A Greek Journal

This forum is for practicing composition based on ancient texts
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This forum is for discussing how to do Greek composition and practicing writing in Greek.

If you post in this forum, you are inviting people to critique what you have written and suggest ways to improve it.

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Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

A Greek Journal

Post by Wes Wood » March 20th, 2017, 11:58 pm

I intend to use this thread as a means for writing simple Greek compositions on a regular basis. At first my compositions will have no obvious focus and will likely involve a brief event in my day that I think I can put into good Greek. After I get into the habit of composing regularly, I will begin to use this thread in conjunction with Hansen and Quinn's An Intensive Greek Course and Eleanor Dickey's An Introduction to the Composition and Analysis of Greek Prose to structure my work. I will do my best to look up and provide citations for elements that I was/am unsure of and ask that I be forgiven (but still corrected, please) for not knowing everything that I should have investigated as well as for any misunderstandings of the texts I have cited as evidence. I am aiming to produce good, classical Greek. If you know of a "more classical" way of putting something I am open to suggestions. If anyone else with similar motives feels inclined to jump in, feel free.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by Wes Wood » March 21st, 2017, 12:10 am

τήμερον δὲ ὁ ἀδελφός καὶ ἐγὼ ἤλθομεν εἰς τὸν τῶν γονέων ἡμῶν ἀγρὸν καὶ καταστάντες `ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν κέδρου´a `διὰ θάλπος´b ῥιπτοῦμεν μόλυβονc.

a) Ezekiel 17:23
23 καὶ κρεμάσω αὐτὸν ἐν ὄρει μετεώρῳ τῷ ᾿Ισραὴλ καὶ καταφυτεύσω, καὶ ἐξοίσει βλαστὸν καὶ ποιήσει καρπὸν καὶ ἔσται εἰς κέδρον μεγάλην, καὶ ἀναπαύσεται ὑποκάτω αὐτοῦ πᾶν θηρίον, καὶ πᾶν πετεινὸν ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ ἀναπαύσεται, τὰ κλήματα αὐτοῦ ἀποκατασταθήσεται.

b) Xen. Cyrop. 8.6
καὶ ἐκ τούτου τὴν ἀρχὴν ὥριζεν αὐτῷ πρὸς ἕω μὲν ἡ Ἐρυθρὰ θάλαττα, πρὸς ἄρκτον δὲ ὁ Εὔξεινος πόντος, πρὸς ἑσπέραν δὲ Κύπρος καὶ Αἴγυπτος, πρὸς μεσημβρίαν δὲ Αἰθιοπία. τούτων δὲ τὰ πέρατα τὰ μὲν διὰ θάλπος, τὰ δὲ διὰ ψῦχος, τὰ δὲ διὰ ὕδωρ, τὰ δὲ δι᾽ ἀνυδρίαν δυσοίκητα.

c) “throwing lead” = “shooting guns”
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by Wes Wood » March 23rd, 2017, 11:48 am

The time references will be off now, but this was intended for Tuesday.
τήμερον δὲ ἔβην εἰς τὸν ἰατρόν ὀδόντωνa καὶ εἰς αὔριονb λυπήσομαι διὰ τὸ στόμαc.
a) Hdt. 2.84
ἡ δὲ ἰητρικὴ κατὰ τάδε σφι δέδασται: μιῆς νούσου ἕκαστος ἰητρός ἐστι καὶ οὐ πλεόνων. πάντα δ᾽ ἰητρῶν ἐστι πλέα: οἳ μὲν γὰρ ὀφθαλμῶν ἰητροὶ κατεστᾶσι, οἳ δὲ κεφαλῆς, οἳ δὲ ὀδόντων, οἳ δὲ τῶν κατὰ νηδύν, οἳ δὲ τῶν ἀφανέων νούσων.

b) Plat. Laws 9.858a
γελοίαν, ὦ ξένε, προτιθέμεθα τὴν αἵρεσιν, καὶ ἀτεχνῶς ὥσπερ κατεχομένοις νομοθέταις ὅμοιοι γιγνοίμεθ᾽ ἂν ὑπὸ μεγάλης τινὸς ἀνάγκης ἤδη νομοθετεῖν, ὡς οὐκέτ᾽ ἐξὸν εἰς αὔριον: ἡμῖν δ᾽—εἰπεῖν σὺν θεῷ—ἔξεστι, καθάπερ ἢ λιθολόγοις ἢ καί τινος ἑτέρας ἀρχομένοις συστάσεως, παραφορήσασθαι χύδην ἐξ ὧν ἐκλεξόμεθα τὰ πρόσφορα τῇ μελλούσῃ γενήσεσθαι συστάσει, καὶ δὴ καὶ κατὰ σχολὴν ἐκλέξασθαι.

c) Plat. Phileb. [end of 52a]-52b
οὔ τι φύσει γε, ἀλλ᾽ ἔν τισι λογισμοῖς τοῦ παθήματος, ὅταν τις στερηθεὶς λυπηθῇ διὰ τὴν χρείαν.

Note: From a casual perusal of Greek sources, I didn't notice any phrase similar to, "My _____ will hurt." Is there a better/alternate way to say this than what I have written?
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Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by Wes Wood » March 23rd, 2017, 12:08 pm

ἐχθὲς δὲ ἔγραψα ἀκριβῶς λέγων, “λυπήσομαι διὰ τὸ στόμα” οὐκ γοῦν ἠθέλησα ἄριστον φαγεῖν. ἀλλὰ ὕστερον ἠλίθιος ἤμηνa καὶ ἔφαγον τὰ πλευρὰ τὰ χοίρεια.

a1) Aristoph. Frogs 907 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... card%3D907
Διόνυσος
ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἔχαιρον τῇ σιωπῇ, καί με τοῦτ᾽ ἔτερπεν
οὐχ ἧττον ἢ νῦν οἱ λαλοῦντες.

Εὐριπίδης
ἠλίθιος γὰρ ἦσθα,
σάφ᾽ ἴσθι.

Διόνυσος
κἀμαυτῷ δοκῶ. τί δὲ ταῦτ᾽ ἔδρασ᾽ ὁ δεῖνα;
α2) Plat. Epin. 976d http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 9li%2Fqios
ἐπιχειροῦμεν, ἑτέραν πάρεξ τῶν εἰρημένων εὑρεῖν, ἣ σοφία μὲν λέγοιτ᾽ ἂν ὄντως τε καὶ εἰκότως, ὁ δὲ λαβὼν οὔτε βάναυσος οὔτ᾽ ἠλίθιος ἔσται, σοφὸς δὲ καὶ ἀγαθὸς δι᾽ αὐτὴν πολίτης τε καὶ ἄρχων καὶ ἀρχόμενος ἐνδίκως ἔσται πόλεως ἅμα καὶ ἐμμελής.
I am trying some different formatting options. Hopefully, I will find one that I can stick with that doesn't look so ugly. I don't think this one is too bad. It also occurred to me that adding links would be more helpful than snippets of text alone. I have done both to make potential feedback easier for any who may decide to participate.
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Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 24th, 2017, 12:31 am

Nice. I believe that language is learned by people having no idea what they are saying, who expect to be understood.
Wes Wood wrote:?ιπτο?μεν μ?λυβονc.

c) “throwing lead” = “shooting guns”
In view of that belief, let me say that I read you to mean that you and your brother were holding lumps of lead that you hurled some short distance from yourselves. :lol:

Seriuosly though, the ??πτω family lacks the idea of targeting and distance that many of the -βολ?ω family seem to have. (I'm sorry, but my friend's computer is a bit old and diesn't seem to support unicode, but you should be able to follow never-the-less).


The reason for that has to do with the structure of the Greek vocabulary. The bolew doesn't necessarily have the ideas of targeting and distance, but we readily imply that from the way it describes an action. In this case there are perspective synonyms, like there were in that animation that I posted a few weeks ago for walk, if you saw it. Having two distinct words is one way that Greek expresses this structure in its lexicon. Another way what we would call abstraction and concreteness (but for Greek that is not confined to nouns). klhros "lot" has two meanings, the concrete idea of divination device, and then the abstract idea of the office obtained by lot. There is a difference in meaning in the same word based on the degree of abstraction and concreteness. Also, a word like apostellw, as you know, either refers to the commisioning or to the commisioning and sending - who they wer made, and what they were to do. As you have probably noticed, the order of ideas in Greek is something like Plato's ideas and forms theory. If you look at the klhros examples for example, when it means the physical divination devices, it is at the end of the paragraph or sentence, and when it means the abstract idea is meant, then it occurs at the beginning of the sentence or thought. In general, the word order goes from most abstract to the most specific.

If you use a very specific word (small focus word) like riptw, it usually has some sort of build up (contextualisation) before it is introduced. In English, we tend to add lots of elements to the sentence to give its meaning some context.

If you look at the other words consisting of -bolew or the nominal -bolos, many of them refer to the use of projectile weapons, such as ekhbolos. Your sentence sounds like you and your brother were hurling a lump of lead. While Modern Greek doesn't clearly retain the wide-narrow context / concrete-abstract axis (axis as in co-ordinates) in the structure of its lexicon, it could be worth noting that in Modern Greek, the word for shoot is pyrobolw "project (throw) fire".

In terms of word order, as you no doubt realise, there are three levels of ordering. There is the elemental / component level, with conventional placements of pronouns and enclitics, there is the vagueness to specificity ordering of sentences / phrases according to the authours perception and there is the transition from abstract to concrete in paragraphs or sentences. As an authour you have freedom of word order to move towards the most specific thing you want to say within first the abstract statements and then the concrete ones, while observing the micro rules.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by Stephen Hughes » March 24th, 2017, 12:48 am

Wes Wood wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 11:48 am
Note: From a casual perusal of Greek sources, I didn't notice any phrase similar to, "My _____ will hurt." Is there a better/alternate way to say this than what I have written?
ἀλγήσω + acc. of respect.

(Cf. ὀδονταλγέω and γομφιάζω.)
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by Wes Wood » March 24th, 2017, 1:10 am

In view of that belief, let me say that I read you to mean that you and your brother were holding lumps of lead that you hurled some short distance from yourselves. :lol:
We were using a pellet rifle, so you aren't as far off as you likely supposed. :lol: I'll follow up with your other thoughts some time tomorrow. Thanks for your responses.
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RandallButh
Posts: 961
Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by RandallButh » March 24th, 2017, 10:20 am

ἔφαγον τὰ πλευρὰ τὰ χοίρεια.

ἀλλόφυλος! ;)
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Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by Wes Wood » March 26th, 2017, 9:04 am

οὐκ μὲν ἔθηκα ἀλλὰ δὲ οὐκ ἐδυνάμην τρεῖς ἡμέρας γράψαι. ἀλλὰ ἐάν θεὸς θέλῃ, τήμερον ἀποκρινποῦμαι ἕνα ἔκαστον.
RandallButh wrote:
March 24th, 2017, 10:20 am
ἔφαγον τὰ πλευρὰ τὰ χοίρεια.

ἀλλόφυλος! ;)
ἐάν λέγῃς οὐ Ἰουδαϊκῶς ζῶ, ἀκριβῶς λέγεις. καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐν τῷ χοίρειον ἔσθειν καθάπερ χοῖρος ἐσθίω*.

*For fun, even if the idiom only works in English.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... apter%3D11
Ποσειδώνιος δὲ καὶ τοιοῦτόν τι διέξεισι περὶ αὐτοῦ. τῶν γὰρ συμπλεόντων αὐτῷ ἐσκυθρωπακότων ὑπὸ χειμῶνος, αὐτὸς γαληνὸς ὢν ἀνέρρωσε τὴν ψυχήν, δείξας ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ χοιρίδιον ἐσθίον καὶ εἰπὼν ὡς χρὴ τὸν σοφὸν ἐν τοιαύτῃ καθεστάναι ἀταραξίᾳ.

*http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 3Acard%3D1
νὴ τὸν Δί᾽ ἐς κόρακάς γε καὶ σαυτόν γε πρός.
ὑμῶν δέ γ᾽ εἴ τις οἶδ᾽ ἐμοὶ κατειπάτω,
πόθεν ἂν πριαίμην ῥῖνα μὴ τετρημένην.
οὐδὲν γὰρ ἔργον ἦν ἄρ᾽ ἀθλιώτερον
ἢ κανθάρῳ μάττοντα παρέχειν ἐσθίειν.
ὗς μὲν γάρ, ὥσπερ ἂν χέσῃ τις, ἢ κύων
φαύλως ἐρείδει: τοῦτο δ᾽ ὑπὸ φρονήματος
βρενθύεταί τε καὶ φαγεῖν οὐκ ἀξιοῖ,
ἢν μὴ παραθῶ τρίψας δι᾽ ἡμέρας ὅλης
ὥσπερ γυναικὶ γογγύλην μεμαγμένην.
ἀλλ᾽ εἰ πέπαυται τῆς ἐδωδῆς σκέψομαι
τῃδὶ παροίξας τῆς θύρας, ἵνα μή μ᾽ ἴδῃ.
ἔρειδε, μὴ παύσαιο μηδέποτ᾽ ἐσθίων
τέως ἕως σαυτὸν λάθοις διαρραγείς.
οἷον δὲ κύψας ὁ κατάρατος ἐσθίει,
ὥσπερ παλαιστής, παραβαλὼν τοὺς γομφίους,
καὶ ταῦτα τὴν κεφαλήν τε καὶ τὼ χεῖρέ πως
ὡδὶ περιάγων, ὥσπερ οἱ τὰ σχοινία
τὰ παχέα συμβάλλοντες ἐς τὰς ὁλκάδας.
μιαρὸν τὸ χρῆμα καὶ κάκοσμον καὶ βορόν:
χὤτου ποτ᾽ ἐστὶ δαιμόνων ἡ προσβολὴ
οὐκ οἶδ᾽. Ἀφροδίτης μὲν γὰρ οὔ μοι φαίνεται,
οὐ μὴν Χαρίτων γε.
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Wes Wood
Posts: 688
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: A Greek Journal

Post by Wes Wood » March 26th, 2017, 10:16 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:In view of that belief, let me say that I read you to mean that you and your brother were holding lumps of lead that you hurled some short distance from yourselves. :lol:

Seriuosly though, the ??πτω family lacks the idea of targeting and distance that many of the -βολ?ω family seem to have. (I'm sorry, but my friend's computer is a bit old and diesn't seem to support unicode, but you should be able to follow never-the-less).
Stephen, I apologize for taking so long to reply. My brother, the one I was 'throwing lead' with, was visiting and spending time with him was a priority. However, I would've needed some time to reflect on your thoughtful post anyway, so perhaps it worked out. You spent far more time on the idiom than I did. I was content with a moment of levity.

After looking at several different examples, I agree with your suggestion that the βάλλειν verbs would have been a better choice for what I was trying to convey. More specifically, I think that its various compounded forms are focused to a larger degree on the result of the action. How well do you think προσβάλλειν would do in that context? I believe that with or without circumlocutions it could be forced into service.
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

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