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Medieval Greek

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Medieval Greek

Postby Gonzalo » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:45 am

Hello,
I wondered if there was a method to learn that kind of Greek or more exactly its evolution, history, &c., and which one you would recommend.
I have tried to understand it and I am able to figure out what such texts tell (ex.gr., I have had a look at Constantin Lascaris' Grammatices graecae epitome and I can understand a considerable part of the text) but I cannot produce texts by means of such a language... because I do not know which differences might be found out (at least, I can imagine there was an expansion on vocabulary, simplification of syntax,...) with, for instance, Attic. I have also been able to imagine what is told in Modern Greek when it is written (v. gr., in subtitles of a movie) but it is driving me crazy. I have studied some works on the subject but I wish to know more.
I have read about Rodríguez Adrados' works on Greek literature and language... but I just wanted to know your opinion, specially about Medieval Greek, about which I am very interested.

Many thanks in advance.
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby IreneY » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:45 pm

I'll have to look into Medieval Greek (though between modern and ancient you get it :D ) but for modern Greek there's an abundance of sources on the Internet (free lessons and such). If you are interested in a grammar book or something for modern Greek you just have to ask :D


http://www.foundalis.com/lan/grkgram.htm
http://www.greece.org/gr-lessons/gr-eng ... yntax.html

are two which you may find interesting
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Postby Gonzalo » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:19 pm

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Postby annis » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:06 am

The very, very best book on this subject is unfortunately out of print and very expensive. A library might be able to find it for you: Geoffrey Horrocks' Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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Postby Gonzalo » Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:28 am

Thanks for the suggestion. I have found it at Google Books (and it can be read an excerpt via Amazon). I suppose it may be available by second-hand in Spain.
http://books.google.com/books?id=fkDWAQ ... y+horrocks
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Postby modus.irrealis » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:28 am

Another book is Medieval and Modern Greek by Robert Browning, which is a nice overview of those periods of Greek.

Gonzalo, what you do mean by "medieval Greek"? I ask, because most of the works written in Greek during the medieval era were (meant to be) in good Ancient Greek and wouldn't really represent the development of the language, so you should be okay with those. For the spoken language, I don't think there are that many texts in Medieval Greek -- major works I know of are the Chronicle of Morea (one version available at this site) and the poems about Digenes Akrites (which unfortunately I couldn't find anywhere online), but these are fairly late and their language does seem fairly modern, although I've read that they show a large amount of learned forms so they're not a direct reflection of the spoken language either.
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Postby Gonzalo » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:28 am

modus.irrealis wrote:Another book is Medieval and Modern Greek by Robert Browning, which is a nice overview of those periods of Greek.

Gonzalo, what you do mean by "medieval Greek"? I ask, because most of the works written in Greek during the medieval era were (meant to be) in good Ancient Greek and wouldn't really represent the development of the language, so you should be okay with those. For the spoken language, I don't think there are that many texts in Medieval Greek -- major works I know of are the Chronicle of Morea (one version available at this site) and the poems about Digenes Akrites (which unfortunately I couldn't find anywhere online), but these are fairly late and their language does seem fairly modern, although I've read that they show a large amount of learned forms so they're not a direct reflection of the spoken language either.

What I mean by Medieval Greek are those works written during the Byzantine Empire. I said I was able to understand such texts but they were driving me crazy because I do not know their theoretical (philological) base, their proper grammar, their differences between Attic, &c. I am specially interested in historians (Anna Comnena, Niketas Choniates, G. Pachymeres, &c.), poets, encyclopedists, well, being sincere ALL.
I am going to visit my bookseller now and I will order her the books which you have suggested.
Thank you very much for the Chronicle of Morea.
Last edited by Gonzalo on Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Aristoklhs » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:24 am

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Postby Gonzalo » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:25 pm

Thank you, *Plato*, for that link. I will read the information which it contains. Well, what I am exactly looking for is something similar to this: http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/greek/grammarofmedievalgreek/
A director of the project is Geoffrey Horrocks.

Any comment? Does anyone know when this grammar will be published (2009?)?
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Postby petka » Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:37 pm

I don/t know what really embarrass you with mediaeval greek. I think you have a lexical problem maybe. You need to know first about what I call the "ideology" of Byzantine society, you need to know its civilisation, history and especially its theological mentality. The rest is ancient greek. However I can quote a tool very good one. It's Yannaris , A History of Ancient Greek up to modern times.(I am not sure about the correct spell of the title) It's very good even for ancient greek. If you find it on line please give me the link. I've lost mine and could not find another copy of it.) It also contains in addenda a considerable list of more than seven hundreds Greek irregular verbs with their four stems , it's excellent.
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Postby Gonzalo » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:10 pm

Hi, Petka:
I was really seeking for a sort of compendium of Medieval Greek Grammar (peculiarities of the language, &c.). That was only what I meant.
Thanks for your reply.

P.S.: By the way, welcome to Textkit.
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Postby ThomasGR » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:40 pm

We may assume that Medieval Greek grammar was not different than Modern Demotic Greek. The differences are only subjects to dialects and local vocabularies. Try "Triantafilidis Greek Grammar". He deals a lot with demotic Greek and the different dialects, also with katharevusa. Byzantine Grammar is a different case, since they tried to imitate Koine Greek and to some point also to establish rules of classical Attic Greek.

http://www.google.com/search?q=triantafilidis+greek+grammar&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a/
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mediaeval

Postby petka » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:55 am

Hi again Gonzalo,
If you find a good compendium of such peculiarities, give it to me too if it is available online, though Yannaris book is a very good tool which analyzes these peculiarities in comparison and in historical evolution. However I insist, if you want really to understand something of this literature, no matter if it is historical philosophical rhetoric try to get acquaintance with some good source book of its theology. Especially if you want to translate. What I am trying to say is the fact that the specificity of byzantine Greek relies less in grammatical peculiarities which for the major part are not much different from koine, but in understanding its background which is marked theologically, as Byzance was really a theocratic state. I would suggest some good dictionaries as well which presents byzantine lexical peculiarities and "les écarts de sens" determined by the change of social/historical/cultural backgrounds. Try Lampe's A Patristic Greek/English Lexicon. Suida's Lexicon as well, and Stephanos... In Byzantine theology, I would suggest to have an overlook of Meyendorff's works they are the best for western non orthodox readers, and also for the exact understanding of the dogmatic terms in dogmatic controversies of the Byz Empire I would say that you should not miss the wonderful work of Prestige, God in Patristic Thought which is a lexicographic work as well. I insist it's not theological propaganda. It's understanding Greek byzantine. No matter if you deal with Anna Comnena or Gregorius' Pachymerae, the wonderful annotator of Dionyssius the Areopagiate"work. By the way I would be pleased if you would suggest me some secondary litterature about Pachymerae...
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Postby Gonzalo » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:24 pm

Hi,

I know that it is not proper giving new life to dead threads but someone might judge the next paper useful:

La lengua griega en la Baja Edad Media
(The Greek Tongue in Late Middle Ages)

http://interclassica.um.es/investigacio ... edad_media

Despite it´s written in Spanish, I highly recommend it.

Regards,
Gonzalo
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby aloimonon » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:44 am

annis wrote:The very, very best book on this subject is unfortunately out of print and very expensive. A library might be able to find it for you: Geoffrey Horrocks' Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers.


Annis, thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I'm so very fortunate that I was able to acquire a copy.

I would ask for some additional reference(s) in order for me to gain a fuller understanding of chapter 6 (p 102), specifically vowel triangles, and the pictograms which represent uttered sounds (phonemes and diphthongs). It's obvious from my terminology that I have no grounding on this subject, but I would like to change that when I have the time. Could you recommend a reference? I can of course find online references, but since I am new to the subject I prefer a hardcopy reference if reasonably priced (I also have access to my old University library). Thanks for any help.

EDIT: Of course I can deduce some of the answers, but I think it better that I have another reference...
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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Postby annis » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:31 pm

plukidis wrote: I'm so very fortunate that I was able to acquire a copy.


Ooh. I'm jealous.

I would ask for some additional reference(s) in order for me to gain a fuller understanding of chapter 6 (p 102), specifically vowel triangles, and the pictograms which represent uttered sounds (phonemes and diphthongs).


Any introductory lingistics text with chapters on phonetics would be good. Actually, Vox Graeca has a brief introduction to phonetics, focusing on material relevant to Greek.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby aloimonon » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:29 pm

Well, I am embarrassed :oops:
It was, after all, your note which made me aware of the book at all, and I am very much grateful for it. As I was checking Amazon and other sources periodically, I finally managed to find 3 copies for sale with 2/3 being *obscenely* overpriced.

I will look up your reference in my library in order to answer my questions. 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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Postby mingshey » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:30 am

annis wrote:
plukidis wrote: I'm so very fortunate that I was able to acquire a copy.


Ooh. I'm jealous.


And guess what.

I teach physics at a foreign language specialized high-school. That's how teaching Greek in the weekends is not so odd here. And this high-school is established by and placed beside a foreign language university(Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies). And the univ library recently gave membership to the teachers of the high-school.

I visited the library today to return a modern Greek conversation textbook. I wanted to prolong the rent, but the librarian said I had to wait untill tomorrow. So I idled around the Greek section and found something to read about the Greek language. And, voilá, it is "Geoffrey Horrocks, 'Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers.'".
I didn't quite realize that it was the book you mentioned here for hours. But as I read the book the content reminded me of this thread.

[edit]
Maybe your post had hypnotized me to pick the book at the sight of it. 8)
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Postby ggeneraux » Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:57 am

Thanks for this link. I'm relatively new to learning Greek, but I'm pretty advanced in Spanish and am fascinated with the idea of learning Greek using Spanish resources!

Best regards,
Grant

Gonzalo wrote:Hi,

I know that it is not proper giving new life to dead threads but someone might judge the next paper useful:

La lengua griega en la Baja Edad Media
(The Greek Tongue in Late Middle Ages)

http://interclassica.um.es/investigacio ... edad_media

Despite it´s written in Spanish, I highly recommend it.

Regards,
Gonzalo
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Re: Medieval Greek

Postby snamibog » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:56 pm

I know that I'm a few years late in posting this, but I found myself looking through JSTOR for articles about Medieval Greek, and I stumbled upon this gem: "A Glossary of Later and Byzantine Greek" by E.A. Sophocles http://0-www.jstor.org.lrc.cod.edu/stable/25058192. It was published in 1860, and is comprised of 624 pages. If you are not able to view the complete file from JSTOR, I have downloaded the PDF and could send it to you.

The section on grammar runs from page 67-131.
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