As it goes in Homer's Odyssey, Book 6, 160: οὔτ᾽ ἄνδρ᾽ οὔτε γυναῖκα: σέβας μ᾽ ἔχει εἰσορόωντα.

— In Robert Ferguson's translation is: I have never laid eyes on anyone like you

— And A.T. Murray: For never yet have mine eyes looked upon a mortal such as thou

Now if I wanted to change roughly to (to use Ferguson's simpler English for ex.): I have never laid eyes on anyone but you. How exactly would I've to do it? I know it wouldn't be as simple as adding: δέ / δ᾽ (And full disclosure: I idiotically attempted. Only because I wanted to bring a fuller phrase, I guess, if it does make sense, I mean that I wanted to give you an rough idea of what I've done in Greek but I suck yet. I couldn't even find the prepositions (equivalent) to: like, or such as). Could anyone assist me on phrasing this?


The line being translated here is actually the preceding line, Odyssey 6.159:

οὐ γάρ πω τοιοῦτον ἴδον βροτὸν ὀφθαλμοῖσιν

Literally, this means "for not yet have I seen such a mortal with (my) eyes". The words "like you" are not in the Greek, though they're implied. This means there isn't a simple change you could make that would turn the meaning from "like you" into "but you".

Still, if you want to say "anyone but you", you need a Greek word meaning "but" in the sense of "except". δέ, ἀλλά and other such words won't work because they mean "but" in the sense of "however". Instead, you could use the preposition πλήν "except", which takes the genitive, so πλὴν σοῦ "except you". Or you could use εἰ μὴ "if not", which is idiomatically often used to mean "except"; in this case it would be εἰ μὴ σέ, with the accusative because "you" acts as the direct object of "seen".

It's hard to fit either of these into a Homeric hexameter line. The following is a bit strained in terms of word order, but at least it scans:

οὐ γάρ πω ἴδον εἰ μὴ σὲ βροτὸν ὀφθαλμοῖσιν

Fitting in πλὴν σοῦ can be done with some more changes:

οὐ γὰρ πλὴν σοῦ ὄπωπά τινα βροτὸν ὀφθαλμοῖσιν

  • Thank you so much. My bad on the wrong line and I should've mentioned my unconcern in fitting a hexameter.Thanks again! – R.Wagner Nov 28 '20 at 10:57

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