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ΚΘΣΝ??

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ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby jheisle2 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:18 pm

Hello, This is my first post. I am not a student of ancient languages and I am stumped on where to find an answer to my question.

This is an old fight song from Villanova and my colleagues and I are trying to figure out what the second line means. The capital "Kappa Theta (backwards??) Sigma Nu".

Here is a link to the archive where a digital copy is located: http://archives.villanova.edu/www.villa ... ge=072.htm

We got 'victory' in the third line already.

I hope that the amazing scholars on here can help us out!
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby mwh » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:51 pm

Google kappa theta sigma nu. It appears that ΚΘ is a chapter of the ΣΝ fraternity.
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby jeidsath » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:20 pm

I don't think that can be it. ΣΝ chapters were created in order by alphabet.

Α - VMI 1869
Γ - Duke 1871
Β - UV 1871

By 1893 they were only up to ΒΜ -- the university of Iowa. Chapters with first letter Κ don't show up until the 1980s.

There were only 90 students on campus at the time. I don't know how active Greek societies would have been. However, the Villanova monthly has a "Societies" section, and might be worth a trip to the library.

I was trying to think of a phrase starting with those letters, and the closest I could come was "Θεὸς Σωτὴρ Nίκη" (from the Anabasis). But I don't know what the Κ would be for. MWH is almost certainly right that it's some society or other. But nothing seems to show up in Baird's Manual with the correct dates.
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μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby mwh » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:03 am

K a miscopied B, then? (The sigma is mangled too.) Chartered 1890 but at Auburn (in Alabama, no?) acc. to https://www.sigmanu.org/about-us/chapte ... d-colonies.
Or could ΚΘ have been an unchartered chapter unofficially named? (Κυριος Θεος, if we want it to be meaningful?) I’ve heard chapters could spring up and operate pretty freely after the Civil War and without fraternity approval or even knowledge. I don't know if that's so. I know next to nothing about the history of the Greek system. It’s always seemed very weird to me, like the Masons and the Mormons and so much else.

νικη pronounced like the brandname presumably.
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby jheisle2 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:29 pm

Thanks so much for the insight!

Just out of curiosity, what would be the reason for the reversed Σ?

I am going to head over to the archives and try and find if there is any history corroborating the idea that it is connected to a the Fraternity system.

It seems that it is supposed to rhyme with the Hulla Baloo line if they pronounced Ν like the English word 'new'.

Do those letters have any connection with Christianity, specifically St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas?
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:10 pm

There is evidence that Greek was studied in the form of a student report card. A beginner in Greek my have been writing nu for eta. Jesus could be described in nouns as Κύριος Θεὸς Σωτὴρ Ἡμῶν "Lord God our Saviour", or prayed to in some similar verbal form.
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby jeidsath » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:32 pm

I doubt it. Eta doesn't rhyme with "hulla buloo."
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μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby jeidsath » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:47 pm

jheisle2:

Sigma (if it is a sigma) is likely reversed because the writer was not confident in the Greek alphabet. It's a common sort error if you are copying letters from a language that you don't know.

mwh:

There is a current Sigma Nu chapter at Villanova: Kappa Zeta Sigma Nu! Founded in 1983. It's almost enough to make me think that 1893 is a mistake for 1983 in the note, except that no one in the 20th century ever used hulla baloo or νικη in a sports chant. (Unless they meant Nike shoes.)

The Villanova website claims that the first Greek organization on campus was founded in 1902:

In 1902, under the guidance of Father Matthew Cochran, a small group of students from St. Mary’s Hall (later Corr Hall) founded the first fraternity at Villanova with the purpose of studying the classics and promoting social interactions.


It's possible that this is mistaken, but I think that jheisle2 (and ἑκηβόλος) may be on the right track:

"Do those letters have any connection with Christianity, specifically St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas?"

My best guess is still (incorporating your suggestion): κύριος θεός σωτὴρ νίκη
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:02 am

jeidsath wrote:The Villanova website claims that the first Greek organization on campus was founded in 1902:

In 1902, under the guidance of Father Matthew Cochran, a small group of students from St. Mary’s Hall (later Corr Hall) founded the first fraternity at Villanova with the purpose of studying the classics and promoting social interactions.

Was that early society necessarily affiliated with an outside body? Doesn't (or didn't it before some time) the Catholic Church have a ban on secret societies?
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:20 am

jheisle2 wrote:It seems that it is supposed to rhyme with the Hulla Baloo line if they pronounced Ν like the English word 'new'.

ἑκηβόλος wrote:A beginner in Greek my have been writing nu for eta. Jesus could be described in nouns as Κύριος Θεὸς Σωτὴρ Ἡμῶν "Lord God our Saviour"..

jeidsath wrote:I doubt it. Eta doesn't rhyme with "hulla buloo."

I was going to say, "Nor does νίκη.", but let me change that to another question.

Are you suggesting / Is it common practice for college students / grown adults to sound out a sequence of the names of Greek letters?
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby jeidsath » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:03 pm

In the states, you basically can’t walk outside without seeing something like this: https://youtu.be/1_i4J_qJeFU
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μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: ΚΘΣΝ??

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:25 pm

jeidsath wrote:In the states, you basically can’t walk outside without seeing something like this: https://youtu.be/1_i4J_qJeFU
Wow! :shock: They look like high school or college age girls. When I taught some basic Greek to kindergarten and lower primary school pupils in an independent (Christian) school some years ago, with the aid of a tune (a slower chant really) at least, most of the children were able to remember all the Greek letters and get them in the right order. I've no intention or need go to America, but if I did, perhaps I could avoid such as what the video showed by sticking to the cities, colonies, commonwealths and territories. :arrow:
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