Thursday, December 20, 2012

Appetitive: Cool Manuscript Research

I'm supposed to be working on an article about knowledge in the Meno and the Theaetetus right now, but instead I've been reading, flitting from one thing to another.

One of the things I found this morning was a post on the Homer Multitext about a group of undergraduates at Brown who were given a thus-undecoded set of  notes in archaic shorthand by Roger Williams, founder of the colony of Rhode Island and the First Baptist Church. The students actually managed to not only decode it, but find that it contained a great deal of historically relevant information about the Baptist church. I think it's pretty awesome that they let undergraduates do the work, and it's wonderful that the digitization of old and ancient manuscripts allows a much wider range of individuals to work on primary sources.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Appetitive: It's Been a While...and Sanskrit

It's been quite a while. Now I'm back and I'm going to try to stay sane enough to post fairly regularly. Perhaps it will keep me sane.

One of the things I learned this last quarter is that Sanskrit is really hard, and, no one seems to like any of the books out on the market right now. I liked Sanskrit, but I'm not going to continue to take it because it takes up too much time for something that is not in my area of interest. However, I realized that the reason it took up so much time is that I basically had to rewrite the book for myself and gather information from other resources to supplement it.

My guides are far from complete, but I realized that if I put them up online, people could benefit from the many, many, many hours I spent making them and it might make Sanskrit an easier process for beginners or people trying to teach themselves. I realize this sounds presumptuous-- because it is; it is somewhat unreasonable that I, with only one quarter of Sanskrit, would be able to help other people. I do not pretend I know anything-- I just thought I would reorganize the information already out there into a more easily digestible form. I also would be more than happy for help/corrections/etc.

It's going to take a while to convert my notes into a distributable format. I've started doing this, but it will be a little while before I am able to post it.

I used Perry's Sanskrit Primer, both because it was my textbook for class, and because it is both cheap (book form) and free (PDF form). I did a lot of my supplementary reading out of Complete Sanskrit, but I also occasionally used William Dwight Whitney's Sanskrit Grammar (PDF).

More classically related things soon. Happy holidays, everyone.