A Greek detour

A

Anonymous

Guest
Article about Early Greek Society. There is an interesting youtube clip that attempts to reproduce the oldest preserved piece of Greek music.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyXPpf7Vjo[/youtube]
 

Decimvs

Aedilis
Staff member
I wish that I had time for a Greek course, but I am only able to learn Latin because I am studying to become a Clinical Psychologist and do not have the time (or $$$$) to take Greek also. I had to choose one, and it was Latin. :)

I am assuming that those on the boards who are majoring in classics are also taking Greek?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
My plan is to start with Greek after my 2nd year with Latin. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also apprehensive since the people I know who have learned both unanimously agree that Greek is a lot harder than Latin.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Greek is a completely different world, I guess. It would take even more work than Latin. I am content with Latin for now, maybe I'll take up Greek later. You know, Erasmus taught himself Greek when he was in his middle age, so why can't we?
 

Decimvs

Aedilis
Staff member
Brings to mind the classic Churchill quote....

“By being so long in the lowest form [at Harrow] I gained an immense advantage over the cleverer boys.... I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence — which is a noble thing. Naturally I am biased in favor of boys learning English; I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honor, and Greek as a treat.”

- Sir Winston Churchill -
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
And Queen Elizabeth I spoke and wrote Latin fluently, even translated some ancient works into English on her own. Her father Henry VIII was no less peritus. However, those are distant times. You don't see politicians today even quoting a Latin motto or sententia.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
divinityofnumber dixit:
I am assuming that those on the boards who are majoring in classics are also taking Greek?
I had to get a Greek qualification that enables me read Platon with the help of a dictionary in a decent amount of time (called Graecum here). I didn't find it as enthralling as Latin (and it's also a bit harder because there are so many unfamiliar words); but it's very nice if you're interested in Indoeuropean linguistics.
 

MrKennedy

New Member
One day.

It is curious because the Greek was the language of the eastern half of the Roman empire. Even when Latin seemed to decline (after Juvenal) Greek had a bit of a revival with the second sophist movement. Also you have those texts which you associate with the Roman era (or even specifically Roman history; Roman prose) but are actually in Greek: Appian, Plutarch, M. Aurelius' Meditations etc

I was reading that when Caesar said ’’the die is cast’’ (when crossing the Rubicon) he said it in Greek; it was a Greek quotation even for Caesar.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Does anyone know what the actual Greek words were, what they sounded like? I never majored in Greek, unfortunately. But I know Protagoras' anthropos panton metron, man is the measure of all things.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
mattheus dixit:
Does anyone know what the actual Greek words were
και συ τεκνον;

kai sy teknon?
 

Labienus

Civis Illustris
I was reading that when Caesar said ’’the die is cast’’ (when crossing the Rubicon) he said it in Greek; it was a Greek quotation even for Caesar.
Really? I have never heard this. Do you remember the source for this? Logically, you would presume it was from Plutarch's rendition of events, and I think (from memory) that he has Caesar's phrasing differ from Suetonius' rendition...

Still, I have never come across any indication that it was spoken in Greek. It would be interesting to know where you came across that :)
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Can't find any indication that it was said in Greek

Plut.Caes.32 dixit:
But finally, with a sort of passion, as if abandoning calculation and casting himself upon the future, and uttering the phrase with which men usually prelude their plunge into desperate and daring fortunes, "Let the die be cast," he hastened to cross the river; and going at full speed now for the rest of the time, before daybreak he dashed into Ariminum and took possession of it
I've got that translation from Lacius Curtius. I could look up the Greek original tomorrow, but there seems to be no indication that he said it in Greek.

Suet.Iul.32 dixit:
Tunc Caesar: "Eatur," inquit, "quo deorum ostenta et inimicorum iniquitas vocat. Iacta alea est," inquit.
Latin again.

To be honest it should have made more sense for him to say those words in Latin, since he's addressing his soldiers there.

however, cf.

Suet.Iul.82 dixit:
Atque ita tribus et viginti plagis confossus est uno modo ad primum ictum gemitu sine voce edito, etsi tradiderunt quidam Marco Bruto irruenti dixisse: καὶ σὺ τέκνον;
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Suet.Iul.32 dixit:
Tunc Caesar: "Eatur," inquit, "quo deorum ostenta et inimicorum iniquitas vocat. Iacta alea est," inquit.
So I see ire can be used impersonally. It literally means 'may it be gone', correct? But it translates to 'let us go.' Why was Caesar so fond of impersonal constructions, why was he so objective? Was it his nature?
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Yeah, it leads to an appreciation of the 'objective, impersonal' style of writing. Very clever indeed.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
mattheus dixit:
Suet.Iul.32 dixit:
Tunc Caesar: "Eatur," inquit, "quo deorum ostenta et inimicorum iniquitas vocat. Iacta alea est," inquit.
So I see ire can be used impersonally.
yes ... in Caesar's works you often read "itum est" or "ventum est"
I don't know why he didn't just say "Eamus". Weird construction here, though it makes sense.
Those words were put into his mouth by Suetonius, though. Not sure what his sources were for that. It's interesting that the last phrase is commonly remembered to be "alea iacta est", when Suetonius reports it the other way round. I wonder if he pronounced it as one word: "iactaleast"
 

MrKennedy

New Member
Labienus dixit:
I was reading that when Caesar said ’’the die is cast’’ (when crossing the Rubicon) he said it in Greek; it was a Greek quotation even for Caesar.
Really? I have never heard this. Do you remember the source for this? Logically, you would presume it was from Plutarch's rendition of events, and I think (from memory) that he has Caesar's phrasing differ from Suetonius' rendition...

Still, I have never come across any indication that it was spoken in Greek. It would be interesting to know where you came across that :)
I honestly did read it somewhere. Apparently it was a Greek quotation Caesar used (Meander or someone). I thought it might have been Holland's Rubicon where I read it but it isn't; I will have to have a good hunt through my books and get back to you. Of course it might be a load of rubbish but I defiantly read it somewhere.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Hodie in bibliotheca repperi quae verba Plutarchus Graece scripsisset:

τέλος δὲ μετὰ θυμοῦ τινος ὥσπερ ἀφεὶς ἑαυτὸν ἐκ τοῦ λογισμοῦ πρὸς τὸ μέλλον, καὶ τοῦτο δὴ τὸ κοινὸν τοῖς εἰς τύΧας ἐμβαίνουσιν ἀπόρους καὶ τόλμας προοίμιον ὑπειπὼν "ἀνερρiφθω κύβος", ὥρμησε πρὸς τὴν διάβασιν ...
(Me in scribendo non erravisse spero)

Verba pingua sunt quae Caesar dixisse dicitur; Latine: "Alea iacta esto".
 
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