• Beware the translation

    From Ed Cryer@21:1/5 to All on Mon Nov 30 20:54:10 2020
    These lines;
    The animated figures stand
    Adorning every public street
    And seem to breathe in stone, or
    move their marble feet.

    are claimed to be a translation from Pindar's 7th Olympic Ode. They
    appear in the Wikipedia article on "automata" (https://bit.ly/37o9SfE),
    and on a myriad sites about the history of clockwork, robots, computers
    etc. I got "About 3,820,000 results (1.07 seconds)" with Google.

    The 7th Olympic Ode is in praise of a boxer from Rhodes, Diagoras, who
    won Olympic medal in 464 B.C. It sings the high esteem of Rhodes and
    includes this line (which is the source of the above translation);
    ἔργα δὲ ζωοῖσιν ἑρπόντεσσί θ᾽ ὁμοῖα κέλευθοι φέρον:
    (Literal translation: The streets bear works like living and moving beings)

    Now, I ask you, what does that mean to you? Well, to me it means the
    statues of classical Greece that depict the human form in motion;
    throwing discus, javelin, riding chariots, women with flowing garments
    striding out.

    Beware the translation; a false one can build a house of cards.


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