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Monday, April 29th, 2013
10:20 pm

(very) novice question here regarding the iliad!

can a principal caesura occur in the first foot of a line? i'm looking particularly at I. l 52 (lines 50 and 52 included for context)

οὐρῆας μὲν πρῶτον ἐπῴχετο καὶ κύνας ἀργούς,
αὐτὰρ ἔπειτ᾽ αὐτοῖσι βέλος ἐχεπευκὲς ἐφιεὶς
βάλλ᾽: αἰεὶ δὲ πυραὶ νεκύων καίοντο θαμειαί.

i want to place it following the first syllable, since βάλλ' is enjambment and completes the previous phrase, but i've seen it scanned with a strong caesura in the fourth foot. is there a rule against locating the principal caesura earlier in the line?


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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
9:07 pm - Looking For A Word

λήρημα (Lerema?)

Can this word be used to mean "nonsense", as that in the writings of Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll); such as the "Walrus and Carpenter" rhyme?

Better word?

Thanks all.

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Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
5:23 pm - From Homer to Herodotos?

Hello all. χαίρετε.

From Homer to Herodotos is an easy step, but which other authors' dialects can be called a simple transition from the Homeric Greek? The centuries following the age of Homer seem to have left us with only fragments.

Any suggestions will be warmly appreciated.

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Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
4:55 pm - Conjugation Charts

Anyone know of a convenient online source for synopses of Ancient Greek Verbs (including irregulars)?

Thanking you in advance.

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Saturday, June 25th, 2011
1:47 pm - Is it appropriate to ask for English => Greek translations?

I am not, although I once wanted to be, any kind of student of Classical Greek. Or modern Greek. In fact, I can only read the Greek letters which are used in physics, and those, poorly. I'll just put that right out there.

A friend is writing a story which apparently requires a 'prayer' (and I put it in quotes because it's not authentic, it's something she made up) to be uttered in Classical Greek, and even though it's wildly inauthentic, she'd still prefer that the Greek be as good as possible.

Would anyone or ones here be willing to help out with something like that, possibly including arguing over what would be more proper phrasing and so forth? Google Translate doesn't really cut it for this kind of thing.

If that's completely outside the domain of this community, I understand, and will move along.

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Monday, March 21st, 2011
1:24 pm - Porphyropoles/porphyropolis

I have recently been studying the occurrence (or lack thereof) of "gender-neutral" occupations as held in Scripture (both the NT and OT). I happened upon Acts 16:14 wherein Lydia is called a "seller of purple" (porphyropolis). This is evidently the feminine form of the term "porphyropoles". Since there are both masculine and feminine forms of the term in Greek, I am wondering if this occupation was performed by both males and females. If so, there is no indication given that the church disapproved of females being "sellers of purple" and so, this scripture, by implication, may lend (scriptural) support to (or at least not disapproval of) certain gender-neutral occupations.

My questions are: Is there any other evidence (historically?/scripturally?) for other (apparently) gender-neutral occupations among the Jews in the OT and/or among the Christians in the NT? Also, could the masculine form of "porphyropoles" be used also to refer to (only?) women who engaged in such an occupation?

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Sunday, February 20th, 2011
2:24 pm - Translation Questions

 Hi, everyone-

Our class is learning present active participles, and I had some questions about some of the sentences in the exercises in our book.  (It's the workbook for the first Athenaze book, pgs. 49-50.)  According to the book, my answers are apparently right, but I can't quite make sense of the sentences they produce.

ἡ γυνὴ τὴν θυγατέρα φιλοῦςα τρέχει.  "The loving woman runs her daughter."  I'm assuming that τρέχει is intransitive, as in English, so why is "daughter" in the accusative?  Is there an implied πρός or something?

τῷ πολιτῇ τῷ τὸν βασιλέα τιμῶντι σῖτον παρέχουσιν.  "They provide food to the citizen honoring the king."  Because both "food" and "king" are in the accusative (and with only "citizen" in the dative), I'm not entirely sure this is the sentence's actual meaning.

ἔχω τὸν ἵππον τὸν τοῦ ξενοῦ τοῦ καθεύδοντος.  "I have the horse of the sleeping foreigner."  But what is the extra τὸν doing there after ἵππον with nothing else afterwards in the sentence in the accusative?

τῷ θεῷ τῷ τὴν εὐχὴν ἀκούοντι τιμὴν παρέχουσιν.  "They provide honor to the god listening to the prayer."  Assuming that my translation of my second sentence is correct, this follows the exact same pattern, but I'd like to be sure.

οὐχ ὁρῶσι τὸν ἄνδρα τὸν θεὸν τιμῶντα.  "He/she/it does not see the man honoring the god."  Alternatively, I suppose it could be "He/she/it does not see the god honoring the man."  I assume the first translation is correct rather than the first, or is the Greek simply ambiguous here?

Thanks for any explanations!

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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
8:07 am - Question about Accent Shifting

Hi, everyone-

I'm a novice student of Greek getting back into the language and have what should be a fairly simple question about accent shift in contract verbs.  Basically, my question has to do with how the accent works on the single imperative form of philew - I love.  (Sorry for the lack of Greek letters!)  I know that verbs' accents are recessive and I've been told that in contact verbs the accent cannot recede beyond the syllable where the contraction takes place.

However, all my resources show that the singular imperative of phileo - philei - has the accent recede to the first syllable, even though all the other active voice forms retain a circumflex on the last syllable.  Could anyone please explain why the accent shifts to the penult in only this case?

Thank you!

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Sunday, October 31st, 2010
12:14 pm - 3rd person plural perfect M/P

Hello, I'm practicing paradigms for the perfect tense, and I'm running into some difficulty. I have been told that 3rd plural in the mediopassive is based on the participle. For ἄγω, I would expect it to be ἤγμενοι. I am checking my paradigms on the site below, which instead says that it should be ἤνται. Am I missing something here? Is the site wrong?


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Monday, October 25th, 2010
12:04 am - An Absolute Beginner's Question


I read some of the older posts where folks ask about Text Books. I went to eBay to see what was available and wonder if any has any experience or knowledge of these, (other than Athenaze, in both Volumes 1 & 2)?

Here are the five Courses available: Cut For Excessive LengthCollapse )

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Sunday, August 15th, 2010
11:14 am - Starting out in Ancient Greek


I've been lurking here for some time as learning Ancient Greek has long been on my 'to do' list, I'm finally getting around to making some time to dedicate to it. I doubt I will find time to attend classes any time soon but perhaps in future.

So really before plunging in and buying any old book from the internet, I wondered if anybody here might be willing to share some recommendations with me?

I skimmed this community and seen Athenaze mentioned and from my own searches found 'Learn Ancient Greek' by Peter Jones and 'Greek to GCSE' by John Taylor, are these books easy to use or to be avoided?!

NB: Any books available to buy in the UK are preferred or from UK websites, as in the past when I have bought from the USA or even France the shipping often costs more than the book itself!

Thank you

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Sunday, August 1st, 2010
3:26 pm - Caroline Alexander on "The War That Killed Achilles"

Here's a nice short talk by Caroline Alexander on her book "The War That Killed Achilles":


(I can't see how to embed it -- maybe someone else will be able to.)

It's a good talk about the Iliad, but the opening section about the dictator of Malawi is worth the price of admission by itself.

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Thursday, July 8th, 2010
8:28 am


Ancient Greek town from where ships were launched for Troy unearthed
2010-06-30 15:30:00

Archeologists have found an ancient underground town in Kyparissia in GreeceCollapse )

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
10:01 pm - Where do I go from here?

I am almost finished working through Mastronarde's Introduction to Attic Greek and now I'm wondering, where do I go from here? Is there an intermediate book any of you could recommend, or a book with selections and notes and translations/answers that I can compare to my own? Thanks!

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Sunday, March 14th, 2010
11:23 am - Translation Help

Hi Everyone!
I've tried translating a passage from Hillard and Botting Elementary Greek Translation, and I was wondering if somebody wouldn't mind having a quick once over? I'm teaching myself, so I need to get things checked every now and again. There's also a couple of sentences I have no idea how to translate well, if somebody also wouldn't mind helping me with those. Thanks very much :)

Short Prose TranslationCollapse )
Sentence TranslationCollapse )

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Saturday, February 27th, 2010
11:39 pm - Does anyone know what this is?

Hello everyone. I'm looking for the name of an entry-level Greek text that a retired teacher at our school mentioned once, but never dug up (as we have no actual Greek class and I'm the only one studying it.) He described it only by the plot: a boy (I've forgotten his name, damn me) wakes up in the middle of the night to be told that he is dead, and the text chronicles his descent into the underworld... does anyone recognize this plot? I know it's a long shot, but I'd like something to read beside Athenaze if possible :P Thanks!

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Saturday, February 20th, 2010
11:17 am

A blog about Greek Mythology, with some interesting commentary on ancient myths:


Part of the larger resource sitePaleothea.com

x-posting to a few places

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Friday, January 1st, 2010
11:28 pm - Oresteia online

Although it isn't in Greek, readers here might like the excellent production of all three plays of the Oresteia that are now available on YouTube. Here's Part 1 and you can follow the links from there:

The performances are all in the Classical style, with masks and a spare set, and the translation is a wonderfully earthy metrical English rendering with an Anglo-Saxon feel.

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Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
6:01 pm - odyssey in greek

I am teaching the Odyssey in my 7th grade history enrichment class. We are discussing how stories were put into poems to help remember them and transmit culture. Does anyone have the first 6 lines or a line or two of those lines in the original ancient text? I think I have it shoved in my college books somewhere but not on me now. It would be most helpful.
Thank you!

As a side note, it still fascinates me that several translations have stressed and unstressed syllables, maintaining this unique structure. As if translating the text(s) was not difficult enough....

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Sunday, October 25th, 2009
2:16 pm - Imperatives Question

 My Greek class is working its way through the first few chapters of Athenaze and I have a question about accents and verbs.  Basically, I’m trying to figure out how they work with imperatives.

So far, my understanding is that the singular and plural imperatives for –w verbs end in –e and –ete, respectively, and -ew verbs with –ei and –ei~te.  At the same time, I realize that the accents on verbs are supposed to be recessive, so to some extent I can see why they are changing places in the examples below.

However, I have questions about what’s going on with the accents in the following situations:

1)     1) Sullamba&nw changes to sulla&mbane in the singular imperative.  What is the reason for the accent’s shift to another syllable?

2)      2) Kaqeu&dei changes to ka&qeude in the singular imperative.  Is there a reason the original acute doesn’t change to a circumflex, given that the final syllable in the imperative is now short?  This is what appears to happen in speu&dei’s change to speu=de in the singular imperative.

There are other examples of imperatives in the chapters which I can memorize, but am unable to change from singular to plural or vice-versa because the changes in accents remain unclear to me (e.g. plh/qu<ne, e3lkete, a0rou=te).  Is anyone able to explain what’s happening with the accents in these imperatives? I’ve looked through a few different resources, but without much luck.  (For those of you who just happen to have your copies of Athenaze within arm’s reach, the forms in question can be found in chapter 2(b).)

Thanks for any help!

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