intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

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intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by daivid » Tue May 05, 2015 1:34 pm

Do any of you know of an intermediate commentaries for any work of Aristotle. (If it were of one of his biological works that would be perfect.)

By Intermediate I mean something like the commentaries of Geoffrey Steadman or Bryn Mawr.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Markos » Tue May 05, 2015 4:13 pm

Sometimes a super-literal translation can work just as well as a meta-language commentary. This diglot seems to be fairly literal:

http://www.mikrosapoplous.gr/aristotle/nicom1a.htm

and of course a Modern Greek diglot can be helpful for cruxes:

http://www.mikrosapoplous.gr/aristotle/psyxhs/1_01.html

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by daivid » Tue May 05, 2015 9:17 pm

Markos wrote:Sometimes a super-literal translation can work just as well as a meta-language commentary. This diglot seems to be fairly literal:

http://www.mikrosapoplous.gr/aristotle/nicom1a.htm
Literal translations are the most useful, thanks.
Markos wrote: and of course a Modern Greek diglot can be helpful for cruxes:

http://www.mikrosapoplous.gr/aristotle/psyxhs/1_01.html
But I don't know any modern Greek or do you have some technique that works even if you don't know modern Greek?
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Shenoute » Wed May 06, 2015 6:29 am

Maybe this?

There is also a Greek paraphrase of the Nicomachean Ethics that might be useful.

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Scribo » Wed May 06, 2015 8:33 am

How would one format a beginner's commentary? you have your text...do you just centre the text and then use footnotes? they normally look cleaner than that? is there some special formatting trick? I'm looking at Steadman now and its obvious he's not just using footnotes.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by daivid » Wed May 06, 2015 9:56 am

Scribo wrote:How would one format a beginner's commentary? you have your text...do you just centre the text and then use footnotes? they normally look cleaner than that? is there some special formatting trick? I'm looking at Steadman now and its obvious he's not just using footnotes.
Steadman uses line numbers, others use the section heading and of course it is normal to quote the bit of Greek that is being explained. With all that footnotes aren't necessary (by footnotes I assume you mean numbers that appear within the text that reference the explanation) though what is used is awfully like footnotes.

I am definitely a fan of those writers who put their commentary on the page rather than shunting it all to the back.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Scribo » Wed May 06, 2015 11:12 am

No no I mean physically. I think I've cracked it anyway, been playing around on my word processor and it appears to be central justified text and then you put like...a line across the page to delineate the commentary which is formatted via columns. So, yeah, not foot-notes.

I think I might try to do something for a small, easy, text. It seems fun and would definitely be a lot quicker than the academic commentaries we're taught to write. Gonna read through some Steadmans for inspiration.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Shenoute » Wed May 06, 2015 11:55 am

I just thought that if your French is good enough, maybe you'll enjoy using the following 'juxtalinéaires' (Greek text and French translation on the left page ; reorganized Greek text and word for word glossing on the right page) :

- Poetics
- Nicomachean Ethics VIII
- Nicomachean Ethics X

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Markos » Wed May 06, 2015 12:22 pm

Shenoute wrote:There is also a Greek paraphrase of the Nicomachean Ethics that might be useful.
Wow! This is a great find. Are you aware of any other Ancient Greek paraphrases of Ancient texts? Too bad the font is so hard to read. Is a better font available?
daivid wrote:
Markos wrote: and of course a Modern Greek diglot can be helpful for cruxes:

http://www.mikrosapoplous.gr/aristotle/psyxhs/1_01.html
But I don't know any modern Greek or do you have some technique that works even if you don't know modern Greek?
The short answer is, no, not really. The long answer deserves maybe another thread.

At De Anima 402b in the page I linked two, the equation σκεπτέον --> Πρέπει να εξετάσωμεν jumped out at me. More interesting than helpful, maybe. (And I could not help but think of a new phrase for the weather thread: σκεπτέα τὰ μετέωρα.)
Scribo wrote:How would one format a beginner's commentary?
The ideal format would be to have a large print Greek text. Opposite that is a super literal translation written specifically to help one unpack the Greek. Below the texts are glosses of rare words and brief grammar notes, kept separate in case one needs one and not the other.

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Shenoute » Wed May 06, 2015 1:08 pm

Markos wrote:Wow! This is a great find. Are you aware of any other Ancient Greek paraphrases of Ancient texts? Too bad the font is so hard to read. Is a better font available?
I knew you would be interested :D Here is the text published in the Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca. More paraphrases are to be found in other volumes.

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by jeidsath » Wed May 06, 2015 1:33 pm

@Markos

Look up Neophytos Doukas. He did a paraphrase of Sophocles and I don't know what else.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by daivid » Wed May 06, 2015 3:50 pm

Scribo wrote:No no I mean physically. I think I've cracked it anyway, been playing around on my word processor and it appears to be central justified text and then you put like...a line across the page to delineate the commentary which is formatted via columns. So, yeah, not foot-notes.
When you put it like that, it seems to me there are distinct advantages to footnotes because it connects the comment to the bit of Greek text you are interested in. Steadman tries to allot a fixed amount of space to Greek text and vocab+commentary and he has had problems when he has felt later that the commentary needed to be fuller. Footnotes would allow you to make your commentary as brief or extensive as you liked without having worry about it.
Scribo wrote:I think I might try to do something for a small, easy, text. It seems fun and would definitely be a lot quicker than the academic commentaries we're taught to write. Gonna read through some Steadmans for inspiration.
I would say that help in obscure datives or aorists is not nearly as useful as it used to be unless it is something unknown to Perseus. And even more so vocab lists are a lot less useful when words are so easy to look up online. What is really useful is things like why in a particular case the genitive is used. Points of syntax like pointing out cases of indirect speech and hints about how to make sense of odd (to modern readers) word order. Commentaries do sometimes tend to translate phrases rather than explain. Of course sometimes there are idioms/set phases that can't really be easily explained - in which case flagging it up as an idiom and then giving a translation would make sense.

I was going to ask if you take requests but, of course, if you are going to take the time to do it you will want to choose something that you find fun to do. Any hints as to what you might do?
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Markos » Wed May 06, 2015 7:20 pm

Shenoute wrote:
Markos wrote:Wow! This is a great find. Are you aware of any other Ancient Greek paraphrases of Ancient texts? Too bad the font is so hard to read. Is a better font available?
I knew you would be interested :D Here is the text published in the Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca. More paraphrases are to be found in other volumes.
You bet I'm interested. Thanks, that is a very readable edition.
jeidsath wrote:@Markos

Look up Neophytos Doukas. He did a paraphrase of Sophocles and I don't know what else.
Thanks, Joel. I found a very nice on-line edition of his book where he not only paraphrases several of Sophocles' play, but he also has helpful footnotes and introductions/summaries to the plays, all in Ancient Greek!

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=n ... 1up;seq=46

Somewhere it is said that his is a Modern Greek translation, but of course it is not. It is in very nice, easy simplified Attic/Koine on pages opposite the original.

Since (and really before) Bedwere found Gaza's paraphrase of the Iliad, I had assumed that there existed other (more or less Ancient) Greek paraphrases of Ancient Greek texts, but until now I had not tracked them down. χάριν οὖν ὑμῖν Μᾶρκος δίδωσι.

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Scribo » Wed May 06, 2015 11:08 pm

David: no idea. I don't want something too large (because that defeats the point) or that has been well covered at this stage before. I think for now I want to flick through these style commentaries to get a feel for them and play around with the format.

I'm thinking Aristotle on virtues and vices or the Old Oligarch or something like that. Maybe a less popular speech or something. I'm out of ideas.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Gregarius » Thu May 07, 2015 1:10 am

This http://blogs.dickinson.edu/dcc/2013/01/ ... ntary-diy/ shows how Steadman (and others) mechanically format their commentaries.

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by bedwere » Thu May 07, 2015 3:56 am

More (and some of the same) works by Neophytos Doukas:

Δούκας, Νεόφυτος

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by jeidsath » Thu May 07, 2015 5:01 am

I had no idea there was so much of his work online. I am looking at his Iliad paraphrase right now, with scholia!

I know very little about Neophytos Doukas, except that he was the person that invented the term Katharevousa.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by demetri » Thu May 07, 2015 5:02 pm

bedwere wrote:More (and some of the same) works by Neophytos Doukas:

Δούκας, Νεόφυτος
Hey, thanks for pointing out this entire site. A treasure of which I cannot believe I never knew was available.

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Ahab » Thu May 07, 2015 11:43 pm

Scribo wrote:How would one format a beginner's commentary? you have your text...do you just centre the text and then use footnotes? they normally look cleaner than that? is there some special formatting trick? I'm looking at Steadman now and its obvious he's not just using footnotes.

You could always use this editor: http://cte.oeaw.ac.at//. The Premium version is under $1,000.00. :D
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Markos » Fri May 08, 2015 2:05 am

demetri wrote:
bedwere wrote:More (and some of the same) works by Neophytos Doukas:

Δούκας, Νεόφυτος
Hey, thanks for pointing out this entire site. A treasure of which I cannot believe I never knew was available.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by daivid » Fri May 08, 2015 8:55 pm

I have just stumbled on The Greek Philosophers: Selected Greek Texts from the Presocratics, Plato and Aristotle by J. H. Lesher (Bcp Greek Texts)
About a third of the book is on Aristotle. This week I am returning to Herodotos but when I get to this book I will post a comment on how complete the commentary is.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by daivid » Mon May 11, 2015 11:58 am

Scribo wrote:David: no idea. I don't want something too large (because that defeats the point) or that has been well covered at this stage before. I think for now I want to flick through these style commentaries to get a feel for them and play around with the format.

I'm thinking Aristotle on virtues and vices or the Old Oligarch or something like that. Maybe a less popular speech or something. I'm out of ideas.
Both would be welcome. However you will find among Bryn Mawr Commentaries
Xenophon Constitution of the Athenians by Mark Joyal For Aristotle, however, I have yet to find a single intermediate commentary devoted to one of his works so that would be a very glaring gap you would be filling.

Many intermediate commentaries take a single book from a larger work so don't write off larger works for that reason alone.
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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by Markos » Mon May 11, 2015 3:28 pm

jeidsath wrote:I had no idea there was so much of [Doukas'] work online. I am looking at his Iliad paraphrase right now, with scholia!

I know very little about Neophytos Doukas, except that he was the person that invented the term Katharevousa.
I just posted on his Iliad paraphrase.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=59559&p=172607#p172607

The Greek of his paraphrases and footnotes does not strike me as Katharousa but as legitimately Ancient.

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Re: intermediate commentary on a work of Aristotle

Post by daivid » Tue May 26, 2015 11:28 am

daivid wrote:I have just stumbled on The Greek Philosophers: Selected Greek Texts from the Presocratics, Plato and Aristotle by J. H. Lesher (Bcp Greek Texts)
About a third of the book is on Aristotle. This week I am returning to Herodotos but when I get to this book I will post a comment on how complete the commentary is.
Having now sampled it, I would now recommend this highly. The commentary is considerably longer than the Greek . Not all of that commentary is grammatical support but the comments on Aristotle's philosophy I found helpful. (Historical commentary when I am reading Xenophon and Herodotus is for me a distraction when I am still struggling to understand what the writer says.) Even when you deduct the space devoted to philosophical commentary the space devoted to grammatical support still is greater than the Greek text.

But it's needed.

Even with the commentary I find it very hard going. I do wonder if there are easier parts of Aristotle that Lesher could have chosen. For his extract from the Parts of Animals he has chosen Aristotle's defense of the study of animals rather than a more concrete description. Anything abstract, for me at least, is much much harder than something concrete.
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