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Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone used?

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Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone used?

Postby Scribo » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:42 pm

Well, thoughts? usefulness etc?
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Re: Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone us

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:41 am

Scribo wrote:Well, thoughts? usefulness etc?


I don't have it on hand but I have used a library copy on several different occasions. For my purposes it wasn't as good as Stanford on Ajax or Kells on Electra. I would give it about two stars. And while I am being opinionated let me say that I wasn't exactly ecstatic about Finglass on Electra.
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Re: Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone us

Postby spiphany » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:43 am

I have used Elliot's commentary. It's aimed towards a less experienced Greek reader and therefore has more helpful comments on parsing grammar, unusual constructions etc than is typical. It also has a vocabulary in the back which is both useful and frustrating, as it doesn't list vocab considered too basic and when a word is listed it sometimes requires some digging around to find it.

The commentary is sometimes annoyingly brief, however, and I ended up supplementing it with Page's commentary, which was often more helpful on particularly difficult passages. Some of this is an individual thing though, what things one has trouble with and what not.

The Cambridge Green and Yellow (I don't remember the editor off-hand) is good, I think, although I didn"t have a copy when I worked through Medea the first time. It's quite thorough and is again aimed at an intermediate-level Greek reader. If you only want to get one commentary this is probably the one I would choose.
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: Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone us

Postby Scribo » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:02 pm

Thanks guys I'm being asked you see (they have I think 11 months of Greek under their belt and really want to read Medea) and have no clue. So just recommend the Mastronade?

C S I'm surprised at your comment on Finglass, I thought it was decent briefly flicking through it. In general I'm a fan of his work and he is a very affable and friendly chap.

Erm is there any thing in particular I ought to recommend Tragedy wise? See outside of some of the basic core stuff (which changes) and Alkestis which I've taught I've little idea of the genre and am not really interested in it outside of farming it I'm afraid.

Is Medea even a decent tragedy? I think it only got 3rd place...I'm putting together a basic student reader on the Seven against Thebes too which might be helpful for them I guess.
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Re: Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone us

Postby Ahab » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Scribo wrote:C S I'm surprised at your comment on Finglass, I thought it was decent briefly flicking through it. In general I'm a fan of his work and he is a very affable and friendly chap.



Me too.

"This is a superlative commentary whose learning and acuity would do credit to a much older scholar..." is how David Kovacs begins his BMCR review of Finglass' commentary.
"In no scholarly discipline is untidiness more out of place than in grammar."
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Re: Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone us

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:15 pm

Scribo wrote:Thanks guys I'm being asked you see (they have I think 11 months of Greek under their belt and really want to read Medea) and have no clue. So just recommend the Mastronade?

C S I'm surprised at your comment on Finglass, I thought it was decent briefly flicking through it. In general I'm a fan of his work and he is a very affable and friendly chap.


It is a matter of what you are seeking in a commentary. My background is linguistics not Classics. Finglass like R. C. Jebb is 70% of the time talking over my head in Classics and often not addressing issues of syntax and semantics which are what I need to sort out difficult idioms in Sophocles. So what it boils down to is I am not a member of his intended audience. I suspect a Classics PhD candidate would find him useful.
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Re: Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone us

Postby Scribo » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:37 pm

Well this is an interesting point in and of itself isn't it? when it comes to writing commentaries. I'm personally unsure, I know at least two people writing commentaries now and this is the kind of stuff they have to deal with all the time so in comparison I'm not well grounded to speak.

I do agree that linguistics gets sidelined, but then I know several ancient languages and have had a lot of training in that area. On the other hand....well I don't think I've ever really had much linguistic trouble with texts and usually they're sorted out by the commentaries I've came across and I think any more detail would be better suited to either school students (Aris and Phillips) or early undergraduates (Cambridge Green and Yellows) due to limitations of space.

So I'm putting together a series of notes on the Septem, as I said above, and since I'm not really "up" on Tragedy the vast majority of notes are basically of a linguistic nature e.g explaining syntax, word formation and even metre rather than context. Because I intend to use it to instruct relative newbies and because, frankly, I doubt I could mention very much about the context outside of the few books and articles I've read.
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Re: Elliot (1969) Medea (Oxford) - the commentary, anyone us

Postby Scribo » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:38 pm

PS I looked at the Elliot edition today out of interest, it wasn't that bad I think. In general for the beginner I think a lot of the older texts are better than the modern stuff we see nowadays. That really is saying something. :S
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