Monday, December 19, 2011

Spirited: The Platonic Process

I've been a little slow on getting my classics stuff up so I thought that I would put up something a little different.

Back in my junior year of undergraduate I was having trouble with my paper on the Phaedrus. Cerinthus recommended to me that I go to one of the group study rooms as the library and outline my paper on the whiteboards.

So, one night around midnight, I went up to the library with all of my books and I started working on my paper. Three enormous whiteboards and 2 hours later, I had the basic idea for my paper. When I got my apartment senior year, the two pieces of furniture I looked forward most to buying were a large whiteboard and bookshelves.

I had to do a talk for my research seminar, but I could write (and present) on anything I desired. So, of course, I wrote on Plato, specifically male lament in the Apology. I used the same process, but I only have my little white board from senior year so I did my thought process and kept erasing the board after snapping photos. My dilemma was the reasoning behind Socrates' hatred of lament in the apology vs. his (partial) acceptance of lament in the Phaedo.

It's been a ridiculously busy holiday so far. More substantive stuff soon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Appetitive: Sarcasm in Latin

I really enjoyed the version of Sallust's Bellum Catilinae we read in class. It's the version that was edited by J.T. Ramsey. His commentary is useful, if sometimes overabundant. I found a number of different things in the commentary amusing, one of which is that there is apparently a word that introduces a sarcastic remark in Latin. The word appears in Caesar's speech at 51.10: Scilicet is supposed to taken as sarcastic. It denotes something similar where it is used in Cato's speeches. Initially I read the word as a direct verbal indicator of sarcasm which I thought was a pretty cool idea. Obviously this is not quite the case, but it has that essential value in Sallust-- or at least in the speeches.

The value kinds of reminds me of the times when Socrates (as the Platonic character of course) uses terms of great affection for his interlocutors. The wilder the affection, the less Socrates respects the argument being made by his interlocutors.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spirited: Bellum Catilinae 4

This is the final chapter of Sallust's proem to the Bellum Catilinae.
Igitur ubi animus ex multis miseriis atque periculis requievit et mihi reliquam aetatem a re publica procul habendam decrevi, non fuit consilium socordia atque desidia bonum otium conterere neque vero agrum colundo aut venando, servilibus officiis, intentum aetatem agere; sed, a quo incepto studioque me ambitio mala detinuerat, eodem regressus statui res gestas populi Romani carptim, ut quaeque memoria digna videbantur, perscribere, eo magis, quod mihi a spe, metu, partibus rei publicae animus liber erat. Igitur de Catilinae coniuratione, quam verissume potero, paucis absolvam; nam id facinus in primis ego memorabile existumo sceleris atque periculi novitate. De cuius hominis moribus pauca prius explananda sunt, quam initium narrandi faciam.
Accordingly, when my mind settled down after many wretched things and trials and I decided to spend my remaining life at a distance from the Republic, it was not my intention to spend good leisure in laziness or inactivity, but neither was I intent upon spending my life tilling a field nor hunting, in servile tasks; but having gone back to the same thing from which undertaking my zeal and ambition detained me, I made up my mind to write in parts the deeds having been done of the Roman people, whatsoever ones seemed worthy of memory; that much more because my mind is free from hope, fear, and partisanship for the Republic. Accordingly, about the conspiracy of Cataline I will set forth a brief account as truthfully as I will be able; for this deed I estimate is especially memorable because of the novelty of the crime and attempt. Concerning the mores this man, first a little must be explained, so I may produce the beginning of my narrative.
I think Sallust's proem, in its entirety, is quite brilliant. I did not expect to like a Roman historian, but Sallust's bizarre and interesting take on the world as well as a wonderful professor changed my mind.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Appetitive: The Plato Scholar in the Room

When finals were over yesterday, all of the people from my program went out to decompress. A bunch of the people had just finished a class on the Phaedrus and they were complaining about Plato. I suddenly realized that I was in an extreme minority.

It reminded me of the other day when I asked a fellow student about GRF Ferrari and he told me that Ferrari was "a British Plato scholar" as if this was supposed to create a fairly standard and moderately negative picture in my mind. I had no idea this breed of classicist was so ill-regarded.

In reality, I actually kind of enjoy the argument: standing up opponents on every side-- so long as the opponents are good-natured. However, it was a little odd to be so outnumbered...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sprited: Bellum Catiliniae 3

I am continuing on with the proem of Sallust's Bellum Catilinae. I really grew to like Sallust during this term. He's a lot of fun.
Pulchrum est bene facere rei publicae, etiam bene dicere haud absurdum est; vel pace vel bello clarum fieri licet; et qui fecere et qui facta aliorum scripsere, multi laudantur. Ac mihi quidem, tametsi haudquaquam par gloria sequitur scriptorem et auctorem rerum, tamen in primis arduom videtur res gestas scribere: primum, quod facta dictis exaequanda sunt; dehinc, quia plerique, quae delicta reprehenderis, malevolentia et invidia dicta putant, ubi de magna virtute atque gloria bonorum memores, quae sibi quisque facilia factu putat, aequo animo accipit, supra ea veluti ficta pro falsis ducit. Sed ego adulescentulus initio, sicuti plerique, studio ad rem publicam latus sum ibique mihi multa advorsa fuere. Nam pro pudore, pro abstinentia, pro virtute audacia, largitio, avaritia vigebant. Quae tametsi animus aspernabatur insolens malarum artium, tamen inter tanta vitia imbecilla aetas ambitione corrupta tenebatur; ac me, cum ab reliquorum malis moribus dissentirem, nihilo minus honoris cupido eadem, qua ceteros, fama atque invidia vexabat.
It is beautiful to perform well for the Republic, also to speak well is not at all absurd; it is allowable that fame is made either in peace or in war; both [those] who do and [those] who write about the deeds of others, are praised in great numbers. And in fact, it seems to me, although not at all equal glory follows the writing and the accomplishing of deeds, nevertheless it seems especially difficult to write the things done: first, because the deeds must be matched with words; then, because many, which faults you might blame, they think they are mentioned with ill will or jealousy; when when you recount great virtue and the glory of good men, which whoever thinks easy for themselves to do, accepts with equal mind, [and] reckons as false anything beyond these just as fiction. But initially I as a young man, just as many, I was carried by zeal for the republic, and in that place many things had become adverse to me. For instead of modesty, instead of self-restraint, audacity, spending, and avarice grew strong. Although my mind detested these things, unaccustomed to wicked arts, although in the midst of such vice, feeble age was held by corrupt ambition; and although I differed from the mad habits of the rest, no less did the desire for honor the same as the rest trouble me because of reputation and envy.
I will put up the last part of the proem, chapter 4, next.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spirited: Description of Sempronia

The description of Sempronia is one of my favorite points in the Bellum Catilinae. I decided that I would post it here, which I meant to do quite a while ago before I go back and finish posting the rest of Sallust's preamble (chapters 1-4).

Sed in iis erat Sempronia, quae multa saepe virilis audaciae facinora conmiserat. Haec mulier genere atque forma, praeterea viro atque liberis satis fortunata fuit; litteris Graecis et Latinis docta, psallere et saltare elegantius, quam necesse est probae, multa alia, quae instrumenta luxuriae sunt. Sed ei cariora semper omnia quam decus atque pudicitia fuit; pecuniae an famae minus parceret, haud facile discerneres; lubido sic accensa, ut saepius peteret viros quam peteretur. Sed ea saepe antehac fidem prodiderat, creditum abiuraverat, caedis conscia fuerat; luxuria atque inopia praeceps abierat. Verum ingenium eius haud absurdum: posse versus facere, iocum movere, sermone uti vel modesto vel molli vel procaci; prorsus multae facetiae multusque lepos inerat.
But among them was Sempronia, who often with manly boldness commits many crimes. This woman was sufficiently fortunate in birth and bodily beauty in addition to in husbands and children; [she is] learned in Greek and Latin, instrumental music, and dancing more than is elegant for a proper woman, with many other things which are instruments of luxury. But everything was always more dear to her than honor and modesty; you would have not at all easily decided that she was spearing money or fame less; in this way with desire being incited in this way in order that she seek men than be sought by them. But previously, she often betrayed trust, denied a loan, was aware of murder, and rushed headlong into ruin through extravagance and poverty. But her innate intelligence is not absurd: She is able to compose verses, to make jokes, to use conversation either with modesty, or with gentleness, or with boldness; in short, she is characterized by many witticisms and much grace.
I really love this description of Sempronia. She sounds fabulous.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reasoning/Spirited: Updates

My finals are done. I'm off for a few weeks and get to do fun things for a few weeks. I spent a bunch of today working on my Greek Principal Parts list. I will also be putting up some more Sallust, including my favorite, the description of Sempronia, soon.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spirited: Sallust "Bellum Catilinae 2"

I am finally back to my Sallust paper after my Plato paper. It's going to be quite a rush to get it done. Anyway, as I'm working on the paper I thought I would post Chapter 2 of the Bellum Catalinae. It's been a while since I read this the first time and I found that English, in places, was more restrictive than I would like-- or maybe I'm just having problems with my Latin.

Igitur initio reges (nam in terris nomen imperi id primum fuit) divorsi pars ingenium, alii corpus exercebant: etiam tum vita hominum sine cupiditate agitabatur; sua cuique satis placebant. Postea vero, quam in Asia Cyrus, in Graecia Lacedaemonii et Athenienses coepere urbis atque nationes subigere, lubidinem dominandi causam belli habere, maxumam gloriam in maxumo imperio putare, tum demum periculo atque negotiis compertum est in bello plurumum ingenium posse. Quod si regum atque imperatorum animi virtus in pace ita ut in bello valeret, aequabilius atque constantius sese res humanae haberent neque aliud alio ferri neque mutari ac misceri omnia cerneres. Nam imperium facile iis artibus retinetur, quibus initio partum est. Verum ubi pro labore desidia, pro continentia et aequitate lubido atque superbia invasere, fortuna simul cum moribus inmutatur. Ita imperium semper ad optumum quemque a minus bono transferetur.

Quae homines arant, navigant, aedificant, virtuti omnia parent. Sed multi mortales, dediti ventri atque somno, indocti incultique vitam sicuti peregrinantes transiere; quibus profecto contra naturam corpus voluptati, anima oneri fuit. Eorum ego vitam mortemque iuxta aestumo, quoniam de utraque siletur. Verum enim vero is demum mihi vivere atque frui anima videtur, qui aliquo negotio intentus praeclari facinoris aut artis bonae famam quaerit. Sed in magna copia rerum aliud alii natura iter ostendit.

And so in the beginning, kings -- for this was the name of power first in the land-- kept busy pursuing opposite courses, some with the mind, others with the body; even then the life of men was conducted without desire, his own things were sufficiently pleasing to him. But at last, after Cyrus in Asia and the Lacadamonians and the Athenians in Greece began to subjugate cities and peoples, lust was deemed to be a cause of subduing, they thought that the greatest glory is in the greatest power, then at last knowledge was obtained through experiment and affairs that  the mind is the most able in war. But if the virtue of the minds of kings and rulers were strengthened by peace in this way as by war, the human affairs would be situated more similarly and more constantly, neither would you discern one thing be carried by another nor all things be mixed. for power easily is easily retained by those arts with which it was obtained at first. But where idleness instead of labor, and equally desire and arrogance instead of self-restraint has burst in, at the same time fortune changes with the mores. In this way, power always is transferred from a less good man to whomever is best.

These things which men [do when they] plow, sail, build, all depend upon virtue. But many mortals, having given [themselves over] to appetitive and sleep, pass through life ignorant and uncultured just as wanderers. To whom, certainly, against nature the body has pleasure while the life-force is a burden. For them, I estimate that life and death are equal, because about both there is silence. But truly he alone seems to me to live and to delight in his life-force, who being intent upon some occupation seeks famous deeds or reputation through good conduct. But in the great abundance of these things, nature shows one path to one, one path to another.
Paper is due in just over 24 hours.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Reasoning/Spirited: Gone Philosophizing

This weekend I'm working on a paper I am supposed to give on Tuesday. Although I outlined it over a week ago, I am still far behind the gun. It is on Plato's views on emotion in the context of the Athenian courtroom. While I was reading, I happened upon this (long) quotation in an essay by Josiah Ober and Barry Strauss [1] and it opened up a whole slew of thoughts unrelated to present topic:
"Demosthenes sets about proving this by point out that in the course of his speech Aiskhines quoted from Euripides' Phoinix, which he had never performed onstage himself. Yet Aiskhines never quoted from Sophocles' Antigone which he had acted many times. So, 'Oh Aiskhines, are you not a sophist...are you not a logographer...since you hunted up [zētēsas] a verse which you never spoke onstage to use to trick the citizens' (19.250)
The argument that underlies Demosthenes' comment says a good deal about Athenian attitudes toward elite useof literary culture. According to Demosthenes, Aiskhines is a sophist because he "hunts up" quotes for a play with which he had no reason to be familiar in order to strengthen his argument. Clearly the average Athenain would not be in a position to search out quotes when he wanted them; if the ordintary citizen ever wanted toquote poetry, he would rely on verses that he had memorized, and his opportunity to memorize tragic poetry was limited" (Ober & Strauss 251).
Although this seems obvious, it had never occurred to me that access to tragic texts might have been limited for much of the Athenian populace. In Book III of the Republic, Plato discusses a number of different passages of poetry. All of them come from the Iliad or the Odyssey and not a single one from tragedy, although the critique here extends explicitly to tragic drama. The choice of those specific passages from the Iliad and the Odyssey is an interesting topic, and one I explore thoroughly in my thesis. However, it had always baffled me  that not a single line of the tragic poets appeared in the text. The quotation above illuminates this question.

It also makes the character of Socrates more believable. Although it seems likely that Plato would have had the ability to seek out (ζητεῖν) quotation from tragedy, Socrates [2] was engaging in conversation and would have to rely on his memory in order to quote. Furthermore, Plato's Socrates is not particularly wealthy (although he has countless wealthy friends and associates) and spends most of his time walking or in conversation, not reading, writing, or researching. As such, he might not even have access to texts of plays and would have to rely on quotations from common knowledge. Thus, the omission of tragic quotation makes the character more believable, even as it renders the critique of tragedy a bit lopsided.

  1. Ober, Josiah and Barry Strauss. "Drama, Political Rhetoric, and the Discourse of Athenian Democracy," Nothing to do with Dionysos? Athenian Drama in Its Social Context ed. John J. Winkler & Froma I. Zeitlin. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990. pp. 237-270.
  2. Whenever I say Socrates, I mean Plato's character and not the historical Socrates.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reasoning: Introducing Classical Greek Principal Parts

No where that I have found is there a definitive list of principal parts in Greek. Many textbooks, including Ἀθηναζε the textbook from which I learned Greek, does not have a full list of principal parts and expects students to intuit some of principle parts. While there are paradigms for certain types of verbs, even when completing these paradigms a student (like myself) sometimes runs into trouble. For that reason, I thought I would make my own list. I am planning on starting a page on my blog that will work as a list of principle parts. I will put it up in the next few days, although it will probably be under major construction for quite a while.

The page, now up on the website (see left-hand column) looks something like the following:

Please note: I am a student of Greek myself and do not have an authoritative view of Greek at all. If I am wrong, which is certainly possible (especially factoring in typos), please comment with a correction (and if possible a source for the correction) and I will fix it.

My goal is as follows: as I am finish my prose composition class, I am planning on adding the verbs from Eleanor Dickey's unpublished prose composition book (which is what we are using so this will be part of the studying for my final). After that, I will add the verbs from Malcom Campbell's Classical Greek Prose: A Basic Vocabulary, as this is a standard text book for prose composition classes and verbs I should know.

As a key: "---" means that the principal part does not exist for this verb. "-" in front of a form means it is usually paired with a prefix of some sort.

ἀγγέλλω ἀγγελῶ ἤγγειλα ἤγγελκα ἤγγελμαι ἠγγέλθην (to) announce
ἀγείρω ---- ἤγειρα ---- ---- ---- (to) gather, collect
ἀγω ἄξω ἤγαγον ἦχα ἦγμαι ἦχθην (to)drive, go
ᾄδω ᾄσομαι ᾖσα ---- ᾖσμαι ᾔσθην (to) sing
Works Referenced
Dickey, Eleanor. Greek Prose Composition (draft). Completed at the Columbia University Classics Department, 2003. Unpublished.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spirited: Sallust's Bellum Catilinae

I have not posted in a while because I have been rather busy with school and teaching. At the moment, I am writing a paper on the much-derided proem of Sallust's Bellum Catilinae (which I really like). I thought I would type out the sections of the proem and post them as I will be using them for my paper. Here is the first installment:
[1] Omnis homines qui sese student praestare ceteris animalibust summa ope niti decet ne vitam silentio transeant veluti pecora, quat natura prona atque ventri odoedientia finxit. Sed nostra omnis vis in animo et corpore sita est; animi imperio, corporis servitio magis utimur; alterum nobis cum dis, alterum cum beluis commune est. Quo mihi rectius videtur ingeni quam virium opibus gloriam quaerere et quoniam vita ipsa qua fruimur brevis est, memoriam nostri quam maxume longam efficere. Name divitiarum et formae gloria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habebetur.
Sed dium magnum inter mortalis certamen fuit vine corporis an virtute animi res militaris magis procederet. (Name et prius quam incipias consulto et, ubi consulueris, nature facto opus est. Ita utrumque per se indigens alterum alterius auxilio eget. (Sallust, BC, 1).
[1]To strive becomes all men who apply themselves with the utmost of their power to surpass the rest of the animals [and] not pass through life in obscurity like cattle, which are inclined by nature and formed by obedience to their appetite. But our strength on the whole is situated in the mind and the body; we use more the authority of the mind and the servility of the body; one of ours is in common with the gods, the other is in common with the beasts. Consequently, it seems to me that to seek glory with the resources of innate nature rather than strength and, we delight in this life since it is brief, to produce a memory of ourselves as long as possible. For glory of wealth and bodily beauty is flowing and fragile, manly virtue is famous and eternal.

But for a long time there was a great contest between men whether military affairs turn out successfully because of body or virtue of mind. (For both before one begins deliberation and when one has deliberated, there is a need for a mature act. In this way and in another way through lack one requires the aid of the other.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reasoning: JSTOR Thematic Index

For those who have access to JSTOR through a university, this is pretty cool. I discovered in an AWOL post this morning that JSTOR has created a thematic index for classics. This is a little weird because it automatically generates groups of terms and then articles that relate to them, but it's also really interesting.

Two thematic lists I am browsing are:
  1. First:  plato, republic, dialogues, socrates, platonic, laws, phaedo, dialogue, timaeus, ideas, phaedrus, parmenides, sophist, aristotle, taylor, philosophy, philebus, philosophical, theaetetus, cratylus, platon, cornford, burnet, doctrine, gorgias, dialectic, critias, method, symposium, passage
  2. Second: soul, body, plotinus, plato, matter, intellect, souls, timaeus, universe, evil, divine, doctrine, things, intelligible, principle, bodies, cosmos, power, proclus, demiurge, cause, passage, forms, platonic, nous, sense, idea, rational, myth, immortal
From there, I generated the list of articles to browse one by one.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spirited: Some Thoughts

I have not been keeping up my blog recently. I've been very busy with school (midterms this week) and Cerinthus came to visit for a week.

Right now, I am trying to study for my Prose Composition midterm. The class was fun at first but it has escalated in intensity very quickly. I have tried re-writing vocabulary and making flashcards, but I have nto had much success. Anyone have any ideas?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Appeitive/Reasoning: The Elusive Oxford "Reds"

I guess I'm really becoming one of those classical geeks.

Ever since I did some of the original reading from David Schaps' Handbook for Classical Research, I have been hunting the local university library for the "Oxford Reds." According to Schaps, "the “Oxford Reds,” a number of works (never officially a series) [were] published by Oxford University Press from the 1930s until the 1980s, offering an introduction and a detailed commentary that were on quite a respectable scholarly level: some of these editions, indeed, became the scholarly standard for decades. The text used was usually that of the OCT, occasionally with minor deviations" (Schaps 110). I am glad to say I finally found one. I need to practice my dactylic hexameter scansion with Virgil, so I checked out what I believe is the "Oxford Red" of Book II of the Aeneid. It has a detailed commentary. Should be fun. I might actually translate some of it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reasoning: Latin Review

My Latin is rusty. Reading Sallust is a more arduous process for this reason, although I am really enjoying it. When I started taking Latin a few years ago, I learned from the helpful but rather pompously written Latin: An Intensive Course by Moreland & Fleischer. I recently have been reviewing with this book and found an online answer key, which has proved useful when I check over my answers.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Reasoning/Spirited: Classical Greek Accentuation

I am embarrassed to say how long I have not understood Classical Greek accentuation. I tried. My most recent attempt with Hansen & Quinn was more successful than the previous ones, but I was still confused. Finally, reading over the chapter for Prose Composition tomorrow from Eleanor Dickey's Greek Prose Composition [1] I understand. Here is what I learned:

Vowel Quantities:
  • ε and ο are always short
  • η and ω are always long
  • α, ι, υ can be long or short
  • ει, υι, αυ, ευ, ου, ᾳ, ῃ, ῳ are always long. 
  • αι and οι are long when:
    • They are not at the end of a word
    • When they end a verb in the optative
    • When they end locative adverbs (e.g. οἴκοι)
    • In some interjections (e.g. αἰαῖ)
Accent Types:
  • There are three types of accents: acute (´), grave (`), and circumflex (^/~)
  • The acute accent (´) can appear over any of the last three syllables (antepenult, penult, and ultima).
    • If the last syllable is short, the acute vowel may stand on the antipenult, irrespective of the vowel quantity of the penult (the sort of exception to this rule is contract verbs. See verbs).
    • If the last vowel is long, the acute accent must sit on the penult or the ultima.
  • The grave (`) accent may only appear on the ultima
    • It may appear over long or short vowels
    • It may only appear when it replaces an acute accent when another word follows without pause unless the following words is an enclitic.
  • The circumflex accent (^) may only appear over the penult and the ultima
    • It can only stand over a long vowel
    • It must appear over a long penult when the ultima is short
    • It may not appear over over a long penult when the ultima is long

  • Most verbs have recessive accents (they go as close to the beginning of the word as possible), except infinitives and participles (which have persistent accents).
  • Recessive accents always appear over the antepenult or penult.
  • In the optative, αι and οι are long at the end of a word
  • Contract Verbs (and other contract words) have accents that reflect the uncontracted form of the words
    • If the accented syllable is not the one that contracts, there is no effect on the accent.
    • If the accented vowel is the first of the two vowels that contract, the resulting vowel will have a circumflex
    • If the accented vowel  is the second vowel in the contracted pair, it will have an acute accent. 
  • The example of παιδευσαι: παίδευσαι 2nd person singular aorist middle imperative, (αι is short) παιδεύσαι 2nd person singular aorist active optative (αι is long), παιδεῦσαι aorist active infinitive (accent is persistent).
Nouns (and adjectives when noted):
  • Except where noted, nouns and adjectives have persistent accent
  • If the final syllable is accented, circumflexes tend to appear in the oblique cases (genitive and dative) while acute accents tend to appear in nominative, vocative, and accusative. e.g. ἀγοράς is accusative while αγορᾶς is genitive.
  • First Declension Nouns
    • Feminine first declension nouns ending in α have a short α except when the α is preceded by ε, ι, or ρ, in which case the ᾱ is long (with a few exceptions)
      • NOTE: feminine first declension nouns with a short α ending have recessive accents except on the genitive plural ῶν which is always accented with a circumflex.
    • Genitive and accusative plural ᾱς (α is long)
    • For masculine first declension nouns ending in ᾱς, the α is long.
    • All nouns of the first declension have the genitive plural ῶν which is always accented with a circumflex, irrespective of accentuation rules. This is not true of first declension adjectives
  • First and Second Declension Nouns and Adjectives
    • If the basic accent is on the ultima, it is an acute in the nominative, vocative, and accusative, but a circumflex in the genitive and dative of both singular and plural in all genders
  • Third Declension
    • Third declension nouns ending in α, the α is alwazs short
    • Third-declension neuter nouns ending in -ς (e.g. γένος) have recessive accents .
    • Monosyllabic nouns of the third declension accent the stem of the nominative, vocative, and accusative and the ending of genitive and dative.
    • Words of the πόλις-type have accent that stays on the same syllables throughout the paradigm, irrespective of the rules of accent.
    • βασιλεύς-type and some other words have paradigm-specific rules.
Enclitics: (e.g. τις, τε, ποτέ, ἐστί)
  • enclitics have no accent of their own and follow accented words, whose accents they affect
  • If the accent is on the ultima and it is acute and the word is followed by an enclitic, it does not change to grave.
  • If the main word has an accent on the penult:
    • If the accent is acute
      • If the enclitic is a single syllable, it takes no accent.
      • If the enclitic is more than on syllable, it takes an accent on its ultima (either acute or circumflex)
    • If the accent is a circumflex
      • There is no change irrespective of the number of syllables of the enclitic
    • If the main word has an accent on the antepenult, it adds a second accent on its own ultima.
    • If several enclitics appear in succession, each one takes an accent on its penult, except for the last in the series.
Proclitics: (e.g. ἐκ, οὐ, εἰ, ὡς)
  • Proclitics have no accents of their own and are accentual joined to the following word.
  • If followed by an accented word, they cause no change
  • If followed by an enclitic, they take an acute accent (from the enclitic)
Addendum: Fun Facts from Class:
  • Greek words for the positions of acute accents: ὀξύς (sharp, pointed, quick, swift) τόνος (musical note) the idea being that the accent gives a rise in pitch (musical tone) to the vowel.
    • ὀξύτονον-- acute accent on the ultima
    • παροξύτονον-- acute accent on the penult
    • προπαροξύτονον-- acute accent on the antepenult
  • Greek words for the positions of circumflex accents: περι (around) σπώμενον (from "I drag") the idea being that the musical pitch is dragged back to its origin by the accent
    • περισπώμενον-- circumflex on the ultima
    • παραπερισπώμενον-- circumflex on the penult
  1. This is not a published book. It is a manuscript Dickey put out in 2003. I am here reorganizing and summarizing what she says, re-explaining some of the concepts myself, and adding a couple of pieces from Hansen & Quinn and from my class today. If I make any mistakes (which I very well might) comment with corrections.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Appetitive: Final Marathon 2500 Lecture

The final lecture of the Marathon 2500 Series is coming up on Wednesday. It's a free online lecture by the wonderful Paul Cartledge. The whole series is great and it is up online if you want to listen to the previous lectures.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Appetitive: Latin Dictionary

As I mentioned before, I love buying school supplies. One of the things I thought that I should get was a Latin dictionary. I have Cassell's, which is quite full and fantastic for prose composition, but I wanted a fuller dictionary. So I bought an Elementary Lewis. It's a beautiful copy from 1915 I got cheaply. It's lovely.

Some posts with some actual content soon, I'm busy studying for my exams.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Spirited: My Paper

I am still writing my paper on the Parthenon frieze and then my art history final. More soon...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Reasoning: Ancient Greek Paradigms, Part 2

Actual Size
I highlighted a site the other day that showed Greek paradigms. Although this site is really great, some of it is a bit confusing in the way in which it is presented. Recently, Herodotus II recommended to Properitus II the Greek Paradigm Handbook, and he recommended it to me.

So far, I think it's fabulous. It does not have every single thing in it--e.g. it does not have have third person pronouns-- but overall it encompasses most of the paradigms I will need and it's a neat little book that is small, light, and can be carried easily.

As a point of interest, it was created by three St. John's alumni, and it's pretty cool that they put it together.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Appetitive: A Plato Scholar on Beauty

This is not a particularly classics related post, but it is a great video anyway. Alexander Nehamas, a philosophy professor at Princeton who writes about Plato, gave a lecture a few days ago for Big Ideas on "Individual Character and Ideas of Beauty," which I found very enjoyable. About a third of the lecture argues against Kant's theory of aesthetics (which I am ashamed to say I have not read), about a third is about Manet's Olympia, and another third talks about Plato. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reasoning: Ancient Greek Paradigms

For any of you out there who, like me, are reviewing your Ancient Greek grammar for fall classes, I have found an interesting resource. Somebody posted a set of Ancient Greek paradigms for nouns, pronounsadjectives, and verbs on Berkeley's old Socrates server. Enjoy.

Also, because I have a lot to do before the summer ends, I am postponing my reworkings of "Dates in the Platonic Corpus" until after September 8th.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Appeitive: The Original Windy City

Propertius II and I finally finished reading Iliad Book 13 this morning, mostly due to my slowness and brief interruptions where each of us were busy. I have to say, I really enjoyed the process of reading Homer in the original. I know I confessed in a previous blogpost that I did not like Homer, but the Iliad has grown on me more and more since we began three months ago (for reference, we have also been reading plato beside the Homer and taking time off). We start Book 14 this coming week after some work on the Crito.

One of the many things that I noticed in our most recent trek through the Iliad, was epithets. When reading 130 lines over two sittings, I became familiar with certain epithets often used: great-hearted (μεγάθυμος), godlike (δῖος), lord (ἄωαξ), etc. The end of Book 13 focuses on the Trojans, so there were many references to Troy (Ilion) which also bore epithets. My favorite was "Ἴλιον ἠωεμόεσσαν" (Iliad 13.724) or "windy Ilion." It amused me that Troy was the original windy city.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Appetitive/Reasoning: The Mystery of the Propylaea

Picture Credit: Wikimedia Commons {{PD-1923}}
The Propylaea (ca.437-432 BCE) was the gate into the Acropolis built during the Periclean building project in the mid-to-early fifth century BCE. It is the gateway into the complex of shrines and sanctuaries on the Acropolis. It consisted of five different entryways (shown in a reconstruction above) to let large amounts of foot traffic and animals for sacrifice into the ancient sacred spaces. Large wooden doors were fitted behind the gateway that could be opened on festival days to allow passage to the maximum amount of traffic (see below). It is a magnificent gateway, tall and huge with its details highlighted in dark Elysian marble, but it was never finished.
Photocredit: Cerinthus
By never finished, not only does it mean that there were wings possibly lever built that were originally planned for the Propylaea-- builders left on the nodules used to lift the marble stone. It is difficult to find a picture that demonstrates this clearly, but If you look closely at the wall on the left and the rightmost column in the picture below, you can see these little bumps on the surface of the marble that are used to lift the marble into place. So why would a talented architect like Mnesikles, who tackled the challenge of building a grand entrance on severely sloping ground that left the Cyclopedean walls and other surrounding monuments in tact, leave evidence of poor workmanship?
Photocredit: Wikimedia Commons

The truth is, we don't know. Some scholars suggested that it was due to lack of funds from the Peloponnesian War that the Propylaea was never finished, but Jeffrey Hurwit convincingly argues that "frugality does not explain why the finishing touches were not applied to the Propylaia later. A city that could in 434/3 allot 20 talents a year to get the Acropolis in shape (one of the provisions of the Kallias Decrees) and that in the last third of the fifth century could afford to complete the Erechtheion and Nike sanctuary and create the Nike parapet could surley have afforded to return of the gateway and shave off a few unsightly lumps of stone from its walls" (Hurwit 160-161).

Hurwit and my professor both contended that the Propylaea, being a secular structure, did not merit the same attention, especially during hard times like the Peloponnesian War, and hence it was abandoned for more more important sacred buildings (Hurwit 161). I am not convinced. The old Propylon, which was destroyed by the Persians, was one of the few buildings repaired before the Periclean building project (where it was replaced witht he Propylaea) (Hurwit 157-158). Even the sacred temple to Athena Polias, the guardian goddess of the city was not rebuilt. Clearly this gateway is important. So why not add those finishing touches (even if the possible extra wings that were planned were too expensive to complete)? I don't know. I have a theory-- although it's a bit strange: all of the other buildings on the Acropolis are beautified, even though the Periclean building project left windows into the past (sometimes literally) to demonstrate the historical significance of the sacred ground. Maybe the Propylaea was left unfinished as a monument to the Persian sack-- showing that buildings that seem timeless in their majesty and beauty were actually new and replacing something that came before and was so sacrilegiously destroyed. It might incur the wrath of some god to show the marks of barbarism on his/her temple, but on a secular structure there was no such fear of retribution.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Appeitive/Reasoing: Ancient Greek Death Monuments

I found a website today that I really wish I had discovered while writing my thesis. It's only got basic information, but it shows a nice trajectory of changing death monuments from the Geometric to the Hellenistic period. It is accompanied by a collection of short essays on each period. Check out this piece on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Appetitive: Birthday Books

Birthday Books
My birthday was recently. As I am starting up classes as the local large university in classics. So the theme of my recent birthday was books that will prepare me for school (or various other classically-related things). I am very excited by all of this. Propertius II, with whom I shared a thesis desk had a copy of the Oxford Classical Dictionary (OCD), and I used it a little. I really enjoyed it and I especially needed it for my current art history class where mythological background is crucial and my art history professor takes very unkindly to websites as resources. I am also really excited about having the OCT of the Laws so that I may reference the Greek easily and a copy of The Greek Particles, to which my Greek History professor sang paeans in my Herodotus class.
Covered books
I took the opportunity today between my German midterm and my doctor's appointment to cover some of the books. My mom volunteered at the library of both my elementary school and high school and she got me into those library covers over dust jackets to protect the books. Covering books is a very relaxing activity.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Appetitive/Reasoning: Reviews and Things to Come

I've got a cold so I have not been as productive as I might have been. I am still in the process of working on some of my arguments on Plato which should appear at the end of the week sometime. The first one will be trying to dispute the conception of Socrates (the character) as a mouthpiece for Plato's philosophy. I also should be posting some Catullus and maybe some Horace.

In the meantime, I have written a review (thus far) of the a new book that just came out: David Schaps' Handbook for Classical Research. It is on Fragments of Sulpicia.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Appetitive: Praise with Homeric Terms

Back in the early days of my freshman Mediterranean humanities course, my classmates and I replaced common words for praise (like "kudos") with the Greek word τιμή (esteem, honor) which is so important in the Homeric epics. So instead of saying "awesome job" we would say silly things like "mad τιμή."

As I was reading Homer this morning, I happened upon the word κῦδος. This really surprised me because we all replaced "kudos" with the Greek, but it turns out κῦδος is a similar word to τιμή as it means "glory" or "renown."

Note: I have been working hard on some research on the Laws and I am planning on retelling the argument from my "Dates in the Platonic Corpus" series in a clearer fashion over the next few weeks as I work on editing my thesis. I do not think that I did justice to either the persuasive power of the Zuckert argument or the complexities of dating the Laws. I shall attempt to do a better job this time around.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reasoning: The Landscape of Memory on the Acropolis

Photocredit: Cerinthus

One of the textbooks for my Art History class, The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles, is fabulous [1]. Jeffrey Hurwit's writing style is engaging and, more importantly, he seems genuinely interested in his subject matter and he communicates this across the page to his reader. Having taken many classics courses over the years, I have read a lot of articles about the Parthenon and viewed a lot of pictures of the acropolis. However, Hurwit manages to point out new and fascinating tidbits that range in subject from materials to construction to ritual practice.

For example, in the chapter "Landscape of Memory on the Acropolis," which for me has been the high point of the book thus far (I am about halfway through), discussed the way that the architects of the Periclean Acropolis preserved and highlighted the history of both Athens and more specifically the acropolis. There still remain so-called Cyclopean walls (walls made of large limestone boulders which have the cracks between them filled in by smaller stones [2]) from the Bronze Age (presumably a Bronze Age Palace) which were given a place of honor rather than dismatled or hidden by the more regular and precise-looking classical walls (Hurwit 62-63) as well as remains of a Bronze Age Tower built into the Classical temple of the cult of Athena Nike. The building project went so far as to place windows into the tower so that Athenians could peer in at the original tower structure from the earlier age (Hurwit 64-65).

It was not just the Bronze Age architecture that the Classical Athenian builders monumentalized; many Archaic structures were incorporated into their classical counterparts. This was particularly important to the Athenians because Xerxes sacked the Archaic Acropolis when he invaded Athens and destroyed not only the standing temples and shrines but also the so-called Older Parthenon which was under construction at the time. Pericles' plan for the classical Parthenon used some of the metopes and columns of the Older Parthenon  and some of the foundations became a Persian War Memorial (Hurwit 70).

Further incorporating Archaic predecessors, "the Erechtheion ...was not so much a temple as it was a composition of many shrines" (Hurwit 71), including the pre-Erechthieon and the shrine of Athena Polias and alters to other gods and heroes. The Erechtheion (see picture below) became an oddly-shaped monument to the past religious tradition and allowed it to continue to a flourish in a new and grander setting.
Photocredit: Cerinthus
These are just a few of the fascinating pieces that makes the architecture come alive. It demonstrates the power of the acropolis not just as a monument but as a reminder of Athens' proud history.

  1. Walking the other day, I was thinking to myself how often I am harshly critical of textbooks and scholarly work and I was wondering whether I was becoming an arrogant curmudgeon. However, I remembered reading this book that my vehemence in the praise of scholarship I like is of the same degree of my criticism of those texts I find lacking. I am not sure if this ameliorates my harshness in any way, but at least it makes me feel slightly more balanced.
  2. Cyclopean walls were named thus because later Greeks thought the boulders in the Bronze Age walls were so big they must have been placed there by Cyclopes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Appetitive: Theoi

I was going to go into a long discussion about how much I love my art history textbook (Jeffrey Hurwit's The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles), but that will have to wait until tomorrow. My art history professor directed us to an amazing website called Theoi which is a source for myth in Ancient Greece and Rome. But what a source! It not only provides the myth and encyclopedia type entries, but also provides English translations (not great ones, but sufficient) of the primary source material relating to the mythology. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reasoning/Appetitive: The Parthenon Frieze

I have now read three different interpretations of the Parthenon Frieze for my art history classes next week: J.J. Politt's (Art and Experience in Classical Greece), Joan Connelly's ("Parthenon and Parthenoi: A Mythological Interpretatin fo the Parthenon Frieze"), and Jenifer Neil's (The Parthenon Frieze, Chapter 6). I found it very difficult to chose between any of their claims on the evidence given. Not one of the three shows a complete picture or even a complete sketch of the frieze. So, I happened upon this website made by someone at Columbia (which, amusingly enough I posted on my blog in March). The website allows the viewer to scroll through and see the frieze in it's entirety as well as view famous pieces up close. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Reasoning/Appetitive: The Temple of Zeus at Olympia and Thoughts on Art History

Photocredit: Cerinthus
I enrolled recently in a classical art and architecture class at the university where I will be taking classes next year. I will not have time to take art history next year as language and grad school applications are my focus, but wanted to flush out my understanding of the subject to gain a greater understanding of the evolution of grave markers over time (something important to my thesis) as well as a better sense of the timeline of the Classical Era. I am really enjoying the class so far, but it is a rather strange mix of people (half of the class are classics or art history majors and half of them are various types of science majors trying to fill in one of their elective classes).

When I was in the Greece and Rome survey that I took freshman year in college, the art history days were usually my least favorite. The art was fine, but my conference was lead by a philosophy professor and there was not a single art history student in my class. Furthermore, the art history textbooks were really boring, and almost no one wanted to read them. The only great discussion we had was when we discussed the Parthenon, because we read a more interesting (and I believe slightly controversial) article called "Parthenon and Parthenoi: A Mythological Interpretatin fo the Parthenon Frieze" by Joan Connelly. One of the textbooks for this class, Art and Experience in Classical Greece (the only one we have used in the first week) similar to my old textbooks, lacks both the engaging writing style and interesting factoids that I believe makes art history so interesting. However, one article that we read (which I believe is out of another introductory textbook) grabbed my interest. I will discuss it below under the heading "The Temple of Zeus at Olympia."

The lectures themselves are better in this class than they were in the introductory class at my Alma Mater (see previous blogpost), but to be fair, they are two hours instead of 50 minutes and the class is concentrating solely on the art and its context. One of the best parts of the lectures is discussion of how the pieces were constructed. My professor actually discusses the artistic methodology in depth for (thus far) marble sculptures, bronze sculptures, and Attic black and red figure vases. I thought the black on the vases was paint that was essentially polished [1], but in reality the black is a watery slip that is painted over the piece and turns black and glass-like when fired at very high temperatures (the process heats it at various times between 800-950 degrees C).

The Temple of Zeus at Olympia: The article we were assigned was "Early Classical Architectural Sculpture: The Temple of  Zeus at Olympia" in An Introduction to Greek Art by Susan Woodford. Most of the chapter talks about the evolution from the stoic patterned forms of the archaic to the greater movement and personal differentiation that appears in high classical. This is especially evident as the East pediment [2] was made perhaps a decade later than the West pediment and demonstrates a great movement toward early classical styling. This was useful, and I especially like that the author chose to provide a reasonable detailed summery of all of the myths involved.

My favorite part of the text was the section on the metopes [3]. The metopes over the porches (the ones under the pediment were left blank) depicted the labors of Herakles. Although there are many stories associated with the hero, the number of metopes (6 on each side) restricted the number of scenes. These are the canonical twelve labors of Herakles depicted by most mythology books, but according to Woodford, "it is probably...that they were first assamebled as a group for the metopes at Olympia, for in their earlier history they varied greatly" (Woodford 99). I thought that was fascinating.
Photocredit: Cerinthus
1. In high school in my "archaeology" class (which was vaguely a Greek art history class) we had to make tiles to show us the difference in the difficulty level of black figure and red figure vases. I picked the Amphora by Exekias depicted Ajax and Achilles playing a game. I really love this vase. We used a stone to polish the image before firing, but I think I was so worried about chipping the paint that I didn't do a good job with the polishing:

This is the original image from the vase:
Picturecredit: Wikimedia Commons.
2. A pediment is the triangular portion on the top of a Greek temple. It is often covered by figural images.
3. A metope is a square or rectangular image interspersed with triglyphs (usually a vertical geometric pattern) underneath the pediment on a temple.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Appetitive: Ancient Greek Drinking Parties

Symposia, or Ancient Greek drinking parties, were one of the mainstays of aristocratic society in classical Greece. I have mentioned Ancient Greek drinking songs in a previous post. Last night, while mourning the loss of some the Berkeley classes to which I wanted to listen, I came across a panel from the University of Warwick on iTunes U which discussed symposia. The podcast was quite enjoyable. The moderator was nt the most adept at phrasing or timing his questions, which was a little annoying, but overall it was both amusing and informative. For example, I did not know preciously that the original toasts at a symposium were consumed with unmixed wine or that the party was spoken of as a kind of journey into the excesses of drunken behavior. In the last few moments of the program, the group turns their attention to Plato's Symposium, which also proved to be quite an interesting topic. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Appetitive: It's Just Wrong!

I've spent a lot of time studying Greek today, so I decided I would reward myself by listening to the Berkeley class on Archaeology (Anthropology 2AC from Spring 2008). However, I went to webcast.berkeley in vain; the class is no longer there. In fact, a huge number of classes are no longer there.

Distressed, I looked for an explanation on Berkeley's website. I found a letter to the large group of perturbed self-education fans. The general gist is that the Real Player server has been retired, and all those courses with it. The team has been unable to find what they believe is an adequate conversion format for the files and seem to be hoping for donations in order to increase the possibility that they might find something. They claim that they might obtain a temporary stint on another server, but they give not hint as to when this might be: "We have requested additional temporary storage space on a new server, when this space comes online we will restore the Real Player files and make them available for the public to download for a limited period of time (Contingent upon instructor approval)." I do not have much faith in this limited period of time because they provided no warning whatsoever about the websites renovation.

I find this whole move quite saddening. Berkeley's webcasts are on of the great ways for people to educate themselves for free, and they are cutting off access to those who would seek out that education. I am posting this same note on Fragments of Sulpicia because I believe it's an important problem.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reasoning: Sanskrit-- A More Reasonable Approach

A Sanskrit grammar,: including both the classical language, and the older dialects, of Veda and Brahmana. vs. Complete Sanskrit: A Teach Yourself Guide (Teach Yourself Language)
I tried to learn Sanskrit earlier this year, but I unwisely tried to learn from a reference grammar, William Dwight Whitney's Sanskrit Grammar. More recently, Catullus II and I have tried to begin working through Complete Sanskrit, which is providing a more systematic (although still difficult introduction to the topic). Does anyone have any hints for memorizing the Sanskrit script? I am finding it very difficult.