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Someone HELP!!!

This board is a composition workshop, like a writers' workshop: post your work with questions about style or vocabulary, comment on other people's work, post composition challenges on some topic or form, or just dazzle us with your inventive use of galliambics.

Someone HELP!!!

Postby Temple of Apollo » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:15 am

Ok. I want to get a tattoo of the ancient greek proverb "KNOW THYSELF" BUT- I cannot figure out a few things. Such as. Do I get it in modern Greek? or Ancient Greek? Or whatever Greek?

Also, here is a link for your ...thinking of this topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_thyself
Question: See the picture of the window on the right. See the inscription in Greek KNOW THYSELF. then see how it is written at the beginning γνῶθι σεαυτόν . what is the difference? Is it that the one on the window is in capitol letters and the one written γνῶθι σεαυτόν is in lowercase ???

I want my tatto to be authentic. As it says on wikipiedia: KNOW THYSELF was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. If I get it kn modern Greek, will it be different from when it was originally written??? If so, then doesnt make sense to get it in English?

Sorry about all my questions. If anyone can answer who has knowledge, it would be helpful and appreciated.
Temple of Apollo
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Re: Someone HELP!!!

Postby Nooj » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:16 am

Know thyself in ancient Greek can be written several ways.

First of all, it can be written either in capital letters or in lower case letters. The ancient Greeks wrote in capital letters for their inscriptions, so if you want historical accuracy, go for the capital letters. The lower case letters you see today are derived from the Middle Ages.

Secondly, the pronoun 'thyself' has two forms in Greek. One is the full form (pronounced seauton), and the other is the shortened form (sauton). If you say seauton quickly, you can understand how the shortened form came about. They're both correct.

So if you want capital letters, as it might have been written in ancient times: ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ or ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΕΑΥΤΟΝ.

If you want lower case letters, then like this: γνῶθι σεαυτόν or γνῶθι σαυτόν.

The little marks over the lower case letters are diacritics, they help in pronouncing the words but you don't need to include them if you don't want to.
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Re: Someone HELP!!!

Postby sean55 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:40 am

Well i think that you should write in ancient Greek.It would look really nice.So when are you planning to get the tattoo.

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