Textkit Logo

Greek or Latin

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!

Greek or Latin

Postby gigas phoberos » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:47 pm

I'm still a beginner in Greek, making good progress. But I often wonder if it would've been better to have chosen Latin instead. Seems like there would be many more books written in Latin than Classical Greek.
User avatar
gigas phoberos
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:02 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Postby Bob Manske » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:22 pm

So why did you start with Greek in the first place?
It seems to me that you need to review your motivations.

Bob
Bob Manske
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:37 am

Postby gigas phoberos » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:37 pm

Hello Bob,
My primary interest lays in reading history. Latin extends from the Roman period to the renaissance, good thousand years or so. Whereas Classical Greek about one hundred years or so.
I don't know, just some thoughts.
User avatar
gigas phoberos
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:02 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Postby IreneY » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:32 pm

But why do you need Latin or Greek for studying history?
User avatar
IreneY
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 800
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:27 am
Location: U.S.A (not American though)

Postby timeodanaos » Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:03 pm

IreneY wrote:But why do you need Latin or Greek for studying history?
ad fontes!
timeodanaos
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Hafnia, Denmark

Postby Essorant » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:20 pm

He said "reading" not just studying in any language, and "primary" interest not only. That leaves more than enough room to wish to further reading experiences with learning great languages, through which much great history may be read.
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada

Postby jk0592 » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:55 pm

Nothing is preventing learning both Ancient Greek and Latin. This would give double the fun.
Jean K.
jk0592
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Montreal, Canada

Postby Lucus Eques » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:13 pm

IreneY wrote:But why do you need Latin or Greek for studying history?


I'm going to pretend that was a rhetorical question. :)


As to your question, giga phobere, my own experience has been Latin into Greek, and Latin's familiarity relative to Greek has made acquiring Greek, which is very similar to Latin yet rather alien to English, much easier. Of course, you ought to learn both, since they are so rewarding to know.
User avatar
Lucus Eques
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 2001
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Location: Tōkyō, IAPONIA

Postby annis » Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:53 pm

As I've said many times before, and will doubtless say many times in the future, the authors you most want to read should cast the deciding vote on which language you study first.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby mingshey » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:43 am

As William keeps saying, Euclid, Aristarchus, Aesop, Homer, Lucian, Apollonius, et al. led me to learning Greek, and Lucretius and Isaac Newton et al. lure me to learn Latin. :wink:
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1332
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul

Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:30 pm

gigas phoberos wrote:Hello Bob,
My primary interest lays in reading history. Latin extends from the Roman period to the renaissance, good thousand years or so. Whereas Classical Greek about one hundred years or so.
I don't know, just some thoughts.

Why only a hundred years for Greek? Even for history, you have historians like Laonicus Chalcondyles writing in the 15th century about the fall of Constantinople -- and writing in Classical Greek that is.
modus.irrealis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1093
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:08 am
Location: Toronto

Postby jk0592 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:44 pm

...and Isaac Newton et al. lure me to learn Latin
And physics also, I hope.
Jean K.
jk0592
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Montreal, Canada

Postby mingshey » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:04 am

jk0592 wrote:
...and Isaac Newton et al. lure me to learn Latin
And physics also, I hope.


Actually, Albert Einstein did the job and I'm a physics teacher at a high school. :wink:

Einstein had reportedly hated his authoritarian classical education in Gymnasium. But I don't think he hated the classical language education so much. For he used loads of greek letters in his relativity papers later. :D
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1332
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul

Postby IreneY » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:29 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:
IreneY wrote:But why do you need Latin or Greek for studying history?


I'm going to pretend that was a rhetorical question. :)




Nope :D When it comes to studying history you either need to study a whole lot of different languages to be able to read the sources in their original form or you can be lazy and choose one of the many, wonderful translations out there.
I am not saying it's a bad thing. Far from it. I am just saying that if the primary reason is learning history and the others are of really secondary importance I don't see why go through the trouble of learning such a complicated language.
User avatar
IreneY
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 800
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:27 am
Location: U.S.A (not American though)

Postby gigas phoberos » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:23 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:
gigas phoberos wrote:Hello Bob,
My primary interest lays in reading history. Latin extends from the Roman period to the renaissance, good thousand years or so. Whereas Classical Greek about one hundred years or so.
I don't know, just some thoughts.

Why only a hundred years for Greek? Even for history, you have historians like Laonicus Chalcondyles writing in the 15th century about the fall of Constantinople -- and writing in Classical Greek that is.


Now you see? That's why I come here to learn from those who know much more than I! I didn't know about Laonicus Chalcondyles or any other "post classical" writer who wrote in Classical Greek. Thanks for the info.

Okay so let me re-phrase my question, is there a large and rich source of historical literature written in Classical Greek that continues after the classical period into the dark-ages, middle ages and renaissaince like there is for Latin?
User avatar
gigas phoberos
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:02 pm
Location: Texas, USA

Postby annis » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:04 pm

gigas phoberos wrote:Okay so let me re-phrase my question, is there a large and rich source of historical literature written in Classical Greek that continues after the classical period into the dark-ages, middle ages and renaissaince like there is for Latin?


This is actually a trickier question than you might imagine. The cultivation of Classical Greek post-classically was highly dependent on the fortunes of the Roman, and then the Byzantine, empire. (See Atticism for ancient beginnings). When the empire was stable and doing well, education was good and something quite like classical Attic was produced. When education was at a low point, less such material was produced.

Except for a few commentaries on classical works, I've not really spent too much time on seriously post-classical, but Atticist, Greek. I get the impression this is still a largely untapped field.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby demetri » Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:49 am

gigas phoberos wrote:Hello Bob,
My primary interest lays in reading history. Latin extends from the Roman period to the renaissance, good thousand years or so. Whereas Classical Greek about one hundred years or so.
I don't know, just some thoughts.


Given that the "Roman" period you cite includes about 1000 years of East Roman history - with much untranslated still- you will eventually need at least some medieval Greek. Attic is the best place to start.
demetri
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:33 am

Postby Interaxus » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:35 am

Mingshey,

I'm no physicist but as a young man I fell under the spell of Arthur Koestler's 'The Sleepwalkers' whose main hero is Kepler but which also highlights the role of Aristarchus as daddy of the heliocentric system. I still think of Aristarchus when I look at the night sky.

Is there a text relating to Aristarchus suitable for (near-)beginners?

Cheers,
Int
Interaxus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 515
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:04 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Postby jk0592 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:02 am

A long time ago, I hunted down the first edition of "The Sleepwalkers", after reading it.
Jean K.
jk0592
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Montreal, Canada

Postby mingshey » Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:19 pm

Interaxus wrote:Mingshey,

I'm no physicist but as a young man I fell under the spell of Arthur Koestler's 'The Sleepwalkers' whose main hero is Kepler but which also highlights the role of Aristarchus as daddy of the heliocentric system. I still think of Aristarchus when I look at the night sky.

Is there a text relating to Aristarchus suitable for (near-)beginners?

Cheers,
Int


Hello, Interaxe!
I'm not sure what other beginners than me would want to learn about Aristarchus. But for a simple explanation about him there're the wikipedia articles on him and on his work.

And I, beginner myself, had been searching for his original work in Greek, and the Wilbourhall.org website provides one in PDF, along with links to other ancient mathematical works.
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1332
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul

Postby Interaxus » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:09 am

Mingshey:

Thanks a million for that great PDF, especially Aristarchus' Greek text + translation. It's a feast for a beginner like me. Words for 'moon', 'sun' and 'light' are like old friends.

A 3-hour partial eclipse of the moon last Saturday and the fact that lightning struck my laptop dead last Thursday (under my very nose, with a big flash!) only served to reinforce the fascination of celestial relationships and the sky we live in.

Seemingly, Aristarchus never witnessed an annular ('ring-encircled') solar eclipse. I call that interesting. The curious can read more about different types of solar eclipses at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse

Cheers,
Int
Interaxus
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 515
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:04 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden


Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], jeidsath, Qimmik and 54 guests