A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

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Markos
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A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by Markos » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:33 pm

I could not be more pleased with the long awaited publication of Emiliano Caruso's Monolingual Dictionary of Ancient Greek.

http://www.monogreek.com/monolingual.htm

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/member-r ... centReview

Some excerpts to show his lexigraphical method: Caruso uses simple definitions:
p. 81 γέφυρα, ας, ἡ = ἡ ὑπὲρ ποταμοῦ ὁδός.
He uses synonyms:
p. 3 ἀγγέλλω =λέγω ὡς νέον ὄν, φέρω ἀγγελίαν, κηρύσσω, δηλῶ.
He uses antonyms:
p. 32 ἀνεπιστήμων, ον =/ ἔμπειρος, ον, ἱκανός, ή, όν.
He uses simple graphics to avoid L1.
p. 417 τέσσαρες, τέσσαρα= o o o o
Under περιστερά he has nothing but a very simple picture of a dove. Under χρῶμα he has only four small boxes each a different color. Under κάτω he has, among other info, an arrow pointing down. κ.τ.λ.

The meat of his lexicon is illustrative quotes, mostly from the Greek NT:
p. 18 ἅλας, τος τό... ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ ἅλας τῆς γῆς...(Mt 5,13a.)
There is no doubt that the book will be more useful and more beloved to those who know and love the Greek NT, but there is also a pedagogy here. The Greek NT has among the simplest Greek sentences one can find. In the example above, even beginners know the meanings of ὑμεῖς and ἐστε and τὸ and τῆς and γῆς. So this, along with the familiarity of the New Testament, allows the headword ἅλας to become comprehensible without leaving L2. He tends to use the same NT sentences (sometimes adapting them to be even simpler) so the lexicon re-enforces itself as one works one's way through it. He also includes lots of sentences from classical authors. These tend to be easier and more stand-alone than the examples you find in L.S.J. Same with his invented sentences.

I think his choice of which words to include is wonderful. He has about 5000 words, whereas, for example, the Langensheidt Pocket Ancient Greek Dictionary, which is fairly complete for reading purposes, has about 20,000 entries. So, obviously Caruso had choices to make. What makes his book useful to so many learners at different levels is that he includes most of the commonly used words, but also includes many, many very rare words, many of these classical and even Homeric. Just one example of a very rare word (it's not even in Langenscheidt) that I did not know before but have now learned without leaving L2:
p. 75 βρέτας, ους, τό = ξύλινον εἴδωλον, ου τό.
His book is witty (under χαλεπός he inclues the remark: ὑμεῖς ἐπίστασθε ὡς ἡδύ τε καὶ χαλεπόν ἐστιν ἀνδρὶ οὐ ἑλληνικῷ γράφειν βιβλίον τοῦτο.) His book has some topical references:
p. 97 διάδοχος, ον = ἕτερος μεθ' ἕτερον ἔχων τι. διάδοχος διαδέχεται. Φρανκίσκος Βενεδίκτῳ διάδοχος έστι.
His book is profound.
p. 68. βασιλεία, ας, ἡ = ἡ τοῦ βασιλέως χώρα καὶ ἔργον. (my emphasis)
I have read this Greek word thousands of time, but I never thought about in those terms. And never in those GREEK terms!

Because I love reading Ancient Greek, I love and I am interested in Ancient Greek words. Caruso lets me read about Ancient Greek words in other Ancient Greek words. It's so good that I have been reading it straight through beginning with alpha.

Some of us have been waiting a long time for a book like this. I can pull up many on-line discussions where we despaired of not having such a work. We had assumed that it would be a long time coming, and I, for one, thought it would have required a group effort.

I think this is the most important publication in the Direct Method tradition since at least Rico's Polis in 2009. maybe since Rouse 100 years ago.

The font on this book is much larger and clearer than you usually find in Greek resources. The hardcover binding is strong and well sewn.

I got my copy from the Anglo American Bookshop in Rome

http://www.aab.it/bookinfo.php?aabcode= ... categoria=

for about $100.00 with shipping. There is no Greek resource I would recommend more highly.

mwh
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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by mwh » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:08 am

Each to his own. There is no Greek resource I would recommend more highly than LSJ.

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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by bedwere » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:24 am

Ἐπαινῶ σε, ὦ βέλτιστε Μᾶρκε. Ἀγοράσω γάρ τὸ λεξικόν.

Victor
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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by Victor » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:09 am

The book looks to be quite limited in its scope, usefulness and appeal, and working out as it does at 2 cents per entry I'd bet about the same money on the likelihood of it ever flying off the shelves.

We'd all get something out of it, I'm sure, but there are much cheaper, not to say more profitable, ways of making progress in Greek. Maybe the point is that it provides a unique kind of pleasure to certain learners, and this justifies the price, to them at least.

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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by Ahab » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:32 pm

mwh wrote:Each to his own. There is no Greek resource I would recommend more highly than LSJ.
Agreed.
Why, he's at worst your poet who sings how Greeks
That never were, in Troy which never was,
Did this or the other impossible great thing!
---Robert Browning

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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by Qimmik » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:21 pm

Each to his own. There is no Greek resource I would recommend more highly than LSJ.
Add my concurrence.


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Paul Derouda
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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Apr 26, 2015 6:28 pm

mwh wrote:Each to his own. There is no Greek resource I would recommend more highly than LSJ.
I was going to say I agree, but then I decided that the Greek resource that eclipses all others is Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos.

(I'm not saying this because I believe it. I just want to be argumentative. :evil:)

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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by John W. » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:41 pm

The use of pictures seems odd - are we really regressing to pictograms? From the examples cited above, does at least some of the use of pictures depend for success on one's already knowing what the word means - e.g. that τέσσαρες = 'four', not 'four circles', and that χρῶμα = 'colour', not 'coloured boxes'?

The whole thing sounds something of a mishmash to me - but if people find it more helpful than LSJ for them personally, then I suppose it's all to the good.

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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by Σαυλος » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:26 pm

Markos wrote:I could not be more pleased with the long awaited publication of Emiliano Caruso's Monolingual Dictionary of Ancient Greek.
Thanks for the review, Mark. I'm going to buy it.

Depending on shipping, might be cheaper here (72 Euro = 78.15 USD)
http://www.angloamericanbook.it/bookinf ... categoria=
I will babble until I talk. ετι λαλαγω...

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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by mwh » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:23 pm

For readers of Homer who like monolingual lexical resources I would recommend what ancient Greeks themselves used, represented by the so-called D-scholia. Originating in the 5th cent. BCE but used and adapted throughout antiquity in the Greek-speaking world, they helped schoolchildren slog through the poems by giving contemporary or traditional equivalents (synonyms and definitions) for the Homeric words and phrases. They’re more glossaries than dictionaries, since they make their way through the poems line by line, just as a reader does. Understandably they are fuller for the first books and peter out towards the end! I use them, along with Apollonius Sophista’s Homeric Lexicon (a more ambitious production), to discover what the Homeric words were understood as meaning (i.e. what they actually meant for contemporary readers) and how the epistemological problems were tackled. They’ll certainly expand your vocabulary! And the Greek is authentic, not made up.

The Iliad set was edited by van Thiel (who died last year), and the Odyssey set by someone else under his direction.
Iliad: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/5586/
Odyssey: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/1831/

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Re: A new monolingual Ancient Greek lexicon now available

Post by jeidsath » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:45 pm

I received this last night. I haven't made up my mind on whether it's useful or not. There are some entries like this:
ζεῦγος, ους, τό ὅρα ζυγόν, οῦ, τό· δύο αἰλούρω = ζεῦγος αἰλούρων
This is followed by two unicode characters of a cat, which break Textkit when I try to post them. (I wonder if the database backend doesn't support full UTF-8?)
πρόβατον, ου, τό = ἀγέλη οἰῶν - οίς, οἰός, ὁ, ἡ. < προβαίνω [followed by some πρόβατα quotes from the NT.]
(I would have appreciated a note about the plural usage.)
προβοσκίς, προβοσκίδος, ἡ = χεὶρ τοῦ ἐλέφαντος
The curation of easy New Testament passages demonstrating most entries is appreciated. I think that a monolingual dictionary would be useful for intermediate Greek learners, but it would need to be founded on scholarship and real fluency. I do see myself using this during conversation, in order to explain words.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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