Ancient Languages/Ancient Greek Translation
Hi there Maria,
I was hoping that you would be able to directly translate the "You must reach the limits of virtue before you cross the border of death." to Ancient Greek. It is a slightly modified version of Tyrtaeus' famous Spartan quote and I was hoping that it could be accurately translated!
Thank you very much,
I could certainly translate the sentence “You must reach the limits of virtue before you cross the border of death”, which is an approximate adaptation of Tyrtaeus' quote, but I think that a mere translation would be in some way a kind of offense to the original Tyrtaeus' quote that reads as follows:
Πρὶν ἀρετῆς πελάσαι τέρμασιν ἢ θανάτου.
(literally,“Come nigh the bounds of virtue before that [you reach] those of death”).
Please note that such a Tyrtaeus' fragment, which is quoted in Plutarch, De Stoicorum repugnantiis (On Stoic Self-Contradictions) that is one of the section of Plutarch's Moralia, i.e. “Matters relating to customs and mores” written by the 1st-century AD Greek scholar Plutarch of Chaeronea as an eclectic collection of 78 essays on customs and mores, just means:
“Come nigh the bounds of virtue before that [you reach] those of death”, loosely translatable as “You must reach the limits of virtue before you cross the border of death”.
Also note that:
-Πρὶν (conjunction) = before
-ἀρετῆς (genitive singular of the feminine noun ἁρετή, 1st.declension) = of virtue
-πελάσαι (2nd person singular, aorist imperative, middle voice of the verb πελάω, poetic form for πελάζω. This verb takes the dative case τέρμασιν) = come nigh/approach
-τέρμασιν (dative plural of the neuter noun τέρμα, 3rd.declension)= the bounds/limits/borders
-ἢ (conjunction) = that [you reach those]
-θανάτου (genitive singular of the masculine noun θάνατος, 2nd.declension)= of death.
Lastly I have to tell you that Πρὶν ἀρετῆς πελάσαι τέρμασιν ἢ θανάτου transliterates as: "Prin aretês pelásai térmasi he thanátou".
Hope this can be helpful to you.