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Questions tagged [greek]

Questions concerning Greek (New Testament or older) either in relation to Latin or in itself. New Testament Greek questions should focus on language, not exegesis.

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Where did the Greek sibilant letters come from?

The predecessor to the modern Greek alphabet was the Phoenician alphabet, which had four "sibilant" letters: 𐤆 zayin /z/ 𐤎 samekh /s/ 𐤑 ṣade /ṣ/ 𐤔 šin /š/ According to Jeffery, these turned into ...
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3answers
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Was η called “eta” or “heta”?

Nowadays, the letter Η/η is called "ita" by Greeks and "eta" by physicists. But I'm curious: if I went back in time and talked to Socrates, what name would he have used? Background: historically, Η ...
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3answers
587 views

How to read αἱμύλιος or when to aspirate

I've tought myself to read the Greek alphabet, and it is still confusing to read and identify "h" sound in the ancient Greek. For example, Athena talks about Circe that she has "αἱμύλιοι λόγοι" in ...
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1answer
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Looking for a direct quote from Heraclitus expressing that everything changes

I am in search of a direct quote (as close as possible) from Heraclitus that expresses the idea that life is flux -or- everything changes. With the help of this website I have been told that ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Is rough vs smooth breathing predictable?

Recently, I came across an excerpt from a scholium on Dionysius Thrax: Διὰ τί τὸ "η" πρὸ τοῦ "τ" ψιλοῦται, ἐν δὲ τῷ ἧτα τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ στοιχείου δασύνεται; Ἐπειδὴ παρὰ τοῖς ἀρχαίοις ὁ τύπος τοῦ "Η" ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Looking for Correct Greek Translation for Heraclitus

I have found this quote in a variety of sources, but am wary of the Greek translation (knowing nothing of greek in its many forms over the years) COuld someone help me correctly find the original ...
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Omission of a repeated verb in second part of a μέν … δέ

This question is about the Greek equivalent of sentences like I do not fear the Greeks, but I do fear the Romans. Socrates didn't write dialogues, but Plato did. These sentences use or imply ...
2
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1answer
60 views

How were names ending in -ιον used in Greek?

In the plays of Plautus, there are some names ending in -um. They are generally formed as Greek names (whether genuine or pseudo-Greek), and the Latin ending -um here seems to correspond to the Greek ...
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2answers
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Male personal names ending in -um

A number of personal names in the works of Plautus end in -um in the nominative singular, which struck me as odd when I first encountered them, since nominative singular -um is characteristically ...
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0answers
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What is the etymology of the suffix -aster, -astri?

It's been a bit difficult for me to find good information about the etymology of the derivational suffix -aster. De Vaan doesn't seem to talk about it. A number of sources indicate that it is from ...
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2answers
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Pronouncing Homer as in modern Greek

25 years ago I was reasonably good in modern Greek, could read Popeye comic books and have a basic conversation with a taxi driver. I was thinking it would be a fun and challenging project to try to ...
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1answer
37 views

What dialect are the Antikythera Mechanism inscriptions in?

The Antikythera Mechanism is an early analogue computer, discovered in a Roman shipwreck off the coast of Antikythera. It was ridiculously advanced for its time, being able to calculate eclipses, ...
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2answers
190 views

What do these Greek words say? Possibly 2nd century

Here is a very old (possibly 2nd century) depiction of the Crucifixion of Jesus on an engraved gem: What do the words say? Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_in_the_arts#...
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1answer
51 views

How are “Arsaces” and “Gotarzes” declined, and why?

Declinatione nominum latinorum a nominibus graecis quae -ης finiuntur perturbor. Dictionarium L&S exhibet "Arsăces, is m." a nomine graeco Ἀρσάκης. (E in syllaba ultima de "Arsăces" longum esse ...
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1answer
49 views

When were different agent noun endings used in Ancient Greek?

In Ancient Greek, it seems that there were various endings for agent nouns. Thomas Dwight Goodell's School Grammar of Attic Greek (1902) mentions -τηρ, -τωρ, -της, -εύς, -τειρα, -τρια, -τρις (-τριδ-), ...
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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" ...
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2answers
70 views

Why the placement of the verse break between John 7:21-22?

I've been slowly working my way through the Gospel of John translating from the Greek. Coming to John 7:21-22, I am a bit stumped as to why editors have placed sentence and verse breaks where they ...
5
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1answer
101 views

Genitives like “axeos”

I recently encountered a text written in Latin in Finland about two centuries ago using the form axeos. From context it was clear that it was a genitive, and it looks just like the Greek genitive of ...
3
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1answer
57 views

Translation of the Word Συντέλεια

The ancient text of Matthew 24:3 reads: “Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους τῶν ἐλαιῶν προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ κατ᾽ ἰδίαν λέγοντες· εἰπὲ ἡμῖν, πότε ταῦτα ἔσται καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας ...
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Verbal Adjective of Necessity vs. Possibility

Greek distinguishes between verbal adjectives ending in -τέος and verbal adjectives ending in -τός. The latter (according to Smyth) express either possibility or the perfect passive participle (e.g. '...
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1answer
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Etimology of the word “σκευή”

What's the origin of this word?Is it indo-european?
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109 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 ...
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1answer
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How many Greek letters are there?

The Greek alphabet currently has twenty-four letters, and this has been standard for millennia now. However, three extra symbols are used for numbers, and other answers mention letters like tsan used ...
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3answers
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What did σκάλα exactly mean in Byzantine Greek?

In Spanish we have a word escala that means "stopover" as "a break in a journey", specially when travelling by sea. According to the dictionary by the Royal Spanish Academy, the word comes from ...
5
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1answer
60 views

Are vestiges or influence of the instrumental case in any way identifiable in Latin and Greek?

I believe the instrumental case was absorbed by the ablative in Latin and by the dative in Greek. Is there any way at all in which influence of the old instrumental can be seen in Latin or Greek?—...
4
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1answer
72 views

Do we know how Greek dialects sounded?

To some extent, we know how sounds varied between ancient Greek dialects: the Aeolians lost rough breathings but preserved digamma, for example, while the Attics changed many of their long alphas into ...
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2answers
85 views

When did σχ become [ʃ]?

In Tsakonian (a modern descendant of Doric Greek), the letter combination ΣΧ is pronounced [ʃ] (the first sound in English "ship"). However, it seems clear that this wasn't the ancient pronunciation, ...
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0answers
39 views

ἤ = vel or ἤ = aut?

LSJ says ἤ is a "disjunctive or", but does it correspond Latin's vel ("inclusive disjunction") or aut ("exclusive cunjunction")?
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0answers
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παντοκράτωρ - a matter of power or authority?

παντοκράτωρ, pantokrator is generally translated as "almighty," interpreted as a matter of power. I.e. the bible talks about one infinite God, El shaddai. But im curious if we may have been ...
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(Greek) what's a “γε causal”?

I read in the very beginning of Platon's Laches (perseus edition): τεθέασθε μὲν τὸν ἄνδρα μαχόμενον ἐν ὅπλοις, ὦ Νικία τε καὶ Λάχης: οὗ δ᾽ ἕνεκα ὑμᾶς ἐκελεύσαμεν συνθεάσασθαι ἐγώ τε καὶ Μελησίας ...
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What is this letter?

I came across this picture attached to a clickbaity article this morning: A nice, normal-looking Greek alphabet…except for something that looks like S in between epsilon and zeta. What is this ...
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3answers
358 views

If these Greek characters ever had alternative orthographies / typographies

Wondering if any of the following letters were or are ever written in the way described for each. Δ : If it is ever filled in black. Ξ : If it is ever written as similar to E or Ǝ, with a side edge ...
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1answer
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Different greek cases for Theos

Trying to improve my understanding of biblical greek and ran across something odd. Theos - Θεός is nominative. Theon - Θεόν is accusative. TheO - Θεῷ is dative. Theou - Θεοῦ genitive. Theoi - θεοί ...
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1answer
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How long was the privative alpha?

In Ancient Greek, the "privative alpha" is a negating prefix, cognate to Latin in- (as in "in-conceivable", not "in-flammable") and English "un-". It survives in English in words like "a-typical" and "...
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1answer
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What would this pun mean?

In a conversation with a fellow Ancient Greek enthusiast, the name "Medusa" (Μέδουσα, "ruling") came up. I made a rather tortured pun by switching the epsilon to an eta, creating μὴ δοῦσα. Now, μή is ...
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How did the “injunctive” work?

According to Wikipedia: Homeric Greek does not have a historical present tense, but rather uses injunctives. Injunctives are replaced by the historical present in the post-Homeric writings of ...
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2answers
505 views

How was the “elliptical dual” used?

In a comment on this answer, TKR brought up an interesting point of grammar I'd never heard of. Αἴαντε [Ajax-DUAL] is an interesting case. Though readers of Homer since antiquity have interpreted ...
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1answer
121 views

Hexametric Greek names

A number of Greek names encountered in hexameter follow the syllable length pattern -vv-; consider for example Penelope, Telemachos, Calliope, Terpsichore. The pattern -v-- is absent as the metric ...
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When was the dual number used in Attic Greek?

I have only studied the very basics of Greek years ago, so the question might be simple, but I couldn't find a clear summary anywhere. Attic Greek has a dual number alongside singular and plural. When ...
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1answer
60 views

Unde “Laelaps”?

Laelaps was a mythical hunting dog that could always catch its prey. The name comes from Greek λαῖλαψ, "hurricane". But where does this word come from? LSJ doesn't provide an etymology, and ...
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1answer
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Can you please fix the mistakes in translating these prayers from Koine Greek to English (Part 2 of 2)?

This is a continuation from this question I do not know nearly enough Koine Greek to point out what I am specifically unsure about. That said, I do know enough to see that the Greek and English texts ...
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1answer
73 views

Can you please fix the mistakes in translating these prayers from Koine Greek to English (Part 1 of 2)?

This question is continued here I do not know nearly enough Koine Greek to point out what I am specifically unsure about. That said, I do know enough to see that the Greek and English texts do not ...
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1answer
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What declension are θορυβος and κοσμος?

I'm curious about what declension θορυβος and κοσμος are in Attic Greek. They appear to be second declension (θορυβος, -ου and κοσμος, -ου), but in the Athenaze workbook (which I'm slowly working my ...
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1answer
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Ancient greek translation exercise - narration, meaning of singular *οὔτε*

In First Greek Book by John Williams White following passage is given for reader to translate: Τισσαφέρνες δέ, ὀ τῆς Καρίας σατράπης, τῷ Κύρῳ πολέμιος ἦν, τότε δὲ οὔτε ἐστράτευεν ἐπ' αὔτε διήρπαζε ...
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Where does the word “thlypis”/θλυπις come from?

A number of New World warblers seem to have genus names that end in the element -thlypis. It's been hard for me to find information about the etymology of this element; I found a few sources on the ...
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1answer
300 views

«ἐστὶ γνωρίζειν καὶ οὐδεμιᾶς ἐπιστήμης ἀφωρισμένης» (Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1.1)

Aristotle, Rhetoric, 1.1: ἡ ῥητορική ἐστιν ἀντίστροφος τῇ διαλεκτικῇ: ἀμφότεραι γὰρ περὶ τοιούτων τινῶν εἰσιν ἃ κοινὰ τρόπον τινὰ ἁπάντων ἐστὶ γνωρίζειν καὶ οὐδεμιᾶς ἐπιστήμης ἀφωρισμένης I ...
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1answer
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«θύων τε γὰρ φανερὸς ἦν πολλάκις μὲν οἴκοι» (Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.1.2)

Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.1.2: πρῶτον μὲν οὖν, ὡς οὐκ ἐνόμιζεν οὓς ἡ πόλις νομίζει θεούς, ποίῳ ποτ᾽ ἐχρήσαντο τεκμηρίῳ; θύων τε γὰρ φανερὸς ἦν πολλάκις μὲν οἴκοι, πολλάκις δὲ ἐπὶ τῶν κοινῶν τῆς ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
43 views

What is the function of ποτὲ in «πολλάκις ἐθαύμασα τίσι ποτὲ λόγοις Ἀθηναίους»? (Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.1.1)

πολλάκις ἐθαύμασα τίσι ποτὲ λόγοις Ἀθηναίους ἔπεισαν οἱ γραψάμενοι Σωκράτην ὡς ἄξιος εἴη θανάτου τῇ πόλει. Source My question concerns the usage of ποτὲ in this clause. I reviewed the LSJ entry for ...
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2answers
488 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 ...