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Ἔλαφος ἐπὶ νάματι καὶ θηρευταί

The Stag at The Stream and The Hunters  = Perry 74 (English translation: Oxford Aesop 262)

Ἔλαφός τις διψῶσα κατῆλθεν ἐπί τινα πηγὴν τοῦ ὕδωρ πιεῖν. ἰδοῦσα δὲ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι τὸ τοῦ ἰδίου σώματος ὁμοίωμα, τῇ μὲν τῶν ποδῶν λεπτότητι ἀπηρέσκετο, τῇ δὲ τῶν κεράτων μορφῇ ἐπετέρπετο. ἄφνω δέ τινες ἐφίστανται θηρευταὶ καὶ ταύτην ἐδίωκον. καὶ καθ’ ὅσον μὲν ἐπὶ τῆς πεδιάδος ἔτρεχε τῶν διωκόντων ὑπερεγίνετο, φθάσασα δὲ εἰς ἕλος ἀπροσδοκήτως εἰσελθεῖν, τῶν αὐτῆς κεράτων τοῖς κλάδοις συμπλακέντων, ὑπὸ τῶν διωκόντων καταλαμβάνεται καὶ στενάξασα ἔφη “οἴμοι τῇ ταλαιπώρῳ, ὅτι ἐφ’ οἷς ἀπηρεσκόμην ὑπ’ αὐτῶν μᾶλλον διεσῳζόμην, οἷς δὲ ἐνεκαυχώμην, ὑπ’ αὐτῶν δὴ καὶ ἀπόλλυμαι.”

Οὗτος δηλοῖ ὡς οὐ χρή τινα τῶν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἐπαινεῖν, εἰ μὴ τὰ εὔχρηστα καὶ ἐπωφελῆ.

From Ben Perry’s Aesopica (Urbana IL: 1952).

Segmented text for easier reading:

Ἔλαφός τις

διψῶσα

κατῆλθεν

ἐπί τινα πηγὴν

τοῦ ὕδωρ πιεῖν.

ἰδοῦσα δὲ

ἐν τῷ ὕδατι

τὸ τοῦ ἰδίου σώματος ὁμοίωμα,

τῇ μὲν τῶν ποδῶν λεπτότητι

ἀπηρέσκετο,

τῇ δὲ τῶν κεράτων μορφῇ

ἐπετέρπετο.

ἄφνω δέ

τινες ἐφίστανται θηρευταὶ

καὶ ταύτην ἐδίωκον.

καὶ

καθ’ ὅσον μὲν

ἐπὶ τῆς πεδιάδος ἔτρεχε

τῶν διωκόντων ὑπερεγίνετο,

φθάσασα δὲ

εἰς ἕλος ἀπροσδοκήτως εἰσελθεῖν,

τῶν αὐτῆς κεράτων

τοῖς κλάδοις συμπλακέντων,

ὑπὸ τῶν διωκόντων καταλαμβάνεται

καὶ στενάξασα ἔφη

“οἴμοι τῇ ταλαιπώρῳ,

ὅτι ἐφ’ οἷς ἀπηρεσκόμην

ὑπ’ αὐτῶν μᾶλλον διεσῳζόμην,

οἷς δὲ ἐνεκαυχώμην,

ὑπ’ αὐτῶν δὴ

καὶ ἀπόλλυμαι.”

Οὗτος δηλοῖ ὡς

οὐ χρή τινα

τῶν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἐπαινεῖν,

εἰ μὴ τὰ εὔχρηστα καὶ ἐπωφελῆ.

Grammatical notes and comments:

Ἔλαφός τις

διψῶσα

κατῆλθεν

ἐπί τινα πηγὴν

τοῦ ὕδωρ πιεῖν.

ἰδοῦσα δὲ

ἐν τῷ ὕδατι

  • τὸ τοῦ ἰδίου σώματος ὁμοίωμα, - notice how the noun phrase wraps around its genitive complement

τῇ μὲν τῶν ποδῶν λεπτότητι

ἀπηρέσκετο,

τῇ δὲ τῶν κεράτων μορφῇ

ἐπετέρπετο.

ἄφνω δέ

  • τινες ἐφίστανται θηρευταὶ - the displacement of θηρευταὶ is emphatic: some men showed up - hunters! - and...

καὶ ταύτην ἐδίωκον.

καὶ

καθ’ ὅσον μὲν

ἐπὶ τῆς πεδιάδος ἔτρεχε

  • τῶν διωκόντων ὑπερεγίνετο, - the verb ὑπεργίγνομαι takes a genitive complement, by analogy with other verbs of being superior or taking initiative (compare ὑπάρχω)

φθάσασα δὲ

εἰς ἕλος ἀπροσδοκήτως εἰσελθεῖν,

τῶν αὐτῆς κεράτων

  • τοῖς κλάδοις συμπλακέντων, - participle in a genitive absolute construction

ὑπὸ τῶν διωκόντων καταλαμβάνεται

καὶ στενάξασα ἔφη

“οἴμοι τῇ ταλαιπώρῳ,

ὅτι ἐφ’ οἷς ἀπηρεσκόμην

ὑπ’ αὐτῶν μᾶλλον διεσῳζόμην,

  • οἷς δὲ ἐνεκαυχώμην, - the verb is a compound of καυχάομαι

ὑπ’ αὐτῶν δὴ

  • καὶ ἀπόλλυμαι.” - the καὶ is adverbial here, "I am going to be killed, to boot!"

Οὗτος δηλοῖ ὡς

οὐ χρή τινα

τῶν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἐπαινεῖν,

εἰ μὴ τὰ εὔχρηστα καὶ ἐπωφελῆ. - ἐπωφελῆ is the neuter plural form of ἐπωφελής, meaning "helpful, useful" (same root as in ὠφέλεια)

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