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Time flies when you read Homer...

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Time flies when you read Homer...

Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:05 pm

Three years ago, had you told me I would read the entire Iliad in Greek before I graduated from high school, I would have stared at you, resisted the impulse to laugh, and then deliberately mind my own buisness. At that time, I thought learning a foreign language was a mysterious skill which only special people have, a notion which was put in my head by my mother since she hated learning languages herself and was doing everything possible to delay me from studying a foreign language. Ancient Greek was rumored to be especially rigourous, and I thought I would never have the capacity to learn such an austere language.

Two years ago, had you have told me that I would read the entire Iliad in Greek before I graduated from high school, I would have smiled, and then prompty ignore you. I was studying French at that time, and was remarkably good for somebody who had been studying French for less than a year, but studying Ancient Greek really hadn't crossed my mind, and I would not have believed I learn Greek fast enough to read the entire Iliad before I graduated from high school.

One year ago, had you have told me that I would read the entire Iliad in Greek before I graduated from high school, I would have sighed. I think I had just finished going through Pharr's book, and the thought of reading the entire Iliad within a year would have exhausted me.

And this morning, I finished reading the last book in the Iliad after over a year of reading it from start to finish unabridged. My eyes were watery, both because of the touching ending, and because I am going to miss this epic.
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Postby Bert » Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:19 pm

Well done.
You must have an aptitude for languages. The only foreign language with which I have had that kind of success is English. (Due to immersion.)
I have been at Greek longer than you have but I am not as far advanced as you.
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Postby Kopio » Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:26 pm

Wow.....well done indeed!

I admire you and your stick-to-it-edness!

I know I felt a certain sense of accomplishment when I finished my first Loeb.....the whole Iliad though....what a accomplishment.

If you don't seriously study classics or at least consider teaching them....there are many students who will be at a loss. At your age, you could go exceedingly far (much farther than I, who has had a very late start).

Congrats! :P :P :P
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Postby Rindu » Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:27 pm

Wow--that's hardcore.

What's next? Odyssey? Aristotle?
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Re: Time flies when you read Homer...

Postby annis » Sun Apr 30, 2006 2:08 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:And this morning, I finished reading the last book in the Iliad after over a year of reading it from start to finish unabridged.


Congratulations!

You've done something many classics professors haven't even done.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby IreneY » Sun Apr 30, 2006 2:19 am

Wow! Congratulations! I didn't (and couldn't) read all of Iliad from the original till I was 20 or something.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Apr 30, 2006 6:23 am

One of my English teachers said that great books teach you how to read great books. The Iliad has been one of those experiences ... quite frankly, finishing the Iliad came to me as a surprise. Back in October, I would have counted myself lucky if I had reached the eighth book by now. However, as my mophology got sounder, my syntax become smoother, and my vocabulary grew, so did my reading speed, though it took me a while to notice. Then when I met my reading goals early - by early I mean several months early, I got greedy, and kept telling myself "I'll just read one more book. That's not too much, is it?". Eventually, when I managed to read a book of the Iliad in three days, I told myself "I'm going to read it. All."

One reason I decided to read the unabridged Iliad is that I have never read the Iliad in English (*gasp* the secret is out). I found it rather annoying when the commentaries said things like "Sarpedon will die in book XVI" and I wanted to tell the commentator "Would you shut up, I haven't read that yet, so don't spoil it". I am happy to say, though, that quite a bit was not spoiled, which I am grateful for. However, I felt that I would not be able to proceed in studying Greek literature without having it read it in some language. I also wanted to reading it in chronological order, so I could see it as a whole, not in little bits and pieces here and there.

You've done something many classics professors haven't even done.


What the hell ... it's impossible to graduate from an undergraduate theatre program without reading/seeing at least four Greek plays (though in English), and it's damn difficult to escape theatre graduate school without reading most or all of Shakespeare. I can understand professors, say, not having read every extant Euripides play, but how dare they call themselves classics professors if they haven't even read the entire Iliad.

EDIT : On becoming a classics professor ... um, no, that is not my future. However, I do think it would be cool to teach a mixed class of theatre and classics students. Then not only would I teach, but the theatre students would teach the classics students, and the classics students would teach the theatre students. And the class would culminate in a production of an Greek play in Greek.
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Postby Sanskrit » Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:56 am

It's good to see someone learn Greek because she enjoys reading the literature. Good job. :D
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Postby Bert » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:39 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote: "Sarpedon will die in book XVI"

Hey. I've not read it in English either. Don't give it away.
Oh well. By the time I get to book 14 I'll have forgotten all about it.
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Postby annis » Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:26 pm

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:What the hell ... it's impossible to graduate from an undergraduate theatre program without reading/seeing at least four Greek plays (though in English), and it's damn difficult to escape theatre graduate school without reading most or all of Shakespeare. I can understand professors, say, not having read every extant Euripides play, but how dare they call themselves classics professors if they haven't even read the entire Iliad.


Undergraduates aren't expected to read the entire thing, and once you enter graduate school a huge amount of your time is unfortunately dedicated to secondary literature. If your focus is Plato, you may not have time for all of Homer until Emeritus has been added to your title somewhere.
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τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Postby Rindu » Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:01 pm

I dont' know, I think it's an exaggeration to say that most professors haven't read the entire Iliad. Graduate seminars in Homer will typically read either Iliad or Odyssey, complete. And it's pretty much standard that reading lists dictate that students read 12 books of both Iliad and Odyssey.

Certainly if one's focus is Latin literature, but really, I think most Hellenists have read the whole thing.

I guess I can get back to you on this in five years after I'm finished with grad. school--maybe I won't have read it.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:28 pm

annis wrote:Undergraduates aren't expected to read the entire thing, and once you enter graduate school a huge amount of your time is unfortunately dedicated to secondary literature.


I agree that Undergraduates do not absolutely have to read the entire thing in Greek - though I think it should be encouraged - and I agree that the emphasis on secondary literature in graduate school is unfortunate. I do not see how all the secondary literature does much good without a deep familiarity with the primary literature.
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Re: Time flies when you read Homer...

Postby Adelheid » Sun Apr 30, 2006 6:24 pm

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:Three years ago, had you told me I would read the entire Iliad in Greek before I graduated from high school, I would have stared at you, resisted the impulse to laugh, and then deliberately mind my own buisness.
<snip>
And this morning, I finished reading the last book in the Iliad after over a year of reading it from start to finish unabridged.


I started book 1 of the Iliad when I was 18, right after I graduated from highschool and was free from "have-to" and "must-do". I photocopied book 1, got my grammar and dictionary and guess what: I finished book 1 a few weeks ago, 21 years later :D

I guess I will really have to speed things up, the Odyssey is waiting for me too after all...

Congratulations to you, GGG!
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Postby CanadianGirl » Tue May 02, 2006 9:37 pm

GGG: You have my absolute, total, no questions asked, respect!!! (And envy). I have labored with Homer off and on for @ 7 years-I love him, but doing the whole Iliad in Greek? I would have to live to be @ 100! I actually tutor Greek occasionally (to beginners mostly) but I struggle with reading most authors, altho i love it. I think this is an achievement to tell your grand-kids about! Best regards, Paige.
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Postby Fabiola » Tue May 02, 2006 11:01 pm

That's incredibly cool, GGG. Well done. :)
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Wed May 03, 2006 1:17 am

Hmmm, well it took me more than twice as long to read the first four books of the iliad as the other eighteen. I had no idea how quick my reading speed would accelerate ... however, book four is the first one I cold-read, and as I said in another thread, cold readings are very useful for developing quick comprehension of a text (in this case, a single book of the Iliad). For those who missed that thread, a cold reading is when I read a Greek text without using lexion/commentary/etc, just the text before my eyes. Of course, with the Iliad, I went back and looked up everything I didn't understand, but only after I made an honest attempt to understand it by myself.

BTW - Fabiola, I'm also aiming to read Beowulf for the first time in OE - of course, I don't know how many years away that goal is.
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Wed May 03, 2006 10:01 pm

You're a Homeric Animal!

I hear that our Episcopus is looking for a girlfriend...
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Postby Sanskrit » Wed May 03, 2006 10:02 pm

Bardo de Saldo wrote:I hear that our Episcopus is looking for a girlfriend...


He does only know about Homer Simpson. :)
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Wed May 03, 2006 11:12 pm

Bardo de Saldo wrote:I hear that our Episcopus is looking for a girlfriend...


Ewwww *cough* I mean, I'm flattered, and no.
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Postby Fabiola » Thu May 04, 2006 12:08 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:BTW - Fabiola, I'm also aiming to read Beowulf for the first time in OE - of course, I don't know how many years away that goal is.


Cool cool. :)

I hope to gain that particular goal of mine before I graduate from highschool as well, but we shall see- it all depends on how much time I have for studying OE grammar this summer.
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Postby Sigma » Fri May 05, 2006 9:58 pm

Bert wrote:
GlottalGreekGeek wrote: "Sarpedon will die in book XVI"

Hey. I've not read it in English either. Don't give it away.
Oh well. By the time I get to book 14 I'll have forgotten all about it.
Sixteen...

GlottalGreekGeek, how long have you been learning Greek? That's truely impressive.
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Postby Bert » Fri May 05, 2006 10:27 pm

Sigma wrote:Sixteen...

Oops.
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Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Sun May 07, 2006 4:15 am

I've been studying Greek since around November 2004. I think I started in late October 2004 because I think the first Greek lessons I worked through coincided with ... well, never mind.
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Postby FiliusLunae » Fri May 19, 2006 8:12 am

Congrats, GGG!

I rarely venture into the Greek forum... and peeked into this message.
I may want to do that with one of those Latin epics.

~FILIUS
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