Unit 4_ Classical reading by hcj


									Ancient Greek for Everyone:
A New Digital Resource for
     Beginning Greek
           as taught at
   Louisiana State University
            Fall 2012
       Wilfred E. Major
   Unit 4: Classical readings
   Ancient Greek for Everyone
• This class (Monday, October 8, 2012)
  – Unit 4 Classical reading.
  – Be able to:
     • read the sentences aloud
     • parse each verb and noun (with article where it appears)
     • translate the sentences into English.
     Ancient Greek for Everyone
• These readings introduce you briefly to three of the most
  influential prose writers from Classical Athens:
  Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle.
     Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Xenophon (c. 430-354 BC) is one of the most remarkable
  figures from Classical Athens, both for his life and his writing.
• He was a hero for his military adventures, an historian, an
  associate of the philosopher Socrates, a friend of the Spartans,
  and an inventive author.
• His most popular work is the Ἀνάβασις (Anabasis, variously
  translated as The March Up Country, The Persian Expedition,
  etc). In 399 BC, a group of Greek mercenaries (known as the
  Ten Thousand) were trapped deep in the enemy territory of the
  Persian Empire. Under Xenophon’s leadership, they managed
  to escape and find their way back to Greece. The Anabasis is
  Xenophon’s own account of their adventures.
        Ancient Greek for Everyone
   • Having just made an uneasy alliance with Seuthes II, King of
     Thrace, the Greeks prepare for the night:

      ὥρα νυκτοφύλακας καθιστάναι καὶ σύνθημα
                         Xenophon Anabasis 7.3.34

                                          σύνθημα –ατος τό password
νυκτοφύλαξ -ακος ὁ night watchman         ὥρα (ἐστίν) (fem. nom. sg.) hour
     Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Xenophon’s Ἑλληνικά (which means little more than “Greek
  things”) chronicles Greek history from 411 to 362 BC, a
  turbulent period of struggles among the city-states of Athens,
  Sparta, Thebes and others.
• A native Athenian, Xenophon spent much of his life in exile
  from the city and wrote prolifically in his retirement. His
  Hellenica is the most important historical source for these fifty
  years, including Athens’ darkest hour, when it was conquered
  by the Spartans and ruled by a group known as Thirty Tyrants,
  whose rule was so harsh that even the Spartans shortly
  withdrew their support and allowed Athens to regain its
  Ancient Greek for Everyone

Robert B. Strassler, ed. The Landmark Xenophon’s
Hellenika. John Marincola, trans. New York:
Pantheon, 2009.
         Ancient Greek for Everyone
   • Critias, leader of the Thirty Tyrants, renders verdict, to his
     fellow tyrants, on a controversial figure named Theramenes:

       Παραδίδομεν ὑμῖν, ἔφη, Θηραμένην...
                                  Xenophon Hellenica 7.3.2

ἔφη “he said”
Θηραμένην (masc. acc. sg.) Theramenes                   ὑμῖν (dat. pl.) y’all
          Ancient Greek for Everyone
    • Euphron, tyrant of the city of Sicyon, who suddenly wanted
      the Spartans on his side:

       παραδίδωσι τὸν λιμένα τοῖς Λακεδαιμονίοις.
                                   Xenophon Hellenica 7.3.2

Λακεδαιμονίοις (masc. dat. pl.) Spartan            λιμήν –ένος ὁ harbor
     Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Xenophon’s longest and arguably most sophisticated work is
  the Education of Cyrus (Κύρου Παιδεία).
• The Cyropaedia tells the life of Cyrus the Great (died 530 BC),
  the king who built the mighty Persian empire in the sixth
  century BC. Although Xenophon is also the first author we
  know of to write a biography, this is more a work of historical
  fiction suffused with philosophy. The idea of historical prose
  fiction itself is remarkable, as the novel would not become a
  literary genre until more than a century later.
          Ancient Greek for Everyone
    • The young Cyrus visits his grandfather Astyages, the king of
      Media, who asks Cyrus to stay with him and makes lavish
      offers to him:

        ἔπειτα τά τε νῦν ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ θηρία δίδωμί σοι
                                    Cyropaedia 1.3.14

ἐν in                                       νῦν now
ἔπειτα then, next                           παραδείσῳ (masc. dat. sg.) garden
θηρία (neut. nom./acc. pl.) animal, beast   σοι (dat. sg.) you
Persia                                           Media

         The Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great
         Ancient Greek for Everyone
    • Old and near death, Cyrus tells his son Tanaoxares his share of
      the empire:

       σοὶ δ’, ὦ Ταναοξάρη, σατράπην εἶναι δίδωμι Μήδων
       τε καὶ Ἀρμενίων καὶ τρίτων Καδουσίων.
                                         Cyropaedia 8.7.11

Ἀρμενίων (masc. gen. pl.) Armenian
Καδουσίων (masc. gen. pl.) Cadusian     σοι (dat. sg.) you
Μήδων (masc. gen. pl.) Mede             Ταναοξάρη Tanaoxares
σατράπην (masc. acc. sg.)               τρίτων (gen. pl.) third
      Persian word for “governor”       ὦ “O!” (used when calling out a name)
Armenia                                       Media

      The Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great
     Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Plato (429-347 BC) is the earliest philosopher whose works
  survive in more than a few fragments, and the American
  philosopher Alfred North Whitehead famously said, “The
  safest general characterization of the European philosophical
  tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
  (Process and Reality, p. 39).
• In his youth, reportedly, Plato wanted to be a playwright, and
  most of his philosophical writings take the form of scripts of
  plays (“dialogues”).
• One of these dialogues (titled Cratylus for one of the
  characters) explores how, or whether, words, especially nouns,
  correspond to that to which they refer.
         Ancient Greek for Everyone
   • Early in the dialogue, Socrates asks one of his colleagues,
     Hermogenes, if he can answer this question:

       ...τίς παραδίδωσιν ἡμῖν τὰ ὀνόματα οἷς χρώμεθα; (10)
       οὐ δῆτα.
                                        Plato Cratylus 388d9

δῆτα (emphasizes preceding word)              τίς (nom. sg.) who?
ἡμῖν (dat. pl.) us                            οἷς χρώμεθα “which we use”
     Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Plato’s Republic is one of his longer and more complex works,
  synthesizing a number of his ideas about ethics, politics, and
• Like most of Plato’s writings, it takes the form of a dramatic
  conversation led by the charismatic and controversial Socrates.
  Socrates and a number of his followers have met up at the
  home of Cephalus, an old man from Syracuse (on the island of
• Early in the conversation, Socrates asks Cephalus (who made
  his money with a shield factory) what he considers the greatest
  benefit of wealth. Cephalus replies that wealth can strengthen
  virtue in a good man.
         Ancient Greek for Everyone
    • In his answer to Socrates, Cephalus quotes the choral
      composer Pindar, who said that for someone who has done
      nothing wrong:

       ἡδεῖα ἐλπὶς ἀεὶ πάρεστι.
                                      Plato Republic 331a2

ἀεί always                                    ἡδεῖα (fem. nom. sg.) sweet
     Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Aristotle (384-322 BC) was a student of Plato’s for twenty
  years. Although Aristotle is best known now as a philosopher,
  he was first a biologist. His method of analyzing the parts,
  movements and function of animal parts is the foundational
  method of his philosophy.
• His writings include the earliest complete biological works to
  survive, although he is already reacting against earlier
  scientists whose work is known only in fragments at best.
• The Περὶ τὰ ζῷα ἱστορίαι is traditionally called the Historia
  Animalium in Latin or the History of Animals in English, but is
  more accurately translated Research about Animals. It is a
  collection of biological information about a wide range of
            Ancient Greek for Everyone
    • Of cicadas, Aristotle says that if someone startles them:

        ἀφιᾶσιν ὑγρὸν οἷον ὕδωρ
                       Aristotle History of Animals 5.30.556b15

οἷον like                         ὑγρόν (neut. nom./acc. sg.) something moist
          Ancient Greek for Everyone
    • Of goats, Aristotle reports that, because the animals are so

        αἰγῶν δ’ ἡγεμόνα οὐ καθιστᾶσιν οἱ νομεῖς
                       Aristotle History of Animals 6.19.574a10

αἴξ, αἰγός ὁ, ἡ goat                           νομεῖς (masc. nom. pl.) herder
          Ancient Greek for Everyone
    • Of oxen, by contrast, Aristotle says:

        καθιστᾶσι τῶν βοῶν ἡγεμόνας ὥσπερ τῶν προβάτων
                       Aristotle History of Animals 6.21.575b1

                                              πρόβατα -ων τά flock (of sheep)
βοῶν ὁ (gen. pl.) bull, ox; ἡ cow             ὥσπερ just as
     Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Among Aristotle’s many influential writings is his Rhetoric,
  the oldest surviving summation of the topic and the starting
  point for what we more often call Speech Communication
• The work includes some brief theorizing about persuasion, but
  most of it catalogues techniques orators use to make their
  speeches convincing.
          Ancient Greek for Everyone
    • One technique is to universalize a result, and he includes this

        διδόναι γῆν καὶ ὕδωρ δουλεύειν ἐστίν.
                                    Rhetoric 2.23.1399b12

    Note: “giving water and earth” is a standard term for making an alliance,
    referring to a ritual used to formalize the agreement.

γῆν (fem. acc. sg.) earth                        δουλεύειν (pres. inf. act.) be a slave
    Ancient Greek for Everyone
• Next
• Unit 4 Biblical reading.
  – Be able to:
     • read the sentences aloud
     • parse each verb and noun (with article where it appears)
     • translate the sentences into English.

To top