Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Hobbit in Ancient Greek, parags 2-3




Οὖτος ὅββιτος ἦν πλούσιος σφόδρα, ἐπίκλησις δὲ αὐτῷ Βάγινος. οἱ Βάγινοι κατῴκισαν ἐγγὺς Τοῦ Ὄρους ἀπὸ παλαιοῦ, οἱ δὲ ἄνθρωποι ἡγοῦνται αὐτούς εἶναι σφόδρα εὔκοσμοι, ὅτι οὐ μόνον οἱ πλεῖστων ἦσαν πλούσιοι ἀλλὰ καὶ ὅτι οὐ μή ἔχωσιν τολμήματα μηδὲ ποιῶσιν τι ἀπροσδόκητονΓινώσκεις Βάγινος εἷς ἀποκριθήσει τῳ τινι ἐρωτήματι μὴ ταράσσων ἐρωτᾶν αὐτόν. Τοῦτο τὸ μύθευμα περὶ Βάγινα ἕνα ὅς ἔσχεν τολμήμα καὶ εὑρέν ἑαυτὸν λέγοντα καὶ ποιοῦντα τινα ἀπροσδόκητα πάντως. σχεδόν ἀπολώλεκεν τὴν τιμὴν τῶν γειτόνων αὐτοῦ, ἀλλα ἐκέρδησεν - ὄψῃ οὖν εἴτε ἐκέρδησεν τι εἰς τέλος.

[This hobbit was a very well-to-do hobbit, and his name was Baggins. The Bagginses had lived in the neighbourhood of The Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected: you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him. This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbours’ respect, but he gained--well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.]


Ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ ὅββιτου τούτου... Τί ἔστιν ὅββιτος? οἶμαι σήμερον δεῖ ἐξηγεῖσθαι περὶ ὅββιτων ὅτι σπάνιοι γεγόνασιν καὶ αἰσχυντηλοί τῶν Μεγάλων τῶν Ἄνθρωπων, ὡς καλοῦσιν ἡμᾶς.  Εἴσιν (ἤ ἦσαν) μίκροι ἄνθρωποι, ὡς ἡμισυ τὸ ὕψος ἡμῶν καὶ μικρότεροι τῶν Νᾶνων τῶν γενειῶν. Οἱ Ὅββιτοι ἀγένειοι.

[The mother of our particular hobbit... … what is a hobbit? I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves. Hobbits have no beards.]

Translation notes:
I settled on Βάγινος for Bilbo's surname. One γ had to be removed for pronunciation purposes, and I decided to give it a standard Greek 2nd declension ending, since it will be used often in the translation. 
  • βάγινος = Baggins
  • Νᾶνος = dwarf

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