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Lech, Marcel Lysgaard
A Note on Aristophanes, Clouds 76

2005, e-publikation
ISBN 978-87-635-0860-5
s. 49-56 i:
Classica et Mediaevalia Vol. 56

27 DKK  4 $   4 €


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Summary: This note tries to cover some of the meanings of the word ἀτραπόϛ regularly signifying some kind of path, which might have been chosen by Aristophanes in order to play on its philosophical meaning, the path of the (Pythagorean) philosopher, its martial meaning of backstabbing, the path of Ephialtes, and its proverbial contrast with ὁδόϛ. νῦν οὖν ὅλην τὴν νύκτα φροντίζων ὁδοῦ μίαν ηὗρον ἀτραπὸν δαιμονίως ὑπερφυᾶ, ἥν ἢν ἀναπείσω τουτονὶ, σωθήσομαι. (Nu. 75-77) The purpose of this note is to dicuss the word ἀτραπόϛ in Aristophanes’ Clouds and its associations which I suspect are more profound than Dover’s ‘something smaller than ὁδόϛ’. Why has Aristophanes chosen this word and not for example πόρος or one of its cognates,or βούλευμα or μηχανή which he uses elsewhere? What is the special meaning of the word ἀτραπόϛ? Dover is of course right: it is a narrow path and often in a rocky environment, judging from the predicate κρημνώδης regularly applied to it, but in the context of the Clouds, as A.M. Bowie has shown in his seminal work on the context of the plays of Aristophanes, there is a hidden treasure of semantic relations which still has to be excavated. Besides the meaning of ἀτραπόϛ regularly signifying some kind of path in the wilderness5 or a desert or the like, there are two distinct meanings which might have influenced Aristophanes in the process of composing the Clouds. First of all I will investigate the ancient conceptions of the word concerning the proverbial use, secondly a martial connotation which we find in historical writtings, and thirdly explore the more philosophical or metaphorical meaning of the word. In the conclusion I will incorporate these different meanings within the context of the Clouds.

 
Emneområde | Græsk-romersk oldtid |
Emneord | Filologi | Semantik |
Biograferet person | Aristofanes |
Periode | Klassisk oldtid |
Sprog | Engelsk |





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