Questions tagged [ancient-greek]

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Non prævalebunt adversus/adversum eam

After several years, a Bible verse I thought I knew well just blew my mind. (Well, they sometimes do, but not in the grammatical sense.) Namely, Mt 16:18 says, And so I say to you, you are Peter, and ...
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Etymology of exostra/ἐξώστρα

There is a Latin word exostra with a Greek cognate ἐξώστρα, that enters mishnaic Hebrew as גזוזטרא, with the meaning balcony/enclosure. I heard from a friend that Latin exostra derives from ex + sto, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
222 views

Plato's Phaedo - a syntax question

Plato, Phaedo, 105b-c: εἰ γὰρ ἔροιό με ᾧ ἂν τί ἐν τῷ σώματι ἐγγένηται θερμὸν ἔσται, οὐ τὴν [105ξ] ἀσφαλῆ σοι ἐρῶ ἀπόκρισιν ἐκείνην τὴν ἀμαθῆ, ὅτι ᾧ ἂν θερμότης I guess it can be rearranged so: εἰ ...
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2 answers
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Greek quote source

The high school of my town (Oak Park, Illinois) has the following Greek quote as its motto (introduced in 1908), presumably offering its best to the nation, or else giving its students the best ...
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10 votes
1 answer
413 views

Use of lunate sigma in scholarly editions

Most Greek scholars are aware that sigma has a few different forms. In most current printed editions, it has a medial (σ) and final (ς) form, even though for a large part of antiquity up to the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Horace quotes a Greek proverb in Ars Poetica, what does it mean?

In Ars Poetica Horace writes: quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu? parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. I get the meaning of the Latin, though admittedly by looking at a translation ...
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Ex + sisto preposition choice

Why is it exsisto instead of subsisto? Between the verbs sisto and ἵστημι there seems to be an almost perfect correspondence in meaning but the prepositions switch from exsisto to ὑφίστημι (which ...
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2 answers
148 views

Uppercase vs lower case: Name is Lambdadelta. What is this in symbols? λδ? ΛΔ? Λδ? λΔ?

Lambdadelta is a character from the 2 Japanese anime/manga/VN series Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (When The Cicadas Cry) and Umineko No Naku Koro Ni (When The Seagulls Cry). There's this Umineko arc ...
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How would the Ancient Greek noun λόρδων decline, and is the LSJ's definition of it correct?

I'm very familiar with Latin declensions, and have the resources necessary for that, but I have found nothing for Ancient Greek that I am able to make use of, especially considering my lack of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why is Cnaeus rendered as Νάϊος in RGDA?

Chapter 18 of RGDA opens with the following (Cooley’s CUP edition of 2009, macrons added by me): [Ab illō annō q]uō Cn(aeus) et P(ūblius) Lentulī c[ōns]ulēs fuērunt, cum dēficerent [ve]ct[ī]g[ālia, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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In what way is Odysseus διογενής?

In the Odyssey, Odysseus is sometimes addressed as διογενής "Zeus-born". For example, 11.60: διογενὲς Λαερτιάδη, πολυμήχαν' Ὀδυσσεῦ O Zeus-born son of Laërtes, Odysseus of many tricks… ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Aristotle Metaphysics - questions on syntax

Metaphysics, 994b7-9: ἅμα δὲ καὶ ἀδύνατον τὸ πρῶτον ἀΐδιον ὂν φθαρῆναι: ἐπεὶ γὰρ οὐκ ἄπειρος ἡ γένεσις ἐπὶ τὸ ἄνω, ἀνάγκη ἐξ οὗ φθαρέντος πρώτου τι ἐγένετο μὴ ἀΐδιον εἶναι. Latin translation: Simul ...
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3 votes
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Ancient Greek - Adverb functions as Noun

Aristotle's Metaphysics, 994a,26-7: ἀεὶ γάρ ἐστι μεταξύ, ὥσπερ τοῦ εἶναι καὶ μὴ εἶναι γένεσις, οὕτω καὶ τὸ γιγνόμενον τοῦ ὄντος καὶ μὴ ὄντος Reeve's translation: for there is always an intermediate,...
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Did Greek ever have long initial consonants?

In this other answer, TKR suggests that the Homeric dative οἱ might have once been something like *ϝϝοι, with initial long [wː]. This makes sense to me, etymologically, since it may have come from a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Why does οἱ make position?

Iliad XXII.307: τό οἱ ὑπὸ λαπάρην τέτατο μέγα τε στιβαρόν τε Since it's at the beginning of a hexameter, τό needs to scan heavy. And since omicron is always short by nature, it must be heavy by ...
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According to Greek Experts, what is the proper Koine pronunciation of “Logos”

I was recently applying my new Koine Greek studies on pronouncing the first 5 verses in John’s Gospel. I am reading “Learn to Read New Testament Greek” by David Alan Black. I also have another Greek ...
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1 answer
191 views

Greek equivelent to Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata

I have been working my way though Ørberg's Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, and I have been wondering whether there is an equivalent text for learning Ancient Greek by the "natural method." ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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κλειτος in Greek Epithets

The verbal adjective κλειτός is used in a wide range of Greek epithets/proper names. It appears in compounds such as Πολύκλειτος (much-famed), δουρίκλειτος (spear-famed), τηλέκλειτος (far-famed) and ...
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1 answer
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Who assigned numbers to the declensions and conjugations, and why?

Why are the declensions in the order they are? If someone was learning Latin 2000 years ago, would they have used the same numbers? Would they have believed that some god assigned the numbers to the ...
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What did Theophilus mean in book I, chapter 14 of Theophilus to Autolycus when speaking to "unbelievers and despisers"?

I am comparing translations from Rick Rogers and Rev. Marcus Dods. In the second to the last sentence of chapter 14 Rogers translates a Greek word as "homosexual acts." Dobs, on the other ...
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1 answer
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Ancient Greek Translation: A response to Sappho's 146

Thank you for reading. Context: I'm designing an engagement ring for my partner, who has expressed her love of both Sappho's fragment #146 ( "Μήτ’ ἔμοι μέλι μήτε μέλισσα"/"For me ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How does one pronounce a circumflex accent on a short (correpted) vowel?

From Iliad 18.333: νῦν δ' ἐπεὶ οὖν, Πάτροκλε, σεῦ ὕστερος εἶμ' ὑπὸ γαῖαν As best I can tell from the scansion, the σεῦ here is shortened by correption, letting it be the final syllable of a dactyl. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Rough breathing on ἕρξῃς

Book 2 of the Iliad, line 364, reads: εἰ δέ κεν ὣς ἕρξῃς καί τοι πείθωνται Ἀχαιοί, Here ἕρξῃς is the second-person aorist subjunctive of ἔρδω. Some editions spell it with rough breathing (Rouse, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
248 views

Compensatory lengthening in Koine Greek

Newbie to Greek here, I have a question about compensatory vowel lengthening: "5. The Severer (and earlier) Doric contracts εε to η, and οε, οο to ω. Thus, φιλήτω from φιλεέτω, δηλῶτε from ...
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Ancient Greek principal parts (web-site)

I was looking for the web-site where I could find six principal parts of Ancient Greek verbs, similar to Latin https://latin.cactus2000.de/index.en.php - But I couldn't find any. I will be grateful if ...
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2 votes
2 answers
179 views

How is 'holon'(ὅλον)(philosophy word) different from 'whole' in Greek?

Philosophy word 'Holon'(in English) is translated to 'ὅλον' in Greek as the wikipedia page says. On the other side, 'Whole'(in English) is also tanslated to ὅλον at Aristotle's Metaphysics. Philosophy ...
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5 votes
1 answer
203 views

Why does the greek word δεσπότης (despótes) in the vocative become δέσποτα (déspota) instead of the normal δεσπότα (despóta)?

In the greek word δεσπότης (despótes), the accent in the vocative case ascends from the penultimate syllabe to the antepenultimate, i.e. δέσποτα (déspota), this being the only exception in words of ...
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Were ῾ (δασεία) and ᾿ (ψιλή) formed from ├, ┤ (H) respectively?

Στο λατινικό αλφάβητο, όπως και στην αττική διάλεκτο, αποδόθηκε γραπτά με το γράμμα Η, από το οποίο άλλωστε προέρχεται και η δασεία. Συγκεκριμένα, το σύμβολο της δασείας αποτελεί απλοποίηση του ├ (το ...
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7 votes
2 answers
167 views

What is the semantic difference between the present and aorist forms of the Greek imperative?

I think I have a good working knowledge of what generally differentiates the ancient Greek aorist and present stems semantically. However, when it comes to imperatives, I am sometimes at a loss, ...
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Can δῖος legitimately be translated as "boundless?"

Homer uses the set phrases ἅλα δῖαν and ἠῶ δῖαν to describe the sea and the dawn. Some 19th century commentators and translators (Buckley) think δῖαν should be read here as "boundless." The ...
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4 votes
2 answers
145 views

Pronunciation of aspiration in ἔδεισεν δ᾽ ὁ γέρων

This example occurs in Iliad 1.33. In running speech, when there are no pauses between words, I'm able to articulate this as "edeisend ho." However, I would imagine (possibly just because I'...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Are Κηφάς (a Greek proper name), κεϕαλή (head), and πέτρος (rock) etymologically related?

Saint Peter was named Cephas by Jesus, which is recorded in the gospels as the Greek translation Πέτρος. Are Κηφάς (a Greek proper name < Aramaic כיפא‎, kēp̄ā, "rock"), κεϕαλή (head), and ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Iliad 1.6 "when they first stood apart in strife" -- can this be read as when the muse should start singing?

The first seven lines of the Iliad are: Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε, πολλὰς δ᾽ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν ...
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3 votes
0 answers
118 views

Is there a consensus about the actual rhythm of dactyls?

I recently read two analyses of Classical Greek meter: "The phonology of Classical Greek meter" and "The phonology of Greek lyric meter," both by Chris Golston and Tomas Riad. I ...
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1 answer
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Scansion of lines in Homer involving εἰνὶ θρόνῳ

Scanning Homeric verse is something I'm not very experienced at yet, and I have a question about these two lines involving the phrase εἰνὶ θρόνῳ: σείσατο δ’ εἰνὶ θρόνῳ, ἐλέλιξε δὲ μακρὸν Ὄλυμπον, (...
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3 votes
1 answer
236 views

Is ἐν changing to ἐμ or ἐγ only a thing in Attic?

I've seen in various places (example) the statement that prepositions like ἐν, συν, and ἐκ change forms before certain consonants, so we would have ἐμ before βμπφψ, and ἐγ before γκξχ. But looking ...
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3 votes
1 answer
132 views

compass and straightedge in ancient Greek?

I am a mathematician and I'm wondering how the ancient Greek called a compass and a straightedge and how would you pronounce this in English? I know that today they are called κανόνα (kanóna) and ...
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3 votes
2 answers
81 views

How would the Ancient Greeks have said "Egyptian black marble"

I have been researching Zeus' throne, and have found several sources that say the throne was made of black marble. One source, Robert Graves, was even more specific, saying it was Egyptian black ...
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1 answer
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What is the vocabulary in the Homeric dialect for the parts of the body?

What is the vocabulary in the Homeric dialect for the parts of the body? Collecting these is a somewhat time-consuming process, because often the Greek concepts don't map one-to-one onto the English ...
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1 vote
1 answer
103 views

On the etymology of Lacedaemon

King Lacedaemon was the son of Zeus and of nymph Taygete. He married Sparta, daughter of King Eurotas of Laconia. I would like to know more about the etymology of Lacedaemon. The daemon part is easy. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
152 views

Saying whose body part it is in Greek

I've been trying to piece together the grammar for how we talk about parts of the body in ancient Greek. (Homer is the dialect I care about.) I've found this discussed in passing in various places (...
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4 votes
3 answers
136 views

Frequency of conventions regarding whether to pronounce ω more open than ο, more closed, or the same

<boring background> I've been doing some recordings of language drill in Homeric Greek (1, 2, 3), in which my pronunciation has been chosen based on a certain set of criteria: (1) They're meant ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Initial digamma / long diphthong in plupf. ᾔδη?

In Homer, the form ᾔδη "he knew" (3sg. pluperfect of οἶδα) scans as if it began with digamma. This is most evident in Iliad 1.70, where the first syllable scans heavy: ὃς ᾔδη τά τ᾽ ἐόντα τά ...
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When does the diphthong υι occur in Greek, and when it is pronounced as [yː]?

I'm a bit confused by the information I've seen online about ancient Greek υι: it seems an original diphthongal pronunciation was replaced at some point in Attic Greek by a monophthongal pronunciation ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are these reasonable guesses for unattested verb forms? ἤρισσαν, θεωπρόπεεν

I'm making recordings of grammar drill exercises for the Homeric dialect (example). For verbs, there is a hassle because most verbs are not actually attested in very many forms. Typically I can look ...
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3 votes
0 answers
59 views

Homeric verbs that never take the augment

I've been making some recordings of grammar drills for Homeric Greek (1, 2), and have been wrestling with the question of how to deal with cases where the user is supposed to produce some Greek, but ...
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4 votes
1 answer
88 views

Aristotle's Metaphysics - dative as predicate

Aristotle's Metaphysics 981a19-20: οὐ γὰρ ἄνθρωπον ὑγιάζει ὁ ἰατρεύων ἀλλ᾽ ἢ κατὰ συμβεβηκός, ἀλλὰ Καλλίαν ἢ Σωκράτην ... ᾧ συμβέβηκεν ἀνθρώπῳ εἶναι. My translation: For the doctor doesn’t cure a ...
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6 votes
0 answers
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When is Latin "qu" transcribed as "κο", "κοι" or "κυ" in Greek?

The most common transcription of Latin qu into the Greek alphabet seems to have been κου in general, but there are some others: κο as in κοις for quis, κοι as in κοιιδ for quid, and κυ as in κινκυε ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How does Homer conjugate φημί in the present?

This would seem like an extremely basic question that one would just look up the answer to. However, there are literally dozens of forms of φημί in the present active indicative, and grammars don't ...
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4 votes
0 answers
55 views

Are the amynodontidae being slandered?

Wikipedia says that the name of this extinct family of rhino-like animals means "threatening tooth," referencing this page, but that page actually says "Greek: to ward off/threaten (...
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