"Unseen" Koine Text

Other Greek writings of the New Testament era, including papyri and inscriptions
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Stephen Hughes
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"Unseen" Koine Text

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 28th, 2014, 11:28 am

Jordan Day in the [url=http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=2549#p15672]Homeric, Classical, Koine...whats the REAL difference?[/url] thread wrote:It makes me feel that I am actually just memorizing entire chapters of the gospels in Greek, and playing the video of the narrative in my head at the same time, rather than actually UNDERSTAND the language like an ancient person would...who would have been able to hear any story or message for the first time and comprehend it at full speed.
In response to that comment, you might like to try reading following passage.
  • Don't search for it online.
  • Don't use a dictionary or grammar.
  • Only give yourself 30 to 45 minutes to try your best to "break" it.
  • Do what you can first, by yourself, then have a look down a bit on the page where I have listed a few vocabulary items (After 6 years of reading and memorising, I'm guessing you don't need them in English)
  • I'll put up the reference after you've had a try at it. For now try it as just a challenge of man v. text.
  • Τὰ ὀνόματα τῶν τοῦ δράματος προσώπων
  • Χαιρέας -- ὁ πρωταγωνιστής,
  • Καλλιρρόη -- ἡ δευτεραγωνίστρια καὶ ἡ τοῦ Χαιρέα ἐρωτίς (δηλ. ὑπὸ Χαιρέα ἐρωμένη).
  • Καρίας -- δοῦλος (καὶ ὁ οἰκονόμος τῆς οἰκίας τοῦ) Μιθριδάτου,
  • Πολύχαρμος -- ὁ τοῦ Χαιρέα φίλος,
  • Μιθριδάτης-- στρατηγὸς καὶ ὁ τῶν δούλων δεπότης,
  • Διονύσιος -- ὁ νέος φίλος τοῦ Μιθριδάτου.
ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἔμαθον ὕστερον: τότε δὲ καταχθεὶς ἐν τῷ χωρίῳ Καλλιρρόης εἰκόνα θεασάμενος ἐν ἱερῷ ἐγὼ μὲν εἶχον ἀγαθὰς ἐλπίδας, νύκτωρ δὲ Φρύγες λῃσταὶ καταδραμόντες ἐπὶ θάλασσαν ἐνέπρησαν μὲν τὴν τριήρη, τοὺς δὲ πλείστους κατέσφαξαν, ἐμὲ δὲ καὶ Πολύχαρμον δήσαντες ἐπώλησαν εἰς Καρίαν.’ Θρῆνον ἐξέρρηξεν ἐπὶ τούτοις τὸ πλῆθος, εἶπε δὲ Χαιρέας ‘ἐπιτρέψατε ἐμοὶ τὰ ἑξῆς σιωπᾶν, σκυθρωπότερα γάρ ἐστι τῶν πρώτων:’ ὁ δὲ δῆμος ἐξεβόησε ‘λέγε πάντα.’ Καὶ ὃς ἔλεγεν ‘ὁ πριάμενος ἡμᾶς, δοῦλος Μιθριδάτου, στρατηγοῦ Καρίας, ἐκέλευσε σκάπτειν ὄντας πεπεδημένους. Ἐπεὶ δὲ τὸν δεσμοφύλακα τῶν δεσμωτῶν ἀπέκτεινάν τινες, ἀνασταυρωθῆναι πάντας ἡμᾶς Μιθριδάτης ἐκέλευσε.

Κἀγὼ μὲν ἀπηγόμην: μέλλων δὲ βασανίζεσθαι Πολύχαρμος εἶπέ μου τοὔνομα καὶ Μιθριδάτης ἐγνώρισε: Διονυσίου γὰρ ξένος γενόμενος ἐν Μιλήτῳ, Χαιρέου θαπτομένου παρῆν: πυθομένη γὰρ Καλλιρρόη τὰ περὶ τὴν τριήρη καὶ τοὺς λῃστάς, κἀμὲ δόξασα τεθνάναι, τάφον ἔχωσέ μοι πολυτελῆ.
Below is a list of hints. You could post any questions that you had in doing it. How will we know whether we understand it to mean a similar thing as each other or not?
  • νύκτωρ = νυκτὸς ἢ ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ταύτῃ
    Φρύξ = ἂνθρωπος κατοικῶν ἐν Φρυγίᾳ ἢ ἀπὸ τῆς Φρθγίας
    καταδραμόντες = καταβάντες ἀπὸ τοῦ πλοίου αὐτῶν
    ἐνέπρησαν (ἐμπίμπρημι) = ἀνήψαντο (+αἰτ.) πυρί
    τριήρης = μέγα πλοῖον
    Θρῆνον ἐξέρρηξεν = ἐθρήνησε
    τοὺς πλείστους = πολλοὺς ἀνθρώπους
    κατέσφαξαν = ἐφόνευσαν, ἀπέκτειναν μετὰ πολλοῦ αἷματος (μετὰ αἱματεκχυσίας)
    ἐπιτρέψατε = ἐάσατε
    σκυθρωπότερα = χείρονα, φοβερότερα
    ὃς = αὐτός
    ὁ πριάμενος = ὁ ἀγοράζων
    στρατηγός = ὁ ἄρχων τῶν στρατιώτων
    σκάπτειν = βαλεῖν τὴν γῆν ἀπὸ ἓν μἐρος εἰς ἄλλο.
    πεπεδημένους = δεδεμένους αὐτῶν τοὺς πόδας, συγκρίνετε. τοὺς πόδας αὐτῶν ἠσφαλίσατο εἰς τὸ ξύλον. (Πράξεις τῶν Ἀποστόλων ιϚ'.κδ')
    ἀνασταυροῦν = προσηλοῦν ἢ δεῖν ἐπὶ σταυρῳ (συγκρίνετε. ἀνασκολοπίζειν (ἐπὶ σκόλοπι))
    ξένος = φίλος
    Μίλητος = νῆσος ἐν τῇ Μεσογείᾳ Θαλάσσῃ
    ἔχωσέ = κατεσκεύασεν
    τάφος = χῶμα ἐνέχον τὸ νεκροῦ σῶμα
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(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Jordan Day
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Re: "Unseen" Koine Text

Post by Jordan Day » May 28th, 2014, 10:35 pm

Thank you very much for this little "test".
Well, this certainly did not boost my confidence any.

I spent 1 hour and 5 mins on this and this is what I came up with:

Then, indeed, I later learned these things: and then after Kalliroe was lead down into the χωρίῳ, I had good hope, seeing an image in the temple, and on this night Phrygian robbers left their ships on the sea and set fire to a large ship, most of the men they slaughtered, but myself and Polucharmus got together and sailed unto Karia. Θρῆνον ἐξέρρηξεν ἐπὶ τούτοις τὸ πλῆθος, and Xaireus said "Permit me τὰ ἑξῆς to be silent, for it is worse than the first ones". But the δῆμος cried out "speak everything". The man who was buying us was also speaking, a slave of Mithridatus who was the commander of Karia, he commanded those having been πεπεδημενους to dust off the dirt. But when some people killed the jailer of the prison, Mithridatus commanded all of us to be crucified.
And indeed I was led away: and about to be tortured, Poluxarmos spake my name and Mithridatus knew: for Dionysius had become an alien in Miletus, he was there when Xaireus was burried. For Kalliroe was inquiring about the matters of the large ship and the robbers, and thinking that I also had died, she prepared a τάφον for me πολυτελῆ.

I kept myself from using a lexicon or anything else (hence why there are untranslated words)
I already knew some of the words you provided Greek definitions for, but didn't know some of the ones not provided (and a couple I didn't understand the definitions either! θρῆνον, τάφον)
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Jordan Day
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Stephen Hughes
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Feedback for JD for the "Unseen" Koine Text

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 29th, 2014, 5:39 am

The reference is Chariton, De Chaerea et Callirhoe 8.8.1-2. It is a short passage from a Hellenistic romance novel. The flow of action sort of carries the sense along.
Jordan Day wrote:Thank you very much for this little "test".
Well, this certainly did not boost my confidence any.
You're welcome. Dealing with a familiar thing in an unfamiliar way can sometimes feel disheatening. Now looking at the text again, I can notice 3 or 4 things that I understand differently now than before. Stupid things like
  • Καρίας -- ἡ πόλις τοῦ Μιθριδάτου,
I think you did exceptionally well - this is an "unseen" not an aided translation.

τὰ ἑξῆς (to borrow that from the the text :) :) ) are a few notes which you might like to modify your understanding of the passage - reformulate a translation, perhaps. Anyway, when you're ready, I have a fair copy prepared and ready to post.

Here are some suggestions to improve your understanding
καταχθεὶς ἐν τῷ χωρίῳ Καλλιρρόης εἰκόνα θεασάμενος ἐν ἱερῷ ἐγὼ μὲν εἶχον ἀγαθὰς ἐλπίδας
The underlined all refer to the same person.
ἐν τῷ χωρίῳ Καλλιρρόης εἰκόνα
The girl's name is Καλλιρρόη. Does Καλλιρρόης refer back to χωρίον (9x in the NT) = τόπος, μικρὰ χώρα, or forward to εἰκών, do you think?

Θρῆνον ἐξέρρηξεν ἐπὶ τούτοις τὸ πλῆθος
τὸ πλῆθος = ὁ ὄχλος cf. Luke 1:10 Καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος. πλῆθος probably refers to the sheer number of people, while ὄχλος refers to that they were densely packed together so that no one could move freely.
ἐπὶ τούτοις = ὅτε ἀκηκόασιν ταῦτα
θρῆνος = cf. Matthew 2:18 Φωνὴ ἐν Ῥαμᾶ ἠκούσθη, θρῆνος καὶ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὀδυρμὸς πολύς, Ῥαχὴλ κλαίουσα τὰ τέκνα αὐτῆς, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν παρακληθῆναι, ὅτι οὐκ εἰσίν. (All three are vocal expressions of grief, θρῆνος is probably expressed in actual words) Cf, John 16:20 Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι κλαύσετε καὶ θρηνήσετε ὑμεῖς, ὁ δὲ κόσμος χαρήσεται· ὑμεῖς δὲ λυπηθήσεσθε, ἀλλ’ ἡ λύπη ὑμῶν εἰς χαρὰν γενήσεται.

τριήρης - is actually a special type of ship (μέγα πλοῖον was just a hint) - a warship.

πωλεῖν (ἀγορά) ≠ πλεῖν (θάλασσα)

τὰ ἑξῆς = τὰ ἑπόμενα [τὰ προηγούμενα / τὰ πάλαι - τὰ παρόντα / τὰ νῦν - τὰ ἐπόμενα / τὰ μέλλοντα / τὰ ἑξῆς]

ὁ δῆμος - ὅλοι οἱ πολίται τινὸς πόλεως συνηγομένοι ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ, ἡ ἐκκλησία.
Καὶ ὃς ἔλεγεν || ‘ πριάμενος ἡμᾶς, δοῦλος Μιθριδάτου, στρατηγοῦ Καρίας, ἐκέλευσε σκάπτειν ὄντας πεπεδημένους.
There are two separate parts here, but the accusative actually (logically) refers to the same people "us", but grammatically there is an (artificial) division. Καὶ ὃς ἔλεγεν uses the relative for demonstrative. The undeerlined words all refer to the same person.

σκάπτειν is more vigourous and exhausting than you imagine. Looking at the three instances in the NT will demonstrate that. Down to bedrock in Luke 6:48 ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδομοῦντι οἰκίαν, ὃς ἔσκαψεν καὶ ἐβάθυνεν, καὶ ἔθηκεν θεμέλιον ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν· To make a water-course in Luke 13:8 Ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς λέγει αὐτῷ, Κύριε, ἄφες αὐτὴν καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἔτος, ἕως ὅτου σκάψω περὶ αὐτήν, καὶ βάλω κόπρια· And as being thought of as "hard yakka" in Luke 16:3 Σκάπτειν οὐκ ἰσχύω.

τῶν δεσμωτῶν ... τινες - δεσμώται are people as you have indicated, but what is the opposite of a δεσμοφύλαξ - ὁ φυλάσσων τοὺς δεσμώτας. In this case they are a road-gang (chain-gang), so the English translations that we see in the book of acts, and your "the jailer of the prison" don't really work. They sort of work from the understanding that the δεσμοφύλαξ is ὁ φυλάσσων τὸ δεσμωτήριον (τὸ οἰκοδόμημα ἐν ᾧ φυλάσσονται δεσμώται). But a gaoler is not in fear of his life if someone damages the prison.

ἐγνώρισε - here is "know already, and then get some outside information (sensory input) that matches the knowledge."

ξένος - ὁ φίλος ὁ ἐνοικῶν ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τινός. You will remember that Paul asked Philemon to ἑτοίμαζέ μοι ξενίαν (a room in the house) because he hoped to come and stay. That is the sense of ξένος here, not either of the senses in the New Testament - (1) a stranger who could be a guest if you ξενοδοχεῖν them, and (2) something foreign or alien and unwelcome.

Χαιρέου θαπτομένου παρῆν - This is funny because he, the one telling the story IS the Χαιρέας that was buried!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

τάφος - here = κενοτάφιον because there was no body in it. With the adjective πολυτελής, it is probably a μνῆμα / μνημεῖον not a simple σῆμα. τάφος is the place (however πολυτελής or ἁπλοῦς), and putting the body into the place is ταφή.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: "Unseen" Koine Text

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 29th, 2014, 6:48 am

Jordan Day wrote:Thank you very much for this little "test".
Well, this certainly did not boost my confidence any.

I spent 1 hour and 5 mins on this and this is what I came up with:

I kept myself from using a lexicon or anything else (hence why there are untranslated words)
I already knew some of the words you provided Greek definitions for, but didn't know some of the ones not provided (and a couple I didn't understand the definitions either! θρῆνον, τάφον)
Well, it should boost your confidence. You have learned a lot of Greek in your 6 years of study. I would place your level at advanced intermediate or beginning advanced (terms sounding somewhat oxymoronic, I know). If you were one of my students, and you turned this in on an exam as a sight translation, I would certainly score it in the A range (in an intermediate or "200" level course). Now, everybody here who has studied ancient Greek knows exactly how you feel. I majored in Classics as an undergraduate, and for my intermediate class read Plato's Apologia. It was challenging, but with a little (okay a lot) of help from the professor was doable. My first advanced class was the Gospel of Mark. It was cake by comparison. I then declared my major, and the next semester, "read" Aristophanes and Thucydides. Whoa! Suddenly I felt like Aeneas wandering through the Underworld seeking Anchises... But I didn't stop there. I persevered, took more courses... Fortunately I had patient and very good professors all the way through grad school. There were various sticking points along the way, but again, perseverance prevailed. Each of us has a slightly different route, but your goals are doable, and you've come a long way.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jordan Day
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Re: "Unseen" Koine Text

Post by Jordan Day » May 29th, 2014, 7:19 am

Stephen - Thank you for your time in walking me through this. After i get the kids in bed tonight I will take another crack at it using the assistance you provided. Can't wait! :)

Barry - Thank you for the words of encouragement. It was much needed. I do envy those that had the opportunity to learn Greek in a classroom setting from a knowledgeable professor. I suppose *this* is my classroom and I certainly have LOTS of knowledgeable professors at my disposal. :D
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Jordan Day
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Jordan Day
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Re: "Unseen" Koine Text

Post by Jordan Day » May 29th, 2014, 10:17 pm

Ok, still no lexicon or grammar at this point :)

Some of these mistakes I made really made me *facepalm*.

χωρίῳ (δοτ) the diminutive of χώρα... so "small countryside/land" or "field"??

καταχθεὶς rather than καταχθεῖσα (so I should have known it wasn't refering to Καλλιρροη) ἀρσενικὸν γένος!

I dont know how I didnt see that Καλλιρροης was γενικὴ πτῶσις
Stephen wrote: "Does Καλλιρρόης refer back to χωρίον (9x in the NT) = τόπος, μικρὰ χώρα, or forward to εἰκών, do you think?
οὐ δοκεῖ μοι ὅτι Καλλιρρόη εἶχεν χωρίον...τάχα κεῖται εἴκων Καλλιρρόης ἐν τῷ ἰερῷ

I actually did know "τὸ πλῆθος", but since I didnt understand anything else I just left the entire clause untranslated.

θρῆνος ... οὐκ ἐμνημόνευσα

τὰ ἑξῆς ...νῦν μνημονεύω “καθεξῆς σοι γραψαι, κράτιστε θεόφιλε...”

Ok, im giving this one more shot without any lexicon or grammar...
I wrote:Indeed, I then later learned these things. And then, after I was led down in the field and beheld an image of Kallirroe in the temple, I truly had good hope. But during the night, Phrygian thieves landed and set fire to the warship in the sea, and they brutally slaughtered the vast majority. But I and Polycharmus were tied up and sold into Karia. The multitude cried out with lamentations when they had heard these things. And Chaireus said "Allow me to remain silent on the rest, for it is more terrifying than the first." But the assembly cried out "Tell all!" And he said "The one purchasing us, a slave of Mithridatus who is a soldier of Karia, commanded those ________ to labor. But when some of the prisoners killed the guard, Mithridatus ordered all of us to be crucified."
And, indeed, I was lead away. But Polycharmus, when he was about to be tortured, spake my name and Mithridatus recognized it. For Dyonisius had become a guest in Miletus, he was there when Chaireus was burried. For Kallirroe, after inquiring about the warship and the bandits, thinking me also to have died, prepared a ________(extravagant?) monument for me.
Wow, for the first time I have realized how much a few more pieces of the puzzle can go a long way in figuring out the rest. It is like this: if you know 25% you can figure out a total of 30%. But if you know 50% you can figure out a total of 90%. Ok, test is over! I am now rushing to look up πεπεδημένους and πολυτελῆ :lol:
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Jordan Day
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Stephen Hughes
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Final feedback

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 30th, 2014, 12:41 am

Okay. After a serious attempt, we can look at someone else's translation intelligently. The fair copy follows.

You know your sins of ommission, but you also have a sin of commission; σκάπτειν which you should take with the more specific sense of ὀρύσσειν not just like the general word ἐργάζειν.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Fair copy - Chariton, De Chaerea et Callirhoe 8.8.1-2

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 30th, 2014, 12:43 am

Chariton, De Chaerea et Callirhoe 8.8.1-2, [url=http://books.google.ca/books/about/Callirhoe.html?id=pAxIW-H7VJsC]translated by G. P. Goold[/url] - to get this translation search for 408, and then 409 in the search in the text option. wrote:Naturally I only discovered this later. At that time, when I had landed on the estate, just seeing Callirhoe’s statue in a shine gave me high hopes. But in the night some Phrygian brigands raided the coast and set fire to the warship: they killed most of us, but bound me and Polycharmus and sold us as slaves in Caria.” At this a groan burst forth from the crowd, and Chaereas said, “Let me pass over in silence what came next; it is grimmer than what happened at the start.” But the crowd shouted, “Tell us everything!” So he continued, “The man who bought us, a servant of Mithridates, governor of Caria, gave orders for us to be chained and put to digging. After some prisoners murdered the guard, Mithridatus ordered us all to be crucified. I too was taken away. I was about to be tortured, Polycharmus spoke my name, which Mithridatus recognized: he, as a guest of Dionysius, has been present at the funeral of Chaereas in Miletus – for Callirhoe, hearing of the warship and the brigands, thought I had been killed and built an expensive tomb for me.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: "Unseen" Koine Text

Post by Barry Hofstetter » May 30th, 2014, 6:45 am

Jordan Day wrote:
Wow, for the first time I have realized how much a few more pieces of the puzzle can go a long way in figuring out the rest. It is like this: if you know 25% you can figure out a total of 30%. But if you know 50% you can figure out a total of 90%. Ok, test is over! I am now rushing to look up πεπεδημένους and πολυτελῆ :lol:
Bingo! Bingas, bingat... (sorry, Latin joke :roll: )

Both as a student and then later teaching, I realized that often I or my student(s) were only really getting one or two things wrong, and that tends to have a bit of a cascade effect. Sometimes a student turns in a translation which he or she feels is truly horrible, but I take very little off for it. Why? "Because you just got one thing wrong, and then how you made sense of the rest of it tells me a lot about your ability with the language." Part of getting better at this is the ability rapidly to identify what you are not getting when you read a sentence, and then plugging that in. Voila, c'est bon! Another issue is context. For beginning grammars, we are normally presented with "contextless" sentences. A big part of the ability to succeed in reading these has to do with imagining a context in which the sentence makes sense (of course, you need the mechanics of the vocabulary and grammar/syntax as well). That's why connected, sensible readings are necessary along with short exercises...
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Ken M. Penner
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Cascade effect

Post by Ken M. Penner » May 30th, 2014, 9:15 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Both as a student and then later teaching, I realized that often I or my student(s) were only really getting one or two things wrong, and that tends to have a bit of a cascade effect. Sometimes a student turns in a translation which he or she feels is truly horrible, but I take very little off for it. Why? "Because you just got one thing wrong, and then how you made sense of the rest of it tells me a lot about your ability with the language."
Off topic, here, I know, but this describes well what I see in the Septuagint. Greek Isaiah's discrepancies from the Hebrew are often described as paraphrases or theologically-motivated changes, but I see mainly simple misunderstandings that then produce cascade effects.
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

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