Friday, 30 December 2016

Spicy or not so spicy Greeks

Greek cooking has used the same herbs and spices for centuries yet the ANCIENT Greeks also lacked or only had as expensive imports spices we take for granted.

We know for sure these spices were used being used as they are mentioned in Linear B texts or have origin myths.

Coriander Sesame Cumin Mint

Scholars think these herbs were used since they are mentioned by Theophrastus or Hellenistic and Imperial era writers like Athenaeus

Some of them may have been used more for essential oils and making perfume or medicines.

Cassia Cinnamon Chervil Dill Fennel Oregano Rocket Lovage Bay Cardamon Thyme Rosemary

Only about half or less of the herbs and spices available this century!

And fruit ... most of the fruits were not citrus or stone and unless a shepherd brought them down to a lowlands market the supply of nuts and berries was limited too!

No pepper or ginger  before the Roman era. No or very few  Indian or Chinese spices.
No nutmeg No AllSpice  No curry masalas

Some things we do better than the Classical world!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Did the greeks have fruit cake ?

Did the Greeks have Fruit Cake?

Yeah like no Xmas in Ancient Athens but they did have mid winter Dionysia  but fruit cake?

Well there was no glace cherries or dried apricots but they did have dried grapes and maybe apples or pears definitely quinces and there are many reference to honey and cheesecakes and "sweet" cheeses.

Jams and preserves were rare. No glass jars! No processed sugar!

Also no orange peel and far fewer few spices even if you could afford them.

So yes but not looking like modern fruit cake.

There may have been "cakes" of dried fruit and nuts pressed together or cheese cakes with raisins mixed in or honey cakes with dried fruit.

Cakes would have been cooked in clay pans unless you were wealthy enuff to afford metal pans.

I have not come across references to almond "meal" being used in cooking but the Greeks certainly had almonds and grinding stones so I can imagine a cake using ingredients  something like this :

Eggs from Ducks quails chicken or geese

A soft cheese with a texture halfway between curds and modern ricotta

Honey no processed sugar

Some almond meal or flour or both mixed.

Raisins or sultanas and figs maybe also  dried apple or pears possibly softened in a mixture of honey water and maybe wine?

Poorer households with no oven probably would have taken their filled pans down to a local baker to be cooked.

Yes NO ovens! For safety reasons most households lower and middle class had their cooking areas outside in the courtyard or an niche just off it. Only the wealthy would have had a room just for cooking and food preparation alone.

However they could cook omelettes pancakes and flat breads at home and did so many homes may have had winter treats of honey on pancakes.

Some things we do better than the Greeks!

Enjoy your Xmas treats!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas Greetings

#xmas #ecard #joy #khara 

An Ecard with "Hellenic" flavour for #Christmas

Wishing you all 

Khara reflects the ancient pronunciation 
which would have sounded more like a strong aspirated K to modern English speakers.

Wishing you A Merry Christmas and Happy New year

Yes its not Greek Grunewalds Nativity Enjoy

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Map of Bethlehem



My theme this week will be the Bethlehem reports 
a re-imagining of what correspondence between a local  bureacrat and the Roman Governor 
about the Nativity events might have been like ?

Plus some religious art and comments on the differences in style between Matthew and Luke .

Xmas Ecard to Share ...

This card is free to share but please include a link back to my blog?

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Two examples of Tritons

The Greeks seem to have preferred depicting mermen or mermaids.

#Tritons are usually shown as male though in Roman art you get pairs of both sexes or male Tritons cavorting with female Nereids or Oceanids.

Hercules wrestling with a seagod or Triton.

Another example.

The bodies are a blend of male snake eel and fish.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

A Living God

Thoughts on Matthew Chapter22 23-33
#greeknewtestament #biblestudy
The Sadducees apporached Jesus with a hypothetical situation based on a tradition of widows having the right and obligation to remarry close kin of their husbands.
OT examples of this are the stories of Tamar and Ruth.

Jesus rebukes them in verse 29

You wander (= err in modern English usage) not knowing the (holy) writings or the poer of god.
Verse 30 for in the resurrection they not marry or or married
why both verbs in greek the active and middle forms for th verb to marry gameoo was linked to the gender of the agent so Jesus is indicating he is addressing both sexes.

A widow had the right to ask for another husband from her former spouse's family but she could also be pestered or harassed into a remarriage not of her choice.

but like angels in heaven they are

and about the resurrection of the dead have you not read the words to you by god spoken

I am the God of Abraham and the god of Isaac and the god of Jacob

Not is god for the dead but living?!

A Living God then and now is also the god of Sarah Hagar Ishmael Rebekah Leah and more.

Hypotheticals can be great training exercises but teachers and theologians need to have practical answers for the living.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Sites of Ancient Greece

George Gerster the noted aerial photographer has a book out from #Phaidon
#greece #archaeology #photography #aerialphotography #book

If you have read R.V. Schoder's Ancient Greece from the Air 1974 
This doesnt cover all the same sites but is a worthy successor!
It is though "coffeetable" size and perhaps you might want to encourage a school or library to buy a copy?

Saturday, 26 November 2016


An acquaintance is currently in Wagga attending a Greek Orthodox family baptism party for young Eliana. This name derived ultimately from #Elijah an Old Testament prophet.

So some observations linguistic cultural and NT related.

The original #Hebrew from is Eliyahu My God is Yah transliterated into English.
However Hellenistic Greek had no J/Y sound so Greek speaking Jews pronounced and wrote this as EELIA(S) and the long EE over the centuries changed to I or shortened to a E in many Romance languages so we have Ilyaa in Arabic and the name getting confused and fused with the similar modern forms of Helen(a) and Helenos.

Some scholars also claim St. Elias replaced Zeus and that is why monasteries and churches dedicated are up on mountains. However an equally simple explanation is that Elijah spent part of his life as a hermit and that the Christian sites started out as hermitages or shrines maintained by hermits.

Then again perhaps those monasteries and churches are on top on ancient altars to Zeus?

Getting back to Bible Study why are there over a dozen references in the NT which would also explain why this Old Testament Prophet is still revered by Muslims, Jews, and Christians, Greek Orthodox or others.

The Jews of the first century and later centuries  had a folk belief based in a prophecy in Malachi and legends that Elijah although having ascended alive to heaven returned for visits helping people and advising rabbis.

People were wondering and saying that possibly Jesus and John before him was Elijah returned and Jesus also asks his own disciples about this? Did they believe he or John was Elijah?

Then of course there is the drama of the Transfiguration a popular scene for paintings!

With the frequent mentions of Luke and Matthew of Elijah is it any wonder he became Elias and one of the best known OT prophets after Isaiah Jeremiah and Samuel?

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A note on LAMBANO


Lambano is one of those #CLASSICALGREEK verbs whose variety of forms confuses some students. Yes it seems odd at first that a *LAB stem  with a SHORT vowel changes to LEEB however other verbs do this too!

If you have access to a copy check section 611 in Goodwins Greek Grammar.

Lambano is not the only Greek Verb that does this!

As for the stem changes B > Ph is quite logical if you remember Greek has aspirate P not and  NO V and an ingrained avoidance of triple consonant clusters so its Lambano becomes LEEpsomai leep-so-mai or lee-pso-mai.

Don't think of it as irregular but quite regular if you understand the patterns of Greek phonology.
Aspirated consonants NOT fricatives and consonants plus a S for future.

So Lambano Future leepsomai Aorist elabon Perfect eileepha

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Two Blind Men

#biblestudy #eleison#mercy #gospel #greeknewtestament

Matthew 20

2 Blind Men sitting by the roadside called out to Jeuss

"have mercy on us lord son of david"

The word used is eleeeson the origin of the Latin Eleison prayer

now the crowd told them to shut up oh a bit like Twitter
but the blind men cried out all the more
Eleeeson Heemas Kurie Uios David

So does Jesus tell them to shut up? Or report them to security?
Or tell them they're being rude? Or tell the crowd to shut up?
He takes the simplest ACTION option.
He ask
What (do) you wish I will do for you?

And they asked that their eyes be opened
Possibly they had cataracts or some kind of scarring from burns or an infection.


I however have no miraculous power of healing.

I can however ask you support low cost public health clinics and medical care
so that no one has to beg in public for help?

Friday, 18 November 2016

Fantastic Beasts The Griffin in Greek Art

#griffin #greekart #myth
With #Fantasticbeasts and where to find them premiering this week
let's take a look at a popular beast from Greek mythology
who also features in the #Potterverse

Whether its depicted in Persian Assyrian Greek or other art the Griffin's consistent features are having the body of a lion and an eagle like head but with large external ears and either a mane or frill down the neck or some kind of tuft on top of the head.

I have three examples for you to enjoy.

One of the earliest depictions on a Griffin is a famous #Minoan fresco from Knossos.

This was derived from art from Mesopotamia and Persian such as this seal.

Griffins are also depicted as being used for riding by gods though this may be a Maenad.

You can support this blogger via

Adsense takes a long while to try the payment threshold and Xmas is coming!
Also I'm paying off a new laptop to replace the one that burnt out!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Pompeius on the Ruins of Mycenae

#Pompieus on the ruins of #Mycenae #Greek #epigram written 1st century BCE

This is my translation. The original can be found in the Greek Anthology.

Although I Mycenae have become poured dust on a grave

And lesser known more obscure than any other crag

Anyone looking at Troy a famous city over which walls I walked

And the Palace of Priam which I emptied entirely

You will know thenceforth how strong I was once

And if Age has abused me I am satisfied

By the witness of the Maionid (Homer)

Want to see the Greek text and my full notes

I need a new laptop to be able to input Greek characters
My died and power n gas bills come first

I have about half the funds but if everyone who sees this sent ONE dollar via

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Want more Metousia ?

Do you want more #Metousia 

whether its the weekend greek new testament bible study posts or the midweek Ancient and Classical Greek culture art language and archaeology posts?

due to having to pay the power and gas bills first I still have NO replacement laptop

and I need a laptop with storage if I'm going share pictures with you or be able to change language settings so the greek abc appears properly.

So if 500 people gave ONE dollar EACH  I could get an ipad or cheap laptop


Sunday, 30 October 2016

Nine Muses Nine Poetesses

#Antipater famous list of Nine #Greek #Women #Poets


I had to transliterate the greek due to STILL grrr being laptop "FREE"

tasde theogloossous helikoon ethrepse gunaikas

these refers to women see end of line divene tongues having Helikoon nutured

note the euphony !

humnais kai makedoon Pierias skopelos

by song and Macedon (from Pieria's crag)

a reference to the belief the Muses visited Helikoon Parnassus and Pieria and other mountains

praeeksillan moiroo anutees stoma theelun homeeron

Praxilla Moiro Anyte's mouth a feamel Homer

Lesbiadoon Sapphoo kosmon euplokamoon

Lesbian Sappho od the lovely / ornate braids

Eerinna Telesillan agaklea kai se Korinna

Erinna Telesilla renowned and you Korinna

thourin Atheenaiees aspida melpsamenav

for ? Athens a impetous shield singing

Nossida theelugloosson ide glukuakhea Murtin

Nossis women tongued know sweet sounding  Myrtis

pasas aenaoon ergatidas selidoon

all eternal workers of pages

ennea men mousas megas ouranos ennea d' autas

nine muses great heaven and nine women

gaia teken thnatois aphthiton euphrosunan.

Gaia bore for mortals imperishable cheer / delight .

It does sound better in Greek !!!

My laptop which was unlike the library terminal set up for typing in a mixture of greek and english has died

As I have power and utility bills due I can not buy a new one unless I buy a really cheap refurbished laptop and even that .... if you have enjoyed or made use of Metousia posts please consider a small donation via Paypal so I can acquire a new laptop ASAP?


Friday, 28 October 2016


People my laptop died and I cant get the various blogging apps to work on my OLD model so I will have to continue bumping older posts until I can afford a new laptop ... or a near new used laptop!

If you would like to help I am on

Thank You

Monday, 17 October 2016


My laptop battery died so no blogs until I get

a) new battery delivered for instalment

b) install new app on mobile to post blogs

Sorry Folks

Please browse through older posts !

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Fashion IDOLS

Whats your view of speculations of how colorful #greeksculpture originally was?

Addendum Jan 2017 google states tells this post was very popular.

If you enjoy the images I find for you please consider helping me pay my data bill by using Paypal

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Impersonal Tax!!!

#biblestudy #newtestamentgreek #gospel

Gospel of matthew Chapter 22 Verse 20 - 21

The pharisees had just asked Jesus a very formal question.

Is it permitted/allowed/possible to give tax to Caesar or not.

Its very formal grammar and rhetorical style  in Greek with the exesti impersonal verb used and the question ending in an or not tag.

exesti dounai keenson kaisari ee ou ?

There are no unusual words or syntax in his reply but I would like to draw your attention to the style.

Its plain language in Aramaic or Greek or Latin but powerful.

No impersonal forms just a good solid logical question.

Of who the image this and the inscription /letters (is) ?

Give therefore the things of Caesar to Caesar and the things of the god to the god.

Yes Jesus is saying PAY YOUR TAX!

Private donations and charity and tithing are good things.

But pay your taxes and support government activities that benefit people like roads bridges schools defence medical research and even arts and sports sometimes!

Tax avoidance is not a sign of genius.

By all means yes make sure your tax gets spent on useful things but avoiding it when you are already WEALTHY?

Do both private donations and public tax!

Endnote added nov 8 how ironic this was the most popular October post and guess who needs donations now?

People my laptop died a little help please
if 500 people gave ONE dollar each I can buy a new one ASAP

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Running Girl

This is one of the earliest #ArchaicGreek #bronze #sculptures

Some scholars think it depicts a girl running in a race

it could just a girl running for the joy of motion or showing off a new dress.

Whatever its a delightful work!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


R. Le #Gallienne was a minor poet mostly forgotten but I happen to have an anthology that includes a few of his poems

I think you may enjoy the irony in this one?
The spacing and italics are as close as I can get to the typesetting in the book.
I have no idea why the typesetter put a space before questions marks!

#ballade #greekphilosophers #atoms

Ballade of Dead Thinkers

R. Le Gallienne

Where's Heraclitus and his Flux
Of Sense that never maketh stay ?
Or Thales, with whom water sucks
Into itself both Clod and Clay ?
Or he, who in an evil Day
Νόμος and φύσις first employ'd ;
And of the Sum of Things doth say,
They all are Atoms in the Void ?

Where's grave Parmenides ? Death plucks
His Beard : and by the Velian Bay
Sleeps Zeno ; Plato's pen their Crux
Of One and Many doth portray.
Empedocles too, well-away,
His taste for climbing, unalloy'd
By prudence, led him far astray ;
They all are Atoms in the Void.

Where's Socrates himself, who chucks
Up Physics, makes of Sophists hay,
Into Induction briskly tucks,
And Definitions frames always ?
The good Athenians him did slay,
His Dialectic them annoy'd ;
And his Disciples, where are they ?
They all are Atoms in the Void.


Prince, tho' with these old names and grey
Our peace of mind be half destroyed,
Take comfort ; say they what they may,
They all are Atoms in the Void.

Saturday, 1 October 2016


#read #greek language #classicalgreek #newtestamengreek #anagignwskw #anegnwte

IN Matthew 21:18 and 22:42 Jesus uses the words ... have you never read ...

As this verb is used for Classical Greek Prose as well lets discuss

Modern Greek also uses Diabazoo 
Anaginooskoo is the Koine form of this verb.
Note the structure ANA + the GNO stem 
Reading is knowing a pattern of letters.
Knowing is not just a  fixed state but a process!

Whether studying the Greek New Testament or Classical Greek literature we read to understand. Reading silently or aloud isn't just about how or what you read or recite but learning the text.

Reading Hebrew Aramaic or Greek in their first century AD forms was also more difficult. Punctation including letter and word spacing  was a radical new idea! At least Greek had vowels included within words probably another reason many Jewish people were bilingual!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Artemis and Archery

#Artemis and #Archery
some thoughts on the depiction of Artemis as an Archeress
The #greek #goddess NOT the fictional DC comics Amazon!

Many of you may have seen statues of Artemis wearing a short tunic with a hunting hound or deer by her side and presumed the images were Classical Greek art when they were actually Roman Dianas or Hellenistic works.

However the oldest known images of Artemis generally show her in her aspect as Potnia Theron Mistress of Animals like this Corinthian vessel from about 640 BCE

Artemis begins to be shown as an Archeress in the late Archaic and Classical period on vessels like these:

Artemis with her brother Apollo

Artemis firing her bow

Notice that she's shown wearing long robes not the sleeveless huntsman tunic of later art and NO ARM GUARD or Bracer.

With the Scythian Archers patrolling the streets of Athens artists must have been aware there were other styles of archery and bow shapes. Or were they?

I am wondering perhaps if a partial inspiration of this was some unknown ritual involving priestesses shooting a bow since as far as we know even upper class aristocratic women did not practise archery as a sport or hunt even in Sparta?

Another possibility is that potters and painters of pottery simply didn't get out of the studio often and observe actual archers?

Or being aware of Persian archers they were trying to make Artemis look as Greek as possible?

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Islamophobia and Mercy

#mercy #islamophobia #aussievalues #christiannation #gospel #whatjesussaid #bible study

I'm getting very tired of seeing people claiming they're defending "Aussie Values" and acting like bigotry is a value and virtue rather than a vice.

So a few reminders

Jesus started life as a refugee with his parents moving to Egypt to get away from a ruler who was paranoid and megalomaniac slaughtering children.

Jesus reached out to and healed  people who were not Jewish, including Romans, Greeks, Syrians, and others.

Jesus preached about the Good Samaritan who didn't stop to do background security checks on the wounded person by the side of the road but helped him get to a safer location where he could receive medical attention.

Finally tying this back to the classics remember the ancient greek tradition of XENIA hospitality to strangers.


In the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 20  verses 29 - 34 Jesus stops when two blind men sitting by the roadside cried out HAVE MERCY ON US
The crowd  okhlos rebuked them and tried to silence them but they continued to call for help HAVE MERCY ELEEESON

Notice jesus doesnt just bless them and go on his way he asks them

ti thelete poieesoo humin
what do you want me to do for you ?

Jesus showed mercy by healing them

He didn't post xenophobic rants on Twitter or other social media.

Okay you say I'm sitting on a laptop balanced on my knees posting to a blog.

Teaching however is also a form of ministry and a gift according to Paul.

You don't have to fly over to Syria and volunteer as an aid worker or medical staff and its okay if you don't have much money for donations but at least remind all the xenophobes and haters out there that if Australia is a "Christian nation" then we have to support not just Justice by fighting against ISIS but  also MERCY via practical actions.

Calling on bans on migration is not going to stop ISIS or terrorist actions.

Expressing Mercy by letting in more refugees is or should be an "Aussie value"


on a technical note the 3 eees I typed represent a short e followed by a long vowel which has become I in modern greek.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Linear B place names Map

A useful map I found the other day while doing a random search of the WWW
#linearb #map #mycenaeangreece

Note to the copyright holder I don't have a link for the original source or contact details for you. Thank you for this great map. Hope its okay to share for educational purposes?

Contact me so I can add details or add a link in the comments!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016


#white #color #colour #adjectives #classicalgreek

Have you ever considered just how strange color adjectives and names are in Classical Greek?

You can say WHITE as one word but not the concept of WHITENESS.

Also the adjectives describing pale grays and grays contrast with adjectives that describe things that are black or dark as murky dense dim obscure smoky.

Consider Leukos and Argos they often get used in contexts that impliy the white object is shiny or luminous or bright and Polios a common word for Gray implies a very pale gray fading to white like aging hair.

The words for black are Melas Melainos Kelainos Mauros and less common Aithaloeis and skia and skotos when used to describe something being dark seem to imply a contrast of a lessening or lack of lightand limiting of power  to light and strength shining with power and beauty.

Further proof of this ?

Leukos used to refer to chalk cliffs.

Arg+ being the stem of SILVER ARGURA the white metal.

When the ancient writers use color words they are often talking more about contrast in tones than what we would call hue or tint or shades.

Some complain English has too large a vocabulary but much as i love Greek it is a paucity of color adjectives compared to English but fortunately their use of creative metaphor and simile often leads us to not notice this.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Servants Among You

Servants Among You
Matthew 20:25-28

#biblestudy #whatjesussaid #greeknewtestament

What Church leadership should be! Servants to all ?

Verse 25 and the Jesus summoning them said

You know that the rulers of the nations lord over them and the great have power over them

Verse 26

NOt so will it be in in you plural
(changed to among in English in the sense of being IN a group)
but whoever wants among you great to become will for you servant
diakonos can refer to a free or slave servant attendant or minister and the word implies someone who stirs up dust being busy for you  dia + koneoo )

Verse 27

and whoever wishes among you to be first will be for you slave!

diakonos and doulos alike serve others

Verse 28 even as the son of man not came to be served but to serve and to give the soul / life of him (as) ransom instead / for many.

Anti here ... remember how the greeks romans and jews measure coinage not just by counting but also balancing weighing and assessing coins. One gold coin would be worth many silver or copper!

Real leadership is having and taking responsibility for others not just having orders but service!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Greek Spring

Double Metousia Today to make up for the lack of a mid week post!

Spring in Greek is
which yes is a cognate of
Latin VER

Greek Autumn

#autumn #classicalgreek #greek #season 


in Greek is


the fruit time from the rising of Sirius
to Arcturus a season also of rain

It is also called μετόπωρα and

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Orderly Ordinals

#ordinals #greeknumerals #greekgrammar #numerals #greek

First and Last and ORDINALS

Chapter 20 has quite a few so a list of the
Greek Ordinal Numeral Adjectives should be useful.
Words featuring in Chapter 20 of Matthew are highlighted in BOLD RED.

FIRST. πρῶτος SECOND. δεύτερος THIRD. τρίτος
FOURTH. τέταρτος FIFTH. πέμπτος SIXTH. ἕκτος
SEVENTH. ἕβδομος EIGHTH. ὄγδοος NINTH. ἔνατος
TENTH. δέκατος Eleventh ἑνδέκατος

Lastly ἔσχατος always has the final word !

Friday, 9 September 2016

Ancient S.T.E.A.M. Arts in the Classroom

Here's an image that proves ancient schools did include MUSIC and the ARTS in their Curriculum. Note that the instrument shown has SEVEN strings and there also appears to be two cymbals on the wall.

For those who could afford classes or private tutors though in some polises basic literacy and some other courses were sponsored by the state the curriculum seems to have been basic arithmetic and some geometry, reading, music, dance, reciting Homer and some of the lyric poets, and then, more geometry and music and perhaps rhetoric and law.

Note that what we would call visual arts were taught by apprenticeship and there were no universities. The equivalent of tertiary educations was largely public.

Whether or not there were scholarships for the gifted is not known.
I suspect young men from families that could not afford tutors probably hung around the rare public free lecture taking notes and hoping to get the attention of teachers.

As for girls basic literacy seems to have been limited to the upper classes and wealthy and probably also extended to singing and dance training for public choirs and rituals.

so we are lucky to be able to have discussions about STEM  versus STEAM and how much science and technology should be in the curriculum.

Support public schools not private academies or home schooling !

One thing we can certainly do better than the greeks is to NOT limit education to the wealthy!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016


I've been on a break due to adjusting to a new inhaler with a different dosage level for a chest / sinus problem so some grammar revision

#greek #greekgrammar #classical greek #rhis #rhino #nose #nasals

in Greek anyway

Greek has an interesting relationship with nasals especially at the end of words or next to a S.

Instead of fusing with another sound unless its an M or G or creating a nasalized vowel in a medial orfinal position as in some IndoEuropean languages the N disappears before a S.

This feature makes accusatives easy to spot and is responsible for all the many forms of πᾶς: πᾶσα, πᾶσι, πᾶν, πᾶντα and more.

It is also why RHINO- “ ῥῑς “Nose is classified in traditional grammars like Goodwins as having a Liquid stem.

This means the inflection of ῥῑς varies from case to case to avoid placing a nasal next to a S.

So The Noun for Nose with its stem of ῥῑν- has this pattern


N. ῥῑς A. ῥῖνα G. ῥῑνός D. ῥῑνί


N. ῥῖνες A. ῥῖνας G. ῥῑνῶν D. ῥῑσί

I will try to schedule extra posts later this week to make up for the hiatus!

Saturday, 27 August 2016


#classicalgreek #greekgrammar #revision okay chapter 20 of matthew doesn't seem to have any ambiguities or unusual words open to multiple readings that regard special notes or discussion so I'm skipping most of it and doing a revision / reminder list.

biblical classical new testament

 Yes think about that difference a lot!

Aorist is NOT just Past! Likewise the rarer Perfect and Pluperfect!


Moods Tense Aspect Voice

Understand what each of those words mean in relation to Greek Grammar

The SUBJUNCTIVE is your Ally NOT your Enemy!
Yes its a pain learning the differences between Aorist and Present Subjunctive and Imperatives and Exhortations and Secondary clauses etc
but learn remember Grammar and Syntax are Tools!

CASE and Prepositions work together.

Just be happy you don't have to deal with the Ablative as well!

Learn how use of the Genitive or Accusative or Dative changes meaning.


Learn some Basic Linguistics.

Studying examples of Phonology and Morphology in other languages and historical changes and their laws and patterns will be it easier to get comfortable with IRREGULAR VERBS and other seeming oddities. TRULY !

Friday, 26 August 2016

Greek Mosaic with Lettering.

#greekmosaic #lettering #jordan #byzantine

note the words sabbatioo+arkhi sabbath archon and presbuteroo elder / priest

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


#para #greekloanwords


The Paralympics start soon so a short note and some observations on loan words and compound words using the para prefix in English.

Some well known loans from Greek are parable parabola paradigm paragraph parallel and paralysis.

But English was an odd tendency to combine the para prefix with germanic stems so you get new words like parachute, paratrooper, and paraplanner.

The Oxford defines para as meaning besides beyond wrong irregular or ancillary.

However Liddell and Scott as predominantly meaning BESIDE but also meaning from beside or from alongside of a place or person with genitive but when dative is used meaning by the side of yet with accusative it can be a movement away beyond or even against and towards so the meaning and usage is far wider then it is in English.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

All Things Possible

#biblestudy #newtestamentgreek #dunatos

Matthew 19:26

so the disciples had just asked freaking out about how the young rich man had been told to go sell his possessions and give to the poor.

Who then can be saved?  They asked.

and Jesus looked at them begins the next verse
and I'm thinking a long hard stare because they're worried about their personal salvation rather than how they could practise the simple advice to be obey the commands and laws and help those worse off ...

Jesus then says

With Humans this impossible is
and with god all things are possible.

Note its salvation he's talking about not miracles but bear in mind

dunatos means powerful and strong as well as possible

and that statement if you think about it at length sends a shiver down the spine.

panta all dunatos possible
scary ???

Friday, 19 August 2016

Parchment / Paper with Greek lettering experiment

#gnwthiseauton #knowyourself #parchment #paper

So do you think this looks more like its was "written" on parchment or paper?

Yes I've been experimenting in Inkscape again this time with combining filters so I get an effect like sepia ink of parchment or paper.

I filled a rectangle with a texture and another that changed its edges to look rougher and then separately in another layer I combined a color edit with two other filters.

One drawback is though that I had to enter each separate letter individually to take full advantage of Inkscapes capacity to manipulate vector svg objects and add filters over it. Its slower and only useful for short quotes!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


#greek #classiclagreek #typography #greekfont

You can now get a #gnwthiseauton #sticker #designed by me from #redbubble

Know Yourself

Its Greek Letters raised above a mosaic texture background

Copyright Julie Vaux 2016 Gnwthiseauton
This differs slightly from the finished version which has a border and comes in several sizes. 

I will be putting some other Delphi Proverbs inspired designs up on #Patreon too.  

Saturday, 13 August 2016

More on What is God

I promised extra posts to make out for having to skip the midweek blog
so some #philosophy

The Epicureans were often condemned because their teachings were confused with those of other similar earlier schools like the Cyrenaics and the followers of Aristippos.

They taught that Pleasure Heedonee was a "GOOD" Agathos but they did not mean unbridled self indulgence!

If you have access to a copy of Diogenes Laertius read Book 2

DL 2:89 Diogenes describes the Epicurean doctrine as teaching that  pleasure was derived from a memory for expectation of good and that Phronesis Prudence or wisdom expressed as "common sense and Practical Action was a Good.

A philosopher called Theodoros taught that wisdom was good and JOY Khara the supreme GOOD 2.98

Epicuros himself DL 10.129 said pleasure was good but 131 also that it came from the absence of pain of the body and trouble in the soul

The Stoics 7.94 said good was virtue ARETE and should be the aim of a rational being and that the Good was that which 99 was expedient profitable useful or beautiful and more ...

So is the Good be it Beauty Virtue Pleasure or Wisdom a cause or a result of action or both?

Now I've covered both Theology and Philosophy today !

Difficult and easier

Difficult and Easier
some comments and observations about Matthew Chapter 19 Verses 23 - 24
but first my usual word for word rough translation

the and jesus said to the students of him
amen i say to you that
 (for is used in English as that best expresses meaning of greek syntax)
rich  difficultly difficult ... its an adverb in Greek and you just can't translate this in English! so duskoloos - oos adverb ending becomes difficult !
that for (the) rich difficult to come into the realm of the heavens

again and i say to you easier
 (eukopos in comparative form note the ooteron ending!)
is (for) camel through opening of a needle to pass through
than (for) rich to enter into the realm of god

a further note about duskolos and eukopos
if you have access to a lexicon look out these two words and then look up the stems and observe how the prefixes change the meanings of the stems

Many people want to be both RICH and Righteousness
but the two don't always go together

look back to the prior verses

You don't see Jesus saying condemn the poor for being lazy or sinners but help the wretched yet I see some preachers and ministers and politicians equate poverty alleged laziness and sin

I don't think Jesus would have approved of the so called Prosperity Gospel ???

Friday, 12 August 2016


#olympics #teachertips #olympicgames

TEACHERS are you stressing out trying to think of a new angle for using the #Olympic#Games in class? Here's some ideas!

Why NOT tell your class about the OTHER GAMES.

The Olympics were one of a set of 4 games and festivals that had Panhellenic status. The Others were the


Nemea a mountain valley near the main road between the Argolid and Corinth.

Teaching Angles
Why up in a (cooler) mountain valley
What else was significant about this site
Links to Heracles Myths and Legends
Why are Lions extinct on mainland Greece and Europe now


On the Saronic Gulf side of the Isthmus near a Temple to Poseidon

Teaching Angles
 Importance of Corinth in ancient times
Why Poseidon Who was Poseidon
What is an Isthmus


Games were also held at Delphi.

Teaching Angle.
Importance of Delphi to ALL of Greece
The Charioteer Statue especially with the Ben Hur remake coming out soon.
Are modern Stadiums similar to ancient ones
in which ways

As I had to skip a mid week post due to other projects i will try to do double posts this weekend to make up for that!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Paul on Love Your Neighbour

Yes this is related to last week's post!

#paul in #romans Romas Chpater 13 Verse 8 - 10 writes something that's a comment on last weeks passage Matthew 19: 16 - 22

These verses in Paul also suggest that someone was already compiling and recording Jesus' teachings into what would become the Gospels.

Now Paul writes

Verse 8
to nothing/one anything owe  if not the (in relations to) each other to love
he who for loving the other law fulfills (completely note that the Perfect form of verb pleroo used in greek!)
Verse 9 echoes verse 18 and 19 in Matthew's gospel
with the additional remark made by Paul that

and any other commandment 
are in this word anakephalaioutai

Anakephalaiow summarize sum up is literally "heads up" ana+kephalee

Each and Every of the 10 commandments Entolee or the whole of Mosaic Law Nomos are summarized as ... again a quote

You will love the person near / neighbour of you as yourself.

Verse 10
The Love to the nearby person evil not works
fulfilment therefore of law the LOVE!

Do no evil Love Your Neighbour is the fulfilment and summary of LAW.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Sphinx Feedback

on Sphinxes and Other matters

Would you like to see an ebook? 
A PDF? A print book? 

People would you like it and find it useful if I collected these and other Sphinx images into an e-book / pdf you could read offline ?

Please let me and also if you would rather get the ebook from Lulu(more formats) or Patreon (as reasonably priced reward) 

I would also love feedback on whether you would like to see extended versions of some of my post series as pdfs or ebooks?

Thank you 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Evolution of the Greek Sphinx

The Evolution of the #Greek #Sphinx

A Final Chronological Look at Sphinxes in #GreekArt

Starting with an Egyptian Sphinx

Then the sort of #Sphinx  Phonecian traders might have been selling as luxury items

From the #Archaic period 

And Classical 

Finally a Early hellenistic mosaic floor from Etretria

If you have found this set of images useful for your own research or work please consider supporting this blogger via PAYPAL

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Jesus to the Young Rich MAN

#biblestudy #gospel #greeknewtestament

Matthew 19: 21-22

so the rich kid claims I keep the commandments !

jesus' response translated word by word from the greek new testament

If you wish complete/perfect to be go away sell your property/possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven(s) and come here follow me.

Now this young man according to verse 22  "was for having possessions many"

he was wealthy probably in a variety of ways coins jewels land

but he wanted teleios to be complete whole perfect

note jesus didn't mention the do not covet commandment so he didn't sense greed was this man's problem?

Perhaps he was only "loving" his nearest family and friends and neighbours who were all as wealthy as him?

Note Jesus didn't say sell ALL your worldly goods or discard all your wealth.

He encouraged the young man to sell things he didn't need and use the money to help those who really needed help and then to follow him if he wanted to learn more about spiritual treasure.

Perhaps this young man had simply expected to have a theology / philosophy debate and get praised for his virtue but jesus told him to do more.

Are we doing enough too?

Friday, 29 July 2016

GrecoRoman sphinx

#grecoroman #sphinx #sculpture

This one dates to the Roman era but the Sculptor could have been Greek Roman or from anywhere in the Roman empire. It is thought to have been part of some part of furnishing a table or chair. 

NO crown or tiara on this one and the paws legs and wings are far less stylised.

I hope you've enjoyed the #sphinx series.

Please consider supporting this blogger further by using PAYPAL 
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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Hellenistic Era Sphinx and Oedipus

#sphinx #oedipus #vase #greekart

In the #Hellenistic period there were a shift back to using white slip as a background for paintings on ceramic vessels.

Images were created using something like tempera and added after firing so many of this type of ceramics have faded colors however you still still make out traces of blue gray on the wing feathers of this piece.

Saturday, 23 July 2016



Matthew 19:16-19

so a young man comes up to jesus and asks

What good will I do so that I will have life eternal?

Jesus reply

Why me you ask about the good?
one is the good
if and you wish into the life to enter observe the commandments

the young man asks WHICH?

Jesus does not recite all ten but note what he does do.

VERBS are used. ACTION is emphasized.

The verb I translated as observe teereoo also means watch and guard  so what follows are things to avoid and things to do.

As I'm going to discuss that in further detail next week I want to return to the question WHAT IS GOOD?

Later theologians spun Jesus' statement that the One is Good into a point of agreement with Platonic Philosophy GOD IS GOOD

but how do we become part of that Eternal Goodness, enter the Good Life?


This is something All religions and Many philosophies agree on.

Do good. Avoid Evil. Don't just talk about it.

Before next week read down to Verse 22.
Jesus keeps getting us to think about practical actions we can take.


If you follow me on Twitter or FB you may have noticed I'm somewhat distracted by #SDCC and the new Star Trek movie.

Do consider how you can do good things
without donning a superhero costume or joining Star Fleet!
Oh and you do happen to do cosplay consider using it
to help raise money for local charities!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Yet another Sphinx Sculpture.

#sphinx #sculpture #classicalgreekart

This one is from Cyprus. The "pinks" are faded reds and possibly other weaker pigments may have eroded off.

Tomorrow is greek new testament bible study day but next week I still have a few more Sphinx images to share before we move to a new topic.

Don't forget to check out older posts on this theme and ...

please consider 

Thank You 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A Sphinx in a Late Classical Mosaic

This #mosiac comes from a house in #Etretria

#sphinx #greekart

the pavement also features griffins a seahorse and  lions
note the restrained use of colour in comparison to the wider colour range in Hellenistic and Roman mosaics.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Let the children ...

#greeknewtestament #biblestudy #whatjesussaid

Matthew 19:14 is todays topic.

Rereading this verse in two or three translations I actually found the KJV to be closer to the Greek than the RSV. However be re-assured changing is to belongs does not vastly alter the meaning.

Here's the Greek transliterated

the and jesus said
let the children and not you plural hinder kooluete  them to come towards me
they for of such condition / nature / quality note the greek is  toioutoon
is the realm of the heavens. is + estin here!

KJV has Suffer little children and forbid them not to come unto me
for of such is the kingdom of heaven
RSV Let the children come to me and do not hinder them
for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven

So why belongs in some English translations?

Toioutoon refers back to the children whose parents sought Jesus' blessings and prayers so the verb links the children to heaven.

This simple verse can be read as calling on us to seek blessings and to protect children or that children are innocents free of sin or simply Jesus scolding the disciples for being over protective.

For further insight I suggest you go and reread the beginning of Chapter 18 and compare that to 19:13-15.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Sphinxes on Greek Ceramics

#sphinx #greekceramics #sphinxes

4 examples in roughly chronological order of sphinxes depicted on Greek ceramic

check out previous posts in this series and please consider using 

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Classics theme blogs don't tend to acquire much in the way of Adsense earnings certainly not enuff to pay for the new laptop battery I'm going to need soon.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

More Egyptian and Phoenician Sphinxes

#sphinx #egyptianart #phoenicianart

Having shown you the Delphi #Sphinx last time I want to show you more Egyptian and Phoenician pieces so you can see the interplay and connections between the different but related styles and models for Greek Sphinxes, Archaic or Classical and later.

2 Egyptian pieces 
the top one is ivory and part of a chariot horse's head harness a blinker 
 the bottom an amulet or maybe the Egyptian equivalent of an ornamental piece of bricbrac?

Now for 2 Phoenician / Syrian / Near East works.

Those wings probably had inlay of glass or jewels once.

Metal was also used. 

So Greek travellers and traders to Egypt Assyria Phoenicia and the Near East were seeing and bringing home objects like this as models for.

Next time Some more Greek interpretations of the Sphinx motif.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Delphi Sphinx


This Archaic era #greek #sculpture was created on the island of #naxos and originally placed on a high column in the temple precinct .

It is perhaps less ornate than Egyptian and Phoenician sphinxes though the body is more feline than leonine?

Bear in mind in its original location outdoors people would have been seeing this work from below or above and a distance.

Next time I compare Archaic sphinxes with more Egyptian and Phoenician models.


#Matthew #chapter 19 #divorce #biblestudy #greeknewtestament

The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 19 Verses 1 - 9 discusses divorce.

I often see these verses used to advise advising women to stay in abusive situations or to argue against same sex marriage but however you read and use these verses please reconsider verse 8.

The key word in this section may be



Jesus's response to the Pharisees draws attention to male hypocrisy.

Moses for the hardheartedness of you permitted for you to release the women of you from beginning but not happened so ...

and note what he says in 9

whoever releases the women of him not for sexual immorality and marries another he is adulterous.

Men were divorcing women for barrenness or ill health or other reasons and claiming there was improper behaviour on the wife's part.

Yes some versions have extra phrases that ban remarriage but again notice the word hardheartedness?

Jesus describes it as a cause.

If a man is so hardhearted he physically or verbally or in other ways abuses or neglects his wife then surely this is also a valid cause for divorce?

Yes too fond the wife gets the blame and people presume adultery.

I think Jesus calls on us to think about this carefully

Note the final words of verse 12

he who is able to hold it let him hold it!

Khorew means make room accept practise hold contain .

Going bakc to the Pharisees original question

divorce for any cause kata pasan aitian

What causes adultery and divorce?

Consider hardheartedness as a cause?

Tuesday, 5 July 2016



#sphinx #greekart #ceramics #sculpture

It is a curious feature of Greek art that the creature with a male head and lion's body becomes female and acquires a body more like that of a cheetah or cat in Greek Art.

We do not know if early Greek visitors to Naucratis or Memphis or Thebes actually saw the Sphinx at Giza or Sphinx figures at temples. It is perhaps more likely the first images Greeks saw of Sphinx were Phoenician ivories like this?

This one is male but the beardless face along with the legend of a female sphinx at Thebes plus the arrival of the first domestic cats lead to images like this:

On this Archaic era vessel the sphinxes appear alongside lions and a feline that may be a leopard or cheetah plus other animals.

Next time the Sphinx of Delphi !