Reading Thucydides 2014

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Baker
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Baker » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:07 am

C.S. wrote:But how are we going to discuss this for mutual benefit if no one is "on the same page"?
I am willing to skip ahead for discussion, but there hasn't been much in the way of questions so far.
This is precisely why I suggested we give weekly updates so that those ahead could slow down a bit and chew on the finer points of the previous week's reading. However, it occurs to me now that, as an alternative, we could just put our current position in our signature each time we post so that readjustment of other members can be more immediate. What do you all think? I will put my position just in case this suits others.

I think it is important that we stay together for the sake of discussion, otherwise we will lose the beauty of having this be a group activity.


Cheers,
Eliot
1.10.2

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pster
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by pster » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:03 am

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:
I have managed to keep up with one page per day.
But how are we going to discuss this for mutual benefit if no one is "on the same page"?
I am willing to skip ahead for discussion, but there hasn't been much in the way of questions so far.
Well, having taught many a university course, I can attest to the fact that the students are never all on the same page. I guarantee you there are students at top universities right this very minute who are way way behind on their Thucydides reading. Certainly much many more than 6 pages, which is the maxium that one can be behind at this moment! People have other commitments. And the text is long. And there are tortises and hares and all that. For my part, I read about three pages, then decided to order Book I with commentary and notes because I don't like sitting in front of the computer to use the commentaries, and for Plato and Demosthenes, rightly or wrongly, I liked the convenience of having a lot of the vocabulary in the same text. I looked up so many words in dictionaries last year, I felt like I was on an assembly line. So I am waiting for that book to arrive--hoped it would be here by now. In the meantime, I have been doing a lot of Greek, just not Th. Also, I expect to go much slower in the beginning, but then to speed up gradually, something I should have thought about at the outset. But I am super commited to this for the long long haul. We'll see who makes it to the end! :D

I like Eliot's idea of putting our location in the text up, but I am happy to talk about a passage from Book 8. As far as grammar goes, I don't see how much it matters where we are. I do think we should all try to keep up with the thread also.

But I think it is great how many people have joined and I think this will be a great great thread. Welcome Dracodon! We have probably reached critical mass. If you have 2 people, you have 1 interaction, 3 people, 3 interactions, 4 people, 6 interactions, 5 people, 10 interactions, 6 people, 15 interactions! We seem to have at least 5, so that's a lot of interactions. (And if you also count three, four and five way interactions, there are 36 possible interactions!) At the current rate, the thread will grow to 700 pages and have 25000 posts.

C S Bartholomew, feel free to organize whatever discussions you want. I have been kicking around ideas for secondary literature. In that case, we can "require" folks to have done the reading by a certain date. Perhaps after we finish Book I, we can read some articles, and we can have presenters give short prepared remarks, then answer questions, say on Thursday nights.

How do folks see the balance between grammar, history, and political theory/philosophy in the thread?

Baker
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Baker » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:41 am

pster wrote:...but I am happy to talk about a passage from Book 8. As far as grammar goes, I don't see how much it matters where we are. I do think we should all try to keep up with the thread also.
I agree with all of this and am equally thrilled that more folks have joined in.

I think it might be nice for many of us to use the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics edition of Book II when we get there. Having used the series in the past (Plato, Herodotus), I can attest that it is a very professionally made series and I, for one, found it outstandingly helpful; it is aimed at helping students to learn to read the particular author and generally excels at doing so. I would be surprised if the Thucydides were any different.

As a side note, what have you taught at university, pster?

Cheers,
Eliot

Baker
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Baker » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:02 am

I was just looking at the Hornblower Commentary on Amazon and wondering if we could really find a better companion. If only it weren't $200 to obtain all three volumes. While fretting about the price, I was able to find some humor. Amazon lists the number of pages for the three volume set as 56053! If you purchase each volume separately, you get about 2200 pages total. What a steal! How sublime and fulfilling it would be to read those "extra" 54000 pages. :lol:

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Scribo » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:17 am

The Hornblower commentary is, frankly, amazing and was a great help during my having to study the Pelop. War. but if you're not studying the text for a specific reason it can be avoided, as the price may suggest.

There are some Green and Yellows which are good as is the "grammatical commentary"
(Occasionally) Working on the following tutorials:

(P)Aristotle, Theophrastus and Peripatetic Greek
Intro Greek Poetry
Latin Historical Prose

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pster
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by pster » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:47 pm

Got my Cameron, Student's Grammatical Commentary. I was miffed though as I thought it contained the text to Bk. I. But it looks pretty good. He has lots and lots of Smyth numbers and thinks Smyth is great for Th. Maybe I'll buy a BCP tonight because I still want one self-contained volume; I guess it is just a dressed up Marchant.

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:49 am

Pster wrote:
I was miffed though as I thought it contained the text to Bk. I. But it looks pretty good. He has lots and lots of Smyth numbers and thinks Smyth is great for Th. Maybe I'll buy a BCP tonight because I still want one self-contained volume;
I hear you. I like the old NT commentaries with the greek at the top of the page and notes in a double column at the bottom. Not having the greek text on the page is a major drawback.

C. Stirling Bartholomew
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Dracodon
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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Dracodon » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:23 pm

Cyrus Gordon says that if you take the trouble to understand and memorise the grammar and vocabulary in the first twenty pages of a book in another language, then you will be able to read the rest of the book with scarcely any need of a dictionary.

So I am thinking that towards the end of January I will go back and review the first twenty or so pages - and make sure I have committed to memory all the grammar and words new to me.

Thanks Pster for starting up this reading group. I bought the OCT Thucydides in a second-hand book shop some time ago but kept getting sidetracked by Homer and Aristophanes. This thread provided the little push I needed to get me started on the Histories.

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by pster » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:26 pm

Dracodon wrote:Cyrus Gordon says that if you take the trouble to understand and memorise the grammar and vocabulary in the first twenty pages of a book in another language, then you will be able to read the rest of the book with scarcely any need of a dictionary.

So I am thinking that towards the end of January I will go back and review the first twenty or so pages - and make sure I have committed to memory all the grammar and words new to me.
It is funny you should mention this, because I was thinking basically the same thing this last week. I was struggling with another text in another language, but finally got some old verb and old pronoun forms straight, and now everything is moving forward at a decent and ever increasing pace.

And I started Thucydides in earnest and I have been studying some of the quintessentially Thucydidean devices, such as the substantive neuter participle and prolepsis, in hope that there will be a good return later on the time invested now. So basically, I am taking the first 20 pages--broadly understood--very slowly to make sure that I understand everything. I'll post some questions and comments soon.

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Re: Thinking about Thucydides 2012

Post by Bob Manske » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:22 am

In 1.23.3 he says that eclipses happened more frequently during the Peloponnesian War. I don't know about that. Here's a list of all eclipses visible in Greece during the period. Dates are astronomical, so for BCE subtract one more. In other words -0477 = 478 BCE.

Annular eclipses would not have been particularly noticeable unless you were really looking for them or you were in the eclipse path. Even then, the sky gets a little darker and the temperature falls a few degrees but that's it. And it's over fairly quickly. Only the ones in -0487 and -0477 would have been really apparent in Greece and those precede the period we're interested in. Although both might have been connected with the Persian attacks on Greece a few years earlier. Yet they were annular.

The total eclipse which passed through Greece in -0401 would have been spectacular. But after the war.

Here's the list:

Annular -0487 Sep 01 Thessalia, northern Anatolia
Perhaps noticeable in Athens

Annualar -0477 Feb 17 Pelopenessos, Attika, Dardanelles, Crimea,
Noticeable, but not work stopping

Total -0462 Apr 30 Tarantum, Albania, Makedonia, northern Anatolia
Perhaps noticeable, but before the war.

Annular -0430 08 03 through Romania, central Anatolia, into northern Iraq, may have been visible to interested parties in Greece, but not at all very darkening.

Annular in -0403 Sep 03, northern Romania, Crimea, Casipan Sea, same as above

Total eclipse -0401 Jan 18, Rome, Tarantum, Peloponnesos, Attika, Rhodos, south of Cyprus, Lebanon, Babylon.
Spectacularly visible. And definitely a work stopper. But after the war.

This is not to my mind an outrageous, or possibly even noticeable, increase in eclipse frequency. But of interest may be the two annulars which bracket the war. I don't know.

For reference: Those of you in the U.S. may remember the annular eclipse of +1994 May 10. It went through southern NM, the TX panhandle, up into central Illinois, over Lake Erie, the Adirondaks, and out through Northern New England and Nova Scotia. Or maybe, even if you were old enough, you don't remember it. That's the kind of impression most annulars give. I remember it only because I took my dog and telescope and camera to Champaign Illinois to observe it. It was fun but the dog was unimpressed. Didn't even give a poop. It was not particularly noticeable from Madison, only a couple of hundred miles north.

There's a total eclipse passing through Cairo Illinois on +2017 Aug 21. I'm waiting on that one.

In another thread someone was mentioning an eclipse for +2012 May 20. Not far off. The California/Oregon boundary to Lubbock Texas. It will be - annular. Interestingly, it's in the same Saros cycle as the one in +1994.


Source: Fred Espenak's atlas of solar eclipse paths, NASA.

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