Monday, 31 December 2012

Alexander's Heirs ONE PTOLEMY





Amongst the Hellenistic rulers referred to as Alexander's heirs only one seems to have been related to him -Ptolemy called  Ptolemaios in Greek whose name derives from an archaic version of the spelling of polemos - war. 

Rumor had it that he may have been Alexander's half brother and he was his cousin.

Just as many of the other generals adopted Persian and Asian costumes  and customs alongside of their Hellenic heritage likewise in Egypt Ptolemy and his descendants depicted themselves as being as much Egyptian as Greek although none of the Ptolemaic dynasty is known to have intermarried with Egyptians.

Hence these two images of the first Ptolemy.

The dynasty seems to have had a genuine policy of supporting "multiculturalism" in Egypt with Alexandria attracting dozens of ethnic groups. 

Perhaps this is why Egypt survived as an independent realm up to the time of the Caesars unlike other Hellenistic realms and empires?

More about Ptolemy in following blogs and others of Alexander's heirs.





Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Epiphany of *PHA

The Epiphany of Pha.

Have you ever considered just how productive the * pha stem has been in creating words in Greek, Latin, English, French, Spanish, and many other language, Indo-European and beyond?

Epiphany means Appearance and is a reference to the "showing" of Christ to the Gentiles. Its pronounced  epiphania in ancient Greek but modern Greek and English changes the ph to an F .

Phania comes from the verb phainoo which in term comes from *pha *phoo the stem or radical of PHWS Shining visible light.  Energy appearing.

This gives us Phaethoon the son of Apollo and is the source of Fantasy and Fantasia, Phantasm  and Fantastic.





Friday, 21 December 2012

Alexander in Sydney


If you're in Sydney this summer don't forget to visit the wonderful Alexander exhibition currently on at the Australian Museum. Truly I've been and it's excellent! A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers whoever you are!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Hellenistic Cameos

Hellenistic Cameos

We currently have a very splendid exhibition of Hellenistic coins, weapons, cameos,  jewellery, and other items connected sometiems rather loosely to Alexander the Great.

I was particularly impressed by the cameo.

This is not from the show but is an excellent good examples of an authentic Hellenistic cameo.




Saturday, 15 December 2012

Grecian Reds


RED and scarlet and Crimson in Greek

κόκκινος was the scarlet color of berries.

Έρυθρός Red Ruber.

Πυρρός or πυρσός FLAME red Latin rufus darker orange or yellow.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Darkness and Black


DARKNESS

Black in classical Greek

Μελας μέλαινα μέλαν Black dark gloomy dusky murky a dense darkness

Κελα(ι)νός Black dark swart

(ἀ)μαυρός The origin of moor via Latin Mauritinia Dark Dim obscure Eclipsed

Έρεμνός black Dark thought to be a contraction of Έρεβεννός

Ἔρεβος the Nether Darkness between Earth and Hell


Monday, 10 December 2012

The Color Yellow in Classical Greek


Yellow in Classical Greek

κνηκός Note Doric κνᾱκός a pale whitish yellow

κροκός the color of saffron or crocus the flower and the pollen derived from it which Also used as a spice perfume and dye κροκό / εις / εσσα / εν

ξανθος a yellow brown an adjective used to describe blondes. Perhaps the color we would call honey blonde. The Romans translated this as flavus so the word could also be translated as light brown chestnut or auburn. I pt for honey blonde that peculiar hair color some Italians and Greeks have?

The less common ξουθος seems to be a yellowish tawny dusky yellow.

Κίτρινος is the yellow to orange of citrus fruit specific the ancient ancestors of modern lemons and oranges the κίτρον fruit.

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Greeks Invented Grammar

The Greeks Invented Grammar!

Grammar itself is a Greek word. Well derived from Greek Grammata.

Seriously though many common grammar and linguistics terms derive from Greek or are translations into Latin from Greek that were then translation into English.

Here's some words used to describe and analyse language that come from Greek.

Syntax Morph Lexicon Periphrasis Theory

Paradigm Synonym Philology  Dialect Phonetics

Logic  Semantics Analysis Etymology Topic

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Gray in Greek



Words for Gray in Classical Greek

Perhaps the best known word is γλαυκός blue gray the color γλαυκῶπις of the goddess Athena's eyes but also the pale gray green or bluish green of leaves and plants, a changeable shifting gray.

Γραῖος is sometimes translated as gray but it is the gray of aging fading things and beings believed by scholars to be a contraction of γεραίος

Ashen white gray is μέλινος.

Ὄρφνινος is the color of darkness a gloomy night Ὄρφνᾱ in Doric and Ὄρφνη in Attic.

Πολιός is gray too and probably cognate to the word for dove πελεια and πελλός.

Φαιός is a deep dark dun gray but ψᾱρός is the speckled gray of a starling.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

WHITE words for white in classica lGreek

Words for White in classical Greek

There are more words for gray and pale than white in Greek.


The two main words from which a variety of adjectives and nouns derive are

λευκός pale white and  ργής shiny white like silver ἀργυρός

White objects were also often compared to

Snow νιφος or stone λυγδος or marble μαρμαρος.

The Greeks seem to have associated the quality of whiteness with shine and gleam and brightness.

Color names begun as names. Color as an abstract concept developed later.

The ancients had to write about color by comparing it to objects.

More examples of this soon.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Welcome to the third declension


Welcome to the Third Declension!

There are many nouns of masculine feminine and neuter gender that have this pattern.

Nominative a contracted form in the singular
A Plural – as ending

Accusative stem + α Plural – ας

Genitive + ος Plural ων

Dative + ι Plural σι(ν)

Nouns that end in – μα like Charisma Drama Dogma and Gramma are declined as

γραμμα γραμματα γραμματος γραμματων γραμματι γραμμασι

More Third Declension Examples soon.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Which Plato dialogue to read first?

Which Plato dialogue to read first?

Some tips and ideas.

Are you reading Plato in Greek to learn about style or in Greek or English or your own language to learn about philosophy, literature, or ancient culture and history.

If you're lucky your library has a full set of the Loeb classics or several of the Penguin translations perhaps? Or you've had the time to download some of the older translations available on line. You might want to google downloadable Loebs and you can can e-texts and pdfs of older translations from several sites.

I'm fortunate enuff to have a small but good collection that includes Greek originals and Penguin and other translations however I acquired these new and second hand over three decades.

What would I suggest?

Start off with the Phaedrus or  Symposium and the Apology.

Do read the Republic.

Do not fixate on one favorite dialogue.

Read Several!

Read both the major and minor dialogues.

Do not just read one translation.

Different translations may have differing notes or commentaries or introductory essays that can add to your own insights and analysis.

Do not presume Plato is always being serious!

Be aware of the history and politics of Socrates's age.

Even if you are only interested in the philosophical concepts you still need to know about the politics of Athens and Sparta.

Finally whatever your reasons for reading Plato do it with joy and pleasure!

Now go and read some Plato!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Hellenic Heirs


This is an illustration from a 10th century AD Byzantine book.

Notice the use of classical art motifs. A shepherd. Goats Sheep. A rural setting.

I suspect the artist was modelling his style on Greek and Roman frescos.

The naturalism of Classical art didn't just appear overhead into the formal stylizations of Early Christian and Byzantine.

Don't disparage Byzantine culture cos its Christian Greek.

Hellenic culture from the Helladic up to modern times is a continuum or perhaps a river that changes shape and color as tributaries enter it during its journey?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Theta Words Four


Theta Words Four

θρᾶνος bench but so also is θρῆνυς.

θρίδαξ - ακος Lettuce

θρῖναξ - ακος is a trident a spear or fork with three points or prongs

Words beginning with τ often changed to θ.
Remember θ was pronounced /t h/ in Classical Greek.

Θρόνος was not just a bench but a chair or throne.

θυγάτηρ daughter. A θυγατριδῆ was a grand-daughter, daughter of a daughter, a θυγατριδοῦς a maternal grandson, and a θυγάτριον a ittle daughter or small girl.

θῡμός is smoke soul breath life passion energy but θύμος is the herb THYME.

Θύννος Tunny Tuna the fsh that rushes Θύνω

Θύω had two meanings or perhaps was two separate verbs that contracted to have the same sound?

The first meaning was to offer or sacrifice to the gods. Remember that meat offerings were usually burnt and cooked with the gods consuming the energy the fumes rising to the skies and humans picnicking on the rest.

The second meaning was to rush dart or race along like a school of fish or a storm through the skies.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Theta Words Three


Theta Words Three

Θήβη Θῆβαι Thebes the name of several cities all possibly named after Thebes in Egypt if you accept the thoery Thebes is a distortion of a Egyptian phrase referring to Waset, Thebes as the place of power. Another name for Thebes as a city state rather than just the city was Θηβαΐς

θήγω sharpen whet a blade or tool also to provoke or irritate.

θηλάζω nurse suckle

θήρ a wild beast a predator a monster hence θηρίον animals that are hunted animals in general

θησαυρός treasure valuables thing splaced in storage because valued

- θι locative affix meaning place at in the fields at home at Troy

θίασος company or group of celebrants or revellers especially of a god like Eros or Dionysios

θλίβω press hard oppress afflict distress hence θλῖψις pressure oppression

θνήσκω die be dying dead

θόλος is a building or chamber with a dome or vault and a round sun hat θολία but θολός is thick dark mud or squid ink and θολερός turbid muddy troubled

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Return of Hephaestus

 Hephaestus 
also spelt Hephaistos
is usually depicted  as a mature man garbed as a smith as in this vase painting.


There is however another theme used in Greek art called the Return of Hephaestus in which Dionysos is persuading a very young Hephaestus to  return to Olympus.



Some scholars believe the prescence of satyrs in these paintings means that there may have been a reactment of the return as part of Dionysiac rituals and that it was a theme for Satyr plays that are now missing.

i am inclined to believe both explanations are plausible.

In an era when there were no photography or print making I can see merchants and other people bringing home from Athens ceramics as gifts and saying ... and the procession looked like this ... while rotating their prize souvenir to show the images.

These elaborate ceramics may have functioned as a memory or educational aid?


Friday, 12 October 2012


 Theta Words Two

θείνω strike dash
θεία aunt and θεῖος uncle Note the accent and that this refers to to a relative on either side of the side unlike Latin which has separate words to indicate if the relative is on the father's or mother's side of a family.
θέλγω enchant charm use magic spell bind cheat
θελκτήρ or θέλκτωρ charmer enchanter θέλκτρον θελκτήριον spell enchantment charm
θέμις the goddess of Justice and Law Note θεσμός
- θεν suffix added to nouns to show Motion FROM a Place
Θερμός heat warmth hot warm boiling
θέτις Sea goddess Nereid mother of Achilles wife of Peleus daughter of Oceanus
θέω run race fly and of things circular like a rim
θεωρέω look AT view behold observe be a spectator contemplate consider

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Theta Words One


 Theta Words One

θᾶκος ὁ seat chair θᾱκέω to sit take a seat but θάσσω is to sit but to sit idly lounge about?
θάλαμος inner chamber bedroom dwelling lair den θαλάμιος belonging to the chamber
θάλασσα the sea Attic θάλαττα
θάλλω bloom flourish shoot grow sell be rich abundant prosper
so Θάλεια the Muse of Comedy
θάμνος a bush or shrub
θαρσέω Attic θαρρέω be courageous confident positive note also verb θαρσύνω
θάρσος or θράσος Attic θάρρος τό courage boldness confidence
θάσος an island
θάσσων however is the COMPARATIVE form of ταχύς to be quicker faster swifter
θαῦμα wonder marvel surprise astonishment note also Ionic θῶμα Verb θαυμάζω
Note the similar Verbs θάομαι wonder at admire gaze upon look at see and θεάομαι
so θέᾱτρον a theatre is a place for viewing

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Half Humans Centaurs and Satyrs

Half Humans Centaurs and Satyrs



The Centaurs disrupting the Lapith wedding feast is a story depicting the Centaurs as strange hybrids of human and horse, man and beast, with the Centaurs having equine ears and lower torsos.



Satyrs however are also depicted as having horse tails and ears.

The idea that Satyrs are part goat dates to the Roman era.

The Romans seem to have thought Satyrs and Fauns were the same.




So what underlies these images.

Animal features as symbols of lust?

Depictions of nature spirits possessing male cultists during Dionysiac rituals?

Old  stories about mountain tribes so primitive they wore fur rather than wool ?

Perhaps a sly dig at randy aristocrats behaviour during parties since horse ownership was a luxury for the wealthy?

Given the antiquity of these myths perhaps all the explanations are equally valid?

Bear in mind when you're looking at art featuring myths that the original artist's intentions may differ from your interpretations.



Monday, 24 September 2012

Centaurs


CENTAURS

One theory about the origin of Centaurs is that the legends are based on the
 (mis) behaviour of mountain tribes living in remote areas.
Another is that they were the last Neanderthals?

However the earliest Archaic art often shows a very human torso.


530 B.C.

Note the carefully combed beard and hair

Vase painting Note how the centaurs have ears and snub noses like Satyrs.




One of the oldest images of a Centaur.

Certainly different from this famous Renaissance painting.


So why so many different ways of depicting these legendary beings?

Part of  the reason is the tendency of later artists to decide to use monsters and non humans as symbols of lust or drunkness and violence in the case of Centaurs.

The main stories we have in the literature however depict Centaurs as living in remote mountainous and forested areas and only misbehaving when exposed to alcohol as in the Tale of the Weddings of the Lapiths. 

The other main story is that of Chiron the Wise and his daughter depicted as healers.

So what's going on?

A  minority group demonized for the sake of a moral lesson?

The earliest Satyrs are often shown with horse tails.

A topic for another blog.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Greek Prepositions One


Here's a simple list of Greek prepositions you can save and edit and then add your own notes.

ἀμφί

ἀνά

ἀντί

ἀπό

διά

εἰς ἐς

ἐκ ἐξ

ἐν

ἐπί

κατά

μετά

παρά

περί

πρό

πρός

σύν

ὑπέρ

ὑπό

I will be discussing these prepositions individually in later posts.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

A Very Feminine Adjective


ΘΗΛΥΣ
A Very Feminine Adjective

θῆλυς θῆλεια θῆλυ

Some adjectives combine the features of the First and Third Declension particularly those with u stems like this one θῆλυς θῆλεια θῆλυ which means female, of female sex, feminine, belonging to women, tender, delicate, nourishing, and sometimes effeminate.

The Masculine and Neuter are declined like ἄστυ but the feminine is declined like a First Declension adjective ending in α.

So Masculine and Neuter Singular

Nominative θῆλυς Accusative θῆλυν Genitive θῆλέος Dative θηλεῖ

The Classics example is the declension of γλυκύς which you can see in Goodwin's Grammar Pages 67-8 or in whichever Grammar you are using as a reference for further details.

There are however some minus differences between θῆλυς θῆλεια θῆλυ and γλυκύς.

Note how the genitive singular ends in - ος and the – έα Neuter Plural with both Adjectives.

θῆλεια has more differences in the accusative forms. The Epic and Ionic forms end in α instead of ια so that θήλεα θεός is a goddess.

The original feminine ending of this adjective and possibly of the other genders may have been – eu or ewo changing and contracting to u in one gender and eu then e in the other.

It seems off that there would be a masculine and neuter at all but there exists such phrases as θήλειαι ἵπποι meaning mares or female horses and τὸ θῆλυ the female (gender).

Some other u- stem adjectives that follow the γλυκύς pattern are:

βραχύς short brief εὐρύς broad wide ἡδύς sweet pleasant pleasing

ἥμισυς half ὀξύς pointed sharp ταχύς swift fast


Friday, 14 September 2012

Amphitrite in Art Two

Amphitrite in Art Two .
Here's two more vase paintings.
The first one features Theseus Athena and Amphitrite.


There is a story that Minos tested Theseus' claim to be a son of Poseidon by throwing a ring into the sea. Theseus dived in after it. Aided by dolphins he swam down to Amphitrite's underseas palace and retrieved not only the ring but also a golden crown.

Given the presence of dolphins and Triton supporting Theseus plus Athena appearing this suggests to me that there may have been another lost version of this story in which Athena sponsors and protects Theseus as he encounters his father's wife and given how mnay dramas did NOT survive even perhaps a play in which Athena argues for the need for wives to be kind to sons their husbands had by other women?




The other story we have about Poseidon and Amphitrite is that she was reluctant to marry him and this image seems to show Iris messenger of the gods acting as a matchmaker between the two gods?

Sometimes when written versions don't surivive as more than summaries in the mythographers vase paintings and other art give us more of the story.

But don't forget the ancients may have perceived these images differently!



Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Amphitrite in Art One

Amphitrite Goddess of the Sea

There are very few surviving stories featuring her as much more than a name  but her appearances in art suggest there may be missing stories that have not survived.

She is mentioned by Hesiod, Apollodoros, and Ovid and some other writers.

She was an Oceanid a daughter of  the Titans Oceanus and Tethys who married Poseidon and together they ruled the seas. Take a look at these images.






The striking thing about them is that although Poseidon ? Neptune got all the temples in popular art used in homes, mosaics, frescos, and lastly this vase painting, Poseidon and Amphitrite seem to be shown as co-equal consorts?
You rarely seen images of other gods together as married couples.

The other striking feature is how often Amphitrite is semi naked and always from the waist down. This is perhaps not so odd givne other deities being depicted this way but when she is shown as semi naked its always from the waist down.

But there is another way of depicting Amphitrite. There are vase painting images that refer to a story of her meeting her husbands son Theseus.

That's the topic for my next post!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Kosmos the Ordered World


KOSMOS THE ORDERED WORLD

Chaos and Cosmos are two excellent examples of ancient Greek words that have changed meanings over the centuries in both Greek and English usage.

We think of Chaos and Order as being opposites but its more that one comes forth from the other.

Κόσμος has several meaning Order Good order and hence government also mode or fashion and ornamament or decoration and world or universe.

While when we hear the words Cosmos and cosmic we think often of outer space to a Greek κοσμικός meant earthly or worldly.

Cosmos is reality arranged or ordered into beauty.

Note these related verbs κομέω and κομάω the first meaning to take care of or tend and the second to wear or arrange long hair on a human or a horse. In the preclassical period both men and women especially aristocrats arranged their long hair into elaborate curls and plaits and braids and mixture of both.

Chaos the great opening or space (see my previous post) becomes an ordered place the Cosmos.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

KHAOS AND CREATION


KHAOS AND CREATION


Khaos is how Χάος was pronounced by the ancientGreeks.
The letter Χ “Chi” was an aspirated / kh /.
We tend to think of Chaos as the opposite to order but the actual word originally meant a wide open open or a wide opening and SPACE might be a more accurate translation.

How do scholars know this?

For those of you who don't have access or ownership of the Lidell online or in print here's some words to consider as proof.

Χάσμα a chasm or gulf then these verbs Χάσκω Χασκάζω Χαίνω open wide gape yawn.

Hesiod in his Theogony wrote first (πρώτιστα ) Chaos came into being γένετ̓ (Line 116) next Gaia widebreasted and her siblings Erebos and Night (123)n Heaven and the Mountains and Ocean and the Titans and much more.

Notice how Hesiod uses geneto not poieo become be born not made.

The world comes into being by change in the earliest Greek myths though later versions such as that in Ovid's metamorphoses means a possible creator. There's a process from a primordial unity into complexity and multiplicity from oneness to many.

You might want to read the beginning of Ovid's metamorphoses and contrast the two.
Hesiod's version judging from authors philosophers and poets between his time and that of Ovid's wasn't the ONLY version known to the Greeks. Mythmaking was an active process. Stories change.

The opposite of Chaos is Cosmos the Ordered arranged world but that's another story!

Monday, 27 August 2012

A Brief History of Hermes in ART

How the Greeks and Romans depicted Hermes in ART.

The earliest images of Hermes show a mature adult with a beard.




but this changes about the beginning of the hellenistic era



Hermes loses his beard and appears younger

then we have the Roman version



finally here's a modern depiction ... ye sit is a page form a comic book EARTH2 but Nicola Scott does excellent art and I wanted to show you a modern use of a mythic image.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Some numi verbs


SOME – νυμι Verbs

Note One Some books print - νυμι verbs without the macron over the upsilon 

Note Two many of these verbs are only used combiend with prefixes.

Note Three
δείκνῡμι

is used for text book paradigms


δαίνῡμι entertain dine stem δαι dai

ννῡμι cloth robe stem wes like latin ves-tis

ζώννῡμι gird belt ζω sdoo

ζεύγνῡμι bind yoke join stem ζυγ

κεράννῡμι mix usually liquids stem κερα κρα kera kra

κορέννῡμι satiate satisfy stem κορε kore

κρεμάννῡμι suspend hang stem κρεμα krema

μΐγνῡμι mix mingle stem μιγ mig

οἴγνῡμι open stem oig

ὄλλῡμι stem ol is contracted from olnumi

μνῡμι swear an oath stem ομο or μο om(o)

ὄρνῡμι raise rouse stem ορ or

πήγνῡμι fix stem παγ

πετάννῡμι expand spread stem πετα peta

ήγνῡμι break stem αγ rag wrag

ώννῡμι strengthen stem ω ro

σβέννῡμι extinguish put out smother stem σβε sbe

σκεδάννῡμι scatter stem σκεδα

χρήγνῡμι color


If you missed it scroll back to read my post on δείκνῡμι.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

deiknumi



δείκνῡμι

is used for text book paradigms of - νῡμι verbs

δείκνῡμι and other νῡμι verbs have the following inflections

for Active Present Indicative

Singular δείκνῡμι δείκνῡς δείκνῡσι
Dual δείκνυτον
Plural δείκνυμεν δείκνυτε δείκνύᾱσι

For Imperfect you add ν ς ῡ υτον etc to ἐδείκν


For Subjunctive take a stem of δεικνύ and add the normal endings

Likewise for Optative

Goodwin's Grammar and other works show all the forms.

The main thing to remember is the u final and to watch how the accents shift

The Infinitive is δεικνύναι and the Participle δεικνύς

In Aorist δείκνῡμι has a First Aorist stem of δείξ and a Second Aorist stem of δύ

The Future stem is δείξ the Perfect δέδειχ and the Pluperfect ἐδεδείχ


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

H and a short E sound



HE ἑ Ἑ ἓ Ἓ ἕ Ἕ

Some Words beginning with he 


ἑαυτοῦ of him or ἑαυτῆς herself reflexive pronoun

εἷς and ἕν masculine and neuter forms of the word for ONE heis hen

ἕκαστος – η - ον each

ἕκάτερος each of two both in plural

ἑκατόν One HUNDRED Hecato -

Ἑλλάς Hellas Greece see my previous post on this topic!

Ἕξ - Hex - SIX

ἑορτή festival or holiday

ἕπομαι follow

ἑπτά Hepta - SEVEN

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Hera Queen of the Gods

Here's a few images of Hera!

I've picked ancient works so these should all be public domain to my knowledge?





Sunday, 22 July 2012


HEE

ἡ ἣ ἥ ἧ Ἡ Ἣ Ἥ Ἧ

Some Greek words starting with H and a long E 

In personal Names

Ἥβη Youth the goddess of Hebe the maiden cupbearer of the gods.

Ἥρα Hera the Queen of the Gods

Ἡρακλέης Ἡρακλῆς Heracles in Latin Hercules

Ἡσίοδος Hesiod the Poet

Ἥλιος The Titan God of the Sun

ἡ Feminine form of the definite article THE female

ἡγέομαι a verb I go before lead guide command

ἡδύς ἡδεῖα ἡδύ pleasure pleasant sweet

ἥκω I have come or reached I am here

ἡμεῖς pronoun We

ἡμέρα day

ἡμι – Prefix Half Hemi in English. Adjective ἥμισυς

ἥρωΐνη Heroine

ἡσυχία stillness quiet calm rest ἡ ἡ



Wednesday, 11 July 2012

LEGO NOT THE TOY!


LEGO NOT THE TOY

One of the most common Classical Greek Verbs is

λέγω

 I say tell ask talk

Here is the PRESENT INDICATIVE ACTIVE.

(Present is the Tense Indicative the Mode and Active the Voice)

λέγω λέγεις λέγει λέγομεν λέγετε λέγουσι(ν)

I say You say He or she says We say You plural say They say.

The final n is used if the the next word starts with a or at the end of a sentence.

You will also see a movable n after any third person verb form ending with a ε.

Note the endings or suffixes.

- ω - εις - ει - ομεν - ετε - ουσι(ν)

Let's look at these verbs arranged another way

SINGULAR First Second Third person

  I - ω                      λέγω
   You - εις               λέγεις
She or he or it - ει  λέγει

Plural First Second Third person

We - ομεν     λέγομεν
You - ετε   λέγετε
They - ουσι(ν)  λέγουσι(ν)

If you're a beginning student copy those suffixes and make a note for memorisation

- ω - εις - ει - ομεν - ετε - ουσι(ν)

Monday, 2 July 2012

AHA Hidden H's




AHA! Watching out for hidden H's.

Classical Greek did have a H sound ...well the last traces of one indicated by a ̔ over a vowel.

If a word has an initial HA sound you will see

Here's some words with an initial HA sound.

βρός Habros soft delicate pretty dainty luxurious

γιάζω to hallow consecrate make holy

ἅιδης Hades the place and the god of
αἷμα Haemo - Blood

αἱρέω to chose

ἅλς Salt the sea

the two sea goddess Thetis and Amphitrite are called sea-born

λοσύδνη


ἅμα an adverb hama At Once or a Preposition with Dative at the same time (together) with

μαρτάνω to miss fail go wrong err sin

ἅρμα chariot

ρπάζω ravish snatch seize take away carry off by force