§3 Clarification of the transformation [45-46]

but of a pointing out that opens our eyes. What is decisive here is not the sheer number of the places, in the quotation of which generally one place is left in darkness as much as the others, in the expectation that the one unclear place would clarify the others and then that the darkness of all the places taken together would result in clarity. What is decisive is the transparency of the essential in one single place. To be sure, it might be necessary to refer to several of these places, if it is necessary to make the same thing visible under different aspects. For now, it only matters to acknowledge that ψεῦδος belongs in the essential domain of appearing, and letting-appear, and of unconcealedness.

The quotation from Homer is taken from the second book of the Iliad (B 348ff.). Here the poet has Nestor say that for the Greeks there is no hope of returning home from the battlefield of Troy:

πρὶν καὶ Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο
γνώμεναι εἴ τε ψεῦδος ὑπόσχεσις εἴ τε καὶ οὐκί.

Voss translates:

(as) "previously, from the lightning-thrower we knew whether he was out to deceive us or not "

The reference is to Zeus, and the event called to mind took place the day the Greeks in Argos boarded their ships to go to Troy.

ἀστράπτων ἐπιδέξι᾽ ἐναίσιμα σήματα φαίνων.

Voss translates:

"On the night his lightning flashed, a sign portending good fortune."

Literally translated. the verse says, "Zeus, slinging his lightning bolts to the right and letting appear propitious signs." In the first passage quoted these signs are called ὑπόσχεσις. The best translation would be our word "reservation," but this is fixed too much in a certain direction of meaning because of the Latin word reservatio. Ὑπόσχεσις means a holding out and holding forth, a showing which holds forth and at the same time holds something back, and hence does not show. It belongs to the essence of the σῆμα, the sign, that it itself shines (shows itself) and in this appearing also indicates something else: the sign, in appearing itself, lets something else appear. The lightning bolts going to the right are a portent. Since they are on the right, they let something propitious appear, though to be sure in such a way that they, as signs, still hold back and veil the outlook of the upcoming course of the campaign