Saturday, 16 June 2018


#Markchapter14verse7 #dunasthe  #wordstudy #koinegreek

Mark Chapter 14 Verse 7 is definiteky one of those verses where a knowledge of Greek helps.

Pantote gar tous ptookhous ekhete meth' heautoon 
kai hotan theleete dunasthe autois eu poieesai, 
eme de ou pantote ekhete

I want to draw your attention to the words hotan theleete dunasthe !

whenever you will / wish want to note the SUBJUNCTIVE PRESENT
then the Middle of dunamai ... most translations use can or may but this is a  bit weak 

dunamai I am able I have the power to do something 

whenever you are willing to 
you have the power or possiblity to do good 

some of us have the desire and not the power or vice versa
ideally we would have both ?

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

A Hellenistic Greek Tomb Painting

#hellenisticGreek #tomb #painting

I wanted to show you these before but had trouble finding open source images due to some tagging and metadata that could have been more detailed ...

Here is an example of what those pigments I've been describing looked like !
This is from the #AgiosAthanasios tomb probably that of a Macedonian general as armour was found and looted from it. Fortunately the looters didn't get to the walls.

Its not all "garish colors" While there  are strong vivid blues and reds these contrast with tonal areas leading one's eyes across the work though the case may simply be some of the colors have faded ? 

Enjoy and scroll back to read the rest of the series !

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Homer Koine Greek and the Verb Greegoreoo

This post is as much a #wordstudy as #biblestudy discussing how a verb used by #Homer was transformed in #KoineGreek usage.

Mark 13 32-37 features the verb Greegoreoo three times first as a Present Subjunctive and then twice as a Present Imperative with a meaning of WATCH BE ALERT AWARE AWAKE

I was looking at related forms to study its meaning and discovered its related to egeiroo and here's the odd thing. The #Koine form that split off from Egeiroo derives from Homeric Perfect usages.

Somehow over the centuries the Perfect / Pluperfect used as Present  Egreegora  e+gree+gor+a got regularized and standardized to follow the -O pattern for the present.

Some users maybe hearing Homeric forms like Egreegoraww seem to have thought Egreegora was perhaps an Aorist and dropped the E.

That these forms appear in Koine perhaps also shows that people was listening to Homeric recitations or reading Homer without an adequate commentary or a teacher to guide them?

It is also an example of the disappearance of perfect forms discussed in Browning's Medieval and Modern Greek.

So why did Mark choose to use this word ? And where did he hear or learn it used in the Koine form rather than using Egeiroo?

Frankly I can't do more than speculate but I suspect he choose it for impact ?

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Garish Colors - Orpiment Yellow

The major source for bright yellow in ancient Greek and Roman painting was #Orpiment another sulphate mineral ore pigment

This is how experts think it looked painted onto statues.

and here is a fresco example from Pompeii 

Sunday, 3 June 2018

with your whole mind

#greeknewtestament #biblestudy
Mark 12:29-30

"and you will love the the lord god  of you from whole of the heart
and from whole of the soul of you

and from the whole of the mind of you 

yes the greek is ex holees and genitive 

Points of interest in the parallel Two Commandments verse

see Luke 10:27 and Matthew 22:37

ONE Matthew and Luke use Dative plus EN  with in equalling with cos of dative of agent
however the basic idea is the same you use the whole of your self to love
heart soul mind strength
and note its holos not pas used here

TWO with your mind is NOT in the verse from Leviticus 19:18 being quoted
Jesus adds you must use your capacity for dianoia - thought

Also note Jesus approval of the scribe's answer in 33
and with all the understanding in the RSV translation
the greek there is suneseoos from sunesis

We're being asked to understand and think about our relationship with the Divine.

To love but love with our entire mind but not simply focused and thinking and understanding or trying to WHY WE LOVE

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Garish Colors - Lapis Lazuli Blue

#lapislazuli #blue #pigment #ancientpainting.

The strongest pigment in the ancient palette was probably lapislazuli or ultramarine blue.
It was also the most expensive having to be imported from what is now Afghanistan.

Blue could also be obtained from smalt ot azurite but the peculiar porous structure of this mineral makes it work better as a pigment than as a gemstone.

So if you're thinking bright blue appeared on buildings and artworks.

Probably not unless blended with other pigments to make it go further.

The unprocessed mineral form.

Due to it being so expensive I have not have found any pre byzantine mosaics or frescos or encaustic painting  that seem to be using blue that clearly derives from ultramarine.

Sometimes I've seen dark or light blues but these could be smalt or azurite blended with other pigments.

S bright garish blues ... maybe not ?

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Garish Colors - Cinnabar Red


#classicalart #ancientgreekpainting #romanpainting #pigments # cinnabar

Probably the Brightest Strongest Mineral Pigment available to the Greeks and Romans was #Cinnabar #MercurySulphide

If you think painted statues or wall paintings were a riot of bright reds greens yellows and blues ... er no ... the Greeks and Romans had a more limited range of pigments available than we do.
But yes some of those all now seemingly serene marble sculptures may have had red clothing and cinnabar mixed with other pigments for skin tones.

This is what cinnabar looks like.

Please bear in mind that cinnabar can be toxic and especially in its powdered form should be handled with gloves and a mask and washing of any exposed skin and probably clothes too.

The raw mineral ore form

Powder and wet pigment

Its a gorgeous warm color stronger than Realgar or any of the Iron Oxide reds from clays.

Cadmium Red wasn't discovered until the 19th century.

Cinnabar red is also known as Vermilion or sometimes as Minium.

If you're planning to try to duplicate the reds seen on Roman frescoes I suggest you use modern paints to avoid the toxicity problem and bear in mind another problem with sulphides is that they do NOT BLEND WELL with pigments from copper ore.

I did consult Wikipedia and other sources but that was to check if what I remembered from art school decades ago was still valid and up to date.