Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A note on Lunate Sigma

The use of #Lunate #Sigma shaped like a C can be very puzzling even annoying for beginners in Greek especially as most English and American text books and others written in English usually have the "normal" sigma.

For those without access to images of examples of handwritten sigma in old manuscripts please compare Standard Modern Sigmas Σ σ ς to these# Coptic letters which are closer in form to hand written uncials Ϭ ϭ

That was Times New Roman Font 
Here are some examples from other Fonts

Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ    Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ     Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ

Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ     Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ   Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ

Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ    Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ         Σ σ ς Ϭ ϭ

Can you see how easy it would be for a scribe to reduce the letter to a Lunate C
a simpler curve when working on paper or parchment or even stone?

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Some Notes on words derived from the *ele stem in NT Greek.


VERBS: ἐλεάω ἐλεέω to have pity mercy compassion on someone

NOUNS: ἐλεήμοσύνη ἐλεήμων ἔλεος mercy pity compassion

Rarer Forms such as Adjectives Ionic ἐλεητός
and Literary Poetic ἐλεεινος and ἐλείνος

Words used in the New testament for mercy using this stem are thought to be translation of Hebrew and Aramaic words from the HSD stem but also the R kh M or R H M  stem.


ELE does not appear to be derived from an earlier Indo-European Stem or a borrowing from a Semitic language. 

Its usage in the NT indicates that mercy is seen as being not just a feeling but an action. 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Love Wins WHEN you ...

I should be posting about usages of mercy in matthew 18 but I feel I have  to write something about the consequences of #Orlando and other recent events and yes about #homophobia and #islamophobia.

People I'm seeing Conservatives and Bigots blaming Liberals and Progressives for certain events due to their calls for toleration and I'm seeing some Liberals going on and on and on about homophobia and meanwhile the extremists and terrorists on both sides profit from the bickering.

Please instead of arguing about causes and labels and start working together to try to find a way to detect and deter "Lone gun man" type shooters!

Posts about "evil Muslims" or gun control or with rainbows or even LOVE WINS all over them or replacing your usual avatar don't solve.

But wait you say I just just posted a LOVE WINS image!

Think about what 4 words I included in the image ?

AGAPE Compassion Philia Friendship Eros Passion Storge Affection

All these require action even if its just smiling reassuring or saying hello or being polite to a Muslim or LGBT neighbour. 

Working on these 4 forms of Love whether you give them Greek Latin or English names is how LOVE WINS. Give those words a workout! 

Do something!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A Mycenaean Greek Ceramic Vessel

A #Mycenaean Stirrup Jar #Greek #ceramic 

While I'm planning the next mid week series here's a reminder of the tradition of symmetry and originality in Greek Ceramics.
Simplicity and Elegance appears BEFORE the Classical era of Red and Black wares.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Be Careful what you ask for

Matthew 18 18 -20 Matthew 18:19

#biblestudy #greeknewtestament

These 3 verses and in particular 19 shows why a knowledge of greek can be useful.

Many commentators presume these verses are about the power of prayer but ...
let us consider them in context and then phrase by phrase.

Chapter 18 talks about forgiveness and protecting the innocent and sin and ends in a parable about a royal servant who asks for forgiveness of a debt and then goes and mistreats a minor debtor.

Verse 18

amen i say to you whatever is bound upon the earth will be bound in heaven and whatever is loosened upon the earth will be released in heaven

Verse 19

again i say to to you that if/whenever two agree sumphooneoo
which is literally make sounds in unison
out of you plural upon the earth about the whole  affair event activity
not a prayer or a wish a discussion about something!
relative pronoun so whichever? they asked
it will happen - geneesetai to them be done to them
by the father mine in the heavens

verse 20

where for are 2 or 3 gathered together in mine name there i am in middle of them.

It may well be what they receive as a response to their discussion or joint prayers might not be a wish?

Think carefully and read deeply the next section.

Be careful what you ask for!

Friday, 10 June 2016


#minyan #orchomenos #boeotia

I'm very annoyed at how few GOOD photos and particularly maps or site maps there are of Orchomenos. Oh yes plenty of shots of the Tholos Tomb a few of the hellenistic citadel tower  even fewer of the Byzantine church or theater but they're rather touristy and I was really looking for maps that show how orchomenos' location made it a dominant settlement in the area until the end of the Mycenaean area.

Pausanias' description suggests there should be a lot more visible above ground so it appears sadly that later residents very zealously recycled pagan buildings for newer works.

Here's what little I could find crop edit compile that may be of use?

Actually a map of a battle but does show local topography and how Orchomenos could control local trade on the western side of the Copaic basin. If the old "acropolis" above Chaironeia was once an outpost for Minyan Orchomenos guarding the road nw?

Another view with a different interpretation of the shoreline.

Look at this before you try using Google Earth. 
Only the Theatre is clearly visible on the Google Earth maps. 
Both rivers have changed course. 
The modern town site spreads eastwards.

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Saturday, 4 June 2016

to bind and loosen

#biblestudy #greeknewtestament

#matthew Matthew Chapter 18 Verse 18

Truly I say to you

Whatever you (plural) upon the earth it will be bound in heaven

and whatever you loosen upon the earth it will be loosened in heaven.

This verse bridges two linked sub topics within Chapter 18

It is also a striking example of parallelism in English or Greek.

Note also the perfect passive participles dedemena and lelumena
and that deeseete is deoo bind not dei!

The use of hosa ean to start both statements perhaps also shows us a variety of things are being referred to ? Sins Oaths Prayers Forgiveness!

Todays post is very short but I have to get ready for the next time the rain eases off and possibly unblock a drain and also race to the shops!

Sydney is experiencing severe storm weather and everything that has to be done outdoors has to be in the trough between waves of wind and rain. If it can.

Waters are certainly being bound and loosened in Sydney today!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Origin and Function of GLA

#Gla #Copiae #boeotia #archaeology #ancientgreece #minyan

I've previously shown you a map of the Eastern Copaic basin now for a map of Gla once an island in a lake and now an ongoing mystery!

This is what we currently know about buildings and possible structures still being explored on GLA

and here again as a reminder is Gla's Location

Note that Larymna to the NE has been used as a small port continuous from the Neolithic onwards and may have been the harbour for the Minyan regime of Orchomenos before they were defeated by the Thebans.

I have also speculated that Copaie / Kastro was originally an outpost and that GLA is probably Copiae and the inhabitants moved back to the mainland.

Now back to the map of GLA.

Note the sealed walled off area to the east. Why do that?

Gla would have been an excellent refuge during flood events. Perhaps livestock were coralled here walled off from the central living and storage areas. There could have been some kind of wooden ramp for human access to keep stock out of ... those seeming open areas could have had sundried mud and timber structures or perhaps GARDENS or terraces for drying eels and fish or edible water plants and herbs for export  and storage?

Why Gardens? 

You're a Minyan surrounded by a lake notorious for suddenly changing shorelines and flooding. Maybe the causeway to the mainland washes away?
You want every bit of flat land along the shore for cereal crops or pasturage for cows and horses. So where do you grow orchard crops or edible herbs so you don't have a long walk up into the hills and mountains? 

Could part of the reason for the walls be to retain soil around eroding off the top of the island? 

Take a look a the map again. 

You're on an island with a great vantage point allowing you to view any possible invasion along causeways or over the ware by boat and to send clear signals to other watch towers or beacons along the north shore back to Orchomenos.

You can can control trade by road or water along and across the lake.

You have protect local people by providing a flood refuge.

You have room to plant trees and herbs and store supplies.

You can provide a market / meeting area in the central plaza.

I suspect further surveys will turn up evidence the destruction of Gla also involved destroyed terraces gardens and trees. Timber supports for roofs were probably taken for firewood or other buildings. With most structures possibly being mud brick and timber this created the impression at first that most of Gla was "empty" space.

However while NOT being a rural Australian the first time I saw aerial shots of Gla one of my first thoughts was CATTLE /  SHEEP YARD bring them in one gate shear wool or milk them and then take them back out another.

I think we may find more traces of internal fencing and terracing on GLA for directing stock into certain areas and out of others.

Gla was more than a storage depot or watch post. It had multifunctions!