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easiest from NT to other Greek works?

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easiest from NT to other Greek works?

Postby daler » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:27 am

I found this link in another thread and was curious that there was no comment or discussion on it. It was a list ranking the supposed easiest Ancient Greek to read after one learned the NT. The higher the score, supposedly the easier to transition to after learning studying the NT.
Not from first hand experience(!) but by reputation I was surprised at some of the entrants. (Plato?)
I am asking, because I would like to be forewarned before starting some if this is or is not realistic ranking.
Any opinions?

Title Author Score
Josepth and Asenath Unknown 25 (1)
Wasps (JACT Adaptation) Aristophanes (and JACT) 24 (1)
True Story Lucian 24 (1)
Testaments Twelve Patriarchs 23 (1)
Romans Ignatius 23 (1)
On the Killing of Eratosthenes Lysias 21 (1)
Didache The Twelve Apostles 21 (2)
The Lives of the Prophets Unknown 21 (1)
Symposium Plato 21 (1)
On the Passover Melito of Sardis 21 (2)
Calliroe Chariton 20 (1)
Daphnis and Chole Longus 20 (1)
Hellenica Xenophon 20 (1)
The Library Apollodorus 20 (1)
Odyssey Homer 20 (1)
Roman Antiquities Dionysius of Halicarnassensis 19 (1)
Enchiridion Epictetus 19 (1)
Genesis LXX 19 (3)
Iliad Homer 18 (2)
Wasps Aristophanes 17 (1)
Alcestis Euripides 16 (1)
Meditations Marcus Aurellius

here is the link:
http://www.vnoel.com/component/option,c ... emid,1068/


Thanks!
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Re: easiest from NT to other Greek works?

Postby jswilkmd » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:21 pm

I'd agree with the Didache and the LXX, but Homer? From personal experience, I'd say no.
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Re: easiest from NT to other Greek works?

Postby Damoetas » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:48 pm

Yes, this list is a good idea, but if you look at how they arrive at the scores, there are some potential problems. They use three parameters: 1) Close to the Greek of the NT, 2) Easy, and 3) Good Greek. Now, what they mean by "good Greek" is not defined. This could mean "having good literary value," which is probably why they assign 10 out of 10 points to Homer; it could also mean "conforming to the 5th century Attic standard," which is probably why the give the canonical Attic authors high points (8 or 9 out of 10). However, the problem is that this parameter works at cross-purposes with the first one, "Close to the Greek of the NT." It also works against the second one to an extent; Homer is syntactically not complex, but this is not the same thing as "Easy" if you've never seen his dialect before. So I think the list would be more helpful if they derived the score from only the first two columns, and then added some notes about "literary value" (very subjective), and "Atticism" (somewhat less subjective).
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: easiest from NT to other Greek works?

Postby daler » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:04 pm

Yes, but if it conformed to Attic standards it wouldn't really be Koine then would it? It also wouldn't really be easy to transition to if you just had NT Greek.
I wonder what else is even written in Koine other than the NT, LXX and Didache. Is there anything secular at all? I would have to think so. Where would one find a list of Koine works? I haven't found one searching the forums here.
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Re: easiest from NT to other Greek works?

Postby Damoetas » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:29 am

That's what I meant: the category of "good Greek" is enormously problematic for this time period, because anything Koine is not "good Greek" by Attic standards. The people themselves were quite conflicted when they wrote, because there was a tension between their everyday speech and the literary models (i.e. Attic) that they studied in school. During the Hellenistic period, a fair number of works were written in Koine. From about 50 C.E. onwards, there was a reaction back towards Attic and almost nothing was written in Koine, except for everyday letters and notes.

Some noteworthy works that are Koine to greater or lesser degrees: Polybius, Epictetus, Galen - nothing else comes to mind right now, but perhaps others can remember something!
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Re: easiest from NT to other Greek works?

Postby daler » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:51 am

Wikipedia says Marcus Aurelius' Meditations were written in a "highly educated" Koine Greek. with this footnote:
^
"Close imitation of Attic was not required because Marcus Aurelius wrote in a philosophical context without thought of publication. Galen's many writings in what he calls 'the common dialect' are another excellent example of non-atticizing but highly educated Greek." Simon Swain, (1996), Hellenism and Empire, page 29. Oxford University Press.
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