Friday, 31 May 2013

Kronos and Zeus The old and the New

Kronos  and Zeus

A quote from Timotheus of Miletus preserved by Athenaeus in Deiphnosophists 3.122 d page 69 vol 2 in the loeb edition.

Οὐκ ἀείδω τὰ παλαιά. Καινὰ γὰρ μάλα κρείσσω.

Νέος ὁ Ζεὺς βασιλεύει. Τὸ πάλαι δ̓ ἦν

Κρόνος ἄρχων. Ἀπίτω μοῦσα παλαιά.


Not I sing (of) the ancient things new / recent for rather (is) greater /better.
New (is) the Zeus reigning the ancient but was Kronos ruling go away muse ancient

Monday, 27 May 2013


a simple and hopefully useful diagram 
on adding sigma to stems

Stems ending in

β π φ πτ plus σ change to ψ

γ κ χ σσ ττ plus σ change to ξ

δ τ ζ θ plus σ change to σ

Thursday, 23 May 2013


You see this poem a lot in anthologies
so I thought it would be a good idea to upload the original

Anyte Greek Anthology 6. 312 The PET BILLY GOAT

Ἡνία δή τοι παῖδες ἐνί, τράγε, φοινικόεντα

θέντες καὶ λασίῳ φιμὰ περὶ στόματι,

ἵππια παιδεύουσι θεοῦ περὶ ναὸν ἄεθλα,

ὄφρ̕ αὐτοὺς ἐφορᾐ νήπια τερπομένους.

There was a huge outcry last year about inhumane goat races.

The ancient Greeks also raced goats but if this goat had purple reins it was a beloved indulged pet not some poor half feral animal? The mention of a temple and a god watching suggests this race may have been part of a festival? 

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Divers Tomb

Greek frescos are very rare.

Until the discovery of the Paestum Necropolis most of our knowledge of Greek painting came from Vases or mosaic copies of Greek paintings from the Hellenistic era.

The Divers tomb dates back to the Classical period and confirms that early styles of fresco were probably very similar to the Attic white ground ceramics.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Test Everything


Or its okay to be a critic but not a fool.

Πάντα δοκιμάζετε Test or examine everything.

The verb Paul uses in Thessalonicians 5.21 is one that means you should be looking for proof and evidence the dokima or marks of genuineness like a metal assayer testing the purity of metals.

Paul also advises Timothy and Titus not to allow their congregations to be caught up in endless vain discussions of myths genealogies and speculations that lead to foolish strife quarrels and controversies. Note that he does not ban speculation or discussion but he wants it to be instructive not divisive or destructive. Note also he's talking about church doctrines not practical science.

Πάντα δοκιμάζετε Test or examine everything.

A good motto for a scholar whatever their beliefs?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A Shocking Dictionary Discovery

A Shocking Discovery
On the Library Discards Sale TABLE!

Today dear readers whoever you are (sheesh will someone PLEASE use the comments box !) I will made a shocking discovery at the local library.

Our library has a policy of moving infrequently used books to the "stacks" and then alas to the DISCARDS book sale table. This applies to fact fiction and even reference books like dictionaries.

Today  I found a copy of Woodhouses English to Classical Greek dictionary on the table  of doom! Shudder.

Okay so we are a suburban library and I suppose they thought the only schools teaching Greek or Latin in the immediate area are the big private schools or the selective highs  and yes you can NOW access WOODHOUSE ONLINE when the server its housed on is working  which fortunately is most of the time.

B U U U T it makes me very sad to see the library thinks there's so little interest in the Classics and Classical Greek  that they can justify selling this.

On the other hand a bargain price of ONE DOLLAR but still ... darn and dang and stronger words given the size of the Greek policy in Sydney you'ld think there would be more students doing Classical Greek NOT LESS


Dear readers if your library is discarding print reference  books to make more room for fiction and newer material and computer terminals  you can find Woodhouse on line at

Monday, 6 May 2013

Name this ruler?

I'm shamelessly testing you to see if you remember a earlier series of posts in which I showed images of the heirs of Alexander.

This rather austere looking ruler who looks almost Roman was a king with a name starting with A from which derives a famous city.

People tend to think of Hellenistic sculpture as being "Baroque" and emotional and expressionistic and dramatic. No its not all like that.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Lucian on Time and Fortune an epigram

For men who are fortunate all life is short
 but for those who fall into misfortune one night is infinite time.

Τοῖσι μὲν εὖ πράττουσιν πᾶς ὁ βίος βραχύς ἐστιν,
Τοῖς δὲ κακῶς μία νὺξ ἄπλετός ἐστι χρόνος.

A good example of men and de and expression of irony.