Sunday, February 26, 2012

Appetitive: Greek Vocabulary

I am almost three-quarters of the way through the Lysias for tomorrow...about fifteen OCT pages in, and I am just amazed at how many words the Greeks had for "kill" and "destroy."

And also that "you were robbed of all hope" (lit. will be in the Greek, but only because it is in a particular type of condition) is exactly the same expression in Greek: "πασῶν τῶν ἐλπίδων ἀποστερήσεσθε" (Lysias 12.70).

Have a lovely evening, everyone.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spirited/Reasoning: Stagecraft in Aeschylus

Usually when I read Greek drama, I don't consider the actual theatrical performance of the plays. Instead, I think about the language and the themes. The first time the actual staging became important to me was when I was assigned large portions of Oliver Taplin's The Stagecraft of Aeschylus in my Agamemnon class at my alma mater. Taplin explains the importance of the entrances and exits of the characters and the staging.

Recently, in the Garvie commentary which I have been raving about of late, the staging has come to my attention. Garvie explores a lot of the controversial aspects of the staging of the Persians in his introduction. I ended up dealing with this specifically in my presentation today in my Persians class. Taplin (and Garvie citing Taplin) discuss the difference between the two entrances of Atossa. At the first entrance, the chorus greets the queen with a full body prostration and the queen arrives decked out in rich clothing and she presumably arrives in a chariot. In the second entrance, she arrives on foot, possibly dressed in black, and carrying a set of libations. Her change in attire demonstrates the change in fate of the empire.

The presentation went reasonably well, thanks to some help from Propertius II with regards to the meter. Now back to more Lysias (of which I have completed two pages today and am hoping to read two more tonight).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spirited: More Thoughts on Lysias

So my accountability scheme isn't working so well. I have been doing a bit of Lysias each day over the last few days, but I haven't posted it. I will definitely post some more this weekend. I've also been doing a lot of research on Lysias 12 and the Amnesty of 403 for my presentation on Monday. Should be fun.

Reasoning: Truth Behind the Song

So there was an interesting piece on Got Medieval about "Ring Around the Rosie." I thought it was pretty interesting that the supposed origin of the song was not in fact the plague, as I was always told.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Spirited: Accountability

So I am taking a class that only meets once a week. I haven't been very good about starting my work early and this seem to pile up. However, I want to do well. So I thought I'd be forced to do a little every day if I forced myself to post a little every day. Just a little random snippet of what I've read.

Lysias 12.1:
οὐκ ἄρξασθαί μοι δοκεῖ ἄπορον εἶναι, ὦ ἄνδρες δικασταί, τῆς κατηγορίας, ἀλλὰ παύσασθαι λέγοντι: τοιαῦτα αὐτοῖς τὸ μέγεθος καὶ τοσαῦτα τὸ πλῆθος εἴργασται, ὥστε μήτ᾽ ἂν ψευδόμενον δεινότερα τῶν ὑπαρχόντων κατηγορῆσαι, μήτε τἀληθῆ βουλόμενον εἰπεῖν ἅπαντα δύνασθαι, ἀλλ᾽ ἀνάγκη ἢ τὸν κατήγορον ἀπειπεῖν ἢ τὸν χρόνον ἐπιλιπεῖν.

It seems to me that I am without a way not to begin the accusation, O jurymen, but to stop my speech. Such deeds with respect to their importance [were committed] by them and so many with respect to their number were committed that neither lying could I denounce more terrible things than the facts, nor wishing [to] could I speak the truth in its entirety, but it is necessary that either the prosecutor give in or time run out. 

I seem to have played a bit fast and loose with the grammar both in translating Greek and the English I used in order to translate it. However, I have a lot more to do before the classicist bread party tomorrow. So I will leave it here for now.

Appetitive: You Don't Doodle in Gold Leaf

Apologies for my long silence. I've been really powering though the Greek and Latin lately as well as trying to have a few moments to socialize with Catullus II and some fellow classicists.

For today, I thought I'd post a note on medieval manuscripts. Catullus II is really into medieval manuscripts and I want to a wonderful lecture the other week on Apocalypse narratives in medieval manuscripts that I will hopefully get a chance to post about at some point. Anyway, here is a lesson in distinguishing between doodles and marginalia.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Appetitive: The Joys of Greek

Although I have had a number of pitfalls so far, ever since I started taking this graduate seminar on the Attic Orators, I've begun to really enjoy Greek. Antiphon and Andocides are quite a joy to read, although they have their frustrating moments. My reading speed (for prose, although not for Aeschylus) is increasing significantly-- it seems like the effects of Greek prose composition finally caught up with me-- and I am beginning to learn the typical terms.

Nowhere did this joy manifest itself more than in reading Plato last night with Ovid II. When I read Crito over the summer with Propertius II, I was still struggling a lot with parts of the prose and my reading speed was quite slow. Now, I can carve a few hours out of my schedule and process the Greek pretty decently before going over it. While the orators are fun in their persuasive energy and the window they provide on Greek culture, the Symposium has a bit of wonderful colloquial wit that is just fantastic.

After that, even my remaining 50 lines of Vergil did not seem so dreadful, although the battle scenes are certainly grim. I'm actually beginning to appreciate parts of Vergil, finally.

To pass my little glimmer of exuberance on, I thought I would post a link to A.E. Houseman's "Fragment of a Greek Tragedy." My professor in the Persians class passes this out to us. I had seen it many years before, but it still absolutely cracks me up.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone. I will (I hope) be posting some interesting tidbits from Antiphon.