spqr101
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Hey! A bit of a random question but I've been looking for some quotes relating to the horrors of the Trojan War from original Latin/Greek texts.

I cam across this one from the Oresteia:
“They came back
To widows,
To fatherless children,
To screams, to sobbing.
The men came back
As little clay jars
Full of sharp cinders.”

But I can't seem to find the original Greek anywhere? Even a line reference would suffice so that I can have a search for it.

Thanks
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awjackson
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I've tried searching for this in two copies of the text/translation that i found (I can link them if you want) but can't seem to find it. Where did you get this quote from - is there a possibility it came from a different text

The only other thing I can think of is that the translation is slightly different, but I did try searching with synonums and nothing came up??
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spqr101
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Tbh I got the quote from goodreads so don't know HOW reliable that is haha, though I have seen it about the place on other websites (though they may also not be the most reliable)...


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Maybe if you could send the links I could have a scavenge myself? Thanks

(Original post by awjackson)
I've tried searching for this in two copies of the text/translation that i found (I can link them if you want) but can't seem to find it. Where did you get this quote from - is there a possibility it came from a different text

The only other thing I can think of is that the translation is slightly different, but I did try searching with synonums and nothing came up??
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toronto353
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(Original post by spqr101)
Hey! A bit of a random question but I've been looking for some quotes relating to the horrors of the Trojan War from original Latin/Greek texts.

I cam across this one from the Oresteia:
“They came back
To widows,
To fatherless children,
To screams, to sobbing.
The men came back
As little clay jars
Full of sharp cinders.”

But I can't seem to find the original Greek anywhere? Even a line reference would suffice so that I can have a search for it.

Thanks
The passage is taken from Ted Hughes' 1998 translation of the Oresteia. From what I can find (the translation isn't available on Google Books), it's from the first stasimon of Agamemnon, lines 427-36:

τὰ μὲν κατ᾽ οἴκους ἐφ᾽ ἑστίας ἄχη
τάδ᾽ ἐστὶ καὶ τῶνδ᾽ ὑπερβατώτερα.
τὸ πᾶν δ᾽ ἀφ᾽ Ἕλλανος αἴας συνορμένοις
πένθει᾽ ἀτλησικάρδιος 430
δόμων ἑκάστου πρέπει.
πολλὰ γοῦν θιγγάνει πρὸς ἧπαρ:
οὓς μὲν γάρ τις ἔπεμψεν
οἶδεν, ἀντὶ δὲ φωτῶν
τεύχη καὶ σποδὸς εἰς ἑκά- 435
στου δόμους ἀφικνεῖται.


Hughes' translation though takes liberties to an extent; here is Smyth's 1926 translation from perseus by comparison:

Such are the sorrows at hearth and home, but here are sorrows surpassing these; and at large, in every house of all who went forth together from the land of Hellas, [430] unbearable grief is seen. Many things pierce the heart. Each knows whom he sent forth. But to the home of each come [435] urns and ashes, not living men.
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spqr101
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(Original post by toronto353)
The passage is taken from Ted Hughes' 1998 translation of the Oresteia. From what I can find (the translation isn't available on Google Books), it's from the first stasimon of Agamemnon, lines 427-36:

τὰ μὲν κατ᾽ οἴκους ἐφ᾽ ἑστίας ἄχη
τάδ᾽ ἐστὶ καὶ τῶνδ᾽ ὑπερβατώτερα.
τὸ πᾶν δ᾽ ἀφ᾽ Ἕλλανος αἴας συνορμένοις
πένθει᾽ ἀτλησικάρδιος 430
δόμων ἑκάστου πρέπει.
πολλὰ γοῦν θιγγάνει πρὸς ἧπαρ:
οὓς μὲν γάρ τις ἔπεμψεν
οἶδεν, ἀντὶ δὲ φωτῶν
τεύχη καὶ σποδὸς εἰς ἑκά- 435
στου δόμους ἀφικνεῖται.


Hughes' translation though takes liberties to an extent; here is Smyth's 1926 translation from perseus by comparison:

Such are the sorrows at hearth and home, but here are sorrows surpassing these; and at large, in every house of all who went forth together from the land of Hellas, [430] unbearable grief is seen. Many things pierce the heart. Each knows whom he sent forth. But to the home of each come [435] urns and ashes, not living men.
Ah thank you! Out of curiosity, if anything like this happens again, I was wondering if you know of any websites that can be used to 'backwards search' quotes like this, both from Greek or Latin texts.
awjackson any links that you know of would be great too!
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toronto353
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(Original post by spqr101)
Ah thank you! Out of curiosity, if anything like this happens again, I was wondering if you know of any websites that can be used to 'backwards search' quotes like this, both from Greek or Latin texts.
awjackson any links that you know of would be great too!
Not particularly, but I can share my methodology if that would be useful. I started with placing your quotation in quotation marks and doing a search on Google. I went through the results in books and one of them said that it came from a choral ode. That instantly narrows it down for me. Context helps here as well. Your quotation was almost certainly a reference to the Trojan war so out of the three plays that make up the Oresteia, the obvious fit is Agamemnon, so then I worked through the choral odes of Agamemnon on perseus. The choral odes are heavily divided into their constituent parts on perseus, so I focused on the smaller chunks of grey in the navigation bar. Similarly, let's say the quotation simply said 'from Euripides' instead. I would use a similar methodology, but focus on the content of the quote as well to narrow down my options. Here, for example, the mention of warfare would all but rule out plays like Ion, Alcestis, and Hippolytus and instantly lead me to the plays which deal with war and its aftermath, e.g. Trojan Women, Hecuba, and Helen.
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spqr101
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(Original post by toronto353)
Not particularly, but I can share my methodology if that would be useful. I started with placing your quotation in quotation marks and doing a search on Google. I went through the results in books and one of them said that it came from a choral ode. That instantly narrows it down for me. Context helps here as well. Your quotation was almost certainly a reference to the Trojan war so out of the three plays that make up the Oresteia, the obvious fit is Agamemnon, so then I worked through the choral odes of Agamemnon on perseus. The choral odes are heavily divided into their constituent parts on perseus, so I focused on the smaller chunks of grey in the navigation bar. Similarly, let's say the quotation simply said 'from Euripides' instead. I would use a similar methodology, but focus on the content of the quote as well to narrow down my options. Here, for example, the mention of warfare would all but rule out plays like Ion, Alcestis, and Hippolytus and instantly lead me to the plays which deal with war and its aftermath, e.g. Trojan Women, Hecuba, and Helen.
My goodness! Well I most certainly am not half as familiar as you are with ancient texts- am I right to assume that you have studied Classics up till a higher level (sixth form level at least?) I'll keep this in mind though. Thanks!
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toronto353
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(Original post by spqr101)
My goodness! Well I most certainly am not half as familiar as you are with ancient texts- am I write to assume that you have studied Classics up till a higher level (sixth form level at least?) I'll keep this in mind though. Thanks!
Yep, I've studied Classics at university and specialise in Greek literature in particular, though I've got a fairly decent working knowledge of major Latin texts.
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spqr101
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(Original post by toronto353)
Yep, I've studied Classics at university and specialise in Greek literature in particular, though I've got a fairly decent working knowledge of major Latin texts.
Ooh interesting! I do love Classics, but, as is the case with many humanities, I feel like the only jobs to do with the subject are teaching at either secondary or uni level, which just doesn't really appeal to me... and I find it such a waste to end up doing a job nothing to do with the subject you took up in the first place!
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toronto353
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(Original post by spqr101)
Ooh interesting! I do love Classics, but, as is the case with many humanities, I feel like the only jobs to do with the subject are teaching at either secondary or uni level, which just doesn't really appeal to me... and I find it such a waste to end up doing a job nothing to do with the subject you took up in the first place!
There are loads of jobs you could do with Classics and only 2% of classicists go into teaching! I mean yes some are unrelated, like marketing and law (though they use transferable skills from Classics), but you could go into museum work, archives, research, charity work (there are charities which support Classics teaching) so I'd definitely do some research and see what appeals to you.
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(Original post by toronto353)
There are loads of jobs you could do with Classics and only 2% of classicists go into teaching! I mean yes some are unrelated, like marketing and law (though they use transferable skills from Classics), but you could go into museum work, archives, research, charity work (there are charities which support Classics teaching) so I'd definitely do some research and see what appeals to you.
Ah yes I've heard of charities like Classics For All. Interesting!
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