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Greek/Ancient Greek Translation

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Question
Maria,
I was wondering if you could translate this piece of poetry from Tyrtaus from English back into Ancient Greek for me. The phrase is, "Here is courage, mankind's finest possession, here is the noblest prize that a young man can endeavor to win." Thank you for your help!

Answer
Hello,

There is no need to translate this piece of poetry from English back into Ancient Greek  because there is the original Tyrtaeus text that we read in one of his  Elegiac Poems where the poet emphasizes the importance of a brave man in battle.

So, here are Tyrtaeus lines whose English adaptation is just “Here is courage, mankind's finest possession, here is the noblest prize that a young man can endeavor to win”:

ἥδ´ἀρετή, τόδ´ ἄεθλον ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν ἄριστον,
κάλλιστόν τε φέρειν γίγνεται ἀνδρὶ νέῳ.
(Fragment Bergk 12,lines 13-14 or Fragment Diehl 9,lines 8-9)

Note that only fragments survive of Tyrtaeus’s work  and we can read them in two different German  collections, i.e. in T. Bergk, “Poetae Lyrici Graeci” and in  G. Diehl, “Anthologia lyrica graeca”: hence the different number of the same fragment.

As for the English translation of this original ancient Greek text, i.e. “Here is courage, mankind's finest possession, here is the noblest prize that a young man can endeavour to win”, it is nothing but an adaptation of the ancient Greek lines, not their literal translation that could sound as follows:

“That is excellence, the highest prize for mankind,
splendid to carry away for a young man”.

Please note that:

-ἥδ´ἀρετή = That is excellence/courage

-τόδ´ ἄεθλον = this the prize

-ἄριστον =the highest

-ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν =for mankind

-κάλλιστόν τε = splendid

-φέρειν = to carry away

-γίγνεται = is

-ἀνδρὶ = for a man

-νέῳ =young

Lastly note that the Greek elegiac poet,Tyrtaeus,flourished c. 650 BC, Sparta [Greece], was author of  some elegies  on military themes, i.e. “ poems calling young men to arms, which combine exhortations to courage and self-discipline with reminders of past victories and assurances of future success and posthumous glory”.

Hope this can be helpful to you.

Best regards,

Maria

Greek

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Maria

Expertise

I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning ANCIENT GREEK. So, do not ask me please questions regarding MODERN GREEK as it is different from Ancient Greek either in spelling/meaning or in pronunciation.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy) and my thesis was about ancient Greek drama (Aeschylus).

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