Skip to main content

Questions tagged [ancient-greek]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
33 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did the letters in the alphabet shift position?

When presented with the Greek alphabet, it is like this: Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω Or the Etruscan alphabet: A B G D E V Z H Θ I K L M N Ξ O P Ś Q R S T Y X Φ Ψ But if we ...
Yadeses's user avatar
  • 1,115
29 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why hippopotamus instead of potamohippus?

Judging by this dictionary entry for hippopotamus, the Romans knew this animal and used the name we currently use in English. This word has an obviously Greek origin: hippos is a horse and potamos is ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
25 votes
5 answers
44k views

Is "history" a male-biased word ("his+story")?

In the last International Women's Day I saw some footage showing a poster with the phrase "women making herstory", as opposed to "history". The phrase was playing with the fact that the word "history" ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 12.5k
21 votes
3 answers
4k views

When did 'ph' start to be pronounced like 'f'?

I learned from Nathaniel's answer to my previous question that 'ch', 'th' and 'ph' were aspirated voiceless stops in classical Latin. In my experience many contemporary speakers of Latin pronounce 'ph'...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
641 views

Did the Romans ever combine Greek and Latin morphemes?

Recently I was thinking about words in English which were formed from a Greek and Latin morpheme pair. An example of this is 'television', where 'tele-' is a Greek-originating prefix while 'vision' is ...
Cataline's user avatar
  • 929
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does "ῤάρος" have a smooth breathing?

I recently discovered that LSJ lists exactly two words beginning with ῤ (rho with a smooth breathing mark): ῤάρος and its diminutive ῤάριον. Most beginning Greek students are taught, of course, that ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.7k
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

The Latin word “Have” rather than “Ave” as a translation of the Greek word Χαῖρε?

According to BlueLetterBible, the Latin Vulgate translation of Matthew 26:49 states, The Greek text from the Textus Receptus states, ΜΘʹ καὶ εὐθέως προσελθὼν τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶπεν Χαῖρε ῥαββί καὶ ...
Der Übermensch's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
17k views

When and how much did Romans speak Greek?

Here are a few historical facts that most amateur ancient historians are aware of: The Romans began speaking Latin. After the conquest of Alexander the Great, Greek became a "lingua franca" in the ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.7k
17 votes
1 answer
640 views

What errors did the Greeks typically make in Latin?

Suppose a person born and educated in Greece comes to ancient Rome. They have learned Latin and can converse fluently but not at a native level. What kinds of wrong pronunciation, vocabulary, or ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
996 views

Why are Greek nouns in -ον, -ος transliterated in Latin as -um, -us?

Although there are numerous conventions that appear to be followed when borrowing words from Greek to English, an especially noticeable one is the change made to the endings of 2nd declension nouns, ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.7k
16 votes
1 answer
262 views

Quare dicitur "poeta" et non "pœeta"?

"Why is it "poeta" and not "poeeta" in Latin?" This question occurs in the Harvard University Catalogue of 1872-73, but I haven't been able to find the answer. The reason I would expect "pœeta" is ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.5k
15 votes
5 answers
15k views

Learn Ancient Greek or Latin first?

I am in the beginning stages of thinking about learning both Ancient Greek and Latin. During my initial research, I have encountered some people saying that learning Latin first is what is commonly ...
Nacht's user avatar
  • 505
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

In Romans 3:22, why did Jerome prefer to use crēdunt rather than fīdunt?

The Greek text of the Textus Receptus (1550) states, ΚΒʹ δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας καὶ ἐπὶ πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή TR, 1550 which Jerome ...
Der Übermensch's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
514 views

Is there any rule for determining whether a verb beginning with ε- will augment to η- vs ει-, or must all verbs' behaviors be memorized?

For instance, the verb ἐλευθερῶ augments to ἠλευθέρουν in the past, whereas the verb ἔχω augments to εἶχον (not ἦχον as might have been predicted).
healynr's user avatar
  • 335
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is Jesus inflected in such a way?

The name Iesus is declined in a very peculiar way in Latin, and no other word seems to follow similar declensions. Why is this so? Is there a way to put this broader declension in context to make some ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
391 views

Use of Greek article in Latin to clarify use of foreign indeclinable nouns

This question concerning the pluralization of letter names has led me to ask a somewhat related question on the use of Greek to clarify indeclinable nouns in Latin. The background to this question is ...
varro's user avatar
  • 4,698
14 votes
2 answers
759 views

What was the sibilant in θάλασσα?

The word θάλασσα thálassa "sea" is spelled in various different ways, with different letters replacing the sigmas: some dialects had a tau, for example, while others had a theta. Do we know (through ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.1k
14 votes
1 answer
537 views

What is the earliest known word borrowed from Latin to Greek?

There was a great cultural borrowing of ideas from Greece to Rome, and a number of Greek words ended up being borrowed to Latin. But it must have happened the other way, too, at some point. What is ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
189 views

Why is "repetunt" 3rd pl active in Luke 12:20 (Vulgate)?

I was reading today's gospel from the Roman calendar and noticed this in Luke 12:20: dixit autem illi Deus stulte hac nocte animam tuam repetunt a te quae autem parasti cuius erunt I was struck by ...
sixty4bit's user avatar
  • 475
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

When did the Romans start using Z?

Several of my recent questions have touched on the letter Z, which was introduced fairly late to the alphabet (it's disappeared from its Phoenician position and been added back in at the end, in its ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.1k
14 votes
1 answer
387 views

Greek pronunciation, invisible aspirations

Is there any evidence that aspirations that are as a result of composition no longer orthographically marked were still pronounced? Or to the contrary? I mean was προαίρησις pronounced proairesis or ...
Toothrot's user avatar
  • 589
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is "anti" used in Latin?

Apparently, anti is a word already available in Greek, meaning against. However, it seems this word did not reach Latin. Still, Wikipedia entries of common English words that have anti as prefix are ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 12.5k
13 votes
2 answers
752 views

Why do we call a case a casus? And why rectus, obliquus?

I would translate the grammatical word casus (whence English case) as "a fall". And, indeed, the German word is Fall, Dutch naamval ("name fall"). Why is this word used for the grammatical function of ...
Cerberus's user avatar
  • 20.1k
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

When and how was "bombax!" used?

I found the exclamation bombax! in Plautus' Pseudolus (Pl. Ps. 1.3.131), where note 19 specifies it is a Greek loanword (βομβάξ in fact) used as an interjection of contempt. This agrees with what is ...
Vincenzo Oliva's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
289 views

Can you place "et" inside a prepositional phrase?

I became curious about this question as I was translating a passage written by a textbook author. The passage begins, Poeta Ovidius fabulam de dea Latona et de femina Niobe narrat. (Latin via Ovid)...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12.1k
13 votes
1 answer
435 views

Are there instances of free indirect discourse in Latin or Greek?

Free indirect discourse is a type of narrative device which has some similarities with direct discourse and some with ordinary indirect discourse, but is different from both. Here's an English example,...
TKR's user avatar
  • 31.4k
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 “...
texdr.aft's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
1 answer
557 views

Etymology and pronunciation of words ending in “-iasis”

Unfortunately, I don’t own any Latin or Greek dictionaries or etymological texts, but I tried to research this topic on the internet. Here is what I found: Perseus: words ending in “iasis” in L&S ...
Asteroides's user avatar
  • 29.5k
12 votes
8 answers
3k views

Can one translate ἀθάνατος as 'living' rather than 'immortal'?

Context There is an old hymn, often referred to as the Trisagion or Thrice-Holy. It goes like this in Greek: Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. (Transliterated, this reads, &...
Samantha Y's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
612 views

Classical Latin translations from extant Greek sources (or vice versa)

Are there any ancient works, or parts of ancient works, which we possess in both Greek and Latin -- i.e. both the original and a translation, made in antiquity, into the other language? I know there ...
TKR's user avatar
  • 31.4k
12 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is this bible in Koine Greek?

So I bought a Greek bible and I’m not sure whether it is Koine or Modern Greek. Could someone please help me out? Thanks.
Owl's user avatar
  • 677
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

What Latin word could I use to refer to a grocery store?

I would like to say "I am eating in the grocery store", and so far I have come up with "edo in foro" and "edo in emporio". But I'm not sure if either of these would be the best fit. What word would ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12.1k
12 votes
2 answers
827 views

What is the origin of the "veneration" meaning of dulia?

The word dulia comes from the Greek doulia (meaning "slavery" or "servitude"). But in Catholicism, the word has taken on a theological meaning, as described in the Catholic Encyclopedia, "signifying ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
491 views

When did consonantal "v" start being transcribed as "β"?

Since I learned Latin using ecclesiastical pronunciation, I have a general interest in the shift from the classical pronunciation of "v" as /w/ to /v/. This question is more focused though: I am ...
brianpck's user avatar
  • 41.7k
12 votes
1 answer
294 views

Did the Romans have a Latin name for their domestic peristylia?

A typical upper- and probably also middle-class Roman house in the classical age contained a peristylium or peristylum, or so I was told. I wonder why they used a Greek word for such a standard Roman ...
Cerberus's user avatar
  • 20.1k
12 votes
0 answers
449 views

Received pronunciation in Ancient Greek

As S. Teodorsson argues in his work on the phonemic system of the Attic dialect, there is evidence that already in the IV century BC, 'popular' Athenian speech underwent changes such as the merger of ...
Simon Korneev's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Are "μπ" and "ντ" indicators that the word didn't exist in Koine/Ancient Greek?

I am learning Modern Greek on Duolingo, in the hopes that it will help me learn Koine and Ancient Greek, eventually. I have also watched a few other videos, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/...
Nacht's user avatar
  • 505
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Relationship between early Latin and Greek?

I am just restarting my schoolgirl Latin, but have already become fascinated with its links to Greek. According to Wheelock, whom I have absolutely no right to question, both Latin and Greek are ...
TheHonRose's user avatar
  • 1,316
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

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. ...
Walter's user avatar
  • 509
11 votes
2 answers
791 views

How do the verbs do and δίδωμι come from *deh₃-?

I was a little surprised to find that the PIE root of do and δίδωμι is *deh₃-, not *do-. How did we get the "o" vowel sound from eh₃? I don't actually know how to pronounce h₃, but I'm assuming that *...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 12.1k
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the difference between aula and atrium?

When researching for the living room question and the question that inspired it, I came across some dictionary definitions of aula and atrium. Aula is a Greek thing and atrium is Roman, but otherwise ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

In the etymology of 'physics', what is the ultimate Greek root?

The Oxford English Dictionary says the following about the etymology of physics: < PHYSIC adj. (see -ic suffix 2), after classical Latin physica natural science, in post-classical Latin also the ...
linguisticturn's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
365 views

Why νώ (rather than νῶ) from νόω? (Greek)

Consider these masculine nominative singular and masculine nominative dual forms: νοῦς, νώ κανοῦν, κανώ μνᾶ, μνᾶ γῆ, γᾶ I understand that the circumflex in these forms represents an acute ...
Catomic's user avatar
  • 1,513
11 votes
2 answers
820 views

What is "parecbolae"?

Researching an answer for this question, I found a book of regulations of the University of Oxford, dating from the early 19th century. The title is: I cannot find the meaning of Parecbolae anywhere. ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 12.5k
11 votes
2 answers
385 views

Was -oe- used natively in standard classical Latin, or was every word with -oe- adopted from a foreign or non-standard origin?

Latin has quite a few words with -oe-, such as Poenus and moenia. But I've heard it said that all of those words are either translitterations from Greek -oi- or adopted from non-standard dialects of ...
Cerberus's user avatar
  • 20.1k
11 votes
1 answer
708 views

What evidence is there for the classical pronunciation of zeta?

As I learned it back in introductory Greek, there's significant debate in the classics community about whether Classical Greek Ζ was pronounced /dz/, /zd/, /zz/, or something else. What evidence is ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 68.1k
11 votes
1 answer
239 views

Scope of negation with absolute constructions

In Latin and Greek, when a negator appears in an absolute construction (ablative absolute, genitive absolute), it is generally taken to negate the predicate within that construction: hostibus ...
TKR's user avatar
  • 31.4k
11 votes
1 answer
548 views

Which grammatical format is the double-perfect system as found in the Vulgate?

Question: Please show me a grammar resource that explains what the following construction is: John 1:24 "missi fuerant" John 1:40 "secuti fuerant" John 2:10 "inebriati fuerint" John 3:3 "natus fuerit"...
BrennickC's user avatar
  • 403
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did the ancients or medievals have a word for the energy stored in plants?

If you spend a little time gardening, you soon become aware that plants store energy in their roots, which they collect from the Sun through their leaves. By the end of Autumn, perennials usually have ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

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%...
Walter's user avatar
  • 509

1
2 3 4 5
14