Spot Goes to the Parthenon

8 03 2007

It feels like forever since I have started a fresh, new language (with Semitic languages, I always feel like I already know half of the lexical and syntactic items that I encounter) and so it is truly wonderful to be working through the JACT Reading Greek: Text. Was there a time when I was given simple, childish sentences in Hebrew? Certainly, but it feels like a lifetime ago and the feeling of doing it all over again is just wonderful. Observe the beauty of the first text within this corpus:

το πλοιον ε͗στιν ε͗ν βυζαντιῳ. ε͗ν δε βυζαντιῳ, ο͑ ͑Ηγεστρατος βαινει ει͗ς το πλοιον, ε͗πειτα ο͑ Ζηνοθεμις βαινει ει͗ς το πλοιον, τελος δε ο͑ κυβερνητης και οι͑ ναυται ει͗σβαινουσιν ει͗ς το πλοιον. το δε πλοιον πλει ει͗ς Χιον. ε͗ν δε Χιῳ ο͑ ρ͑αψῳδος ει͗σβαινει. ε͗πειτα δε πλει το πλοιον ει͗ς Ευ͗βοιαν. ε͗ν δε Ευ͗βοιᾳ, ει͗σβαινει ο͑ Δικαιοπολις. τελος δε προς τας ͗Αθηνας πλει το πλοιον και προς τον Πειραια.

The ship is in Byzantium. In Byzantium, Hegestratos boards the ship; then Sdenothemis boards the ship; finally, the captain and the sailors board the ship. The ship sails to Khios. In Khios, a bard gets on. Then the ship sails to Euboia. In Euboia, Dikaiopolis gets on. At long last, the ship sails to Athens and to Peiraia.

I have just started learning Ugaritic and we have launched straight into inscriptions; this seems to be the way of the world, so far as my experience goes. Why can’t every language be like Greek at Macquarie Uni? These simple texts are so much fun…




One response

10 03 2007

Ah, this brings me back to my school days…. ho Dikaiopolis elaunei tous bous meta tou arotrou…. I will remember this sentence on my deathbed.

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