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Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

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Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Helikwps » Sun May 06, 2012 6:56 am

Does anyone know of an original Greek-language volume of this work available either online or as a book, new or used, modern or old? I've struck out using Google, Perseus, Loeb and Abebooks.

Also, I see that the Aethiopica was composed about a century after the date usually ascribed to the close of Koine Greek. Can anyone speculate how much trouble a student of Attic Greek would have with it? (Koine has been a relative breeze so far.)

The story sounds amazing and I want to have a look. Any replies or help greatly appreciated! Thanks,

Tim aka Helikwps
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby cb » Sun May 06, 2012 7:09 am

hi, i checked archive.org: is this what you were looking for?

http://archive.org/stream/aethiopica00c ... 2/mode/1up

cheers, chad :)
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Scribo » Sun May 06, 2012 2:13 pm

It's easy to read in terms of language. The actual story itself is absolutely....dire beyond all means. I know one person writing a commentary on it, god knows how they can stand it. This survived? THIS? of all the texts...grr...
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Helikwps » Sun May 06, 2012 4:00 pm

Thanks a million Chad for the link!!! -- and Scribo for the belly laugh. :)
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby aloimonon » Tue May 08, 2012 12:49 pm

Scribo wrote:It's easy to read in terms of language. The actual story itself is absolutely....dire beyond all means. I know one person writing a commentary on it, god knows how they can stand it. This survived? THIS? of all the texts...grr...


May I ask who is writing the commentary, and for which series (Loeb, Aris, other)? Is a facing translation included as well?
ἀλλ' ἔγωγε ἐξ αὐτῶν τούτων μᾶλλον αὐτὸν τεθαύμακα, ὅτι ἔν τε ἀλλοκότοις καὶ ἐν ἐξαισίοις πράγμασι αὐτός τε διεγένετο καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν διεσώσατο. Dio LXXII 36.3
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby aloimonon » Tue May 08, 2012 4:19 pm

Pardon me for replying to my own query, but I have realized that I asked my question in haste, as of course there are no commentaries for the Loeb series. Still, a quick Google search did not help me answer my question, although it seems that a Loeb edition is in the works:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._Morgan

The only series which include commentaries which I've used myself are the "Aris and Phillips" series, and the "Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics" series. Am I closer? Could you shed any light as to the series, and whether it will include translation and/or text, and if possible, the projected publication date?

Thank you.
ἀλλ' ἔγωγε ἐξ αὐτῶν τούτων μᾶλλον αὐτὸν τεθαύμακα, ὅτι ἔν τε ἀλλοκότοις καὶ ἐν ἐξαισίοις πράγμασι αὐτός τε διεγένετο καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν διεσώσατο. Dio LXXII 36.3
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Scribo » Tue May 08, 2012 8:28 pm

Hi, the person who I know writing a commentary is doing so for a thesis here at Oxford and when (or if I suppose) its published it will be OUP, I don't know much about it, it will be a typical scholarly commentary. Might have a text included, the OUP ones usually do. It will only be of one book though, highly specific like most scholarly volumes.

I think Prof Nick Lowe (Uni of London, Royal Holloway) is working on a translation for Penguin Classics of the whole thing. There are a few other monographs set to come out on this the Greek (in most cases Roman) novels, including a hoard of essays thanks to the upcoming conference at Thessaloniki.

The novel is suddenly the hottest thing in the Classics world, god knows why. I really think they're god awful. :lol:
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby pster » Tue May 08, 2012 10:31 pm

Cervantes liked Aethiopica quite a bit.
And Racine, it is said, memorized all of it.
But despite his use of flawless alexandrine.
I could not memorize Phedre by Racine.
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Damoetas » Wed May 09, 2012 2:55 am

Scribo wrote:The novel is suddenly the hottest thing in the Classics world, god knows why. I really think they're god awful. :lol:


I think things get suddenly popular in the Classics world for two reasons: 1) There's not a lot of new stuff left to research, so the best way to get a dissertation topic is to think of a new take on something old, and 2) You can analyze it without necessarily thinking it's good literature. There's usually stuff to say about its ideology, or construction of gender, or conceptions of ethnicity, or power relations, or evidence for material culture - whatever you can think of that hasn't been researched before!
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Scribo » Wed May 09, 2012 8:55 am

Damoetas wrote:
Scribo wrote:The novel is suddenly the hottest thing in the Classics world, god knows why. I really think they're god awful. :lol:


I think things get suddenly popular in the Classics world for two reasons: 1) There's not a lot of new stuff left to research, so the best way to get a dissertation topic is to think of a new take on something old, and 2) You can analyze it without necessarily thinking it's good literature. There's usually stuff to say about its ideology, or construction of gender, or conceptions of ethnicity, or power relations, or evidence for material culture - whatever you can think of that hasn't been researched before!


I think you sort of hit the nail on the head, outside of some french tomes its relatively "new". Now that's not to say we don't have LOADS of other new stuff, there are SO many texts understudied but every pretentious fool wants to think he can add something to the already vast mountain on Euripides or Aeschylus. It is depressing, look at the really interesting work done by the current (younger generation) of lecturers and then look at the upcoming students. Ah well, I guess.

I'm frequently told, incidentally, that this stuff is much less pronounced by those working on Roman Lit and I should join the dark side. Shudder.
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby aloimonon » Wed May 09, 2012 12:53 pm

Thank you Scribo for that bit of information.
ἀλλ' ἔγωγε ἐξ αὐτῶν τούτων μᾶλλον αὐτὸν τεθαύμακα, ὅτι ἔν τε ἀλλοκότοις καὶ ἐν ἐξαισίοις πράγμασι αὐτός τε διεγένετο καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν διεσώσατο. Dio LXXII 36.3
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Helikwps » Fri May 11, 2012 7:00 am

My own motivation was to read some fast-paced, easy and fun Greek with my 7-yr-old. Lucian's True History was a terrific bounty (thanks board!) and I was hoping for something in a similar vein. Lit that edifies can come later I'm thinking, and I find it easy to skip the inappropriate parts of Lucian etc.

Aesop should have been a favorite but she just didn't take to it. And am I wrong in observing that women come in for much better and more naturalistic treatment in popular Greek lit (eg novels like Aethiopica and the mimes)?
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Scribo » Fri May 11, 2012 4:16 pm

Hm I wouldn't say anybody gets a naturalistic treatment in the novels. All the men are gorgeous Akhilleus all olive tan and curly ruddy hair with beautiful musculature, the girls are blushing Artemis' etc. What I find hilarious with Heliodoros is how many times the same character can die and re-appear...

Hmm I've never thought about Greek for kids, what about taking select child friendly passages? Avoid the tragedies, obviously, and the comedies with their constant rape. I'm sure you can find something.
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby spiphany » Fri May 11, 2012 9:31 pm

I actually wouldn't say the Aethiopica is so horrible as all that. The problem is more that for us as contemporary readers we have certain expectations about what this type of story should look like -- complex characterization, reasonably plausible plot development, causal connections between events etc.
None of which are really relevant criteria for judging the ancient Greek romance as a genre (or the medieval romance either, for that matter). I've studied the development of the novel a bit, and it's really an entirely different world governed by a different set of rules and it's hard for us to adopt that perspective. There are a number of scholars who maintain the early novel developed out of the fairy tale; at any rate, some of the stylistic similarities are clear: the stereotypical characters, the role of fate and coincidence, the separation and reuniting of the lovers, the "happily ever after" moment at the end. If you think of it as a fairy tale that's trying to turn into something else but hasn't quite managed it yet, the story doesn't seem quite so bad.

As far as being interesting and accessible, another Greek romance, Daphnis and Chloe, might actually be better in this respect. The plot isn't nearly as far-fetched or complex and we do see the young couple growing up emotionally. However, there are parts of it that would probably not be appropriate for a 7 year old -- there are no explicit erotic scenes that I recall, but the story does involve the children's discovery of how men and women are different and it's fairly frank about the treatment of bodies in general.

In my third-semester Greek class we read excerpts fom Xenophon's Education of Cyrus, which included some fairly interesting stories. Might be a little old content-wise because it does deal with military expeditions and women being taken captive and such, but there may be sections which would be suitable.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby Helikwps » Fri May 25, 2012 1:54 am

Belated thanks so much Chad & Scribo, Damoetas, aloimonon and pster for the background and help!  And major thanks spiphany for the recc of Daphnis & Chloe and a Xenophon I hadn't heard of, both of which I'll definitely follow up. 

Some brilliant couplet verse instruction there pster, greatly appreciated.

I'm always amazed at the erudition on this board on virtually any Greek subject, although I guess by now I shouldn't be.  Thanks again!
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Re: Aethiopica, by Heliodorus of Emesa

Postby JocelynLarkins » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:19 am

By the time we get to this last kind of example, I am not sure whether it is an impersonal use, or just a regular intransitive use with subject last word order.
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