Michael, your Greek comment didn't make much sense to me, I'll admit. I only got about 80% of the meaning, which was no help, unfortunately. I caught that there was something about the order and "πειραν τινα" and its relation to εχθρῶν that I needed to pay attention to. I can parse it out, but only if I were to translate it. Chad's notes (not Mark's, sorry!) I can just read without translating.
I do think that it does get easier in person. Here are two example lessons from Rouse's Teaching of Greek at the Perse School. First an easier one from the first year, and then a later one (that perhaps corresponds better to what Chad is doing).
By the end of half-term (six weeks from the beginning of term) the class has learnt most of the declensions and a considerable part of the verbs in -ω, including the contracted verbs. In syntax the main case-usages, the common particles, and the simpler forms of oratio obliqua are known, and perhaps a few other constructions as well. All the while English is being more and more fully eliminated, at least from certain of the lessons, that part of the work which requires English being taken, as far as possible, on two or three days in the week, so that the other days are left free for "all Greek" lessons.
The methods employed in the latter are best explained by an actual lesson.
Boys: Γλαῦκος, Κλέαρχος, Ὅμηρος, Αἰσχύλος, Εὐριπίδης, Σωράτης.
Homework: To learn γένος and πόλις, and to prepare 10 lines of the reader which have been partly explained by Greek paraphrase beforehand.
Διδάσκαλος. -- χαίρετε, ὦ μαθηταί.
Μαθηταί. -- χαῖρε, ὦ διδάσκαλε.
Δ. Μὴ ὁρᾶτε τὸ βιβλίον, κελεύω ὑμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον. ὦ Σώρατες, τί κελεύω;
Σ. *Κελεύεις ἡμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Καλῶς ἀποκρίνει· τί ἐκέλευσα, ὦ Γλαῦκε;
Γ. Ἐκέλευσας ἡμᾶς μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Καὶ σύ, ὦ Γλαῦκε, καλῶς λέγεις. τί ποιεῖτε;
Μ. Οὐχ ὁρῶμεν τὸ βιβλίον.
Δ. Ἀρχώμεθα ἄρα· μανθάνωμεν τὴν γραμματικήν. ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν ἄρχομαι, "ἡ πόλις"· σὺ πρόιθι, ὦ Κλέαρχε.
Κ. Ἀλλά, ὦ διδάσκαλε, οὐ μανθάνω τὸ πρόιθι.
Δ. Τὸ πρόιθι τὸ αὐτὸ λέγει τῷ πρόβαινε.
Κ. Ἁλλ’ οὐδὲ τὸ πρόβαινε μανθάνω.
Δ. Οἴμοι τῆς σῆς ἀμαθίας, οἴμοι τῆς ἀμαθίας σοῦ· ἀμφοτέρως ἀποκρίνου, ὦ Γλαῦκε.
Γ. Οἴμοι τῆς μῆς ἀμαθίας--
Δ. Ἁμαρτάνεις· τί ἔδει λέγειν, ὦ Ὄμηρε;
Ο. Τῆς ἐμῆς ἀμαθίας.
Γ. Οἴμοι τῆς ἐμῆς ἄμαθίας. οἴμοι τῆς ἀμαθίας μου.
[The master now explains that πρόιθι is the imperative of πρόειμι, I go on, and the imperative and present indicative of εἶμι are learnt form the grammar.]
Δ. Λαβέ νῦν τὴν γύψον, καὶ γράψον τὸ πρόιθι.
[ὁ Γλαῦκος γράφει τὸ προίθι.]
Οἴμοι μάλ’ αὖθις· οὐ γὰρ ὀρθῶς ἔγραψας τὸν τόνον. γράφε πρόιθι. ἆρα ὀρθῶς ἔγραψεν, ὦ μαθηταί;
Μ. Ὀρθῶς. σύ, ὦ Αισχύλε, λέγε τὸ γένος.
[Ὁ Αἰσχύλος ὀρθῶς λέγει.]
Νῦν γράφετε πάντες τὰ ὀνόματα ταῦτα. τί κελεύω;
Μ. Κελεύεις ἡμᾶς πάντας γράφειν τὰ ὀνόματα.
[Γράφουσι, καὶ γραφόντων αὐτῶν περιπατεῖ ὁ διδάσκαλος καὶ μεταγράφει τὰς ἁμαρτίας.]
Δ. Νῦν ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν τὸν μῦθον τὸν περὶ τοῦ ψιττακοῦ. ἀλλὰ μῆν ἐγὼ ἤδη κάμνω--ἆρα μανθάνετε ὅτι λέγει τὸ κάμνω;
Μ. Οὐ μανθάνομεν.
[The verb is explained by action or in English (not translated by a word, but paraphrased) and the chief parts learnt.]
Δ. Ἐμοῦ κάμνοντος, σύ ὦ Εὐριπίδη, ἴσθι διδάσκαλος. ταχέως οὖν ἀνάβαινε ἐπὶ τὸ βῆμα καὶ δίδασκε. ἀγαθὸς γὰρ εἶ διδάσκαλος, ἄριστος μὲν οὖν.
[Ὁ Εὐριπίδης ἀναβαίνει καὶ καθίζει.]
Ε. Ὁρᾶτε πάντες τὴν δέλτον τὴν ὀγδόην καὶ τὸν πρῶτον στίχον. πόστην δέλτον, ὦ Γλαῦκε;
Γ. Τὴν ὀγδόαν δέλτον.
Δ. (ὑπολαβών) Μὴ λέγε ὀγδόαν, ἀλλὰ ὀγδόην· ὄγδοος, ὀγδόη, ὄγδοον. καὶ σύ, ὦ Αἰσχύλε, μὴ παῖζε. τί κελεύω, ὦ Εὐριπίδη;
Ε. Κελεύεις τὸν Αἰσχύλον μὴ παίζειν.
Δ. Λέγετε ταῦτα πάντες.
Πρόιθι διδάσκων, ὦ Εὐριπίδη.
Ε. Ἄρχου ἀναγιγνώσκειν Ἑλληνιστί, ὦ Αἰσχύλε.
[Ἁναγιγνώσκει ὁ Αἰσχύλος περὶ τοῦ ψιττακοῦ στίχους ἑπτά.]
Παῦε, ὦ Αἰσχύλε.
Ε. Κάθιζε, καὶ ὑμεῖς οἱ ἄλλοι μὴ ὁρᾶτε τὸ βιβλίον. τίς οἷός τέ ἐστι λέγειν ἄνευ βιβλίου τὸ πρῶτον μέρος τοῦ μύθου;
Α. Ἀλλὰ τί λέγει τὸ μέρος; οὐ μανθάνω ἔγωγε.
Δ. Ἐγὼ ἀποκρινοῦμαι ἀντὶ σοῦ, ὦ Εὐριπίδη· μέρος λέγει μόριον, Ἀγγλιστὶ "part." τὸ μέρος, τοῦ μέρους, τῷ μέρει, καὶ τὰ λοιπά, ἀτεχνῶς ὥσπερ τὸ γένος, ὅ νῦν δὴ ἐμάθετε. πρόιθι, ὦ Εὐριπίδη.
Ε. Τίς οἷός τέ ἐστι λέγειν;
Γ. Ἐγὼ οἷός τέ εἰμι.
ὄρνιθ’ ἔχω κατ’ οἶκον,
ὅς ψιττακὸς καλεῖται.
κάλλιστός ἐστιν ὄρνις,
καὶ ποικίλος τὸ χρῶμα.
καὶ θαῦμα δὴ μέγιστον·
ὅταν γὰρ οἴκαδ’ ἔλθω,
"ὦ χαῖρέ" φης’ "ἄριστε."
Ε. Ἑρμήνευε Ἀγγλιστί.
* The proper order would be μὴ ὁρᾶν κελεύεις ἡμᾶς τὸ βιβλίον or the like. This proves difficult for beginners, and the more awkward order is allowed for a time.
The piece is translated, the master correcting when necessary, and so the lesson goes on until the portion prepared at home is finished. Then the master takes charge of the class once more, and adds any comment he may think necessary. For instance, he may paraphrase κατ’ οἶκον by οἴκοι, or the whole of the first line by ἔστι μοι ὄρνις οἴκοι, or again, he will give the degrees of comparison of κάλλιστος, μέγιστος, ἄριστος, the parts of the verbs ἔχω, καλῶ, ἦλθον, and explain the construction ὅταν. . . . ἔλθω. Most of this is done by reference to the grammar, but paraphrases, and some other notes, will be written by the class from dictation, in their note-books. While this writing is being done, the master walks up and down among the boys, glancing at their books to see if what they have written is correct. When a student-teacher is in training he may do this part. Then the master sets and explains the homework, and by this time the lesson is probably at an end.
The next lesson may be of a different kind, at least in part. The first section, say, is taken up with homework,--grammar, or story, as the case may be; the last half-hour is devoted to a written exercise. Many varieties of such are possible, of which the following are examples:--
(1) Paraphrases, either of single words and phrases, or else of the whole piece.
(2) Writing out the story, or a portion of it, either from memory or from an English translation provided by the master.
(3) Translation into Greek of English sentences similar in vocabulary and structure to those just studied in the Reader.
(4) Declensions and conjugations or other grammatical exercies.
The Reader is so constructed that all the ordinary Accidence and Syntax occur during the year's work. Besides this, there is at the end of the Greek Course a "grammatical summary" which contains declensions, conjugations, syntax rules, &c., in a logical order. During the revision of the first year's work, which takes place towards the end of the third term, this summary is thoroughly learnt, so that the grammatical training is systematic. On the other hand, the direct method does not attempt to teach, during the first year, translation into Greek as an end in itself. Such translation is a part of the second and third years' work; riper minds can master it more easily, more intelligently, and with more permanent results. Reading and experience count for far more than rules in learning how to compose in a foreign language. By postpoing translation into Greek until later in the course, the direct method tries to prevent the boys slowly putting together a laboured mosaic and to encourage natural self-expressions. The boys learn to express their own thoughts in Greek, haltingly at first, but with ever-increasing fluency and accuracy; and this is composition properly so called. Usually Latin and Greek are studied with a view only to the understanding of the ancient texts, or to the rendering of thought from one language to another. Self-expression is entirely neglected, and this neglect seems to account for certain weaknesses which are generally to be found among those trained in the ordinary way--want of fluency, for example, and want of originality…
Is there really anyone on this thread who wouldn't feel a bit of a thrill to be in a classroom so described? Or to teach in one?
Here’s how more complicated reading lessons are described.
These books are read, not translated, except when the master wishes to make sure that a certain sentence is understood or (occasionally) as practice in a very difficult art. When a passage is translated for the latter purpose great attention is paid to style and dictation.
The preparation is done, not at home, but in school, the passage being read, explained, paraphrased, and the grammar points indicated; the homework is the test of this, the piece being translated on paper or prepared for translation; or an English free version of the sense given to put into Greek, not literally, but in its general sense; or sometimes English sentences to be rendered exactly into Greek. The new verbs and nouns contained in the lesson are to be learnt, and they will be asked again next day or later. Greek explanations given by the master are written in the note-books, and he must inspect these as they are written, more or less carefully as he has time, and correct mistakes. It will be seen that with a little ingenuity he can use all common constructions in turn, practising each until it is known. Specimens of this will be given later.
Let us suppose that the passage to be prepared is the following from Plato:—
ΣΩ. Οὐκ ἄν φθάνοις ἀκούων· ὡς οὐκ ἄν ἔχοιμί γε εἰπεῖν ὅτι οὐ προσεῖχον τὸν νοῦν αὐτοῖν, ἀλλὰ πάνυ καὶ προσεῖχον καὶ μέμνημαι, καί σοι πειράσομαι ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἅπαντα διηγήσασθαι. κατὰ θεὸν γάρ τινα ἔτυχον καθήμενος ἐνταῦθα, οὗπερ σύ με εἶδες, ἐν τῷ ἀποδυτηρίῳ μόνος, καὶ ἤδη ἐν νῷ εἶχον ἀναστῆναι· ἀνισταμένου δέ μου ἐγένετο τὸ εἰωθὸς σημεῖον, τὸ δαιμόνιον. πάλιν οῦν ἐκαθεζόμην, καὶ ὀλίγῳ ὕστερον εἰσέρχεσθον τούτω—ὅ τ’ Εὐθύδημος καὶ ὁ Διονυσόδωρος—καὶ ἄλλοι μαθηταὶ ἅμα αὖ πολλοὶ ἐμοὶ δοκεῖν· εἰςελθόντες δὲ περιεπατείτην ἐν τῷ καταστέγῳ δρόμῳ. καὶ οὔπω τούτω δύ’ ἢ τρεῖς δρόμους περιεληλυτότε ἤστην, καὶ εἰσέρχεται Κλεινίας, ὃν σὺ φῂς πολὺ ἐπιδεδωκέναι, ἀληθῆ λέγων.
A day’s work would be longer than this, but it is enough to explain the method. The master begins to dictate as follows, in answer to questions on each point, walking up and down among the boys as he does so, and correcting orally any mistakes that catch his eye.
οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις ἀκούων.
φθάνω· τὰ μέρη· φθάνω, φθήσομαι, ἔφθην—φθῶ, φθαίην, φθῆναι, φθάς––ἔστι δὲ καὶ τὸ ἔφθασσα.
ὁ πᾶς λόγος λέγει “τάχιστα ἀκούσει” ἢ “ἄκουε νῦν.” μανθάνετε δὲ καὶ τάδε· οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις λέγων, λέγε μὴ βραδύνων, μὴ βραδύνας.
ὡς οὐκ ἂν ἔχοιμι· ὡς , ἐπειδή.
προσέχω τὸν νοῦν· Ῥωμαϊστί, animadverto.
κατὰ θεὸν γάρ τινα· θεοῦ τινος ἐθέλοντος, κατὰ τύχην.
ἔτυχον καθήμενος· οἱ Ἕλληνες ἔλεγον “τυγχάνω τι ποιῶν” οὐ “ποιεῖν.” μανθάνετε τὰ μέρη τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου.
ἀποδυτήριον· τόπος τις ἐν ᾧ ἀπεδύοντο οἱ γυμναζόμενοι τὰ ἐσθήματα.
ἐν νῷ εἶχον· διενοούμην.
ἀναστῆναι· ἀναστὰς ἀπελθεῖν.
τὸ δαιμόνιον· ὁ γὰρ Σωκράτης ἔλεγεν ὅτι δαίμων τις διδάσκοι αὐτὸν σημεῖόν τε διδοὺς καὶ κωλύων μὴ ποιεῖν τι.
ἐμοὶ δοκεῖν· μαθηταί, ὥς γε ἐμοὶ ἐδόκουν. ἔστι δὲ καὶ “ὡ ἔπος εἰπεῖν.”
ἅμα· μετὰ αὐτῶν.
κατάστεγος· στέγην ἔχων. στἐγη λέγει Ῥωμαϊστί, tectum.
κὰι εἰσέρχεται Κλεινίας· καὶ τότε εἰσέρχεται.
The master would certainly be obliged to explain some points in English—perhaps even some words of the paraphrases—but how much English will be necessary depends entirely upon the knowledge the class has already acquired, and will grow less and less as that knowledge increases.
In these “preparations” every difficulty is explained which the boys themselves feel, and others that the master thinks fit to explain; such as ἀποδυτήριον, which obviously lend themselves to the system of paraphrase. The master must make sure that the boys do not delude themselves; sometimes they think they understand when they do not.
At home the passage is studied again, grammar and dictionary being used if necessary, and the paraphrases are learnt by heart. During the next lesson the passage is read aloud in Greek by the boys in turn, the paraphrases are repeated, questions are asked (in Greek) on the text, and some parts (perhaps the whole) are translated into English. If it has been written out in English as homework, one or two specimens are read and corrected.
Fresh grammar is learnt as it occurs in the Reader. Revisionof grammar already learnt takes place during the first few minutes of each lesson, or perhaps of every other lesson. A lively interest is imparted to this side of teh work if one of the boys is made “teacher” while the revision is going on…