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some questions about meter and recitation

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some questions about meter and recitation

Postby cantator » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:36 pm

Periodically I return to Samuel Clarke's editions of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Alas, my Greek is nowhere near so fluent as my Latin, and Clarke has been an enormous help in getting me through large chunks of the texts.

I note many differences between the Greek hexameter and the Latin, and of course I have some questions regarding the versification.

1) In the opinion of the Textkit scholars, where's my best starting point for understanding Greek prosody, particularly the Homeric hexameter ? Free materials are best, but I can spend some money on highly recommended books.

2) What is the modern interpretation of the pitch accents ? I'm a musician by training and trade, so an explanation in terms of musical pitches would not be lost on me. :)

3) Are any audio recordings recommended ?

As a little more background I should mention that my Greek studies have included a little Plato, a little Xenophon, a little koine, and a lot of Homeric and other non-Attic verse. I am (in Greek at least) a most desultory and dilatory student, though I did make it through Pharr once. :)
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
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Re: some questions about meter and recitation

Postby spiphany » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:41 pm

Annis' Introduction to Greek Meter is very good, if you haven't already seen it.
If you read German, I found Danek & Hagel's article Homer-Singen very helpful for getting a sense of how the pitch accents may actually have worked in ancient Greek, although I don't know how it compares with oth
Avery Andrews has another tutorial on Homeric Recitation with audio samples, as does prosodia.com

Most of the books I've been able to find on the subject are very technical, although Stephen Daitz has a "Guide to the Pronunciation and Reading of Ancient Greek" which isn't bad.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: some questions about meter and recitation

Postby cantator » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:16 pm

spiphany wrote:Annis' Introduction to Greek Meter is very good, if you haven't already seen it.


Excellent recommendation, thank you. It quickly resolved some of my main questions about the Homeric hexameter.

If you read German, I found Danek & Hagel's article Homer-Singen very helpful for getting a sense of how the pitch accents may actually have worked in ancient Greek...


I scanned it, but my German is awfully rusty. You're right, the material on the accent looks promising.

Avery Andrews has another tutorial on Homeric Recitation with audio samples, as does prosodia.com

Most of the books I've been able to find on the subject are very technical, although Stephen Daitz has a "Guide to the Pronunciation and Reading of Ancient Greek" which isn't bad.


Vast thanks for the pointers. :)
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Re: some questions about meter and recitation

Postby annis » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:38 am

I also have another document to go with the general one on Greek meter which is entirely about reciting the hexameter. It links to MP3s of me reciting lines. I don't make a special point to explain pitch accent, but I'm using it.

Reciting the Heroic Hexameter. The pitch spread is wider than I'd normally use in casual reading.
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