Textkit Logo

Why Not Herodotos?

Here's where you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Scribo » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:30 am

For the reading groups etc? Basically...I've wasted a lot of my free time these last few months and need a kick up the backside and Herodotos is great, we don't have to do it all.
User avatar
Scribo
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Between Ilias and Odysseia.

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Bart » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:42 pm

I want to start reading Herodotos in a month or so, after having finished Plato's Symposium. But my Greek is only intermediate level at best, so I'm far from sure if I can keep up with you.
Bart
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Adelheid » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:18 pm

I was also thinking about Herodotus. I will be on holiday for the next three weeks (indeed, going to Greece ;-) ) but after that I would love to join a reading group.
User avatar
Adelheid
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:58 pm
Location: Mijdrecht

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:06 pm

My local library has:

Michael A. Flower, John Marincola, Herodotus: Histories Book IX. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. review: http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2003/2003-07-14.html

So I might be dipping into book IX. Helma Dik wrote her dissertation on Herodotus which I have read so many times I have it almost memorized. She approaches it from her own variant of Functional Grammar which is more accessible than other variants I am familiar with.

On the other hand, I am a little weary of reading about wars. It seems that historians both ancient and modern think that war is the only thing worth writing about.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Scribo » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:23 pm

I hadn't thought of 9 actually. I definitely envisioned 1 being there, probably skip 2 and its bloody Egyptian logoi...

Actually one of the reasons I thought about Herodotos is that, despite the wars, its a treasure trove of Greek culture and ethnography and owes a massive debt to Homer. He's just great to read. So dw, its not all fighting. It even has a guy dancing naked, upside, on a table with no underwear.

I'll have to check that book out, I've her book on Tragic Word Order. Its very interesting, I usually shy away from these more modern theoretical linguistic works but I liked it.
User avatar
Scribo
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Between Ilias and Odysseia.

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:49 pm

Scribo wrote: I've her book on Tragic Word Order. Its very interesting, I usually shy away from these more modern theoretical linguistic works but I liked it.


Functional Grammar FG is modern but not at all new. Some of the SIL[1] folks who studied under Talmy Givón in their youth are now retired. FG is useful for discussion of pragmatic marking and a few other things. Not something I get excited about now days.


[1]SIL-International http://www.sil.org
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Adelheid » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:54 pm

Seriously, shall we pick a book and get started July5? I'm game.
User avatar
Adelheid
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:58 pm
Location: Mijdrecht

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Markos » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:45 pm

Scribo asked
Why Not Herodotos?


I'll tell you why not. I'll tell you why I, for one, have stayed away from Herodotos. My sense is that he is a little harder than Homer. You still have the weird Ionic forms you have to learn, plus you have the more complicated Attic-like syntax. And Herodotos is nowhere near as good a writer as Homer. At Homer's sentences one stops and marvels. I don't think anyone would ever say that about Herodotus.

So, if an author is harder than Homer, and not as good as Homer, why would you read him instead of Homer?
Markos
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1382
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:07 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Scribo » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:59 pm

Markos wrote:Scribo asked
Why Not Herodotos?


I'll tell you why not. I'll tell you why I, for one, have stayed away from Herodotos. My sense is that he is a little harder than Homer. You still have the weird Ionic forms you have to learn, plus you have the more complicated Attic-like syntax. And Herodotos is nowhere near as good a writer as Homer. At Homer's sentences one stops and marvels. I don't think anyone would ever say that about Herodotus.

So, if an author is harder than Homer, and not as good as Homer, why would you read him instead of Homer?


Haha well now this is all subjective and certainly any appreciation of Homer must also be won from understanding related texts, there are a myriad of reasons to read elsewhere. :lol:

I don't think Herodotos is much harder than Homer, if at all, I certainly think he's best enjoyed in a group. From a purely language pov its worth mentioning that reading him helps not only with epic but also with the pre-Socratic philosophers and, tbf, most prose.

However whilst I'm happy the way this thread is going, people ought to feel free to suggest other authors. I just want it to be prose and not hitherto covered, nor too late. Also easily accessible, so no fragments of Hellanikos or whatever.
User avatar
Scribo
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Between Ilias and Odysseia.

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:22 pm

Scribo wrote:I don't think Herodotos is much harder than Homer, if at all, I certainly think he's best enjoyed in a group. From a purely language pov its worth mentioning that reading him helps not only with epic but also with the pre-Socratic philosophers and, tbf, most prose.


I have only dabbled on and off in Herodotos whlle reading monographs and grammars which cite him. Didn't get blown away by the difficulty. Certainly easier than Tragedy.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby daivid » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:01 pm

I will probably be struggling to keep up but if it is Herodotos I will at least give it a try.
λονδον
User avatar
daivid
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1144
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:51 pm
Location: ὁ τοῦ βασιλέως λίθος, London, Europe

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Baker » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:53 am

For those in the dark, or worried about the differences in Herodotus vs. other authors, Geoffrey Steadman's edition of Book 1 is a good place to start. It is available by CC license at http://geoffreysteadman.com/files-herodotus/. It provides a nice core vocabulary list and running vocabulary for the text itself.

As to this post from Markos:

Markos wrote:I'll tell you why not. I'll tell you why I, for one, have stayed away from Herodotos. My sense is that he is a little harder than Homer. You still have the weird Ionic forms you have to learn, plus you have the more complicated Attic-like syntax. And Herodotos is nowhere near as good a writer as Homer. At Homer's sentences one stops and marvels. I don't think anyone would ever say that about Herodotus.

So, if an author is harder than Homer, and not as good as Homer, why would you read him instead of Homer?


Your sense is that he is harder, suggesting that you haven't delved too deeply. If true, how can you know that he is "nowhere near as good a writer as Homer"? That said, reading Homer prior to Herodotus does, I believe, enlighten Herodotus' project quite a bit.

Cheers,
Eliot
Baker
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Bart » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:43 pm

Steadman is also working on an annotated edition of book VII. A beta-version is already available http://geoffreysteadman.com/herodotus-7/
Bart
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:08 pm

Bart wrote:Steadman is also working on an annotated edition of book VII. A beta-version is already available http://geoffreysteadman.com/herodotus-7/


I like the format. The running vocabulary certainly cuts down on the lexical work for students doing a quick read through.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Markos » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:16 pm

Elliot wrote: Your sense is that he is harder, suggesting that you haven't delved too deeply. If true, how can you know that he is "nowhere near as good a writer as Homer"?


That's a fair point. I will read some more Herodotos and test my initial impressions.

Clayton on Steadman:
I like the format. The running vocabulary certainly cuts down on the lexical work for students doing a quick read through.


I'm sold on the format, because, although it is Grammar-Translation, it is MINIMAL Grammar-Translation, and it allows the reader to get back to reading the Greek as quickly as possible. Steadman's site says that Oedipus Rex is coming out this summer, which is noteworthy as the first attempt to do Greek drama with the format. Up until now, both Steadman and Hayes-Nimis have chosen fairly easy texts.
Markos
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1382
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:07 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:07 pm

I just finished the Agamemnon of Aeschylus and might read a bit of Herodotus. But don't count on me. I think the most natural point to start is from the beginning, that is book 1.

For me, whether somebody who lived 2500 years ago was a good writer or not is secondary. What I mean is that even a bad writer can be important and interesting. Take the guy who wrote the Gospel of Mark for example... (Ok, I'm being provocative, maybe the Gospel of Mark isn't bad writing, but the style is a bit naive.) Good writing is a plus but even bad writers can teach us a lot.
Paul Derouda
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 908
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby IreneY » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:17 am

Just so you know, if you do have some vocabulary help (for any words that are not common*), Herodotus is pretty simple. I never delved into Ionic but never had problems with Herodotus. There's a very definite but rather small list of differences between Ionic and Attic and, with a little bit of time and practice (really, really little) you're golden.

*For example, I got pretty screwed up by being too blase about the whole thing and having to translate in Uni a part about votive offerings in Delphi. :evil:
User avatar
IreneY
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 800
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:27 am
Location: U.S.A (not American though)

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:47 pm

Michael A. Flower, John Marincola, Herodotus: Histories Book IX. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. review: http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2003/2003-07-14.html


This arrived yesterday at the library. It is a small format paperback, with type just on the margin of difficult for people beyond sixty yo. There are about 215 pages of commentary and the rest is introduction, text and appendices. Tried to read it but the binding is so tight I can not see the type in the gutter without breaking the back on the book. Anyway, I don't suppose anyone here is going to be reading book 9 if you start from the beginning.

Not much interest here in reading Acts so I am sort of casting about for a new project.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Scribo » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:08 am

Paul Derouda wrote:I just finished the Agamemnon of Aeschylus and might read a bit of Herodotus. But don't count on me. I think the most natural point to start is from the beginning, that is book 1.

For me, whether somebody who lived 2500 years ago was a good writer or not is secondary. What I mean is that even a bad writer can be important and interesting. Take the guy who wrote the Gospel of Mark for example... (Ok, I'm being provocative, maybe the Gospel of Mark isn't bad writing, but the style is a bit naive.) Good writing is a plus but even bad writers can teach us a lot.


Ok well we can put it off if you like, I heard 5th of July to be the date anyway, so you might chance you're mind. Though by then I'll be elbow deep in Latin so it will be a nice change of pace. Plus I'm teaching Sanskrit for Classicists as a summer thing so I need Herodotos.


I totally agree with comment on quality but we've had this discussion elsewhere and we all agree.

IreneY wrote:Just so you know, if you do have some vocabulary help (for any words that are not common*), Herodotus is pretty simple. I never delved into Ionic but never had problems with Herodotus. There's a very definite but rather small list of differences between Ionic and Attic and, with a little bit of time and practice (really, really little) you're golden.

*For example, I got pretty screwed up by being too blase about the whole thing and having to translate in Uni a part about votive offerings in Delphi. :evil:


Did you have Voskos as teacher? Curiosity.

For Herodotos most of the commentaries I've been looking at have been historical, I'll keep looking.
User avatar
Scribo
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Between Ilias and Odysseia.

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Baker » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:31 am

Scribo wrote:For Herodotos most of the commentaries I've been looking at have been historical, I'll keep looking.


How and Wells' commentary (1912), available on Project Gutenberg, seems to be, still, the only complete commentary in English. When reading H. in translation (Grene) many years ago, I found their commentary to be quite helpful.

Cheers,
Eliot
Baker
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Scribo » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:38 am

Yes I have the second volume of that version. Elsewise there is, ignoring the Cambridge Green and Yellows etc:

A B Lloyd Commentary on Herodotos II (only 1-98)
L Scott's Historical Commentary on VI
D Ascheri, A Lloyd and A Corcella on I-IV

Then the usual stuff, monographs, edited volumes, extended discussions (e.g on the logoi in V). Obviously I could find more by digging around the stacks, but this stuff is cited a lot so. I don't mind the Cambridge Green and Yellows but they're expensive and I find students have a horrid tendency to heavily annotate them like little bastards whom if I ever were to catch the papers would have to write an Aeschylean tragedy of an article.

EDIT: I also need to point out that my primary interest in Herodotos is his relation to ethnographic, geographic and epic traditions on one hand and epistemology on the other, rather than purely literary or historical this time around. Again whilst I'm happy Herodotos is going forward, anyone really should feel free to throw in an alternative.
User avatar
Scribo
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Between Ilias and Odysseia.

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Adelheid » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:53 pm

Scribo wrote:I heard 5th of July to be the date anyway


I'll be starting then with book I. Anyone with me?
User avatar
Adelheid
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:58 pm
Location: Mijdrecht

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby IreneY » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:38 am

Scribo no never had Voskos, I think it was one of the most useless profs I've ever met by the name Xydas. At least I think so :)
User avatar
IreneY
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 800
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:27 am
Location: U.S.A (not American though)

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Adelheid » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:01 pm

OK, so there's no reading plan yet, I think? I will start reading book 1 from this friday onwards. Don't know whether posting about it will be useful. Without a plan, discussions tend to go off topic or into too much detail very soon.

Is someone still on? Can we agree on some sort of tempo (1 book a month, every two weeks?), which books to skip, which books to read?
User avatar
Adelheid
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:58 pm
Location: Mijdrecht

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Bart » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:51 pm

I finished Plato's Symposium today (what a great read!) and will start Herodotus book I tomorrow. However I will be rather slow, since I intend to take up North & Hillard's Greek Prose Composition as well.
Bart
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Markos » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:13 pm

Bart:
I finished Plato's Symposium today (what a great read!) and will start Herodotus book I tomorrow.


Let us know how these compare. How much harder (if at all) is Plato than Herodotus, and how much more delightful (if at all) to read?

In my humble opinion Plato is the greatest Greek writer ever not named Homer.

Are you using Steadman?
Markos
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1382
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:07 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:24 pm

Why not Herodotus?

After listening to most of Elizabeth Vandiver's 24 lectures on Herodotus I have decided to do some more work in Sophocles. Just personal preference. Sophocles is dealing with issues that I find more compelling than reading ancient historians.

I have made a curious discovery after listening about 100 of Elizabeth Vandiver's lectures. I am not really terribly enthusiastic about the ancient Greek foundations of western civilization. Plato and Aristotle leave me cold. I read Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Mark Twain at a tender age. There is something in Sophocles and Euripides that I can connect with.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Markos » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:45 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Why not Herodotus?

After listening to most of Elizabeth Vandiver's 24 lectures on Herodotus I have decided to do some more work in Sophocles. Just personal preference. Sophocles is dealing with issues that I find more compelling than reading ancient historians.



Check out Steadman's Oedipus Rex:

http://geoffreysteadman.com/sophocles/
Markos
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1382
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:07 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:28 pm

Markos wrote:
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Why not Herodotus?

After listening to most of Elizabeth Vandiver's 24 lectures on Herodotus I have decided to do some more work in Sophocles. Just personal preference. Sophocles is dealing with issues that I find more compelling than reading ancient historians.



Check out Steadman's Oedipus Rex:

http://geoffreysteadman.com/sophocles/


I would like to "check it out" but don't have a library handy that has if on the shelf. Not in a book buying mode, currently disposing of my library.

EDIT: the 1982 edition is available locally, just put it on hold. Someone else has the only copy checked out so it will be a while.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Scribo » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:08 pm

Fair enough, I guess things just got a bit lost. God knows I've been rushed off my feet.

However, Sophokles sounds like a good alternative, he works well with Homer and Herodotos anyway (the exact nature of the link between him and Herod. is debated incidentally). But yeah, I can sort of stand Sophokles, I get great use out of his fragments and recently re-read his entire extant corpus so that can be fun.

Trachiniae is surprisingly good, I remembered thinking it was lame as an under-graduate but it turns out to be pretty cool.
User avatar
Scribo
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Between Ilias and Odysseia.

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby Bart » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:56 am

Markos wrote:Let us know how these compare. How much harder (if at all) is Plato than Herodotus, and how much more delightful (if at all) to read?

In my humble opinion Plato is the greatest Greek writer ever not named Homer.

Are you using Steadman?



I will give you my -highly subjective- opinion as soon as I have one. However, I don't think Herodotus has the reputation of being very difficult, but I might be wrong of course. And yes, I am using Steadman. Thanks for the link to the beta-version of Oedipus Rex.
Bart
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:57 pm
Location: Antwerpen

Re: Why Not Herodotos?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:59 pm

Bart wrote:Thanks for the link to the beta-version of Oedipus Rex.


Oh!, I didn't see that link before. I was operating on the assumption that author's don't usually give their books away.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. S. Bartholomew
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 717
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:03 pm


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bedwere and 41 guests