Textkit Logo

Newbie seeks good readers

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.

Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Sleepy_Mikael » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:17 am

Hey everyone :D I've known about this board for a while, and after a few years of really studying Greek I decided to register. I'm in my fourth semester of Greek at university, but I actually got started with it a year before with Clyde Pharr's Homeric Greek for Beginners, which I got from this very website! In retrospect I don't think that book was very suited to self-teaching for someone fairly inexperienced with learning languages (still basically monolingual :( ), but I was hooked none the less!

What prompted me to actually join and post was the fact that I have a decision about where my college studies will go. There aren't enough Greek students at my school to have a fifth semester class on its own, so next fall I'll be reading Plato for the first time with the 3rd semester students. In addition to that I get to pick out a different author to work through with my teacher one on one, so that's kind of cool. So far I've read 3 books of Homer, 1 of Herodotus, and a bunch of abridged stories from Metamorphosis and Aesop. I would love to read something from the tragic playwrights, and I'm wondering:

1) What makes them harder than something like Herodotus? Is it the dialect? Vocab?
and
2) Anyone know of any really good readers for those three authors? My school has been using Steadman's editions, and while they're great for the most part, it would be nice to read something a little more polished. I'm not really dead set on reading a certain play, but I do like Aeschylus and Sophocles better than Euripides.

Anyway I look forward to posting here and getting to know people!

Edit: I'm actually not sure if reader is the right word for what I'm talking about. Steadman's books have the original text on the top half with vocab and commentary on the bottom. Are there any publications like those that are better than Steadman's?
User avatar
Sleepy_Mikael
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:46 am

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby anphph » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:20 pm

You might want to take a look at the selections from the JACT that follow up on their Reading Greek course.

"A World of Heroes" has passages from Homer, Herodotus, and Sophocles, and "The Intellectual Revolution" by Plato, Euripides, and Thucydides.
anphph
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:35 am

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Markos » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:54 pm

Sleepy_Mikael wrote:Steadman's books have the original text on the top half with vocab and commentary on the bottom. Are there any publications like those that are better than Steadman's?

The short answer: For a Greek tragedy, no. For any other Greek text, probably not, no.

If you are interested in the longer answer, let us know.
Markos
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 2941
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:07 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Sleepy_Mikael » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:24 am

Markos wrote:
Sleepy_Mikael wrote:Steadman's books have the original text on the top half with vocab and commentary on the bottom. Are there any publications like those that are better than Steadman's?

The short answer: For a Greek tragedy, no. For any other Greek text, probably not, no.

If you are interested in the longer answer, let us know.


I'm interested! Other than the fact that the notes/vocab are wrong like 2% of the time I love Steadman's books; that kind of format seems perfect for intermediate readers, so I'm surprised there aren't a lot of similar products.

anphph wrote:You might want to take a look at the selections from the JACT that follow up on their Reading Greek course.

"A World of Heroes" has passages from Homer, Herodotus, and Sophocles, and "The Intellectual Revolution" by Plato, Euripides, and Thucydides.


Those look pretty cool! Seems like everyone here respects JACT so I think I'll give the latter one a shot. Thanks!
User avatar
Sleepy_Mikael
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:46 am

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Bart » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:42 am

As much as I apppreciate the work Steadman is doing, I have some reservations. I recently used his edition of Sophocles' Antigone and though it's handy having all the vocabulary close at hand, I switched to the commentary by Griffith in the Cambridge Greek and Latin serie halfway. In contrast to Steadman there are no mistakes (or none that I can find), far better explanations of the syntax of difficult passages, and of course, much more background information.

For Homer: I think Ameis' old school commentary on the Iliad and Odyssey is superior to Steadman for the intermediate reader, but of course you have to be able to understand German. For the beginning reader of Homer there is Pamela Draper's commentary on the first book of the Iliad: very well done and even more extensive than Steadman: https://www.amazon.com/Iliad-Book-1-Bk/dp/0472067923
Bart
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:57 pm

Just my two cents.

Generally speaking, there are many good commentaries for beginners and intermediate readers of Greek from over a 100 years ago. As far as background information is concerned, they are often outdated, but they are generally quite good help for language and are often better for that than recent texts. There were more school and university students learning Greek back then and they were serious about it. On the other hand, modern commentaries (like Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics) do offer some assistance on difficult syntax, but it tends to be sparse, as they typically concentrate on realia and historical and literary questions.

Ameis' old school commentaries on Homer, mentioned by Bart, are an excellent example of what I'm talking about, but of course they're in German. I don't know any such book on tragedians, but I'm sure there are many both in English and in German. Do you have a particular play in mind? These books are out of copyright and you can preview them on archive.org or the like. If you like one, my advice is to buy an original copy from abebooks.com or similar; do not buy reprints – the originals are typically hardback, better quality and cheaper than the paperback reprints. And old books are just lovely anyway! The biggest problem with these books is finding out about their existence: modern editions often don't mention them, because they're so old and because they're not very scholarly as they were intended to a classroom setting.

Generally speaking, I think Euripides is easier than either Aeschylus or Sophocles. But how about comedy? Aristophanes is probably a bit easier and a lot fun. As for what makes tragedy difficult, I think it's just that they were meant to seem lofty and strange even for a contemporary audience. Check out this English parody of Greek tragedy to see what I mean: http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/housman.html. It's very funny and very much to the point!
User avatar
Paul Derouda
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:20 pm

I found one book on Textkit on Prometheus bound. It doesn't look like a book written for schoolboys though but more advanced (many of these school commentaries were written for "schoolboys", not girls, according to the authors...).

http://cdn.textkit.net/fda_prometheus_bound.pdf

Abebooks has several copies from 1891 for about $10 plus shipping.

I'm not saying this is the book you want, I'm just giving you the idea. Personnally, I'm waiting impatiently for an edition of Herodotus from 1841 I recently ordered... But that's old, even for my taste... The sort of school editions I have in mind were typically produced between 1880 and 1920 or something.
User avatar
Paul Derouda
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Bart » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:25 pm

Paul, did you use the 19th century commentary by Heinrich Stein for Herodotus? I have a lovely, old edition standing on the shelf and plan to use it for book III of the Histories.
Bart
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:04 pm

Yes, I have the whole set - but my set is unfortunately an old reprint from the 1960's. It's a high quality, hardback reprint though, much better than the print-on-demand stuff you get nowadays.

My new recommendation for Herodotus is Abicht's school edition in German. It's a Teubner edition in several volumes that covers the whole of Herodotus. The format is same as Ameis' Homer, and it's almost (but unfortunately not quite!) as good. It offers more elementary help than Stein.
User avatar
Paul Derouda
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:15 pm

By the way, I'd love to chat about Herodotus. So if you decide to read book III and post about it, I promise to participate!
User avatar
Paul Derouda
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Bart » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:51 pm

Deal!
Bart
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Bart » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:57 am

Paul, do you know this 19th century edition of Thucydides?

https://archive.org/details/thukydidesfrden01thucgoog
Bart
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:13 pm

I don't, but it looks nice at a quick glance. Actually I've seen it in my university library, but I didn't borrow it for some reason, maybe because my book pile was so high already. Apparently it has similar aims as Abicht for Herodotus, being "für den Schulgebrauch erklärt", while Classen-Steup is similar to Stein.

For recommendations for Thucydides you might check what John W. and Qimmik had to say: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16871&p=161536&hilit=alberti#p161537

Apparently on the last page of some school Teubners there's a full list of titles. Is anyone aware of such a list for Oxford/Cambridge titles?
User avatar
Paul Derouda
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Bart » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:11 pm

'Thucydides für den Schulgebracuh erklärt'; it makes you wonder about the proficiency these 19th century schoolboys (and girls?) had in reading Greek when such a difficult author was part of their curriculum. To achieve this a massive time investment must have been necessary. Or does it also reflect sound educational methods?

I would have liked it, for some it must have been hell.
Bart
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Sleepy_Mikael » Tue May 01, 2018 4:23 am

Thank you everyone for the responses. I think I've taken for granted that all-in-one readers like the ones Steadman has been publishing have not been common practice for the most part up until now. I'm going to be reading Oedipus Rex for class, so I think I might pair Steadman's book (for the vocabulary) with a more extensive commentary. Any thoughts on the Bryn Mawr series?

https://www.hackettpublishing.com/bryn- ... nnos-2-vol
User avatar
Sleepy_Mikael
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:46 am

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Sleepy_Mikael » Tue May 01, 2018 10:11 am

Paul Derouda wrote:Old school commentaries


I was kind of naively hoping that there would be something that would allow me to forgo looking up words AND grammar :lol: I think in trying to make Greek more accessible (which is super important at my school as there are very few students interested in the first place), my teachers through Steadman have made me lazy.

I actually have a copy of Willock's Iliad I-XII from 1978 that I bought from abebooks, and it seems pretty good. I bought it as a first year student and didn't really feel up to reading it, but I will definitely follow your advice and look for something like what you've described.

Bart wrote:As much as I apppreciate the work Steadman is doing, I have some reservations. I recently used his edition of Sophocles' Antigone and though it's handy having all the vocabulary close at hand, I switched to the commentary by Griffith in the Cambridge Greek and Latin serie halfway. In contrast to Steadman there are no mistakes (or none that I can find), far better explanations of the syntax of difficult passages, and of course, much more background information.

For Homer: I think Ameis' old school commentary on the Iliad and Odyssey is superior to Steadman for the intermediate reader, but of course you have to be able to understand German. For the beginning reader of Homer there is Pamela Draper's commentary on the first book of the Iliad: very well done and even more extensive than Steadman: https://www.amazon.com/Iliad-Book-1-Bk/dp/0472067923


I agree wrt reservations about Steadman, but I think his work has the potential to keep students going with Greek who would otherwise drop it. As a beginner it really was nice to be able to read real Greek without looking up every other word. I've heard great things about Draper's volume, and I wish I had bought a copy when I first started learning Greek with Clyde Pharr's textbook.
User avatar
Sleepy_Mikael
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:46 am

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed May 02, 2018 11:37 am

I have used Steadman's College Caesar for AP Latin, and he has been very responsive about correcting errors (mostly typos, and only a few).
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Newbie seeks good readers

Postby Paco » Thu May 17, 2018 6:04 am

I agree that super-student-friendly materials like Steadman's have a role to play. At the end of the day, to more truly and fully appreciate a given classical text, we have to consult more than 1 scholarly commentaries, and even then, burn our brains to bear fruit. Plus we often don't grab that knowledge in 1 go; instead we build it up little by little through each time reading and re-reading.

Therefore, why don't we use the Steadmans to familiarise learners with the outer layers of the sacred texts? Propelling onion cannons to the average people probably only get them pissed off. Sprinkling slices over their heads gives them ecstasy. Make them feel connected and addicted to the dead, and they will track down the big names.
Paco
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:11 am


Return to Open Board