Hesiod Theogony: Oral Recitation

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
The Classics department at my university has, every year, a recitation/performance night where people can give recitations in Latin or Greek (or really, any ancient or modern language, as long as it's tangentially Classics-related) and compete for prizes. I've decided to do a reading from Hesiod's Theogony, since the theme for this year are the Muses.

Here's a bit of a preliminary recording I did of the first 21 lines; I would welcome any general feedback. (If my voice seems a bit, well, overdramatic at times, it's because I know I'll need to project to a whole auditorium.) I'm more or less aiming for a restored pronunciation, though stopping short of doing all the consonants in restored pronunciation, because (a) some of them are hard to recognize/distinguish that way (I'm thinking of my audience here) and (b) I'm not used to it.

Also, I know I got a couple breathing marks wrong, so please disregard those.

Text is here: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0129

Enjoy! (I hope...)
 

Attachments

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Oh, and for comparison, one I found online (and like for the most part):

 

Godmy

Sīmia Illūstris
Forgive me, I was having some fun, trying something new and crazy here, pushing the boundaries again, haha...


But it was a very good reading for a cat! :D

I know it's a bit long, the thing I recorded, but then, I don't think you will ever get so many instructions from anybody ever on this topic :)

Btw. the video is accessible only to those with a link/via the forum (not shown on Youtube)
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Wow -- 35 minutes! I'll have to watch it in chunks. But thanks already! :)
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Listening to it now. I suppose I should have specified that I'm not aiming for a pure restored pronunciation, because it's just so alien to an English speaker's ear; my audience won't really be able to understand it. Rather, I'm aiming for a blend of the restored pronunciation with a slight stress accent -- I guess a "best compromise" between the two.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Apologies to any RP purists on the thread ;)
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Listening to it now. I suppose I should have specified that I'm not aiming for a pure restored pronunciation, because it's just so alien to an English speaker's ear; my audience won't really be able to understand it. Rather, I'm aiming for a blend of the restored pronunciation with a slight stress accent -- I guess a "best compromise" between the two.
To be precise, I'm trying for a pitch-based accent with some syllabic stress on the acute and circumflex (but not grave).
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illūstris
Listening to it now. I suppose I should have specified that I'm not aiming for a pure restored pronunciation, because it's just so alien to an English speaker's ear; my audience won't really be able to understand it. Rather, I'm aiming for a blend of the restored pronunciation with a slight stress accent -- I guess a "best compromise" between the two.
I see... well.. you know I always have problems with the "half-way" pronunciations even though I absolutely and fully understand your motivation :D but no matter, I can just judge it on one standard, so take from it what you want ;) Some things I pointed out might have been more important than others: like ευ, ζ, υ (in my view). Other things as aspirated "k", "t" in the English way occasionally or omicron with not rounded lips (as one would expect from the Northern American English phonology are less important indeed .) But you will see. ^ as I said, I can't help but judge the "full package" :)

To be precise, I'm trying for a pitch-based accent with some syllabic stress on the acute and circumflex (but not grave).
Ah...well, that's interesting :p I mean, there is always a spectrum of how much dynamic is one's accent and how much pitch and one does rarely make the extremes of the spectrum, but I guess we can point to certain directions in languages as Greek or Latin.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Regarding "kalos" at 17:00 (line 8), by the meter the alpha has to be long, or at least count long; it's the first syllable of a dactylic hexameter line. Aurifex, any clue about this?
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
I see... well.. you know I always have problems with the "half-way" pronunciations even though I absolutely and fully understand your motivation :D but no matter, I can just judge it on one standard, so take from it what you want ;) Some things I pointed out might have been more important than others: like ευ, ζ, υ (in my view). Other things as aspirated "k", "t" in the English way occasionally or omicron with not rounded lips (as one would expect from the Northern American English phonology are less important indeed .) But you will see. ^ as I said, I can't help but judge the "full package" :)
Yes -- I've already learned a ton from listening! Don't worry, I'd rather someone was a bit over-critical than letting things go by without saying they were wrong :D
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illūstris
Regarding "kalos" at 17:00 (line 8), by the meter the alpha has to be long, or at least count long; it's the first syllable of a dactylic hexameter line. Aurifex, any clue about this?
Hm, my friend, an expert Atticist (unfortunately he's not here) tells me it's short in Attic but now he tells me that " There's some dialect (Ionic?) with the vowel long because of compensatory lengthening from *kalwos." <- so here you go, I guess. Yeah, my assessment is not perfect, but I did what I could on the spot :) I might have also got some breathing marks wrong from time to time (as you did occasionally) and at one time I say aspirated "r" when I meant "k", but whatever :D
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Done - THANK YOU! That was very helpful indeed. :)
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
In general it sounds great to me! I'm a virulent supporter of the 'restored' pronunciation, but even after a lot of practice I still have trouble distinguishing aspirated and unaspirated consonants or maintaining a pitch accent, so I think it's quite understandable to avoid them.

Hm, my friend, an expert Atticist (unfortunately he's not here) tells me it's short in Attic but now he tells me that " There's some dialect (Ionic?) with the vowel long because of compensatory lengthening from *kalwos." <- so here you go, I guess. Yeah, my assessment is not perfect, but I did what I could on the spot :) I might have also got some breathing marks wrong from time to time (as you did occasionally) and at one time I say aspirated "r" when I meant "k", but whatever :D
Yes, in Ionic there is something called the third compensatory lengthening: where the original *w occurs after a resonant, the *w is lost without further change in Attic, but in Ionic the previous vowel is lengthened. Hence Ionic κούρη for Attic κόρη (from *korw-).

To be precise, I'm trying for a pitch-based accent with some syllabic stress on the acute and circumflex (but not grave).
There were a few syllables which have acute accents which went unpronounced (perhaps Godmy mentions this somewhere in the video) so far as I could tell.

What I would ask, though, is whether these 21 lines are all you are going to read? I can't help thinking that they aren't the most exciting lines in the poem, and at least half of them are taken up by names and epithets. Whereas, in the following section, we have Hesiod's autobiographical interlude - which is the focus of a lot of scholarship and later literary echoes, involves the Muses more deeply, and provides more opportunity for varying tone of voice and expressing emotion... Anyway, it's just a suggestion!
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
In general it sounds great to me!
Thanks! :)

What I would ask, though, is whether these 21 lines are all you are going to read? I can't help thinking that they aren't the most exciting lines in the poem, and at least half of them are taken up by names and epithets. Whereas, in the following section, we have Hesiod's autobiographical interlude - which is the focus of a lot of scholarship and later literary echoes, involves the Muses more deeply, and provides more opportunity for varying tone of voice and expressing emotion... Anyway, it's just a suggestion!
Yes, those were just a sample. This is the whole section (lines 1-103, excerpted for performance purposes):

μουσάων Ἑλικωνιάδων ἀρχώμεθ᾽ ἀείδειν,
αἵθ᾽ Ἑλικῶνος ἔχουσιν ὄρος μέγα τε ζάθεόν τε
καί τε περὶ κρήνην ἰοειδέα πόσσ᾽ ἁπαλοῖσιν
ὀρχεῦνται καὶ βωμὸν ἐρισθενέος Κρονίωνος.
καί τε λοεσσάμεναι τέρενα χρόα Περμησσοῖο
ἢ Ἵππου κρήνης ἢ Ὀλμειοῦ ζαθέοιο
ἀκροτάτῳ Ἑλικῶνι χοροὺς ἐνεποιήσαντο
καλούς, ἱμερόεντας: ἐπερρώσαντο δὲ ποσσίν.
ἔνθεν ἀπορνύμεναι, κεκαλυμμέναι ἠέρι πολλῇ,
ἐννύχιαι στεῖχον περικαλλέα ὄσσαν ἱεῖσαι,
ὑμνεῦσαι Δία τ᾽ αἰγίοχον καὶ πότνιαν Ἥρην
Ἀργεΐην, χρυσέοισι πεδίλοις ἐμβεβαυῖαν,
κούρην τ᾽ αἰγιόχοιο Διὸς γλαυκῶπιν Ἀθήνην
Φοῖβόν τ᾽ Ἀπόλλωνα καὶ Ἄρτεμιν ἰοχέαιραν
ἠδὲ Ποσειδάωνα γεήοχον, ἐννοσίγαιον,
καὶ Θέμιν αἰδοίην ἑλικοβλέφαρόν τ᾽ Ἀφροδίτην
Ἥβην τε χρυσοστέφανον καλήν τε Διώνην
Λητώ τ᾽ Ἰαπετόν τε ἰδὲ Κρόνον ἀγκυλομήτην
Ἠῶ τ᾽ Ἠέλιόν τε μέγαν λαμπράν τε Σελήνην
Γαῖάν τ᾽ Ὠκεανόν τε μέγαν καὶ Νύκτα μέλαιναν
ἄλλων τ᾽ ἀθανάτων ἱερὸν γένος αἰὲν ἐόντων.


αἵ νύ ποθ᾽ Ἡσίοδον καλὴν ἐδίδαξαν ἀοιδήν,
ἄρνας ποιμαίνονθ᾽ Ἑλικῶνος ὕπο ζαθέοιο.
τόνδε δέ με πρώτιστα θεαὶ πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπον,
Μοῦσαι Ὀλυμπιάδες, κοῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο:
ποιμένες ἄγραυλοι, κάκ᾽ ἐλέγχεα, γαστέρες οἶον,
ἴδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα,
ἴδμεν δ᾽, εὖτ᾽ ἐθέλωμεν, ἀληθέα γηρύσασθαι.
ὣς ἔφασαν κοῦραι μεγάλου Διὸς ἀρτιέπειαι:
καί μοι σκῆπτρον ἔδον δάφνης ἐριθηλέος ὄζον
δρέψασαι, θηητόν: ἐνέπνευσαν δέ μοι αὐδὴν
θέσπιν, ἵνα κλείοιμι τά τ᾽ ἐσσόμενα πρό τ᾽ ἐόντα.
καί μ᾽ ἐκέλονθ᾽ ὑμνεῖν μακάρων γένος αἰὲν ἐόντων,
σφᾶς δ᾽ αὐτὰς πρῶτόν τε καὶ ὕστατον αἰὲν ἀείδειν.

τὰς ἐν Πιερίῃ Κρονίδῃ τέκε πατρὶ μιγεῖσα
Μνημοσύνη, γουνοῖσιν Ἐλευθῆρος μεδέουσα,
λησμοσύνην τε κακῶν ἄμπαυμά τε μερμηράων.
ἐννέα γάρ οἱ νυκτὸς ἐμίσγετο μητίετα Ζεὺς
νόσφιν ἀπ᾽ ἀθανάτων ἱερὸν λέχος εἰσαναβαίνων:
ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δή ῥ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸς ἔην, περὶ δ᾽ ἔτραπον ὧραι
μηνῶν φθινόντων, περὶ δ᾽ ἤματα πόλλ᾽ ἐτελέσθη,
ἣ δ᾽ ἔτεκ᾽ ἐννέα κούρας ὁμόφρονας, ᾗσιν ἀοιδὴ
μέμβλεται ἐν στήθεσσιν, ἀκηδέα θυμὸν ἐχούσαις,
τυτθὸν ἀπ᾽ ἀκροτάτης κορυφῆς νιφόεντος Ὀλύμπου:
ἐννέα θυγατέρες μεγάλου Διὸς ἐκγεγαυῖαι,
Κλειώ τ᾽ Εὐτέρπη τε Θάλειά τε Μελπομέενη τε
Τερψιχόρη τ᾽ Ἐρατώ τε Πολύμνιά τ᾽ Οὐρανίη τε
Καλλιόπη θ᾽: ἣ δὲ προφερεστάτη ἐστὶν ἁπασέων.

ἐκ γάρ τοι Μουσέων καὶ ἑκηβόλου Ἀπόλλωνος
ἄνδρες ἀοιδοὶ ἔασιν ἐπὶ χθόνα καὶ κιθαρισταί.
εἰ γάρ τις καὶ πένθος ἔχων νεοκηδέι θυμῷ
ἄζηται κραδίην ἀκαχήμενος, αὐτὰρ ἀοιδὸς
Μουσάων θεράπων κλέεα προτέρων ἀνθρώπων
ὑμνήσῃ μάκαράς τε θεούς, οἳ Ὄλυμπον ἔχουσιν,
αἶψ᾽ ὅ γε δυσφροσυνέων ἐπιλήθεται οὐδέ τι κηδέων
μέμνηται: ταχέως δὲ παρέτραπε δῶρα θεάων.
 
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