Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.
Post Reply
Karagialis
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:55 pm

Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Karagialis » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:18 pm

Hello,

I'm trying to find Greek texts with macrons on them - from classical authors, verse or prose.

Actually I'm frustrated to see that macrons are omitted even in poems. I'm not sure if they are so unimportant...

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by jeidsath » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:21 pm

The grammars tend to have them, but nothing else that I've found. I made my own version of Homer with them marked (along with correption, etc.) though I still need to revise it.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

User avatar
bedwere
Global Moderator
Posts: 3854
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:23 pm
Location: Didacopoli in California
Contact:

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by bedwere » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:29 pm

I think that even today there aren't texts with macrons availabe because Unicode doesn't have macron + accent and/or breathing characters and you need to stack them manually.

https://jktauber.com/2016/01/28/polyton ... t-perfect/

In my edition of the Vestibulum I did that within LaTeX, but it was a painstaking job.

Callisper
Textkit Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Callisper » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:00 pm

bedwere wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:29 pm
I think that even today there aren't texts with macrons availabe because Unicode doesn't have macron + accent and/or breathing characters and you need to stack them manually.

https://jktauber.com/2016/01/28/polyton ... t-perfect/

In my edition of the Vestibulum I did that within LaTeX, but it was a painstaking job.
Doesn't that page link to an update where the writer says this has been resolved?

User avatar
bedwere
Global Moderator
Posts: 3854
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:23 pm
Location: Didacopoli in California
Contact:

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by bedwere » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:16 pm

Callisper wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:00 pm


Doesn't that page link to an update where the writer says this has been resolved?
Yes, "resolved" by stacking. In LaTeX I do \stackon[2.4pt]{\={υ}}{῾}μᾶς·} to write ὑμᾶς with the macron over the υ and the breathing on top. It looks OK. However, if you copy and paste the final pdf into a text editor, you'll be disappointed.

Karagialis
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:55 pm

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Karagialis » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:58 pm

Then who did put the macrons in the first place? In what original editions or manuscripts we see them? How do we know that there are long vowels in some words?

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by jeidsath » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:02 pm

We can tell Greek vowel length from a few things: poetry (primarily), accent, graphical evidence (like ει/ι instability in papyri), a/η development, cognate forms and etymology, and the ancient grammarians (especially Herodian). That's likely an incomplete list.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

Karagialis
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:55 pm

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Karagialis » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:38 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:02 pm
We can tell Greek vowel length from a few things: poetry (primarily), accent, graphical evidence (like ει/ι instability in papyri), a/η development, cognate forms and etymology, and the ancient grammarians (especially Herodian). That's likely an incomplete list.
Yes, we probably have many sources to confirm our reconstructions.

But when is the first time someone published a Greek text with macrons? Without seeming weird?

Finally, I'd like to read texts with them, but I can't find them. There should've been classical texts with macrons somewhere...

Callisper
Textkit Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Callisper » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:37 pm

Karagialis wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:38 pm
Yes, we probably have many sources to confirm our reconstructions.

But when is the first time someone published a Greek text with macrons? Without seeming weird?

Finally, I'd like to read texts with them, but I can't find them. There should've been classical texts with macrons somewhere...
You sound like you think putting macrons on the text is/was an academic game and we're just 'guessing' at them. This is true plenty of the time - etymological grounds are just guess-timation, really, and there's much in the methodology of historical linguistics that is painfully open for criticism or susceptible to attack - but most of the time it is not. Joel's first two mentions, poetry and accentuation, constitute iron-clad laws that enable us to be totally certain of vowel length in many cases (that is, a reproducible practice of the ancients in thousands of cases with not a single counter-example may be taken as proof). And he missed one that is even bigger - η vs ε, ο vs ω.

There are accents and quantities which are more securely known and more immutable (by far) than the morphologies, or at least phonologies, of some words; but few would call into question printing such words according to the common spelling (adjusted for author, dialect, etc.). So even if ancients didn't write them, they are philologically important and useful info to include in our editions.

Editors of professional texts do not generally print macrons for Latin either. Why there is a complete dearth of texts, even for pedagogical purposes, that do it for Greek probably has something to do with what bedwere mentioned, and moreover the general way that Greek pedagogy lags behind Latin in these respects. It's a recent phenomenon in Latin, isn't it?

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by jeidsath » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:05 pm

Callisper wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:37 pm
Editors of professional texts do not generally print macrons for Latin either. Why there is a complete dearth of texts, even for pedagogical purposes, that do it for Greek probably has something to do with what bedwere mentioned, and moreover the general way that Greek pedagogy lags behind Latin in these respects. It's a recent phenomenon in Latin, isn't it?
Not according to Vox Latina, chapter 3. Allen claims that there were several attempts by the ancients to indicate Latin vowel length, beginning with Accius, who wrote long vowels double. At other times ī was written by extending its height above the rest of the line. And there was also the apex mark.

In Vox Graeca, he mentions that the Alexandrian grammarians actually invented ¯ and ˘, which appear on some papyri, though this sees much less use than the Latin marks.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com


smitterle
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:46 am

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by smitterle » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:26 pm

Wow, didn't know about apices. Thanks for sharing.

In ancient Greek really only alpha iota and upsilon can sometimes bring confusion having the accents and sometimes metrics as mentioned earlier. But in Latin they're really helpful.

User avatar
bedwere
Global Moderator
Posts: 3854
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:23 pm
Location: Didacopoli in California
Contact:

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by bedwere » Sat May 04, 2019 12:07 am

It occurred to me that, while we wait for a better solution, we can place the macron underneath the letter when needed:

μεῖς

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3303
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by mwh » Sat May 04, 2019 1:48 am

Duplicate deleted.
Last edited by mwh on Sat May 04, 2019 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3303
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by mwh » Sat May 04, 2019 1:56 am

Eta and o-mega were latecomers into the Greek alphabet; in early days all five vowels went without long/short differentiation in writing, and separate letters were never invented for long alpha iota upsilon.

Readers normally had no need of makron marking, any more than we feel the need to mark long vowels in our own language, and in both Greek and Latin it was regarded as just silly (ineptissimum) to mark all long vowels. In difficult Greek lyric texts (Alcman, for instance) longs and short vowels were often marked (by means of the conventional supralinear symbols), but the signs were always applied with discrimination, added only where needed, as also with breathings and other diacritics. It’s always the individual vowel that’s marked (this has led to confusion in the case of diphthongs such as -αι, where a makron indicates the quantity of the alpha, distinguishing dat.sing. from nom.pl.), never the syllable.

In Latin, by contrast, early inscriptions may double long vowels, and the apex came into use in some manuscripts and inscriptions. (The video bedwere links to exaggerates normal practice.) And unlike Greek there was no alphabetical distinction between vocalic and consonantal v (u). It’s purely a matter of graphic convention.

The quantity of “hidden” vowels is known (or securely inferred) in most cases, but not in all. They’re the ones I wish were marked.

For those who want the long vowels marked bedwere’s practical suggestion will work for Latin just as well as for Greek (unhistorical though it is), and of course there’s more need in Latin, with only one e and o in the alphabet. But surely it’s best to learn the vowel quantities along with the words. Reading verse is a great help too.

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by jeidsath » Sat May 04, 2019 2:16 am

It’s hard to learn the vowel quantities along with words that you are learning from context, unless they are marked. And if you spend a lot of time reading prose before you start poetry, you will likely have internalized a lot of bad quantities.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Sat May 04, 2019 10:59 am

jeidsath wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 2:16 am
It’s hard to learn the vowel quantities along with words that you are learning from context, unless they are marked. And if you spend a lot of time reading prose before you start poetry, you will likely have internalized a lot of bad quantities.
Having teachers using correct pronunciation goes a long way toward solving this problem. What is the self-learner to do? Using a text which marks the vowels and memorizing the macrons as part of the spelling helps a great deal, and for the student in the more traditional classroom setting as well. Some years ago, at a different school, the son of one of my colleagues was taking Latin. We had gotten to Vergil, which means time for the talk --on dactylic hexameter (including caesura). She overheard some of this, and then said to me "I never understood why you insisted on them learning the long marks -- now I know."

Plenty of online resources so that students can hear good pronunciation as well these days.

MWH, do you have a citation for the claim that the ancients thought marking all vowel quantities as ineptissimum? Not that I doubt you, but I'm especially fond of when ancient writers talk about their own language.

*edit: I realize this thread was about Greek. To keep it that way, I remember my beginning textbook, Crosby & Schaeffer, marking α's, ι's and υ's as long. Not sure about any other textbook, except Athenaze, which I don't remember doing so. For those of you who have learned Greek before Latin and gone on to read some poetry, was it really crucial?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Callisper
Textkit Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:21 pm

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Callisper » Wed May 08, 2019 10:24 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 2:16 am
And if you spend a lot of time reading prose before you start poetry, you will likely have internalized a lot of bad quantities.
How so? Obviously you won't have learnt correct quantities but why should you have learnt wrong ones?

I read a fair amount of prose before starting poetry in both languages, but I'm not aware my mind was anything other than a tabula rasa for vowel lengths when I began verse at last.

(mwh's suggestion of learning vowel lengths when you learn the word is based on sound principle but of course hard to motivate when one is only reading prose.)
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:59 am
Having teachers using correct pronunciation goes a long way toward solving this problem.
Do you ditch accentuation so you can effect vowel length properly? Or can you / do you aim to pronounce Greek with both accents and vowel lengths conserved?

Personally I am glad my first teachers emphasized accentuation rather than vowel length.

That said, in this day and age there are also teachers who produce neither in their pronunciations.

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Wed May 08, 2019 11:46 pm

Callisper wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 10:24 pm
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:59 am
Having teachers using correct pronunciation goes a long way toward solving this problem.
Do you ditch accentuation so you can effect vowel length properly? Or can you / do you aim to pronounce Greek with both accents and vowel lengths conserved?

Personally I am glad my first teachers emphasized accentuation rather than vowel length.

That said, in this day and age there are also teachers who produce neither in their pronunciations.
That's an excellent question. I have never taught Greek poetry (well, a little bit of Homer a few years ago for one academic quarter but that hardly counts), just Latin, and the focus is on getting students to recognize the nuts and bolts basics of hexameter. I try to sensitize them to both elements, but find it difficult to capture both in reading, since essentially my teachers taught me to read using stress accent for heavy syllables. Of course, in reading prose, I try to use both correct vowel length and proper stress accent, so the students have that foundation before broaching poetry. This is something that is still ongoing learning experience for me. The best I can do right now is make students aware of both. This is where I'd like to go back to school for a while with someone who can really do it well.

I seem to recall an anecdote in which Vergil was one of the few people around who could read Latin poetry not only metrically but also so that it sounded like natural Latin, and I suspect that meant he was able to combine the various elements effectively. But as has been pointed out elsewhere, Latin poetry is much more artificial in its poetry than Greek, so maybe it was less of a problem in Greek.

Suggestions are welcome!
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by jeidsath » Thu May 09, 2019 12:06 am

Callisper wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 10:24 pm
How so? Obviously you won't have learnt correct quantities but why should you have learnt wrong ones?
Why? I would think it's obvious. But before speaking of reasons, if you'd like to see the effect for yourself, go ask someone who has studied Greek (or Latin) this way to read a line of prose aloud. You'll find that they make nearly all the vowels short except for the accented ones, which they'll invariably lengthen. And then when they read poetry, you get to hear them forcing the meter onto words, like song, rather that letting it come out of the syllables, like poetry.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu May 09, 2019 1:48 am

jeidsath wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:06 am
Callisper wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 10:24 pm
How so? Obviously you won't have learnt correct quantities but why should you have learnt wrong ones?
Why? I would think it's obvious. But before speaking of reasons, if you'd like to see the effect for yourself, go ask someone who has studied Greek (or Latin) this way to read a line of prose aloud. You'll find that they make nearly all the vowels short except for the accented ones, which they'll invariably lengthen. And then when they read poetry, you get to hear them forcing the meter onto words, like song, rather that letting it come out of the syllables, like poetry.
This, of course, has a great deal to do with the way English works. It can be overcome, but takes a bit of effort.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3263
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: Classical Greek texts with macrons?

Post by jeidsath » Thu May 09, 2019 2:06 am

I've heard the same from a diverse group. Nothing English-specific about it. The only way to learn the vowel quantities of a language is to actually learn the vowel quantities. If you spend a long time with a language without doing this, you won't get them right. There is nothing surprising about that.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

Post Reply