Monthly Archives: November 2014

The last speaker of Ancient Greek

I have spent a few holidays in Crete. Last time we went there we were staying at a small hotly on the South coast. While waiting one evening for my wife in the hotel lobby, I picked up a modern … Continue reading

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Fish and scripts

In all of Homer there is only one reference to writing. The reason is that the Iliad and Odyssey were oral poems and pre-dated alphabetical writing and perhaps were mainly composed in their present form after the fall of the … Continue reading

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Good Mantitheus versus bad Mantitheus

One of the court cases for which Demosthenes wrote a speech is quite unusual in that it is not about any crime or breaking of a contract. The case is being brought by an Athenian citizen by the name of … Continue reading

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Blind man’s buff

This is from the Oxford book of Greek verse. The author is anonymous and title is “Blind man’s buff”. Presumably this is what was chanted when you played the children’s game. χαλχῆν μυῖαν Θηράσω. Θηράσεις, ἀλλ’ οὐ λήψει. I will … Continue reading

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Timing is everything

In Menander’s comedy, the Dyskolos or the bad tempered man, our hero Sosistratus has fallen in love with Knemon’s daughter. His companion Chaireas gives him some advice on how to approach Knemon. εὖ τοῦτ ̓ ἴσθ ̓ ὅτι πρὸς πάντα … Continue reading

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Xenophon consults Socrates

One of the most readable bits of ancient literature is Xenophon’s Anabasis but It has its detractors. Oswyn Murray in the Oxford history of the Classical World says “Many of these (Xenophon’s works) are on the fringes of history. The … Continue reading

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Plato and Plutarch go to heaven

The Penguin book of Greek Verse edited by Constantine Athanasius Trypanis and published in 1971 is an anthology of Greek verse from Homer up to recent times showing that there is an unbroken tradition in Greek poetry (although there are … Continue reading

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