Tuesday, 29 March 2016

10 Reasons to Read Greek


Actually I could list about a 101 but that would make for a rather long post.





5) 3000 years of poetry ... Sappho Simonides Sophocles

6) the Greek new Testament

7) Cavafy


9) Plutarch


Yes all of these are available in translation but .....

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Easter 2016

#Easter #easter2016 #card #free #julievaux

this is a png with a transparent BG so you can resize and use it for print or web

I've left white space for adding more text


Hristos Anesti is NOT a typo !

That line is meant to reflect the modern Greek pronunciation of Christos which is a fricative often written as a H.

I know its only Thursday night in some people's time zones but I wanted to give people plenty of time to edit and share!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Sandy Pylos

#pylos #mycenaeangreece #polis #nestor

somewhere under those sandhills and silt lies a Mycenaean harbour or landing beach ...and maybe a summer house fit for a king

This first map shows what the the bay's shorelines probably were about the 5th BCE

Although the southern part of the bay has a deep channel and the modern settlement of navarino / pylos unmarked on this map is down the southern end the harbour during Nestor's time was probably that semi circular cove up north.

Possibly also inside the bay too since Mycenaean warships were much smaller and no one seems to be able to agree on just how deep the Northern Channel was in ancient times. People write about wading across it but I've seen sandy river entrances that you can wade or swim across at low tide if there is NO STRONG outflow current and yet those same entrances can be sailed through by yachts and other shipping at high tide through the deepest channel albeit with extreme caution.

A lot of Mycenaean shipping was small very small smaller than Classical era pentekonters.

Now go to Google Earth for a modern view ... lots of sandy lagoon with a sandy bottom north part of bay sandy bottom and shallow but also rivers and if those rivers have been continually shifting sand and silt ...

This map dated 1898 shows the rivers flowing into the bay and that Sandy Pylos is also rocky Pylos.

However there is no description that suggests an uphill ascent to Nestors Palace for this site or the palace found further inside and Homer calls it SANDY PYLOS. Okay so Homer was blind and may have never visited there but he was shaping an oral tradition which in other cases has proven accurate.

The Odyssey's description suggests a short chariot ride across level ground past where Telemachus' ship and crew were.

Did you look at Google Earth Earth?

I'm thinking Nestor could have had a summer house perhaps wood near the bay ?

Perhaps its foundations may yet be discovered?

Another map. You're probably wondering why the Mycenaean settlement wasn't further south. After all Nestor was said to have had a large fleet of ships.

Mycenaean era artifacts have turned up all around the bay. 

Frankly I suspect there was some kind of fishing port at least down south but any stone buildings probably got torn down and used for building the  Neocastro.

Another solution is that Methone was also used for his fleet under a different name ... the Iliad's catalogue of ships names several settlements.

Pylos should still be the major port in this area and to a certain extent is at least for fishing and yachting  but the vagaries of history and geography reduced to rubble and rock and sand and buried a string of settlements around the bay since Nestor's time. 

Given another 3000 years and maybe that northern channel will widen and it will be possible to have an anchorage for ships in the northern part of the bay again?

Saturday, 19 March 2016

HOSANNA free png

Its #PalmSunday in my time zone

Linguistics note Consider WHY greek has no final H and why Hebrew words ending in -ah become long A or A in Latin Greek and English ?!

This png has a transparent bg so you can edit it further for cards or web usage.

Easter cards next time

Midweek I also continue to discuss

OTHER Cities a new series on lesser known Greek Polises.

Friday, 18 March 2016

The other Cities : ONE _ GORTYN IN CRETE

#gortyn #gortys #crete #greekpolises

One could get the impression from #AncientHistory text books and courses that the only two cities of importance in Classical Era Greece were Athens and Sparta and maybe Thebes or Corinth.

HOWEVER if a city or polis is judged by its endurance and sustainability ...

Let us consider #GORTYN in Crete an urban settlement that has endured since the Neolithic and possibly still does if Ayia Deka was once the Eastern edge of the city?

But first here's the three best images / maps I could find that looked like they would work on a variety of screen sizes.


With runoff from the hills and mountains a permanent river and situated on a fertile plain the Messara Gortyn's location would have a modern real estate agent screaming "BUT WAIT THERE"S MORE"


No signs of major occupation in the Minoan period however there could be remains under the foundations of the Classical and Roman period buildings but that "acropolis" was probably a guard or watch post originally and that road has been the main route west east across the messara plain for centuries!
 It is very close to where the road turns north up across the mountains to Knossos and there are other roads leading to the south coast to towns that were ports with trade to African and Egypt. So a Cross roads So  LOCATION?

The Romans also added aqueducts and  given this was the provincial capital perhaps the suburbs and housing quickly reverted back to farmland cos the city included open areas for stock yards and more than one agora or forum or even market gardens?

I suspect more discoveries will be made in this area if they have not already and been quietly sold off on the black market. Most of the statuary was removed to museums but I also suspect there's quite a bit of hidden Roman plumbing and pipes still carrying water to those modern olive groves and other growth.

When you think of Knossos remember that Gortyn stood for a far greater length of time 4000 years from the Neolithic to the 7th century AD Arab Raids in comparision to a mere 2000 or less for Knossos.

Those are approximate numbers as I rounded them off to include Neolithic settlements and I may actually under estimated the dates.

Greece and the Hellenic sphere of influence is far more than Athens and Sparta or Ionia.

Tomorrow back to bible study or easter cards but stay tuned for discussion of Pylos the ARGOLID and Melos as polises over the next few weeks as well as our scheduled weekend bible study.

Saturday, 12 March 2016


A short note on #egeiroo #biblestudy #newtestamentgreek #greek #gospels

Why is egeiroo used in the gospels?
Or indeed elsewhere in Greek Literature?

Some observations that may be of use even if your interest in Greek is more "Classical".

Egeiroo means (Liddell and Scott Lexicon)

Awaken wake up stir rouse raise erect 

Why use this as a verb in Greek to describe the #Resurrection?

The Resurrection is also described as a noun as being a "upstand / vertical stance/ rising up to a vertical position" #anastasis in #greek from anisteemi.

Egeiroo seems to be used to emphasize a return to a HIGHER ENERGY STATE to emphasize the difference between death and life.

One of the reasons I like Greek as a language is the way it can be used to express energy states. active, passive, reciprocal, perfect, aorist, and more.

In the New Testament  and Matthew #Jesus uses egeiroo in verses #matthew16:21, 17:23, and 20:19  and in chapter 28 it is the verb  translated as risen in the RSV in verses 6, " ... he has risen for as he said." and verse 7 again He has risen from the dead".

As I type this at noon on a Sunday in my time zone many of us are turning our thoughts to Easter for secular and religious reasons, school holidays, excuses to eat chocolate, bible study focusing on Easter, church services.

Whatever stirs you up about Easter chocolate or church or both do have a good one.

I'm be sharing some new and resharing some older Easter Cards over the next few weeks and those hoping for something more secular I have had some fresh thoughts on Greek cities to share.

Expect a post sometime midweek on the city of GORTYN in CRETE.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Metousia Stats and Readership

A note on my Stats for #metousia #blog

Google states tell  me that while I have many readers and thank you people for liking and  reading the posts I have STILL very few followers.

Do consider following and getting email alerts ?

Losing and Gaining ...Worlds and Souls

#biblestudy #greeknewtestament #gospel #whatjesussaid

Matthew 16: 24 - 28

There's a few places in this passage where the RSV and other English translations have to change the word order and simplify some Greek phrases.

I hope this following paraphrase and notes will show you why.

By the way folks I do these paraphrases to give you some idea of the word order in Greek not cos I'm too lazy to do a full translation.

Matthew Chapter 16 24 - 28

Jesus is still talking to and teaching the disciples about the whole Son of Man thing and not just to Peter but all of them says

Verse 24

If anyone wants after me to come (many translators simplify this to follow)
 (thelei is not a subjunctive though can function as one it means desire wish want will ... would in the sense of intending to do something)
let him utterly deny  himself
aparneomai in Aorist Imperative form
and lift raise take up
aratoo < airoo Aorist Imperative Again !
the cross his and follow me

Verse 25 who for ever wants / would (subjunctive here)  the life / soul his to save will lose / destroy it.

Remember apollumi / apolesei is NOT just misplace or lose an object but lose it because it is destroyed !

Who and ever loses the life / soul his for the sake / because of  me will find it!

Verse 26

what for it profits / benefits ... a human if (ever) the world whole he should gain as profit and the soul / life of should be penalized / fined / pay a penalty
zeemiooo Aorist Subjunctive

 Note the verb Not totally lost but lessened?

Or what gives a human (in) exchange for the soul / life his?

Verse 27

mellei intends plans will come in future for the son of the man to come in the glory of the father his with the angels his and then will pay back to each according to the deeds actions his
 (its singular in greek praxin so actions / activities / deeds  as a whole?)

Verse 28

amen i say to you that they are some of those here standing some
(note use of indefinite relative in greek oitines) not (only implied) double negative in greek emphatic
who will not taste death until they see the son of the man coming in the realm his.

Sometimes unfortunately to get the translation to flow smoothly in English some aspects of the syntax have to be simplified and condensed usages that increase emphasis in Greek and presumably Aramaic too are actually less so in English.

This is why I  and other commentators draw attention in notes to the use of Imperatives and Subjunctives in Greek.

Hope these notes and observations help and not hinder your bible study.

A note for new readers

I use the UBS Aland Greek new Testament.
English RSV though I sometimes consult other versions.
Lexicon Liddell and Scott
Rieneckers Linguistic key I often find helpful too!

If you can afford one do try to acquire Goodwin's Greek Grammar!

I am eternally grateful to the person many years ago who gifted me their copy of Goodwin and Liddell and Scott!