Software Page

I have updated the software page at and, removing links that no longer work and eliminating links to insecure servers.

While I’ve tried to include discussions of all of the software packages that allow reading and analysis of Ancient Greek texts, it is almost certain that I have missed some. If you have a favorite program that I have missed, please use the Contact page to let me know. I will be glad to add any program that you find useful for reading Ancient Greek or analyzing Ancient Greek texts.

Paul Nitz’ review of M. Diaz Avila’s Alexandros.

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.

Because Avila’s book, based on the earlier work of W.H.D. Rouse (1909), is a clear example of Applied Linguistics (use of a linguistically informed, research-based model to support language acquisition), I am adding the review to the Comprehensive Bibliography of Hellenistic Greek Linguistics.

Thank you, Paul!

οὐ μέντοι πολλοῦ γε χρόνου καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι and the scope of Ancient Greek negation

I received a question on Facebook about a comment Thucidides made in the first book of his ὁ πολέμος τῶν Πελοποννησίων καὶ Ἀθηναίων. Discussing the question of when the Greek people came to be called Hellens (the name that gets translated into English as “Greeks”), Thucidides commented that it was not until after the Trojan war, and that even then it was not immediate. The term Hellens, taken from Hellen, king of Phthia, took time to spread.

His comments about this end with this statement:

  • οὐ μέντοι πολλοῦ γε χρόνου [ἐδύνατο] καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι.

On first reading it might seem that what is being negated is πολλοῦ χρόνου, and that we should read οὐ μέντοι πολλοῦ γε χρόνου along the lines of “after not much time”, “after a short time”, or “not long thereafter”. Check the translations of this work into English, though, and you’ll find it read in the opposite sense: “after considerable time” or “though a long time elapsed” (This last one is from Richard Crawley (1840-1893). C.F. Smith (Loeb edition) has, “though it was a long time before the name could prevail among them all.”

What’s going on?

The issue has to do with the scope of negation. What is οὐ negating? 

Reading the clause as “After not much time, the name was able to also prevail among them all” implies a semantic structure like this:

[[οὐ μέντοι πολλοῦ γε χρόνου] ἐδύνατο καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι.]

Crawley and Smith, though, read it this way:

[οὐ μέντοι [πολλοῦ γε χρόνου] ἐδύνατο καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι.]

That is, οὐ is taken to negate ἐδύνατο or ἐδύνατο καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι. “For a long time, the name was not able to prevail among them all.”

What might suggest that this is the better reading?

For this we should pay attention to the little words μέντοι and γε. While these words often go untranslated in English, they held meaning as discourse markers for Ancient Greek speakers. 

οὐ μέντοι was often used to negate a possible implication from the immediately preceding discourse: Indeed not!, Not however…. In the present case Thucydides has just stated that the name grew in acceptance until it was accepted by all Greeks. οὐ μέντοι implies that he is now going to place some kind of limit on that idea, negate some possible implication.  He says that the name was not immediately accepted. The negation in the current clause strengthens or extends that negation. Indeed not! 

Here’s the entire sentence/paragraph (complete with links to Pereus in case you need help with vocabulary):

δοκεῖ δέ μοιοὐδὲ τοὔνομα 

τοῦτο ξύμπασά πω εἶχενἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν πρὸ Ἕλληνος τοῦ

Δευκαλίωνος καὶ πάνυ οὐδὲ εἶναι  ἐπίκλησις αὕτηκατὰ 

ἔθνη δὲ ἄλλα τε καὶ τὸ Πελασγικὸν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀφ᾽ ἑαυτῶν 

τὴν ἐπωνυμίαν παρέχεσθαιἝλληνος δὲκαὶ τῶν παίδων 

αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ Φθιώτιδι ἰσχυσάντωνκαὶ ἐπαγομένων αὐτοὺς 

ἐπ᾽ὠφελίᾳ ἐς τὰς ἄλλας πόλειςκαθ᾽ ἑκάστους μὲν ἤδη 

τῇ ὁμιλίᾳ μᾶλλον καλεῖσθαιἝλληναςοὐ μέντοι πολλοῦ 

γε χρόνου [ἐδύνατο] καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικῆσαι.


Updated bibliography recommendation page

Bookshelf imageI have updated and simplified the page for recommending additions to the bibliography. Now you just give your name, an email address where I can reach you (I will not share it), and what you know about the book, article, or web resource you want to recommend.

I appreciate those of you who have made recommendations in the past. They have been very helpful. Perhaps now the process will be a little easier.

New Exercises for the online grammar

I have uploaded a recorded version of the first lesson of my online Greek grammar, including two flash card exercises to practice phonemic awareness. The open source software I used to write the old exercises is no longer updated and is not HTML5 compliant. I’m now using U5P, also open source, to write new and better exercises. The ones in this first lesson are pretty basic (flashcards) but more sophisticated exercises will be coming later in the summer.

What?! Ads at Oh, no!

ShockedSmileyThat’s right. You see an ad in the upper right corner of the main page, just below the header. (And there’s another one on the right near the bottom of the main blog page.)

I have decided to allow a limited range of ads to help pay the expenses of maintaining, but there are a few limitations that I still insist on:

  • No ads in the grammar
  • Only ads related to the content of the page being viewed
  • Ads must be small and unobtrusive [That is… you can read the page and not be distracted by them.]

If you notice an ad that seems to violate any of these limitations, please feel free to contact me and complain!