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2904. μὲν . . . δέ serves to mark stronger or weaker contrasts of various kinds, and is sometimes to be rendered by on the one hand . . . on the other hand, indeed . . . but; but is often to be left untranslated. The μέν clause has a concessive force when it is logically subordinate (while, though, whereas, cp. 2170). Thus, ““ μὲν ψυ_χὴ πολυχρόνιόν ἐστι, τὸ δὲ σῶμα ἀσθενέστερον καὶ ὀλιγοχρονιώτερονthe soul lasts for a long time, the body is weaker and lasts for a shorter timeP. Ph. 87d, ““καὶ πρόσθεν μὲν δὴ πολλοὶ ἡμῶν ἦρχον μὲν οὐδενός, ἤρχοντο δέ: νῦν δὲ κατεσκεύασθε οὕτω πάντες οἱ παρόντες ὥστε ἄρχετε οἱ μὲν πλειόνων, οἱ δὲ μειόνωνand whereas in fact many of us hitherto commanded no one, but were subject to the command of others, now however all of you who are present are so placed that you have command, some over more, others over fewerX. C. 8.1.4.

a. So ἄλλοτε μὲν . . . ἄλλοτε δέ, ἅμα μὲν . . . ἅμα δέ at once . . . and, partly . . . partly, ἔνθα μὲν . . . ἔνθα δέ, ἐνταῦθα μὲν . . . ἐκεῖ δέ, πρῶτον μὲν . . . ἔπειτα δέ (or ἔπειτα alone). On μὲν . . . δέ see 1107. Instead of (οἱ) δέ we find e.g. ἄλλος δέ, ἔνιοι δέ, ἔστι δ᾽ οἵ. So τοῦτο μὲν . . . τοῦτ᾽ ἄλλο (or αὖθις).—μέν may stand with a participle, δέ with a finite verb, in an antithetical sentence. Example in 2147 c.

b. εἰ, οὐ (μή) standing before μὲν . . . δέ exercise their force on both opposed clauses.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.1.2
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