Entries tagged with “greek stuff


I put a LOL-ed up version of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Maidens here. It’s even less exciting in the original!

I realized I never linked my new blog on this one. I have a new project going, translating Plato’s Apology. I’ve decided to create a blog out of it, where I post both results of said efforts and commentary on my experience doing the translating. It’s been motivating me very much, and I hope to use it after I finish the Apology and move on to more, uh, scintillating material.

I’ve been up here at All Saints for three and a half hours studying for my Greek test next week and I think my brain has turned into jelly and is oozing out through my ears, but in another half an hour I get to go have a drink at Fermentation Lounge with my friend Selena and the rest of my band of scallawags.

Then tonight I’m going to watch the Sense and Sensibility miniseries with John, which should be cool, except that my use of the term scallawag just there has given me a real urge to break out the Mount Gay and watch Pirates of the Caribbean. Hmm. Perhaps I should bank on the already-insane popularity of the not-yet-published Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and write Sense and Sensibility and Pirates, so future generations can combine the pleasure of Regency romance and swashbuckling.

Holy crap, nobody steal my stolen idea, OK? That actually sounds awesome. Yarr!

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Sometimes I feel like I am getting worse at Greek instead of getting better. I don’t know what’s been wrong with me recently, but everything seems cumbersome and nothing is fun. I don’t know why I’m doing this, spending so much time and effort on this language that only beats me like a dog in return. I’m leaving school after this year and I know myself, I know I won’t continue on with this. I get frustrated too easily. So that’s leaving me puzzling over why the holy hell I’m bothering. Bleh.

My Greek instructor sometimes has us write short original compositions in Greek in order to play with verbal forms. This frequently results in hijinks and malarky (at least in the groups I tend to be in) and today my compatriots and I earned some kleos when our humble effort was put upon on the board for everyone to admire. Here’s the transcript of our barbarous yet humorous attempt:

Κάσσιδη φοβοῦμαι μὴ αἱ αἵγες ἀφιστᾶσι τοὺς ἵππους κάτα τῶν ἱππέων.

(Cassidy is afraid that the goats will cause the horses to revolt against the horsemen.)

ὦ Μολλῆ, τίθει τὰς ἄιγας ἐν τῇ χώρα.

(O Molly, put the goats in the countryside.)

Κάσσιδη δίδωσι τὸν Κᾶρλον ταῖς αἴξι.

(Cassidy gives Karl to the goats.)

Μολλῆ φοβοῦμαι μὴ οὐ Δημοσθένης ἀμύνῃ τὸν Κᾶρλον τῶν αἰγῶν.

(Molly fears that Demosthenes will not save Karl from the goats.)

If by some small chance someone who reads Greek finds this post offensive with a misplaced breathing or faulty accent, please know that the Greek font is really tiny on the WordPress screen and I just generally suck at figuring out the acute from the grave on the keyboard. Apologies!

Every time I think I’ve had just about enough of Greek, something pops up that rekindles my joy. Today, for example, I learned that our venerable word tragedy, used so often in our culture, comes (obviously) from the Greek τραγῳδία, the cathartic literary production of so many playwrights. What is interesting, however, is that τραγῳδία, or, in English letters, tragoidia, is a compound of two other words, tragos and aeidein, or “goat” and “to sing.” That’s right, tragedy literally means goat-song. 

There are several theories about this, ranging from the dull (a goat might have been the prize at the Dionysia), to the moderately convincing (goats may once have been sacrificed to choral song, which evolved into tragedy as we know it, like in Antigone, etc.), to the highly impertinent (choral singers were young men much like goats in that they were hairy, smelly, and licentious).

With this in mind I turn to attempting to memorize -μι verb patterns.