Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Hobbit in Ancient Greek, paragraph 9


Οὐδέν ὑποπτεύων Βίλβος εἶδεν οὐδενα τούτο τὸ πρωΐ  ἀλλά πρεσβύτην ῥάβδον ἔχων. ἦν δὲ ἐνδεδυμένος  θολίας εὐμήκης ὑακίνθης καὶ στολὴς φαίης μάκρας καὶ ταινίας ἀργυρόχροης ἐπὶ ἧν πώγων λευκός κατεκρέμασεν εἰς  τὴν ὀσφὺν αὐτοῦ, καὶ κρηπῖδων κολοσσικών μέλανων. 


[All that the unsuspecting Bilbo saw that morning was an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which a white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots.]

Translation notes: 
  • Ancient Greek (along with most ancient languages) had few words for colors, so I have to approximate sometimes. 
  • ὑακίνθος = blue; means "hyacinth" in ancient Greek, but was used to translate the Hebrew word for blue/violet in the Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament (2nd cent. BC).
  • φαίος = gray
  • ἀργυρόχροος  = silver-colored; just using ἀργύρος or ἀργύριον didn't sound right, since that would imply a scarf actually made of silver. 

The picture of Gandalf by John Howe is one of my favorites.

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