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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Appetitive: Watching Medea

As I mentioned in a previous blogpost, Cerinthus gave me the most wonderful gift in the world: the production of Μήδεια in the original Classical Greek. We watched it tonight and it was absolutely fantastic. I love hearing the Greek spoken and because Herodotus II and I read about half of the Μήδεια in the original, I recognized many more of the words and phrases which was really exciting. It has also motivated me to study even harder for my Greek exam in late September. I am really nervous, but I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Appetitive: The Most Amazing Birthday Gift

It's not my birthday, but my birthday is coming up. Cerinthus came down and gave me the worlds greatest birthday present: a copy of the 1988 production of the Medea in the original Greek (Peter Steadman, director. Commentary by William Arrowsmith). It's a DVD copy that I had to swear I would only use for educational purposes. I'm really excited. Cerninthus and I are going to watch it (I think tomorrow) with Servia and I will post a review when we watch it again.

If you can get a hold of a copy of this movie, I highly suggest watching it. It's absolutely fabulous.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Appetitive: Minoan Archaeology

From Wikimedia Commons.
The newest In Our Time podcast is on the Minoans. Melvyn Bragg gathers a group of scholars to discuss Minoan archaeology and culture. I am acquainted with Minoan archaeology, but I have not studied it in depth. I know enough to admire the beautiful murals, many of which depict sea life (being primarily an island people) and their interesting fashion sense (half-full skirts, tiny waists, and very low necklines) and that they held snakes and bulls in some significance, but I know little beyond that. The podcast was great. The scholars provided a basic understanding and some interesting insights. For example, I always assumed that Minoan palace culture implied a traditional monarchical hierarchy, but one of the scholars argued that the art and archaeological evidence does not support this claim and the "palaces" may have been more of religious or civic centers that did not require a king or queen.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Appetitive: Annoying Update

I have been very busy reading Greek, taking German, tutoring, etc. I will resume normal posting soon. One thing that I did notice while I've been away is that the Greek texts on Project Gutenberg, which I thought were in Ancient Greek, are actually in Modern Greek. Very sad.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Spirited: Translation of Sulpicia 3 (Tibullus 3.15)

Although there is much in Greek and German that I should be translating, I decided to translate some Latin because I certainly must keep up my Latin.

Scis iter ex animo sublatum triste puellae?
     Natali Romae iam licet esse suo.
Omnibus ille dies nobis natalis agatur,
     Qui nec opinanti nunc tibi forte venit.

Do you know that the miserable trip has been lifted from the mind of your girl?
     Now it is allowed that she is in Rome for her birthday.
Here the birthday is celebrated by all of us,
     which comes now with unexpected luck.
I had some trouble with the translation, but I think it is fairly reasonable. I used the version from Minor Authors of the Corpus Tibullianum.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Spirited: A Very Poor Translation (Amended)

My original thought was to put up a translation of the German passage I am reading about Plato's Phaedrus. However, I realized that there is a very strict plagiarism policy at the school where I am taking classes and I would not want someone to think that I had taken my translation from the internet as my real name does not appear on this blog there would be little way to prove it was my work and it would be a troublesome affair. As such, I will simply post the paragraph that I have translated so far in the original language.
"Alles in allem erweist sich der Phaidros als ein Werk, dessen Teile wie bei einem Organismus (264 c2-5) wohl aufienander abgestimmt sind. Thema ist, unter welchen Bedingungen ein λόσος dem anderen uberlegen ist. Entscheidend hierfur is einmal der bedeutendere Inhalt, was in drei konkurrienden Reden vorgefurt wird. Die siegreiche ist die inhaltich reichste und tiefste: was sie entfaltet, sind die geforderten πλείονος ἄξια oder τιμιώτερα (im Vergleich zu den Reden, die sie unbertreffen will)" (Szlezak 47).
I am having a rather difficult time. The German is hard-- at least for me as I am just learning-- but I believe the endeavor is important. Wish me luck!