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.


Business name ideas: How to use Greek to build the image of your company

 
Saturday, July 5, 2008, 21:03 - Ancient Greek Language, Books, dictionaries and texts
Posted by Administrator
As promised, I return to the issue of finding creative and appealing names for modern businesses. Although the economy is going through one of its less stellar moments this may be the right time for people to try new venues and there is no reason to suggest that the number of start-ups has not been on the rise.

Quite reminiscent of the use of the Latin language for naming a business or a product line, Ancient Greek helps create a strong, established image, while adding some sense of sophistication. As with Latin, the simplest way to incorporate Greek is to use a name of a god, a goddess or a well-known historic personality. Here is a brief list of some Greek deities:

Zeus - King of Gods
Apollo - God of Light
Hermes - Messenger of the Gods, god of commerce
Poseidon - God of the Sea
Ares - God of War
Hephasstus - God of Fire
Dionysus - God of Wine
Eros - God of Love
Athena Goddess of Wisdom
Artemis - Goddess of the Hunt
Aphrodite - Goddess of Love/Beauty
Hera - Queen of the Gods
Demeter - Goddess of Grain/Crops

Most of these names are most likely in use. However, you can still come up with something creative and appropriate. How about Artemis as a name for a company that provides hunting and outdoors equipment tailored to the needs of women?

There are more options that one can come up with using the names of Greek heros. In Greek mythology, a hero is someone born from the union of a deity and a human.

Heracles - Mightiest of all mortals; son of Zeus; eventually was granted immortality
Oedipus - solved riddle of the Sphynx
Perseus - Son of Zeus; slayer of Medusa
Jason - Led Argonauts to search for Golden Fleece
Theseus - King of Athens; slayer of Minotaur
Atalanta - Fastest mortal, hunter of the Caladonian boar
Bellerphon Mortal who rode Pegasus
Atlas - Giant who supported earth on his shoulders
Orpheus - Greatest musician married to Eurydice
Titans - Giants who ruled before the Olympic gods
Midas - Richest human; everything he touched turned to gold
Persephone - Daughter of Demeter; goddess of spring


See also:
Greek Gods and Goddesses

One would easily recognize some names used by very successful companies. Midas, of course, is very notable, even though the mythological reference is somewhat ambivalent, because the richness of Midas was connected with his curse.
The resources for somewhat merely willing to do some research in Greek mythology are very vast. If you want to be absolutely sure that your use of a particular name for your new business is correct and appropriate the most definitive source is undoubtedly the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

You would have a much more difficult time relying on Internet resources if you want to explore the Ancient Greek vocabulary in order to find some perfect sounding names for your business. Your best bet is to use the newly published and very affordable Pocket Oxford Classical Greek Dictionary This dictionary, unlike most Ancient Greek dictionaries out there, has a concise and authoritative English-Greek part, along with a pronunciation guide. You can easily look up meanings, pronounce them and determine whether you want to use them in your business' name.

Here are some examples of the words that can be well suited to be used as a company name (even in a modified form if you wish) or a name of a product:

Chreis - need, use
Tachus - fast
Hercos - fence
Kainos - new
Aletheia - truth
Scaphe - tub
Phoros - tax
Trophos - nurse
Stoa - porch
Telos - result
Dynamis - strength

If you efforts prove unsuccessful you can always resort to the help of a company that specialized in naming businesses. You can still tell them that you would like to find something with Greek roots and connotations, if you wish!

See also:
Business name ideas
Restaurant name ideas

List of Audio and video resources for learning New Testament Greek

 
Friday, April 11, 2008, 19:22 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Ancient Greek Language
Posted by Administrator
To my surprise, there is a plethora of free audio-visual resources available to anyone interested in learning New Testament Greek ("koine").

1. Elementary Greek with Dr. James Voelz. Audio recordings of classes at Concordia Seminary.
Go to iTunes and type Elementary Greek in the search box. Can be easily downloaded.

2. New Testament Greek with Jeff Jenkins. Videos of 'regular' classes.

3. Learning to use the Greek New Testament.
Nicely produced videos. These QuickTime files can be very conveniently downloaded.

4. Mastering New Testament eSources
Audio only, but very useful. Ted Hildebrandt has his Vocabulary Builder mp3s available online. I don't know how this compares to Pimsleur's New Testament Greek Vocabulary, but being free it cannot be that bad!

5. Readings of the Bible in Greek, Hebrew and Latin.
I find the Latin pronounciation a little bit unusual, but that unfortunately is true for just about any pronunciation you'll hear from anyone.

Latin and Greek Courses by Assimil (the "sans peine" series) -- a review

 
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 16:37 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Ancient Greek Language, Learn Latin Language, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
Got a chance to have a look at these:

Assimil - Le Latin Sans Peine
Assimil - Le Grec Ancien Sans Peine

One needs to realize that the Greek and Latin courses are strikingly different. I believe, the Latin one is older. It resembles other Assimil courses designed for modern languages. Le Latin Sans Peine operates under a whimsical assumption that a somewhere a country exists where one frequently hears conversations such as this:

- Quanti costat locusta?
- Decem francis!
- Nimio constat.

If you happen to concur with the writers of this textbook, and also happen to know where knowledge of this kind of Latin might serve you well, good luck and bon voyage. Even as the course progresses you do not see much in terms of real Classical Latin that you perhaps wish to read one day. This is the same problem that exists the Rosetta Stone Latin course exhibits. At least in Assimil there is enough wit and solid grammar.

The Greek Assimil course is more in tune with the needs of Classical education. The audio tracks sound almost eerily authentic. I am no expert, but it sure seems that if you want to learn Attic pronunciation this is one of the best ways to do it.

As far as I know, these two courses are not available in English. It would be great to see them translated, especially the Greek one. And even if you don't know French, but are serious about learning Ancient Greek listening to the audio tracks would probably be most beneficial.

See also: Rosetta Stone review

Cicero and the etymology of 'syllabus'

 

Shortly after returning from exile in 58, Cicero sent a brief note to Atticus with the sole purpose of requesting his friend’s assistance in arranging his library. This letter (Att. 4.4), and a few others that followed it, became a source of some conjectures about the specifics of bookmaking in classical Rome and Greece, as well as the pertaining terminology. It is difficult to imagine a monograph or even an article on ancient libraries that omits this episode – quite rightly so, but nevertheless there are some elements of contemporaneous cultural context that should be considered in this connection.

The wording of Cicero’s request addressed to Atticus bears very strong references to the social order of the time. It may be noted how Marcus Tullius distances himself from the actual task of renovating his personal library. It was Tyrannio, a freedman, who was responsible for the arranging (dissignatio) of the surviving volumes (Cicero does not give us an impression of his own involvement in this process). Librariolus¸ the general term, used by Cicero for those employed by Atticus in his book publishing business, is a characteristically diminutive form of librarius, suitable for a slave and reminiscent of the contemptuous Graeculus. Atticus’ slaves are expected to perform their job under Tyrannio’s supervision, and Cicero once again does not imply his own possible involvement or his guiding role. This detachment, cultural reasons for which had been suggested above, may very well resonate in the final part of Cicero’s request: iisque imperes ut sumant membranulam ex qua indices fiant, quos vos Graeci, ut opinor, sittÚbaj appellatis. Through this circuitous tone Cicero either wants to create an impression that for him the knowledge of specific terminology is duly and understandably superfluous or he indeed has some doubts as to how one calls the little slips of parchment that were at times attached to papyrus rolls. Either way, Cicero is not worried about using a wrong Greek word, considering that he hardly lacked a specialist with whom he might have consulted (Tyrannio, for instance, certainly would have been of assistance). A Roman aristocrat simply could afford not to care much about the terminology of any given craft. It is ironic, that Cicero’s letters became the primary evidence for this particular Greek term, shrouded in orthographic uncertainty (s…lluboj or sittÚbai?).[1] Although a mere scribal error is likely responsible for the confusion, the varying spellings in Att. 4.4a , 4.5.3 and 4.8.2 may in fact ascend to Cicero’s manuscripts, with Cicero’s carelessness being the reason. The disregard for the social context may have contributed to the subsequent coining of the term syllabus in humanist Latin and some modern European languages. Cicero, a figure of great literary authority, was presumed to be a trustworthy witness for the Greek word not attested in other classical writers (at least not in the form found in the Medicean manuscript, which in 1470 was used for the editio prima). The word was suitably reinterpreted to denote any kind of a concise summary or list of subdivisions in a text. In the atmosphere of enthusiasm for the recent advances in book production, it only seemed proper that an author would be well versed in the terminology of the trade that made distribution of his works possible.



[1] H.G. Liddell and R. Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon (rev. H.S. Jones and R. McKenzie, rev. supp. by P.G.W. Glare), (Oxford, 1996), 1599.



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