Tuesday, May 4, 2021

21st Century Classical Greek -- textual structure and cultural background

I 3.2. is long and involved so let’s parse it out.

δοκεῖ δέ μοι,

οὐδὲ τοὔνομα τοῦτο ξύμπασά πω εἶχεν,

ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν πρὸ Ἕλληνος τοῦ Δευκαλίωνος καὶ πάνυ οὐδὲ εἶναι ἡ ἐπίκλησις αὕτη,

κατὰ ἔθνη δὲ ἄλλα τε καὶ τὸ Πελασγικὸν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀφ᾽ ἑαυτῶν τὴν ἐπωνυμίαν παρέχεσθαι,

Ἕλληνος δὲ καὶ τῶν παίδων αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ Φθιώτιδι ἰσχυσάντων,

καὶ ἐπαγομένων αὐτοὺς ἐπ᾽ ὠφελίᾳ ἐς τὰς ἄλλας πόλεις,

καθ᾽ ἑκάστους μὲν ἤδη τῇ ὁμιλίᾳ μᾶλλον καλεῖσθαι Ἕλληνας,

οὐ μέντοι πολλοῦ γε χρόνου [ἐδύνατο] καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι.

Tounoma is an example of how an article can stick to (agglutinate with) the noun it modifies. It refers back to Hellas which, according to Mr. T, was not the name of the entire region “yet”, po.

Learn ἀλλὰ as “but, on the other hand” and άλλος, “other”.

Tou + a name in -on case is “son of.” You’ll see it a lot later when Thucydides starts naming military officers.

Learn ἐκνικάω. You may know of the goddess of Victory, Nike. You’ll see this verb a lot later to show who won what battles. I’m going to talk about it next week because of all the options in Word Tool.

If you know Greek mythology, you know who Deukalion is. In fact he unites the pre-Hellenic ethnic groups because each of them claims he landed in their turf: Mount Parnassus, Mount Athos in Chalkidiki 40 miles NW of Parnassus, Mount Othrys in Thessaly barely 20 miles north of Parnassus, or Mount Etna in Sicily, over 60 miles from Parnassus.

Mount Parnassus was sacred to Dionysus, a fitting legend for the landing place of the ancestor of the man who started making wine in Greece and who came from the wine-producing Indo-European homeland in Anatolia. Parnassus overhangs Delphi, the oracle sacred to Apollo, patron of the Pelishtim/Ahiyyawa. (This is the landing spot in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a product of the Roman Empire that nevertheless seems to have drawn on oral narratives.)  Parnassus is supposed to be where Apollo met the son of one of the nine muses and taught Orpheus to sing and play.

The Pelasgians are pre-Hellenic settlers in Greece and that makes them cognate to the Pelishet, which was their Egyptian name; they are the Pelisthim of the Hebrew Bible. The Hittites called them Ahiyyawa, the equivalent of Achaean. They were a part of the Sea Peoples, living in Krete and using Linear B for their Indo-European language which has some strong resemblances to Latin such as eko for horse (equus). This later turned into Greek hippos through something called a q/p conversion that also distinguishes Welsh from Irish.

Another part of the Sea Peoples, the Sikila, gave their name to Sicily. They and the Sherden settled around Tyre and Sidon and merged with the K’naani inhabitants to become the Phoenicians, famous in ancient times for their travels to Spain and Wales.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

21st Century Classical Greek -- ergazomai

Thucydides I 3:1 has an important verb, ergazomai. Get the conjugation in Wikipedia and learn it.

δηλοῖ δέ μοι καὶ τόδε τῶν παλαιῶν ἀσθένειαν οὐχ ἥκιστα: πρὸ γὰρ τῶν Τρωικῶν οὐδὲν φαίνεται πρότερον κοινῇ ἐργασαμένη ἡ Ἑλλάς:

The reason it’s important is that it can mean “do”, while I already had you memorize poeio which also means “do”. These are a mai/non-mai pair like age and higeomai.

The point of using ergasameni is the word right before it, koine. You may know this as the term for late Greek, used in Christian scripture. It grew from Macedonian Greek in the reign of Alexander and was the common (koine) language of his empire. Here it means more like “jointly”.

Once again we have a -mai verb used for an evaluation: common, cross-Greece coordinate action was apparently unknown.

Thucydides is speaking of this action in a personal geruundive, without definiteness, and looking at it as something not done deliberately in base voice. He is concentrating on its nature, its commonality across all Greece, something that did not happen deliberately.

What Mr T is definite about is that this commonality ouden fainetai did not make itself obvious, at least in the pro ton Troikon, pre-Trojan War, phase of history. What he is going by is that Homer gives a catalog of ships, for one thing, each with its own leader, as the first joint action recorded in Greek literature.

Second, Thucydides is going by something he will say explicitly in the next couple of subsections:  Homer knows of the Achaean combatants as different ethnic groups with different names.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Knitting -- bottom up proof of concept

So in a previous post I said that bottom up or top down, a raglan is a good way to use up leftovers. And in the photo album I listed the post you are reading now, as Taking My Own Advice. So here I used up some old Wool of the Andes worsted. All the motifs are from Mary McGregor's edition of Robert Williamson's collections of patterns he copied from his customers in the 1920s.

Here we are with the body and sleeves all on one needle. It's 358 stitches in worsted yarn and very heavy.

The yellows at the bottom are leftovers from my first Fair Isle; the bright orange is leftover from a jumper that wore out over the last 10 years. The dark gray is from a jumper I still have, and the black from a replacement for a worn-out jumper. White you always have with you. The lightest gray was left from my houndstooth vest. The other 3 colors were bought to carry out the pattern.

The third band up from the bottom is what you might call subtle if you were being kind, and muddy iif you were being critical. I knew that from the spreadsheet planner but I went ahead because a) the yarn vendor didn't have another gray to fit between the darkest and lightest grays and b) it was a different level of contrast compared to the yellows at the bottom, one in the black and a different one in the darkest gray. The two top grays both have "pumpkin" for a contrasting color. In the one case, the background borrows some of the warmth of the pumpkin and looks more like taupe than like gray. In the other, there's higher contrast plus it also is limited to the same  motifs as the two bottom  bands.

So here is the underarm with pumpkin colored yarn holding the stitches. When I finish I'll turn it inside out and knit these stitches together.




Here it is with the yoke on. I tried to follow that strong center line the whole way up to the neck but the decreases made it hard. Also in case you can't tell, the orange sparkles don't line up the way they did on the first Fair Isle jumper.



This is the back view. Two things. First, there's more white under the neck than there is on the front, because I did a mid-back elevation. Second, on the right side, notice the dark gray blob before the X. That's because of increases that widened the sleeve but didn't leave room for another X next to the underarm "seam". I showed you examples of this waaay back with the first Fair Isle jumper.


I still have some yarn left and I will remake the sleeves, adding the circular motifs. 

There is one more advantage to raglan. When you knit in the round you want to do steeking at the armholes so you can keep knitting in the round. That works for wool because it hackles, and when you cut the steeking it doesn't unravel. That doesn't work with silk, cotton, or linen. (or acrylic) If you work these fibers in raglan, you can work in the round bottom up.  The yarn in this top is merino, cotton, and polyamide, and it is not spun like typical yarns; it looks as if the strands were knitted! It would not work with steeking. It has a lovely hand, and it's the first peach-colored yarn I've seen in years. It's also fairly cool and would be good for late spring tops.  While Yarn.com tags Alta Moda Cotolana as worsted, do your swatch; it actually works more like a DK. 


I have a replacement jumper to knit and some socks to work. Then I can do the bottom up raglan in brioche that I was talking about. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

21st Century Classical Greek -- contracted verbs

We’re moving to section 3! The next review is lesson 53. By then we will cut several pages out of the old grammars, find that third modality, and get two more sections under our belts.

I’m doing two subsections at once because they start with high-frequency verbs.

δηλοῖ δέ μοι καὶ τόδε τῶν παλαιῶν ἀσθένειαν οὐχ ἥκιστα: πρὸ γὰρ τῶν Τρωικῶν οὐδὲν φαίνεται πρότερον κοινῇ ἐργασαμένη ἡ Ἑλλάς:

δοκεῖ δέ μοι, οὐδὲ τοὔνομα τοῦτο ξύμπασά πω εἶχεν, ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν πρὸ Ἕλληνος τοῦ Δευκαλίωνος καὶ πάνυ οὐδὲ εἶναι ἡ ἐπίκλησις αὕτη, κατὰ ἔθνη δὲ ἄλλα τε καὶ τὸ Πελασγικὸν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀφ᾽ ἑαυτῶν τὴν ἐπωνυμίαν παρέχεσθαι, Ἕλληνος δὲ καὶ τῶν παίδων αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ Φθιώτιδι ἰσχυσάντων, καὶ ἐπαγομένων αὐτοὺς ἐπ᾽ ὠφελίᾳ ἐς τὰς ἄλλας πόλεις, καθ᾽ ἑκάστους μὲν ἤδη τῇ ὁμιλίᾳ μᾶλλον καλεῖσθαι Ἕλληνας, οὐ μέντοι πολλοῦ γε χρόνου [ἐδύνατο] καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι.

Click on each of diloi and dokei and get the Wiktionary conjugation. Learn them.

Dilou means make apparent and Thucydides is saying “it seems to me”. Jowett, if you’re using his translation, often ignores this.

Dokei means think; Thucydides is saying “I think, I suppose.”

Dilou is part of an important class of non-mai verbs. You saw in faino and poieo that they dropped vowels in the first syllable of the root. Dilou and others drop a vowel in the second syllable of the root.

This class includes oikeo, inhabit, occupy, colonize.  In White, see page 248, section 781 for timao, honor. Notice that the vowel doesn’t always drop out; sometimes it converts into something else. Also notice the forms in parentheses which are conjectural original forms that have themselves contracted. Where there is a iota in this conjectural form, notice how often there’s a little hook under the remaining vowel; this represents the iota and you will also see it in  the singular of the -ois case.

Notice in Wiktionary that some of these verbs can have uncontracted forms. This is why you have to learn the verb, not what the grammar book says. You never know when you will come across a variant form.

And of course you have to recognize that the base meaning is not the only meaning of the verb, especially with Thucydides, whose meaning is often at the end of the lexicon entry. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

21st Century Classical Greek -- review 2

So we’ve done another 20 lessons and here is what you should know about Classical Greek because of them.

Some initial vowels in Greek have a sort of “open quote” mark above them meaning that you huff a little before saying them. This is why they are transcribed with an “h” before them. Rho is always pronounced with the “h” after it, that’s why “rhythm” is spelled the way it is.

Conjugation of faino.

Conjugation of poeio.

Eventive verbs starting in alpha, whether it’s a prepositional prefix or not, do not take augment.

There is no “future perfect” tense and there is no perfective future aspect. The “future perfect” label was applied to imperfective conceptual passive voice, and it was dubbed “perfect” only because in Attic Greek it had reduplication. This basically means that in Classial Greek you can’t say “by that time I shall have finished.” If you have a contrary example in your favorite author, give us the citation – first making sure it’s in Classical Greek, not koine.

Passive voice exists only for -mai verbs and for imperfective non-mai verbs.

Executive voice exists only for non-mai verbs.

Everything else is base voice.

-mai verbs and non-mai verbs that mean similar things are used in different contexts. The -mai verb will be in a context that evaluates something; the non-mai verb will be in a context that can use a direct object.

Oblique modality is the modality label of the verb “mood” formerly known as “subjunctive”. It is the second level of certainty, indicative being the top level. There is a third level but we’ve had no examples of it yet. Oblique is used for a fair certainty that evidence exists or an action will occur.

Indicative must be used in the protasis of conditionals if there is evidence that it is contrary to fact.

Future indicative is a promise and in a conditional has the nuance “if you can promise me that…”

Autos is not reflexive; it’s an intensifier or refers to a previously mentioned person, or it’s a version of a 3rd person pronoun.

Eautou is more like a reflexive pronoun.

Comparatives and superlatives in adjectives, including the irregular malista and elakhista.

Adverbs derived from adjectives have omega sigma at the end instead of the adjectival masculine singular omicron sigma.

Noun case labels are confusing since they do not have uniform functions in all languages. The labels I will use are based on the plural endings. Nevertheless, you need to study each noun to be sure you know the conjugation.

1)         The -on case is used for negations like “is not there,” or “does not exist” or “does not have”.

2)         hupo plus the -on case for an animate noun is the instrumental for that noun.

3)         The -on case is applied to a noun that modifies a preceding noun, what they call “construct state” in Hebrew and idafa in Arabie.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

21st Century Classical Greek -- passive

This is I 2.6, and it has some great grammar in it.

καὶ παράδειγμα τόδε τοῦ λόγου οὐκ ἐλάχιστόν ἐστι διὰ τὰς μετοικίας ἐς τὰ ἄλλα μὴ ὁμοίως αὐξηθῆναι: ἐκ γὰρ τῆς ἄλλης Ἑλλάδος οἱ πολέμῳ ἢ στάσει ἐκπίπτοντες παρ᾽ Ἀθηναίους οἱ δυνατώτατοι ὡς βέβαιον ὂν ἀνεχώρουν, καὶ πολῖται γιγνόμενοι εὐθὺς ἀπὸ παλαιοῦ μείζω ἔτι ἐποίησαν πλήθει ἀνθρώπων τὴν πόλιν, ὥστε καὶ ἐς Ἰωνίαν ὕστερον ὡς οὐχ ἱκανῆς οὔσης τῆς Ἀττικῆς ἀποικίας ἐξέπεμψαν.

Notice the ouk elakhisto, meaning “not least”. If you have been using the translations, specifically, Jowett, he turns this backward. He does that a lot with meanings; he also moves words and clauses out of the position in which Thucydides has them. So sometimes you have to go hunting all over his version to see what Thucydides means, and it is a waste of time, as well as destroying structures Thucydides uses to make his material memorable, such as parallelism.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about for this subsection. I want to talk about auksithinai. Translating the Word Tool labels into our schema, we have an imperfective impersonal gerundive in a passive structure. The phrase also has a negation, mi.

In a sense this is an i.g. in a result clause, and the aspect we normally use for results is perfective. However, Thucydides’ meaning required that he use an intransitive phrase – which we would also do in English – and you can’t do that in perfective aspect in a non-mai verb, unless the verb itself has an intransitive meaning.

Now let’s look at that mi. It’s used with an adjective, mi omoios. As we know, that is supposed to mean “any likeness that might have existed, didn’t exist.” If Thucydides had used ouk, that would have meant “there could have been no likeness at all.”

Continuing the theme of migrations in this section, Thucydides is specifying that population increases in Athens occurred from an influx of refugees, strongmen who were thrown out of their polises after uprisings. The unstated alternative is that the other polises replaced population some other way, such as through reproduction.

Jowett gives the impression that this influx made the Attikan population larger than other places but Thucydides is saying that the increase occurred by a different mechanism. If Jowett is considering overpopulation as a reason for sending out colonies, well, we will soon see that Thucydides fails to make overpopulation a concern when he talks about the colonies of various metropolises. In fact, colonies in Greece were much like colonies set up by Britain, a way to ensure control of resources which became a source of money in trade and taxes. Besides, I’m just about to give still another reason why Athins sent these refugees out to colonies.

Notice the superlative dinatotatoi, “the strongest”. If the refugees coming to your city-state are deposed strongmen, do you let them stay?

So the first thing the Athinaians did was grant these people honorary citizenship, politai gignomenoi, turn them into citizens. It was a two-edged sword. It kept them from feeling resentment toward Athins. It also brought them under Athins’ laws, and Athins shipped them out to colonies for the sake of the city’s peace.

Eventually Thucydides does say that the number of refugees was too much for the city to handle. That says something about how many cities hated the strongmen that ruled them.

Notice the structure of the first phrase. Thucydides brings forward paradeigma to tell his audience what this subsection is about. From that he hangs what he is giving an example of, “this claim” and says it’s ouk elakhiston, which a lot of Victorian writers could have translated as “not inconsiderable”. Now that he has raised audience expectations, he gives the topic he will use for the rest of the section, metoikias es ta alla, people expelled into other polises. Then he says that this is not the way polises outside of Attika expanded.

Then he tells why these rejects were rejects, and how they were treated in Athins.