from their Athenian ancestors. The plain dress now common springs from Sparta, and there more than anywhere else the rich man’s life became one with that of the people. The Lacedaemonians were also the first to strip naked for athletics, rubbing themselves with oil. No ancient custom this: even athletes competing at Olympia, girdled their loins, this lasting until recent times, and still prevalent among Barbarians, especially in Asia where boxers and wrestlers girdle up. Many customs still seen among Barbarians seem to have existed in early times among the Hellenes.


The cities founded in more recent times, as seafaring became safer and wealth increased, were built near the shore, with ishtmus’ peopled and walled to allow commerce, and the protection of the population. But the older cities even now whether on the mainland or the islands were built inland against pirates, who plundered each other and any near the coast not seafarers.


Men of the islands were the worst pirates, mostly Carian or Phoenicians settlers. When the Athenians purified Delos during the war, the dead exhumed shew half and more were Carins, known by the cut of their arms so buried, like rite chanted to ground, at the final journey.
After Minos set keel to seas his navy wrought stilled waters one and expelled the thugs and roughs of citied island colonies, dwellers at coast growing to riches and making the weak submit to the strong, as lorded wealth licensed power over vassal sorts. This was the social life coming into being at the time of the Trojan War.

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