While the Sara B. Aleshire Center is focused primarily on encouraging and supporting the research of UC Berkeley faculty and graduate students, it provides resources that are of significant value for anyone studying ancient Greek inscriptions, including images of the inscriptions in their possession.
Once again this November, Jonathan Robie and I will present an update on the work we are doing to create free materials for teaching Hellenistic Greek as a living language.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. There will be plenty to do and a lot of great papers. Our presentation will take place at 1:00 pm. We have the first slot in the session, Innovative Approaches to Teaching Biblical Languages, joint session by Global Education & Research Technology and Academic Teaching & Biblical Studies.
Here is an abstract like the one that will appear in the program book:
Teachers increasingly recognize the importance of teaching biblical Greek using the same kind of effective techniques used to teach modern languages in schools and universities. These techniques focus on carefully designed learning activities that require the student to think in the target language in order to respond appropriately.
There are now several university level courses that take this approach to teaching Greek, but we believe that there is a real need for a course that (1) can be taught by anyone with a solid reading knowledge of Greek (using the teacher’s notes and recordings we provide), (2) concentrates on texts drawn from the New Testament, and (3) is freely available. For those who do not have access to a teacher, we believe that it is also important to be able to learn online.
The course we are developing works through New Testament texts using pictures, TPR, and asking and answering questions in Greek. Each lesson has (1) a content objective focused an authentic Greek text and (2) a language objective expressing the skill to be mastered.
Linguistic terms are taught after students have experienced the construct they describe. Before introducing a term like “1st person singular,” we expose students to the word ἐγώ and verb forms that correspond to it. Before introducing terms like “nominative, genitive, dative, accusative,” we teach how to ask and answer questions using the forms τίς, τίνος, τίνι, τίνα. Before introducing terms like “circumstantial participle,” we act out scenarios that illustrate the relationship between two verbs.
In keeping with the philosophy of this course, our presentation will focus on presenting sample teaching activities live rather than talking about them, followed by discussion of the specific content or language objective and why we teach it the way we do.
Join us for a lively discussion.
In the same session several other topics will be discussed, all related to teaching biblical languages.
I look forward to hearing Mike Aubrey’s SBL paper, “Compounding and Cognitive Processes in Word Formation with ὑδροποτέω and its relatives.”
It is often the case that compound words mean something more than or other than the combined meanings of the two words in the compound. This is apparently the case with ὑδροποτέω. The usage of the word shows that it means something different from simply ὕδωρ plus ποτέω.
You can read the abstract of Dr. Aubrey’s paper here. He will present it in the Cognitive Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation Section at the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Denver, Colorado in late November.
Seumas Macdonald has posted a great discussion of a problem facing many who are using communicative methods to teach Ancient Greek in institutions that require students to know the traditional metalanguage for talking about Greek rather than simply speaking Greek. I highly recommend it.
I have added a few lines of behind-the-scenes code to the online grammar (HellenisticGreek.com) to force all pages to load securely (https rather than http). The site has been available on a secure server for some time now, but with these changes it will be impossible to load any pages insecurely.
Felicia Logozzo and Paolo Poccetti have edited an impressive compilation of linguistic research on Ancient Greek. All but one of the chapters address either Classical or Homeric Greek, but one, a brief note on synthetic forms of the future in Hellenistic Greek, addresses the time period of our focus here.
Liana Tronci, “Forme sintetiche del futuro nel greco ellenistico, Brevi note sulla Settanta”
Have any of you seen this book? Tronci’s article is written in Italian, but many of the other articles are in English. Do we have any Italian speakers who would be willing to read Tronci’s article and comment on it?
I have updated the Dictionaries page to make clear which resources linked there are running on secure servers and which are not. Since the implementation of HTTPS everywhere, Chrome and some other browsers are flagging sites as insecure when they are not running under that standard. Any page that links to them is also classified as insecure. This impacts what I am doing at Greek-Language.com and GreekLinguistics.com. To solve this problem, I have temporarily disabled links to sites running on insecure servers, but kept the link text so that you can paste it into your browser’s location bar if you are willing to take the very minor risk it presents.
Links to insecure pages are shown in dark red and do not do anything when you click on them.
If want to visit the linked page, you will need to copy the link and paste it into the location bar at the top of your browser window.
In volume 8, issue 1 of Teaching Classical Languages, Paul Nitz has written a very helpful review of M. Díaz Avila’s Alexandros, Nitz considers the possible suitability of Avila’s book for a text-based introduction to Ancient Greek using a Communicative Model. The review is well worth reading.
Here is how the Greek Phrase for “Merry Christmas” would have sounded between the time of Jesus’ birth and about 250 CE. It is doubtful that anyone actually uttered this greeting in the first century after Jesus was born, but if they had, here’s how it would have sounded!
I’ve provided the recording in three popular formats so that you can hear it even if you are using an outdated browser. At least one of the formats should work for you.
Three versions of the recording
Why is it likely no one used this saying before 100CE? Well, we just have no evidence that Christmas was celebrated at all before that date. The invention of the holiday came a bit later. Still, feel free to use the greeting now that we do celebrate Christmas!
A note on spelling
There is one small difference in spelling of the Christmas greeting between 300 CE and the present: the system of written accents has been simplified. Contrast the following spellings. Can you see the difference?
Greek-Language.com and GreekLinguistics.com are now fully identical, and both have a cheery new look. I’ve also put a great deal of time in over the past few days to enhancing the security of the sites. I hope you enjoy the changes.
Note added December 29, 2017: I may from time to time vary the aesthetics of the site depending on which URL is used to access it, but the content will remain identical.