Greek language

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.

Her-story strikes back

Monday, September 22, 2014, 22:47 - Ancient Greek Language, Etymology and word roots
Posted by Administrator
There is a well-known and obviously playful etymological explanation of the word "history" -- "his story," naturally opposed by the seemingly underrepresented "her story." I am completely disinterested in tracing the origins of this smashingly clever jab at traditional historiography. However, there seems to be a more amusing correlation that occurs in the language from which the term 'history' actually comes from, Greek. The roots of ἱστορία (historia) and ὑστέρα (hystera) are very close. (Different systems of reading Ancient Greek words result in slight variations in pronunciation, but the similarity is undeniable.) Now, what does 'hystera' mean? You may recognize the root 'hystera' in words such as 'hysteria' and 'hysterical'. This term is, however, a much later development and will not be discussed here. In Ancient Greek, the word ὑστέρα ('hystera') meant 'womb'. The "his story/her story" opposition is strangely mocked by this proximity of "woman" and "history" in the very language in which historic works first appeared (or so we were taught). The point of this exercise is simple. False etymologies, puns and clever word-plays are not a good source of objective knowledge. At best, they may be used as mnemonic devices.

Liberation Philology Apps for Latin and Greek

Saturday, July 14, 2012, 18:26 - Ancient Greek Language, Latin Language
Posted by Administrator

Greek and Latin apps for iOS are often somewhat disappointing. "Liberation Philology" apps don't promise much, but they certainly deliver. They actually make several apps for a number of languages, all based on the same engine. Even Old Norse can now be studied on an iPad. For our purposes, Latin and Greek are sufficient. The design of the apps is very simple. You can choose to study Vocabulary, Nouns or Verbs. There are also paradigms that you can review. The app has a nice flow to it (I tested the Greek version). You don't have to make too many selections while using it. I did not see any errors, although at first I missed the fact that there are two types of questions for verb parsing. Sometimes you have to identify a form and sometimes you are asked to pick the form that corresponds to a specific morphological description.

Liberation philology apps easily get lost when you simply search the AppStore for Latin or Greek. So, if this is something that you might be interested in, check them out. They are not free, but still not expensive ($2.99).

The Iliad - an autographed copy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011, 00:51 - Ancient Greek Language, Jokes and anecdotes
Posted by Administrator

That's right, an autographed copy of "The Iliad"! Found at the local bookstore. One might suspect that it is a fake, because Homer was reputedly blind.

To make it perfectly clear, I understand that any translator is entitled to autographing copies of his work. But am I not equally entitled to a little chuckle?

See also:
Of arms and the man I sing - a trifle of numerology

NT Greek vocabulary for iPhone or iPod Touch

Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 01:49 - Ancient Greek Language, Software
Posted by Administrator

QuickMem is one of the oldest pieces of software for learning New Testament Greek. It has always been free, and now it is available on iPhone. Don't miss it! I have seen at least one other program that claims to do the same, but it's not free and it looks like it covers a smaller subset of Greek words. Of course, you can download a plain Windows, Mac or Linux version of QuickMem from the same page!


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