Questions tagged [ancient-greek]

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Compounds in -ια and -σις

I greatly enjoy finding properly constructed (i.e. non hybrid grammatically ancient) equivalents to pseudo-classic neologisms. That is the background. I was wondering what the proper translation would ...
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Principles of forming epic poem titles from words

Could someone point me to a reliable source towards how are the -ας/-ις/etc. suffixes are applied to form the titles of epic poems? For example, why Ίλιον > Ἰλιάς but Ἀχιλλεύς > Ἀχιλληΐς, and ...
6 votes
1 answer
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Aristotle's "Man is a political/social animal" original Greek words

The following sentence by Artistotle is well-known: Man is a political/social animal. His original words are: διότι δὲ πολιτικὸν ὁ ἄνθρωπος ζῷον πάσης μελίττης καὶ παντὸς ἀγελαίου ζῴου μᾶλλον, ...
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2 answers
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Is there a zeroth Greek number noun below trias, dyas, monas?

I gave a list number-based nouns borrowed from Greek as an answer to a question on using numbers as nouns: monas, dyas, trias, tetras, pentas, hexas, heptas, octas, enneas, decas… One can conceivably ...
1 vote
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Which inflections of these participles are these, and why?

I'm following an ancient Teach Yourself Ancient Greek course. This is from a (presumably highly simplified) version of Xenophon's account of Spartan education: βελτιον γαρ ἐστιν, ὡς φασιν, ὀλιγον ...
5 votes
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908 views

Diogenes quote about poisoned honey

I am trying to locate the source and original Greek of this quote attributed to Diogenes: "A beautiful whore is like poisoned honey".
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What are the ways in which Greek print might indicate diaeresis?

When two vowel letters that normally form a diphthong, such as αι, are meant to be pronounced as two syllables, how is this normally indicated in modern printing of Ancient Greek? Is a trema ever used,...
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1 answer
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How to translate Ἀγαθῶν ἓνεκα οὐ γίνεσθαι

How should the following (highlighted) quote of Socrates be translated? Here's the relevant sentence: Thus Socrates said of the Civil law, Ἀγαθῶν ἓνεκα οὐ γίνεσθαι. I came up with the following in ...
3 votes
1 answer
120 views

How to understand the phrase "Διὸς μεγάλου διὰ βουλάς" from Hesiod's Theogony?

πεύθετο γὰρ Γαίης τε καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος οὕνεκά οἱ πέπρωτο ἑῷ ὑπὸ παιδὶ δαμῆναι, καὶ κρατερῷ περ ἐόντι, Διὸς μεγάλου διὰ βουλάς --- Theogony 463~465 For he had heard from Earth and starry Sky ...
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Can ἐρισθενέος mean "almighty"?

Someone claims that ἐρισθενέος Κρονίωνος (line 4 of Hesiod's Theogony) means "the almighty son of Cronos" as part of his argument that the ancients believed Zeus was the One (related ...
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What is this form?

Τὴν πεπρωμένην δὲ χρὴ αἶσαν φέρειν ὡς ῥᾷστα, γιγνώσκονθ' ὅτι τὸ τῆς ἀνάγκης ἔστ' ἀδήριτον σθένος. What is this declension?
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Did the use of the middle with the semantics of the passive continue as late as koine?

My understanding of the history is that PIE had active and middle voices, while the passive was a later innovation. Therefore it seems that in the early language as preserved in Homer, we see the ...
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Ancient Greek: how worried do I need to be about "long" and "short" accents?

I've been learning for a couple of months now, from a rather ancient book, which blissfully ignores all questions of accents. But I recently found out about them (with help from Luke Ranieri among ...
5 votes
1 answer
204 views

Relationship between συμφορά and συμφέρω

A συμφορά generally means a "misfortune"; συμφέρω, however, is unambiguously positive: "to be beneficial." It's a little strange that τὰ συμφέροντα and συμφορά are (essentially) ...
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1 answer
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Is the ancient word Greek πῐ́θηκος / píthēkos ("monkey") attested with the meaning "dwarf" more than once?

I am interested in the obscure etymology of popular Romanian word "pitic" (n.m. "dwarf", adj. "of small stature"). It might have a connection with the Latin line that led ...
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1 answer
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Should apposition in ancient Greek be identified as juxtaposition or coordination?

I have noticed in Greek grammars that varying descriptions of the syntactic relationship of elements placed side-by-side (with no conjunction) have been alternately described as either A) (...
2 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of old Greek neighborhoods' names

I was curious about the meaning/origins/etymology of the names of some of the well-known historic neighborhoods of central Athens. I can assume that due to their age, there's a connection to classical ...
6 votes
1 answer
159 views

Recitation of the Iliad

I'm a beginner in Ancient Greek trying to learn about pronouciation. I'm particularly interested in Homer's Iliad. I'm aware that this is a controversial topic, to put it mildly, so I don't expect ...
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1 answer
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What did Ancient Greek plays look like?

(Note: I'm asking about text, not performance practice, which is well documented. Also this question is open to Ancient Roman plays, if the problems discussed below apply to them as well.) The “...
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1 answer
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Are "ἑκάτερος" and "ἕκαστος" different degrees of the same adjective?

ἕκαστος (hekastos) means "each of many"; ἑκάτερος (hekateros) means "each of two." These forms look (respectively) like the superlative and comparative degree of the same word *...
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1 answer
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How would the ancient Greeks have said "full" month

In the ancient Greek calendar, there were two types of months, "hollow" months that had 29 days, and "full" months which had 30 days. In latin, these were pleni mensis, "full&...
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1 answer
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What would the ancient Greeks have called Herakles' bow and poisoned arrows? What would the Romans have called them?

Herakles received a bow from Apollon before his labors started. After his second labor, the slaying of the Lernaean Hydra, he dipped his arrows in it's blood making them instantly lethal. What would ...
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1 answer
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What would be the name for government for, from, and by

The people Shareholders The king Investors Customers Tax payers Plus explanation. From sources, I've heard that those are Democracy Metochocracy Monarchy Ependocracy Pelatarchy What? I may be wrong....
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4 answers
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What would the term for pomegranate orchard be in latin or ancient greek?

I am doing research into Greek and Roman mythology, specifically the underworld. There is supposedly a pomegranate orchard next to the palace of Hades, and I am looking for the ancient terms for it. ...
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3 answers
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On the translation of the first hypothesis of Theaetetus (Theaetetus, 151e)

In Theaetetus, when asked about knowldegde (ἐπιστήμη) he first suggest that knowldege is perception (αἴσθησις). Just before, he says the following : δοκεῖ οὖν μοι ὁ ἐπιστάμενός τι αἰσθάνεσθαι τοῦτο ὃ ...
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3 answers
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What would the ancient Romans have called Hercules' Club?

During the 2nd to 3rd century, Romans would wear a pendant which we call a Hercules' Club, in much the same way a modern Christian would wear a crucifix. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercules%...
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7 votes
2 answers
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The difference between ᾰ̓́στρον (ástron) and ἀστήρ (astḗr) in Ancient Greek

The words ᾰ̓́στρον (ástron) and ᾰ̓στήρ (astḗr) both apparently refer to a celestial body (typically stars and planets). Other than ᾰ̓́στρον being a 'second declension' noun and ᾰ̓στήρ being a 'third ...
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Koine Greek for “a capella”?

What is the Koine Greek word for “a capella”? Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 use G103 (ᾄδοντες). But, from the usage in the Septuagint, that word is not restricted to singing without musical ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What does this Latin phrase, from an ancient astrology wheel say?

"Hemphta - Numen Triforme" the greek portion reads "παντόλιoφoν" I think it says something like the "holy trinity" or "godhead trinity" but thats just based on ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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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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5 votes
1 answer
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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, ...
5 votes
1 answer
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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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1 answer
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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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2 answers
157 views

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
199 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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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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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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1 answer
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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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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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1 answer
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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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4 votes
1 answer
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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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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 ...