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Most memorable Attic poetry?

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Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby pster » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:10 am

I often wish I had started by just memorizing a couple of books of Homer. Unfortunately, I started with an Attic textbook. What is the most memorable Attic poetry? Suppose you were going to teach high school students some Attic poetry that had good meter, accessible vocabulary, and aesthetic value, what would you choose? What Attic poetry is the best replacement for Homer?!
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Re: Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby spiphany » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:36 pm

What's interesting about Greek literature is that each of the different genres became associated with a particular dialect. Tragedy, for example, is not written in Attic, although there's no objective reason why it couldn't have been.

In other words -- I'm not sure if there is any poetry written in Attic Greek. It's pretty much all Epic-Ionic or Aeolic. The closest you might come is some of the Hellenistic poets, but they're...well, difficult for a lot of other reasons. There may be some epigraphs and stuff that are fairly Attic, I'm not sure.

Don't let the dialect turn you off reading poetry if that's what you're interested in, though. It takes a bit of time, but the other dialects aren't sooo different as to be impossible if you know Attic.
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: Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby pster » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:12 pm

spiphany wrote:Tragedy, for example, is not written in Attic



:shock:

:oops:

:x

:!:

:idea:
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Re: Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby Scribo » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:31 pm

I wouldn't. My university training started me off with Attic Greek which caused crap because a lot of our early readings weren't in Attic ma ton kynon, it was largely Herodotos, Solonas etc. I massively boosted my grades by self teaching Homer alongside.

I would say just get right in to the poetry, even though it's not quite Attic. Whether that's Solon or Sophokles. ELLHNIZE!
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Re: Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby pster » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:34 pm

Scribo wrote:I wouldn't


You wouldn't what?
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Re: Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby spiphany » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:44 pm

Right, I should have been a little more exact about the language used for tragedy -- it's mostly Attic, but there's a fair amount of Epic and Doric mixed in, and a certain amount of vocabulary that's different than Attic (I know this because when I did prose comp in Germany the professor kept marking my word choice as "poetic")

William Annis has a good article on the topic: http://www.aoidoi.org/articles/dialects.html

Like I said above, the transition from one dialect to another isn't so difficult. If you've learned Attic, you can read Homer, or tragedy or lyric poetry or whatever, although it wouldn't hurt to look over some of the forms that are different in Homer (pronouns are a bit different, for example).

My university often has second-year Greek courses reading Homer -- in spite of the differences from Attic, Homer is simpler than many Attic authors for beginning students in a number of ways: there's a lot of formulaic phrases, and his syntax is pretty straightforward, which tends to be a huge challenge when reading prose.
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: Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby Scribo » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:54 am

If I'm ever to teach (dear god why must we teach? why can't we be left alone to research and write....) I intend to do so via Homeric Greek.
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Re: Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby pster » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:59 pm

Scribo wrote:If I'm ever to teach (dear god why must we teach? why can't we be left alone to research and write....) I intend to do so via Homeric Greek.


Even Aristotle had to earn his keep!

And when you do teach, you will find that there are restrictions on what it is. So to repeat my question, if you were told you had to teach Classical Poetry and Drama what would you teach?
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Re: Most memorable Attic poetry?

Postby Scribo » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:14 pm

pster wrote:
Scribo wrote:If I'm ever to teach (dear god why must we teach? why can't we be left alone to research and write....) I intend to do so via Homeric Greek.


Even Aristotle had to earn his keep!

And when you do teach, you will find that there are restrictions on what it is. So to repeat my question, if you were told you had to teach Classical Poetry and Drama what would you teach?


Alkestis. Because that's what we were taught first. It's Euripides so it's easy (in comparison to Aiskhylos at least) and there were some genuinely good moments, the vocabulary wasn't that difficult to grasp and any alternate morphological forms seemed to come in gently.

Also there is a wonderful bit of verse in one of Plato's works iirc, Protagoras? About the beginning of the world etc, that wasn't too bad.
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