Thursday, February 28, 2013

Appetitive: New Standard Translations

I had a really bad day, which capped off a really bad week, which capped off a really bad couple of months. But, tonight, I'm going to a lecture by Mark Griffiths and Glen Most on the new standard Greek Tragedy series which will replace the old Greene and Lattimore set. I'm really excited by the prospect of hearing what they have to say. I had the good fortune of getting to preview some of the material and it looks good (although I have a few quibbles with parts of the Persians). I will read more and add some commentary after the lecture. Needless to say, I think the new crop of students reading Greek Tragedy for the first time will have a great resource.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Things I Didn't Know: Tenses in Latin (Reasoning)

Since I haven't been able to post much, I thought I would post a few short notes now and again about things I encounter in my study of classics that I didn't know before. I encountered a few doing my Latin Prose Composition homework.

Bradley's Arnold: 180 [1]: dum (while) always takes an historical present when it denotes the time within which something occurs. I'm not sure if this was something I just missed or if it actually wasn't in my Latin textbook, but this was news to me. Amusingly enough, I bought this textbook used and the person who had the textbook before me circled this as well.

181: The Latin perfect cannot express the equivalent of the English "I have been doing"," so the Romans used the present plus an adverb connoting the idea of the past for the same effect. Teh adverbs are iampridem, iamdiu, and iamdudum. This definitely did not show up in my Latin textbook, but i also can't think of a situation when I've run across it "in the wild" so I guess I can't really blame Moreland and Fleischer for the oversight.

  1. Bradley's Arnold references are by paragraph number, not by page.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Appetitive: Reading For Pleasure

Have you ever tried to read a Greek or Latin text for pleasure? I have, but usually after the first hour or so, I put it down. It's not that I don't like reading Greek and Latin...I love it. But when I'm not compelled to do it for a class, it can become really frustrating. And worse, it's not about how hard the Greek or the Latin is, it's usually about my vocabulary.

When I read a Greek text, for example, I have to sit at my desk with the text, a commentary, All The Greek Verbs, the LSJ (or a smaller dictionary), Smyth, and sometimes various other references. After a while, I just get sick of flipping through pages. For school, I have to do it which forces me to power through, but it's just too many things to look up when reading for pleasure; especially when reading for pleasure only comes as a brief break from reading for school.

One of the solutions to this is old elementary and middle school textbooks. When I was in ireland I picked up a little copy of Xenephon's Anabasis, Book I, that was edited for children. It has a vocabulary in the back, a commentary, and it's slightly simplified. It also has the added benefit of being pocket sized, so sometimes I take it around with me and read when I have a few free minutes.

Even better, I found, are the texts on Geoffrey Steadman's website. The texts are unaltered (with the exception of a typo here and there). There's a list of core vocab at the beginning of each one, which must be memorized, but everything else is glossed. The commentary explains any wording that is even remotely difficult. Of course, Steadman rarely explains the reasoning behind the constructions, so it's nice to have Smyth or a big dictionary on hand, but it's nice to be able to just sit there with my kindle and read Republic Book I (only needing to flip back and forth between text and facing vocabulary). I hope that in the future, I'll spend more time reading Greek for pleasure. And maybe someday my vocabulary will be decent enough that I can do this with an OCT. Maybe...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Back Soon

Applications are in, GRE scores have arrived, still waiting for news. Midterms start this week. Hopefully after that, I'm going to start blogging again. I'm probably going to start with some notes on Latin prose composition.

Back soon.