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ancient greek translation

 
 
D-beck
 
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 02:08 pm
Hello to all...I am looking for help in a translation of a saying in to ancient greek. I once wanted to be the saying to be in latin until I was informed that the saying that I wanted translated was a saying Greece. The saying is "With my shield or on it" If any one could help me out this (i.e. the translation, who said it, and so on) that would be great
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 6,960 • Replies: 8
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shibo77
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 03:12 pm
Eh...sorry, I gave up Classical Greek a long time ago, too difficult!

I think the Spartans, renowned for there ability on the battlefields coined this. Their mothers would give the son a shield, and when their sons leave for a battle, they would say to them, return with the shield or on it. (dead body laying on the shield)
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 03:25 pm
Strange. I thought that I posted something here.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 03:28 pm
Ok, D-Beck. Found this thread in reference, also
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Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 04:22 pm
Background:

ACH WARRIOR WAS KNOWN BY THE PERSONAL DEVICE ON HIS ARGIVE SHIELD.
DURING THE CLOSE QUARTER FIGHTING BETWEEN CITY STATES IT WAS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL BETWEEN FRIEND AND FOE WITHOUT INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR ALLIES & ASSOCIATES SHIELD DESIGNS.

THE EXCEPTION OF COURSE WAS SPARTA....


THE SHIELD WAS MADE FROM WOOD WHICH WAS HOLLOWED INSIDE TO ALLOW FOR THE SOLDIERS SHOULDER TO FIT SNUGLEY INTO IT.
THE SURFACE OF THE SHIELD WAS COVERED IN BRONZE OR LEATHER OR SOMETIMES BOTH AND THE DESIGN WAS PAINTED OR ETCHED ACCORDINGLY.
WARRIORS FORMING UP IN PHALANX WOULD PLACE THEIR SHIELD OVER THEIR FRIENDS SHIELD ON THEIR LEFT.


SPARTAN MOTHERS WOULD SAY TO THEIR YOUNG SONS AS THEY LEFT FOR BATTLE 'EITHER COME BACK WITH YOUR SHIELD OR ON IT!'

THOSE COMING BACK WITHOUT THEIR SHIELDS HAD OBVIOUSLY FLED FOR THEIR LIVES...FOR THESE FEW THE SHAME WOULD BE UNBEARABLE, NO SPARTAN WOULD TALK TO THEM OR EVEN GIVE THEM FIRE.
WHEREAS ON IT, THEIR BODIES WERE CARRIED BACK TO SPARTA AND WOULD BE GIVEN A HEROES FUNERAL BY THE STATE...
WITH IT THEY WERE VICTORIOUS!

http://www.legion-fourteen.com/greeks.htm


I tan i epi tas
Either come back with your shield, or on it. Spartan mothers saying this to their sons as they left for war.

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/quotes.htm
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Rick d Israeli
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2004 08:13 am
Just had my Greek exams.

I don't know D-beck Embarrassed
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D-beck
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jun, 2004 10:15 pm
well thank you all for your help!!!
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gryspnik
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2004 04:24 pm
Hello there,

It's been a while since you asked this question but I'll give it a shot. I saw your question as I was searching on the web. The original phrase is as follows: Ή ταν ή επί τας. If you cannot read greek here it is written in the latin convention E tan e epi tas (phonetically i tan, i epi tas).
It was actually said by the Spartan mothers to their sons when they were leaving for war. The actual meaning is" bring back your shield as a winner, or come dead on your shield". It was a custom to put the dead on their shields when they were returning the home. It was also a huge disgrace to lose your weapons in the battle. If you want any more info on that please let me know.
I hope this one helps
Nikolaos
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Pitamac
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2015 06:08 am
The literal translation is actually "with this, or on it". Spartans, renowned also for their brevity in speech (hence the term "Laconic Phrase"), could grammatically imply the object of which they're referencing. In this case, as it was typically said as Spartan Mom hands her Spartan son his shield, the implied reference object is said shield rendering it's vocalization unnecessary. MOLON LABE! Here, too, is another famous battle expression. Literally meaning "Come, take!" Without context it may be difficult to discern here what's actually being said. However, when one learns that King Leonidas uttered this now famous response to the Persian King Xerxes' command that his Spartan army "Lay down your weapons", it's quickly realized that their weapons are what the Spartan King is telling the Persian King to "come, take!". Today, you'd likely hear, from someone of similar testicular fortitude, say something along they lines of "Go to Hell!".
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