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Pamela Draper Iliad I

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Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby bjk » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:51 pm

I haven't seen much discussion here of the Iliad I by Pamela Draper. Much more effective learning tool than Pharr, in my opinion. You do need to learn Attic Greek first, but for learning Homer it's much easier to use. Has anyone else tried this, either in place of Pharr or in addition to Pharr?
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Re: Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:22 pm

I checked it out once and thought it was really well done -- it was in fact the exact kind of book I wanted when I first started reading Homer. I was basically going from knowing some Attic Greek and I just wanted to start reading Homer and pick up the differences as I went along, and Draper's book seemed to have enough information to make that process go nicely. Older texts of this sort seemed to assume things about their readers that weren't true for me (some of their explanations would cover things that I thought were obvious, and there would be no explanations on points I was having trouble with), or worse, were explaining things through Latin, which was completely useless to me. But when I did come across Draper's book, I was restarting my reading of Homer and at that point I thought she gave too much information and not making me work hard enough, so it wasn't that useful to me, but like I said, I would've really loved such a book a few years earlier.

I can't compare it to Pharr, which I haven't used thoroughly, but I'm not sure it's comparable to Pharr all that much -- I'd compare it to books like Benner's "Selections from Homer's Iliad", which is what I used, and Draper's book seemed just as good, although I'd say Benner demands more of his reader, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on someone's level (of Greek in general).
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Re: Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby bjk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:56 am

Thanks for your thoughts.

I generally find the old Greek readers like Benner unhelpful . . . I'm not a sixth form A-level candidate, or whatever, and I haven't been studying Greek since I was 12. And there's no harm in too much information, and I don't believe in the eat your vegetables approach to learning Greek. If you point me to Smythe, I guarantee you I won't look it up. Why not just put the info on the page? Is ink really that expensive? There really is no reason, when it's Antigone or Iliad I or the Symposium, why all the information shouldn't be at the bottom of the page, with facing text, which is key. I've found books like Helm's Apology and Campbell's Crito to be very helpful, although Helm's book is much better than Campbell. Draper is another and so is Euthyphro by Ian Walker, which is hard to find and doesn't have the facing text, but is otherwise very helpful.
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Re: Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:00 am

The way I see it, it really depends on the person, and you need to find the right amount of help -- too little and you're lost, too much and it's a crutch that keeps you from progressing. I think it's exactly like working out. It's also like working out in that different people will have different goals, so everything's relative. But I agree -- since most of us don't do Greek in school for years, there's no gradual advancement, and I think I'm not alone in having faced that gap that exists after you work through one or more textbooks and you're trying to read actual Greek for the first time, and older readers don't quite fill that gap (I don't think I'm using that metaphor right). But there's no reason that I can see for why an online edition couldn't make everybody happy -- it shouldn't be too much work (on the computer side at least) to let people have the option of seeing just the Greek, the Greek with a translation (maybe even a Greek paraphrase if they want to be hardcore but still get help), an interlinear version, the option of having the vocab displayed or not, the option to choose how much details there should be in grammatical notes. On the content side, it would be a lot of work, clearly.
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Re: Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby Essorant » Tue May 05, 2009 5:24 am

After one learns the grammar from a grammarbook and is beginning to read Homer, I can't think of a better helper than Draper's Iliad Book I. It gave me much confidence in reading Homer and I enjoyed every little detail that Draper put into the book to make it so helpful.
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Re: Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby Markos » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:30 pm

To me Draper's is the perfect commentary because she is (1) complete (2) concise and (3) user friendly. She is not really comparable to Pharr in that Pharr gives you the complete Homeric Grammar, but her annotations are far better than Pharr's, more information in much less space. I'd love to see her do the whole Iliad or the Odyssey.
I am writing in Ancient Greek not because I know Greek well, but because I hope that it will improve my fluency in reading. I got the idea for this from Adrianus over on the Latin forum here at Textkit.
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Re: Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby Porphyry » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:08 am

Draper is a fine intermediate text for self-study when the only options are either a heavily annotated text, or not reading Greek at all. It does take too much time - or more time than the average intermediate student has- to read a Greek text without syntactical notes. My first intermediate Greek class in college used Draper, and it's good text, but I remember leaving the class feeling that I had not actually learned any Greek. An undergraduate student really should have the time to puzzle through Homer without notes on the facing page, and should internalize the verb forms, declensions, and syntax as he/she moves along. A good teacher should then be able to explain the more interesting bits in class. However, a student outside of college generally does not have that kind of time/luxury. Most of the older professors in the department, who had braved through introductory Greek with a Smyth, LSJ, and Xenophon, rightly thought that a heavily annotated text impedes student progress. But the younger professors had a more realistic outlook, acknowledging that the option for most students is either using a crutch, or not taking Greek at all. Use Draper knowing that it is probably the best intermediate text for reading Homer, but try to get past it as fast as you can!
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Re: Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby Ahab » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:30 pm

Those who have found Draper's book on the Iliad to be helpful may be interested to learn that she has a new book out on the Odyssey.

It can be found here on Amazon's site:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/047205192X/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00
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Re: Pamela Draper Iliad I

Postby Markos » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:42 pm

Those who have found Draper's book on the Iliad to be helpful may be interested to learn that she has a new book out on the Odyssey.

It can be found here on Amazon's site:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/047205 ... 00_s00_i00


Thanks for pointing this out.

I want to say three things about Draper's book.

1. As I said earlier in this thread, I found Draper's first book to be very helpful and I am sure that this will be another great resource. Sight unseen, I recommend her new book to those who want to learn Homer.

2. I am living proof that these type of help-heavy books do NOT retard one's Greek and that they are not addictive. I don't need these types of books any more to read Homer and I no longer use them. I am NOT going to get Draper's new book because I can and do read Homer okay now without any helps. Actually, I still need a little help, but right now I prefer to get that help from the Attic paraphrase of Gaza. But Draper among others got me to that point.

3. Between the publications of Draper's two books, Geoffrey Steadman

http://geoffreysteadman.com/

has pretty much perfected the format. As good as Draper's Iliad was, Steadman's books are better because the font is bigger and the helps are more concise. Both Draper and Steadman get you back to the text quickly, but Steadman does so even quicker. True, Draper gives you more info, but in this case less is more.

And Steadman has already done the complete Odyssey books 6-12, so I'm not sure how Draper can compete. Still, I will be curious to see what she has come up.
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