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Commentaries on Herodοtos for intermediate-level readers

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Commentaries on Herodοtos for intermediate-level readers

Postby daivid » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:37 pm

The two commentaries I've tried are Yellow and Green (Book 8 by A.M Bowie) and those by Geoffrey Steadman mainly book 1 http://geoffreysteadman.com/files-herodotus/.

Bowie's commentary takes up something like twice the space of the text itself. However it includes a lot of historical interpretation stuff that would be helpful if I was reading a translation but for me at the moment when reading the Greek is a struggle much of the comment is just a distraction. While there were bits that were helpful to me in getting to grips with the text they were rather sparse.

Steadman devotes half to the text and half to the commentary plus vocabulary. Hence the commentary has only half the space as the text. However, he is entirely focused on providing help to those like me who badly need help with the grammar. His comments are briefer and so he packs more in (though perhaps on occasion a little too brief). Steadman for me wins hands down.

As someone struggling to read Heroditos I have only been able to sample small parts of both books so my impression is not representative of these commentaries as a whole.

Anyone tried Bryn Mawr one? http://www.hackettpublishing.com/bryn-mawr-commentaries/bryn-mawr-commentaries-greek/herodotus-book-1
Last edited by daivid on Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Commentaries on Heroditos for intermediate-level reader

Postby ailuros » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:21 pm

Hi Daivid,

I decided to start reading Herodotus a little while ago, from Book I, and I'm using the Bryn Mawr commentary. It focuses pretty much on grammar exclusively. The notes, like all notes, are sometimes helpful, sometimes not (the editor doesn't always address my specific questions). I was a little worried that the binding would break, but it has held up pretty well, especially with the heavy use I've been giving it. And one cannot argue with the prices. I'm just crawling along, not looking for speed but maximum comprehension (and I re-read what I've already done often). I'm somewhere around I.10 or so right now. Let me know if you ever want to discuss. Fascinating stuff, and from the vantage point of my not so well-formed judgment, I find his prose his quite charming. Dan
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Re: Commentaries on Heroditos for intermediate-level reader

Postby daivid » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:42 pm

ailuros wrote:Hi Daivid,

I decided to start reading Herodotus a little while ago, from Book I, and I'm using the Bryn Mawr commentary. It focuses pretty much on grammar exclusively. The notes, like all notes, are sometimes helpful, sometimes not (the editor doesn't always address my specific questions). I was a little worried that the binding would break, but it has held up pretty well, especially with the heavy use I've been giving it. And one cannot argue with the prices. I'm just crawling along, not looking for speed but maximum comprehension (and I re-read what I've already done often). I'm somewhere around I.10 or so right now. Let me know if you ever want to discuss. Fascinating stuff, and from the vantage point of my not so well-formed judgment, I find his prose his quite charming. Dan


Thanks for that. Steadman only does books 1 and 7 so I may try our Bryn Mawr's volumes.
At the moment I am reading Helma Dik's book on word order in Herodotos http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/1995/95.11.08.html and am tying to translate her examples as I read - hence the bits of Herodotos are rather all over the place so it would be difficult for us to coordinate are reading. But yes it would be good to share notes sometime.
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Re: Commentaries on Herodοtos for intermediate-level reader

Postby ailuros » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:33 pm

Interesting. I've heard about that book and hope to try it someday. Prof. Dik has helpfully made her nifty Greek handouts available to all online, and she was kind enough to direct me to Attikos, a free app with many of the major texts and parsing/lexical features at the touch. (the app was new to me; it may be well known to you and others on the board). i hope you are enjoying Herodotus. Dan
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Re: Commentaries on Herodοtos for intermediate-level reader

Postby mstrebe » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:14 am

I recently used this book in a class on Herodotus: http://www.amazon.com/Selections-Herodo ... 0806141700

It presents notable selections from his entire book, so you get the most interesting snippets. Each section is given with copious notes, though as another commentator has stated, not all notes in the commentaries are useful. However, in particularly difficult portions, or where the language is idiomatic, the editor has given some good glosses. For example, Herodotus might say "ὡς ἁπλῷ λογῷ," which literally means something like "in a single word," but he uses it in the same way we say "to tell the truth" or "that is to say," so the gloss Barbour (the editor) provides here is very useful.

That being said, I am more a fan of Loeb editions in general, if only because it makes getting through large segments of Greek easier.
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Re: Commentaries on Herodοtos for intermediate-level reader

Postby Qimmik » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:43 am

I stumbled on this on Amazon. It's by Blaise Nagy, Greg's brother. I haven't looked at it, but it might be a good introduction for someone at an intermediate level.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585103047/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=00HTZRWFH89QS7XX4GWW&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

He also has a similar book of Thucydides readings.
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