Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

This forum is for writing about modern themes or phrases used in the classroom or for instruction that do not presume an ancient setting.
Forum rules
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.

Private subforums can be created for groups who want to practice together without exposing their mistakes to the world, or this can be done in public.
cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by cwconrad » January 28th, 2016, 4:29 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:Here's a first sentence ... I'm not sure if this is should continue more like a Luke narrative or more like "two guys walk into a bar" ...

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ μεσονυκτίῳ, ὁμιλοῦσιν ἑρπετοῖς δύο ἐν τῃ στενοχωριᾲ ...
τί σημαίνει τὸ ὁμιλοῦσιν ἑρπετοῖς; ἇρ’ ἀλλήλοις ὁμιλεὶ τὰ ἑρπετά; ἢ τοῖς ἑρπετοῖς ὁμιλεῖ τις; τοῦτ’ἐστιν· ἀναγινώσκειν δεῖ ὀμιλοῦσιν (dat.) ἢ ὁμιλοῦσιν 3 pl. pr. indic.);
0 x


οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Wes Wood
Posts: 692
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by Wes Wood » January 28th, 2016, 7:30 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:I didn't entirely understand the προλεγει punch line. Explain it to me.
I expect it doesn't make sense because it is wrong on many levels. I didn't finish the thought to my satisfaction. I was going for a sense like "lizards prefer tight places, but [this situation] is a calamity for/to men." I didn't realize I had left out οὑτος.

I couldn't conjure a proper verb for 'prefer', and I think I have seen that definition/gloss for προλέγω in a lexicon. Any suggestions for 'prefer' would be appreciated. Also, I was struggling with proper verb agreement with the neuter plural subject. I was afraid that I had either messed up the first part of the phrase (I should have used a plural verb) or that the second part would be misunderstood if I happened to use both προλέγω and στενοχωρία correctly.
0 x
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Wes Wood
Posts: 692
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by Wes Wood » January 28th, 2016, 11:34 pm

δοκεί μοι ὅτι ἀλέκτωρ οὐκ ἔχει καιρὸν καταπαῦσαι ἐπεὶ ἐὰν περικαλὺψωμαι ἐν σισύραις και καθεύδω εὐθέως φωνήσει. πῶς γὰρ ἂν δυναίμην πλουτίζεσθαι ὑπὸ τὴν μάστιγα τοῦ ἀνελεήμονος ἀλέκτορος; :lol:

περικαλὺψωμαι: first person aorist subjunctive?
I hope that I have properly expressed a sense of repeated gaining of wealth using πλουτίζεσθαι.
ἀνελεήμονος: merciless, relentless?
Any constructive feedback?
0 x
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

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

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 28th, 2016, 11:46 pm

Words supplied wrote:τὸ ἑρπετόν, τὸ μεσονύκτιον, ὁμιλεῖν, ἡ στενοχωρία
Καὶ ἰδοὺ, πάππος καὶ ἔγγονος καθήμενοι ἦσαν ἐπὶ λίμνης, κατέναντι κώμης ἐν ᾗ κατῴκησαν οἱ δύο. Καὶ ὡμίλουν αὐτοὶ πρὸς ἀλλήλους περὶ ἑρπετῶν καὶ πετεινῶν. Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ ἔγγονος πρὸς τὸν πάππον, Διατὶ τὰ ἑρπετὰ καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ ἀμφότερα τίκτει ᾠά, ἀλλὰ μόνον πέταται τὰ πετεινὰ καὶ οὐ τὰ ἑρπετὰ; Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ πάππος, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν, υἱέ μου, τὰ πετεινὰ ἔχουσιν δύο πτέρυγας ἵνα πέτηται πρὸς τοὺς κλάδους ἢ τὰς πέτρας. ἐπινεύσας δὲ καὶ πάλιν ἠρώτησεν ἐκεῖνος πρὸς αὐτὸν λέγων, Διατὶ πετεῖται, ὦ πάππε, τὰ πετεινὰ πρὸς τοὺς κλάδους ἢ τὰς πέτρας; Ἐπάρας δὲ αὐτοῦ τὸν βραχίονα καὶ ἐνδεικνύων τῷ δακτύλῳ ἔλεγε πάλιν ὁ γέρων, τιθέασιν αὐτὰ ἐν πέτρᾳ ἢ ἐν δένδροις τὴν νοσσιάν αὐτῶν. Μετὰ ταῦτα δὲ συζητοῦντες πρὸς ἑαυτούς ὁ πρεσβύτερος καὶ ὁ νεανίσκος περὶ πετεινῶν τε καὶ ἑρπετῶν διέτριψαν αὐτοῦ. Κατὰ μὲν τὸ μεσονύκτιον καταβαρυνομένων τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν τοῦ παιδίου ἐκάθευδεν αὐτός. ὁ δὲ οὐκ εἶδων διετέλεσεν λέγων ἕως τὸ πρωί. εὑρὼν δὲ αὐτὸν καθεύδοντα ἤγειρεν καὶ εἰς τὸ πλοιάριον ἐπέβησαν αὐτοὶ. μικρὸν δὲ καὶ ἄσχημον τὸ πλοῖον αὐτῶν. ἀργοὶ καὶ ἐν στενοχωρίᾳ οἱ δύο ἠλικιωμένος γὰρ ὁ πάππος καὶ ἔτι νέος ὁ ἔγγονος διὸ οὐκ ἔχουσιν εἰς τὸ ἀγοράσαι καινὸν καὶ εὔμορφον.
Last edited by Stephen Hughes on January 29th, 2016, 12:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
Posts: 692
Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by Wes Wood » January 29th, 2016, 12:03 am

These compositions are a welcome sight, but they have raised a few questions for me. 1) Does anyone want to offer or receive feedback about what has been written? 2) If they do, should that continue in the original thread? 3) Would it be best to start a new thread for each set of additional words? I wish I had asked these questions before I made my last post, but when I went to take it down, Stephen had already posted. I didn't mean to interfere with the original thread. For me, this thread has been a fun and relatively painless way of learning or reinforcing my vocabulary. Thank you for the impetus, Stephen!
0 x
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

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

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 29th, 2016, 12:49 am

Wes Wood wrote:For me, this thread has been a fun and relatively painless way of learning or reinforcing my vocabulary. Thank you for the impetus, Stephen!
This was planned as a group learning activity for vocabulary at about the threshold that I expect upper intermediate learners would be at. There are a little over 300 words to choose from, and even going through Trenchard looking for the next set will be exposure in itself too. The vocabulary learning is dressed up as a composition activity to give opportunity to own the words by using them. Being only τετράκις λεγόμενα, looking through all four examples in the New Testament to find the idiomatic usage is not too limited to be useful, and not too extensive to be attempted. The syntactic structures in which words occur and idiomatic usage are also important to learn together with a word, along with our grasp of the meaning. If I was doing this in a classroom, which of course I'm not, my feedback as a teacher would be limited to, or at least revolve around the target words. I wouldn't discourage any other peer review that came up.

Others have made a self-criticism, so let me do the same.

I didn't have a lot of trouble with the composition as such, once I got some sort of story-line to follow. Other than incidental things that I noticed and picked up, what I have learnt from doing this first set is that I have associated a number of typical activities with the ἑρπετόν and if I did it again, I would have the characters discuss the reptiles, rather than the birds. I have learnt that μεσονύκτιον means "midnight", and I see that it is used both in the genitive and accusative cases denoting a point or period of time with just the case, and it is also used with κατά in κατὰ τὸ μεσονύκτιον "at around midnight". I have learnt that ὁμιλεῖν is used in a πρὸς ἀλλήλους περὶ (+gen. of topic) construction. I have learnt that στενοχωρία is not so easy to understand, and I'm not so confident in using it. I'm not sure if it is more of an emotional word, or a meaning word. I have guessed that poverty would be a form of στενοχωρία, but am not greatly sure of that. It is a word to be pigeon-holed till a good opportunity comes along to learn it better.

I see this as an activity between free writing for fluency and defined writing for accuracy. I expect accuracy for the target words and would tolerate error in the rest of the composition. If we later practice a particular grammatical construction, I would expect that that construction would be perfect (or near enough to) and the rest might be a little shaky.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jonathan Robie
Posts: 3612
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Contact:

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 29th, 2016, 8:14 am

cwconrad wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:Here's a first sentence ... I'm not sure if this is should continue more like a Luke narrative or more like "two guys walk into a bar" ...

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ μεσονυκτίῳ, ὁμιλοῦσιν ἑρπετοῖς δύο ἐν τῃ στενοχωριᾲ ...
τί σημαίνει τὸ ὁμιλοῦσιν ἑρπετοῖς; ἇρ’ ἀλλήλοις ὁμιλεὶ τὰ ἑρπετά; ἢ τοῖς ἑρπετοῖς ὁμιλεῖ τις; τοῦτ’ἐστιν· ἀναγινώσκειν δεῖ ὀμιλοῦσιν (dat.) ἢ ὁμιλοῦσιν 3 pl. pr. indic.);
Thanks ...

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ μεσονυκτίῳ, ὁμιλεῖ ἀλλήλοις δύο ἑρπετά ἐν τῃ στενοχωριᾲ ...
0 x
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by cwconrad » January 29th, 2016, 9:37 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Wes Wood wrote:For me, this thread has been a fun and relatively painless way of learning or reinforcing my vocabulary. Thank you for the impetus, Stephen!
This was planned as a group learning activity for vocabulary at about the threshold that I expect upper intermediate learners would be at. There are a little over 300 words to choose from, and even going through Trenchard looking for the next set will be exposure in itself too. The vocabulary learning is dressed up as a composition activity to give opportunity to own the words by using them. Being only τετράκις λεγόμενα, looking through all four examples in the New Testament to find the idiomatic usage is not too limited to be useful, and not too extensive to be attempted. The syntactic structures in which words occur and idiomatic usage are also important to learn together with a word, along with our grasp of the meaning. If I was doing this in a classroom, which of course I'm not, my feedback as a teacher would be limited to, or at least revolve around the target words. I wouldn't discourage any other peer review that came up.

Others have made a self-criticism, so let me do the same.

I didn't have a lot of trouble with the composition as such, once I got some sort of story-line to follow. Other than incidental things that I noticed and picked up, what I have learnt from doing this first set is that I have associated a number of typical activities with the ἑρπετόν and if I did it again, I would have the characters discuss the reptiles, rather than the birds. I have learnt that μεσονύκτιον means "midnight", and I see that it is used both in the genitive and accusative cases denoting a point or period of time with just the case, and it is also used with κατά in κατὰ τὸ μεσονύκτιον "at around midnight". I have learnt that ὁμιλεῖν is used in a πρὸς ἀλλήλους περὶ (+gen. of topic) construction. I have learnt that στενοχωρία is not so easy to understand, and I'm not so confident in using it. I'm not sure if it is more of an emotional word, or a meaning word. I have guessed that poverty would be a form of στενοχωρία, but am not greatly sure of that. It is a word to be pigeon-holed till a good opportunity comes along to learn it better.

I see this as an activity between free writing for fluency and defined writing for accuracy. I expect accuracy for the target words and would tolerate error in the rest of the composition. If we later practice a particular grammatical construction, I would expect that that construction would be perfect (or near enough to) and the rest might be a little shaky.
This clarification of the intent of the exercise is very helpful; it might have been even more helpful if it had accompanied the initial challenge, but that's water under the bridge. It's obvious that those who have participated in it have had a lot of fun with it and that it has indeed served the end that Stephen had in mind in proposing it. Some efforts have been more elaborate, e.g. experiments in fabulation à la Aesop. Probably the shorter compositions are the ones that best fulfill the intent of the exercise as clarified by Stephen. Longer compositions run the risk of of syntactic infelicities and have indeed exemplified a number of them. Correcting them would be time-consuming and of questionable value. Better then, I think, going forward, would be to compose sentences or paragraphs that aim at brevity but accurate usage of the words in question. Sort of like elementary spelling drills, where kids are told to spell the word, pronounce it, and then offer a sentence in which the word is correctly used.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by Stephen Hughes » January 29th, 2016, 10:19 am

cwconrad wrote:This clarification of the intent of the exercise is very helpful; it might have been even more helpful if it had accompanied the initial challenge, but that's water under the bridge.
So long as fun is being had, there is probably progress being made. Individual ownership and control of any learning process is great for adult learners.
cwconrad wrote:Better then, I think, going forward, would be to compose sentences or paragraphs that aim at brevity but accurate usage of the words in question. Sort of like elementary spelling drills, where kids are told to spell the word, pronounce it, and then offer a sentence in which the word is correctly used.
The next step after forming correct individual sentences would be to work them into something bigger with correct discourse marking.

Brevity has never been the cornerstone of my anything, but just for this once, let me try:
The words wrote:μάστιξ "affliction (=illness)" & "beating with a whip"), ἀλέκτωρ (ἐφώνησεν) , περικαλύπτω ("blindfold περικαλύπτειν τὸ πρόσωπον τινός", "coat" something), πλουτίζειν (opp. πτωχίζειν),
πρὶν τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ ἀλέκτορος ἐγείρων ὁ ἰατρὸς ἐπεσκέψατο τοὺς κακὼς ἔχοντας. καὶ εἶδον πλοῦτον τινα τυφλὸν περικαλύμμενον αὐτοῦ τὸ πρόσωπον. ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἀποκαλύψας τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἰᾶτο αὐτον, αὐτὸς δὲ ἐπλούτισαν αὐτόν σφόδρα.
0 x
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Thomas Dolhanty
Posts: 401
Joined: May 20th, 2014, 10:13 am
Location: west coast of Canada

Re: Greek Composition 4x4 Challenge

Post by Thomas Dolhanty » January 29th, 2016, 10:54 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:So long as fun is being had, there is probably progress being made. Individual ownership and control of any learning process is great for adult learners.
Yes. Well said. And I would say not just "probably", but "certainly" in this instance given the motive of participants to learn and improve. There is a time for tight discipline and a time to just try things out. Mistakes and 'mishandlings' will bubble to the surface as one keeps striving for correct expression.
Stephen Hughes wrote:The next step after forming correct individual sentences would be to work them into something bigger with correct discourse marking.
Again, I agree, and the steps aren't so easily segmented. The real benefit of this, in my mind, is the effort to express oneself in the language, and in so doing, "to err, and err, and err again, but less, and less, and less." This attempt to express ideas freely and imaginatively is a powerful motive to discover the foundational elements of the language - and mistakes are part of the learning process.
0 x
γράφω μαθεῖν

Post Reply

Return to “The modern world”