E.A. Sophocles

Anything related to Biblical Greek that doesn't fit into the other forums.

Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby Barry Hofstetter » October 28th, 2013, 7:06 am

MAubrey wrote:If it means anything in terms of expressing my opinion of Sophocles' lexicon, I can just say that I was the one who wrote the marketing copy. It's still marketing-speak, but its still my opinion.

The entries are small and don't provide a lot of information, but there are plenty of words in Sophocles that aren't in LSJ. Basically, unless you're willing to drop a huge amount of money of Lampe, Sophocles is pretty awesome.


Well, Mike, it worked. It certainly got my attention, and I did bid on it. I appreciate everyone's comments...
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby Barry Hofstetter » October 28th, 2013, 7:09 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:

On the positive side, I like it because Sophocles doesn't frequently compare Greek grammar to Latin - frequent references to Latin are a chore rather than an aid for me, becuase I double majored in Greek and Modern Greek (rather than Latin). I particularly like the practice of capitalising "obsolete and imaginary presents" mentioned at the beginning of the catalogue section.


Well, Stephen, you know that Latin is one of the required languages for the entrance exam into heaven? You'd better get busy, stolidi Latina verba rident, and all that.
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby cwconrad » October 28th, 2013, 7:36 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:

On the positive side, I like it because Sophocles doesn't frequently compare Greek grammar to Latin - frequent references to Latin are a chore rather than an aid for me, becuase I double majored in Greek and Modern Greek (rather than Latin). I particularly like the practice of capitalising "obsolete and imaginary presents" mentioned at the beginning of the catalogue section.


Well, Stephen, you know that Latin is one of the required languages for the entrance exam into heaven? You'd better get busy, stolidi Latina verba rident, and all that.


Well, we've left poor old EA. Sophocles behind, but it seems to me that Stephen is making two distinct points:
(1) Many students of Greek -- particularly those who have studied primarily Biblical Koine -- are like Shakespeare in reverse: they have "little Greek and less Latin." This means that many reference works in Biblical Greek from the mid 20th c. or earlier are of much less value to them, inasmuch as they were composed by scholars utriusque linguae periti;
(2) Traditional Greek grammar has often been poorly served by efforts to explain constructions on the basis of what was thought to be a comparable Latin construction (the doctrine of "deponency" is one good instance of that).

For my part, Barry, I've had an immense amount of celestial entertainment and edification from my reading in Latin, but I am not inclined to think that Latin holds the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, albeit Vergilian verse and Mozartian melody do seem to have something quite ethereal about them.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
ἄτοπον, ἔφη, λέγεις εἰκόνα καὶ δεσμώτας ἀτόπους.
ὁμοίους ἡμῖν, ἦν δʼ ἐγώ. Plato, Rep. 7 (515a)
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 28th, 2013, 9:25 am

The vast majority of definitions in Sophocles do not contain Latin, some contain Hebrew text, or references to equivalents in modern languages. I haven't used Sophocles extensively, but so far, when I've bumped into Latin or other languages, I could still understand the definition, and it does not feel like he is throwing in languages gratuitously.

I'm a Little Greek with less Latin, as Carl describes, so I'm sensitive to this issue. But it hasn't been a problem for me with Sophocles so far. And if I do bump into Latin, I figure I can always ask what it means on B-Greek ... that's what we keep the Latin scholars around for.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby cwconrad » October 28th, 2013, 9:59 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm a Little Greek with less Latin, as Carl describes, so I'm sensitive to this issue. But it hasn't been a problem for me with Sophocles so far. And if I do bump into Latin, I figure I can always ask what it means on B-Greek ... that's what we keep the Latin scholars around for.


I knew there had to be some reason. :) Of course there's Barry's quondam-active e-list, B-Latin, formed in emulation of our own community. Nowadays, I note, a Google quest for B-Latin takes one to a Melbourne nightclub. I guess there's even "less" Latin nowadays -- but my 11-year-old grandson is now studying it in Tucson!
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
ἄτοπον, ἔφη, λέγεις εἰκόνα καὶ δεσμώτας ἀτόπους.
ὁμοίους ἡμῖν, ἦν δʼ ἐγώ. Plato, Rep. 7 (515a)
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby Jonathan Robie » October 28th, 2013, 10:02 am

cwconrad wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm a Little Greek with less Latin, as Carl describes, so I'm sensitive to this issue. But it hasn't been a problem for me with Sophocles so far. And if I do bump into Latin, I figure I can always ask what it means on B-Greek ... that's what we keep the Latin scholars around for.


I knew there had to be some reason. :) Of course there's Barry's quondam-active e-list, B-Latin, formed in emulation of our own community. Nowadays, I note, a Google quest for B-Latin takes one to a Melbourne nightclub. I guess there's even "less" Latin nowadays -- but my 11-year-old grandson is now studying it in Tucson!


I suppose the nightclub is an attempt to make the study of Latin more popular via Latin dance. Is one of those pictures Barry?

utriusque linguae periti - cha cha cha!
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby Stephen Hughes » October 28th, 2013, 5:37 pm

MAubrey wrote:there are plenty of words in Sophocles that aren't in LSJ. Basically, unless you're willing to drop a huge amount of money of Lampe, Sophocles is pretty awesome.
It seems that sometimes that it is just added senses, so it will always be necessary to supliment Sophocles definitions from memory, or to use Sophocles in conjunction with another lexicon such as LSJ or one of the standard New Testament ones.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Latin is one of the required languages for the entrance exam into heaven
:lol: For entry into some historical texts written in Koine by Roman authours and some popular post-Constantinian (Byzantine) texts at least.
cwconrad wrote:many reference works in Biblical Greek from the mid 20th c. or earlier are of much less value to [those who have studied primarily Biblical Koine [-students who study Koine Greek without Latin]], inasmuch as they were composed by scholars utriusque linguae periti
That would be the majority of extant reference works that can be found on library shelves and all of the works whose copyright has expired, wouldn't it?

With regard to the development of Greek theological terms... I don't think Sophocles is at all adequate and Lampe will always have a place....From what I can quickly scan over online, patristic (theological) works don't include noticeable Latin loan words. What does seem to have happened over time is that Greek theological terms were progressively defined and redefined in ever tighter definitions or in different senses based on some current (neo-platonic) philosophical understanding and then the later strict (or altered) definitions were read back in time (homeostatically (in terms of the then present status quo) / retrospectively (with less regard for the authour's meaning and more regard for the then present understanding)) into earlier texts (written before the terms were more closely defined or (even simply) defined by one council or patristic father or another) and the result was that different regions / groups of Christians were progressively cut out of discussion and finally communion. The earlier broad general definitions that allowed open discussion and maintained Christian unity were written and understood at a loose (lay) level of definition Later, however, first as reaction to the (stubborn) misunderstanding of some ("heresy",or schism), later in Byzantine scholasticism and later still in anti-western polemic Greek theological terms were progressively more narrowly defined. Sophocles does not treat words to that level as Lampe that Mike mentions does, so Lampe still has a place on bookshelves and for some Lampe is worth its price. But what about Lampe's coverage of Latin loan words?

With regard to Latin "loan" words in Greek.. If one was to spend money for Lampe, would one get coverage of the Latin "loan" words included in one's value for money? From memory not - it is a Patristic (not Byzantine) Greek lexicon [It is only since the fall of Constaninople to the Turks that Byzantine Greek has been understood as primarily Eccesiastical].

In my opinion, Sophocles is passably adequate for patristics, and for reading late texts (particularly secular historical texts) Sophocles could still be a good (I mean "soft") for people who want to delve into patrisitic / Byzantine texts, who don't have (or don't want) Latin and who are not so interested in the deeper intertextual diachronic relationships in the development of various key theological terms. And for people wanting to read Roman authours contemporary with the New Testament, the "Roman ... period" part of Sophocles will be invaluable.
Stephen Hughes
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby George F Somsel » October 29th, 2013, 2:02 am

Stephen Hughes wrote

It seems that sometimes that it is just added senses, so it will always be necessary to supliment Sophocles definitions from memory, or to use Sophocles in conjunction with another lexicon such as LSJ or one of the standard New Testament ones.


There is only one standard New Testament lexicon.
george
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby Stephen Hughes » October 29th, 2013, 6:01 am

George F Somsel wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:It seems that sometimes that it is just added senses, so it will always be necessary to supliment Sophocles definitions from memory, or to use Sophocles in conjunction with another lexicon such as LSJ or one of the standard New Testament ones.
There is only one standard New Testament lexicon.
The best lexicons available at that time seem to have been Thayer's Lexicon and Liddel & Scott. I think that It is highly probably that Sophocles would have them at hand and seen his work in that context. While that might be an ineresting hisorical point of interest, not everyone likes going retro. For those who want to stay contemporary a list and discussion by LLS of other lexica can be found at Lexica. Finding a meaning in a reference work is only an early step towards understanding what it "means". Seeing it in its context, imagining variation in its context, understanding its antonyms, trying to understand why one or other of its synonyms were not used instead of it, considering how the grammar surrounding it affect, limit or extend its meaning, and using the word in our own compostions (or thinking) all aid us in building up our understanding of a given word. Generally speaking, students are benefited by reading the meaning of word in the dictionary from outside the particular work that they are considering.

Dictionaries that are designed with those things in mind are readily available to my ESL students for their study of English, and they use such works to consider those questions and to do those activities, but at present there is no NTG lexicon (or combination of lexicons and reference works) that helps us to do even a quarter of those things.

One of the positive things about teaching English is that there is no one reference work in any given part of the language. The thought of having such a one standard grammar book or dictionary would seem an absurd notion to most teachers. Vocabulary is about reading the texts and struggling with meaning, not magically finding a word from dictionaries. Grammar is about the usage, it is a skill what we master and then imagine using that grammar when we "read" (that is to say that reading is co-writing), not just knowig which rule(s) from a "standard" grammar book is to be applied to understanding a portion of a text. It seems that students who can make a few similar examples for themselves have a better understanding than those who can "explain" or analyse grammar.
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Re: E.A. Sophocles

Postby MAubrey » November 1st, 2013, 4:44 pm

Barry, you might be interested in what Danker says about Sophocles...

Taking a look farther down the road of Greek usage is Evangelinus A. Sophocles. His labor of love, Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (from B.C. 146 to A.D. 1100), corrected printing of 2d impression, 2 vols. (New York: Scribners, 1887; reprinted. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1957), remains, despite shortcomings—something that future generations will say of most contemporary production —a useful index to Koine usage and contains data not to be had in LSJM and Bauer.

F. W. Danker, Multipurpose tools for Bible study (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), 123.
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