May 30 Greek Notes

Sure they’re a day late, but since the notes pertain to yesterday’s study we’ll have to call this this May 30th Greek notes. First, I received Athenaze Book I, 2nd edition in the mail yesterday. I already had the first edition of book I, but my pastor and I were about to work through it (and book II) in parallel so I decided it would be worth going ahead and getting the updated edition. It comes with a workbook this time, which is nice (and by "comes with" I don’t mean you get it for free, of course). It is slightly thicker, possibly because it contains more readings than before. This time they also included readings from the New Testament as well. Maybe this will make it a more attractive textbook for first year Greek students.

I also finished chapter two of Pseudo-Apollodorus’ "Library". After the first verse it switched from the narrative of the τιταναμαχία (war of the Titans - great word!) to a long list of which higher being was birthed by which other higher being and whatnot. So the reading at the last was generally quite easy.

Of course I say "generally" for a reason. Here is a snippet that gave me trouble:

τὸ δὲ τῆς Στυγὸς ὕδωρ ἐκ πέτρας ἐν Ἅιδου ῥέον Ζεὺς ἐποίησεν ὅρκον, ταύτην αὐτῇ τιμὴν διδοὺς ἀνθ' ὧν αὐτῷ κατὰ Τιτάνων μετὰ τῶν τέκνων συνεμάχησε.

But Zeus caused oaths to be sworn by the water of Styx, which flows from a rock in Hades, bestowing this honour on her because she and her children had fought on his side against the Titans.

The rendering above is from Frazer’s Loeb edition. The part that tripped me up the first time through was the "Zeus caused oaths to be sworn" part. Why did he translate it as a plural? And why "caused oaths"? Is it the presence of ἐποίησεν? Still figuring this one out.

In general I would say that the difficulty level of this text has been in the easy-intermediate to intermediate range so far. We’ll see how long it stays that way.


Brett 2008-06-01 08:22:00


POIEW itself means to 'cause' or 'effect' something. Alternately, Frazer may be taking POIEW as a 'causative active,' whereby the action (taking an oath) is done at the request of the Subject (Zeus), but not by the Subject itself. This is fairly common in the GNT of course.

Without more context, it would be hard to see why ORKON is given a collective sense. 

Eric 2008-06-08 12:03:46

That's a fine point. Makes sense. Will have to continue thinking about ὅρκον.