Comparative Teaching of Old Greek and Latin/Introduction

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Comparative Teaching of Old Greek and Latin

Translated from the Greek Wikipedia|Wikiversity: "Συγκριτική διδασκαλία των κλασικών γλωσσών / (Comparative Teaching of the Classical Languages)"

(According to our book: Κ. Ιωαννίδης (Con. Ioannidis) - Αικ. Ιωαννίδου (Cath. Ioannidou),

"Συγκριτική διδασκαλία των κλασικών γλωσσών, Αθήνα 2007" /

(Comparative Teaching of the Classical Languages, Athens 2007)

(The copyright of our book edited in 2007 belongs to us)



This book that presupposes certain elementary knowledge of the secondary school and is addressed to students of high schools, students of philosophical faculties and teachers, but also to each fond of learning reader, is the result of a very long effort that had and it has as aim the comparative teaching, as live languages, the classic languages, i.e. the Old Greek language and the Latin language, with emphasis on daily dialogues. Created it the deep faith and our conviction that the teaching, in this way, the ancient texts will offer to the students the ideological inventions of big importance and the cultural elements that these texts contain. If we wish, in point of fact, to teach our young persons the ancient speech, we owe to teach them not only how to learn it by heart, but also how to produce it orally and in writing.

The selected matter has been separated in 50 courses (we analyse here every course in three parts)with modern teaching in each unit of the two languages and with their comparison in level of grammar, structure, vocabulary and culture. Each course consists of the first part, where it is mentioned the theory for the syntactic and grammatical phenomena of the Old Greek and Latin language, with plenitude but also in a modern and clear way, the second part with the ancient text and its analysis, the third part with the dialogues, the applications and their exercises and the fourth part with the information on historical and cultural elements. Of the exercises the two last ones in every course have particular importance and should be examined always in combination with the ancient text of the course.

The dialogues that follow the texts should be comprehended and repeated, because their role for essential learning of language is important. We consider them very useful, particularly about the composition of the ancient texts and dialogues, as also we consider that they are very useful and the four additional glossaries which are mentioned at the end of the book and contain words and expressions. Equally important are also the sayings and the dialogic expressions that supplement the courses. Finally, after every unit of nine courses it follows a repetitive - diagnostic test consisting of 80 questions - answers of multiple choice and a diagnostic exercise.

A difficulty that one meets in one's effort to see the ancient languages as live is the attribution of new significances in words of the old language, in which however did not exist the objects in which are referred to the significances. How, that is to say, the translator will translate, in the ancient languages, words such as cigarette, tomato, port-bagaz (boot) etc. Considering that it is given the unity of the Greek Language from the ancient years up to today and the convention that in the Modern Greek language belong all the words of the Greek Language in its course of three or more thousands years, under the condition that these words will be adapted in form to the Modern Greek Language grammar, it is useful to consider that also all Modern Greek words of old greek origin, for which do not exist corresponding words of the Old Greek Language, can, necessarily, belong in Old Greek, under the condition that they will be adapted to the grammar forms of the Old Greek Language.

Something proportional is also in effect about the Latin language, which, because it is spoken in the Vatican City and is used as language of communication, is more live than Old Greek and has developed, using as base the Old Greek or Latin language, a capable vocabulary, that corresponds in its entirety with the new needs, as hamaxostichus (train), lao'phorum (bus), aeripo'rtus (airport), aerina'vis (plane), autocine'tum (automotive, car), ho'spita ae'ria (hostess), vapori'traha (locomotive), decidi'culum (parachute), e'volo (I am taken off), terram atti'ngo (I am landed), autoa'rcera (ambulance), a'rea stati'va ([parking]) etc.

This opinion, i.e. the use of appropriate Modern Greek words, appears preferable to any other use, e.g. the preference to words that are created proportionally, with base the Old Greek Language, (most important source, particularly for words of not Greek origin), without having been used by the population or by loans by other languages. We can for example use the tryed Modern Greek words as Old Greek words and produce, with base Old Greek, other words, in order to replace, in Ancient Greek, the words of foreign origin.

Each report on the mother Indoeuropean language, even if it is scientifically argued, does not cease to be hypothetical and uncertain and as hypothetical it should be faced. The grammatical types with * declare hypothetical types of the Indoeuropean language, to which led us on one side the comparative study of the Old Greek, Latin, [Old Irish]] and Sanskrit languages and their relative texts, and other ancient languages, and on the other side the exceptional relative handbooks and books (Babiniotis, Chatzidakis, Stamatakos, Skassis, Papanikolaoy, Buck, Krahe, Schwyzer, Pokorny, Hofman, Mayrhofer, Macdonell, Stolz-Debrunner, Kuehner, Apte, Hudson, Schmid, Von Polenz etc) that are reported in the bibliography, which offered to us precious aid in any case of research and particularly in confirmating the reported aspects.

The report to the hypothetical indoeuropean types, where we could lead to likely reliable conclusions, aims only at the better comprehension and interpretation of development of linguistic phenomena of the two classic languages and it does not constitute, in any case, barren theoretical pastime, an idea that is beyond the intentions and outside the objectives of this book, the basic aim of which, generally speaking, is practical and is limited to the comparative teaching of the two languages. For this reason we avoided the references to writers, with the exception of those references which are referred to the Indoeuropean Language. We have the hope that the very exigent readers will forgive us, since in the 270.000 roughly words of this book, that are many, we should add other 52.456 words for the references.

The accent in Latin words enters for the easier and more correct reading and learning of the Latin words and it will not enter, apart from certain exceptions, after the thirty fifth course, when the students will have been familiarized with the quantity of the penultimate and they will be in position to stress rightly the words. In the first five courses the analysis of the texts becomes in detail, particularly in Latin, and concrete directives on the acquisition of method of access of the old texts are given. In all texts there are given the meaning and the functions of all words that, in our opinion, the reader needs, in order to be in position to translate sufficiently Old Greek and Latin texts, without being given the translation, which, if it were given, it would cause damage rather in all process.

In the first thirty five courses verbs are given with their initial tenses, that is the first indicative singular person in all tenses, in the next five with tense replacements that is the person in the same mood and number in all tenses and in the last ones with [[mood replacements], i.e. the same person in all moods of the same tense. Occasionally becomes a repetition of basic, in our opinion, elements of grammar, structure and vocabulary as well of various teams of words of the same etymological origin, of structures and circumlocutions. For the spelling and the punctuation of ancient texts we compared the ancient texts in all publications that are reported in the bibliography section.

For the student that he will want to continue his study and beyond this book we recommend, though the work of all ancient writers have equally big importance, for Old Greek: Xenophon]'s works, the rhetorical speeches of Lysias, Lycurgus, Isocrates and Demosthenes, Plato's dialogues, the History of Thucidides and Herodotus, particularly the dramas of Aristophanes and the three tragic poets and the dictionary of Souda or Suida. For Latin: The Lives of Cornelius Nepos, the works of Caesar and Cicero, the history of Tacitus and Livy, the dramas of Seneca, Plautus and Terence, Virgil's "Aeneide", and the "Etymologies" of Cassiodorus, works from which we drew also the extracts and the examples for the needs of this book. It is obvious that the use of a small Old Greek and Latin dictionary will be very beneficial.


The Old Greek and Latin languages are, we could say, the more representative members of the Indoeuropean Language, which is considered as the mother of all languages of the Indoreuropean family, in the meaning that these two languages, together with Sanskrit1, preserve in the best way the structural elements of the mother Indoeuropean language, because they are the older languages of the family and they preserve very important written monuments. The more known other members of the same family2,3 are the languages: Indo-Iranian, Germanic with its branches, Balto-slavic with its branches, Celtic, Albanian, Armenian, Lithuanian, Hittite Language, Tocharian Languages etc.

Even if historically it has not still proved with monuments, linguisticly we can say that we are certain that all these languages sometimes constituted a language which the same population spoke, who should live, at the prevailing opinions, in Europe and in particular in the region of Central-East Europe4. From this region, while other students place it in Asia5, in the region of plateau of [Pamir], and others in Eastern Europe, in the region of Caucasus, the Indoeuropeans began to migrate in other regions, which they took from or in which they gave their names6 and by which they were influenced racially, economicly, culturally etc.

Certain of the characteristics of this protolanguage, that was named Indoeuropean7 by the nationalities that occupied the two utmost spaces of dissemination of Indoeuropeans7, are the following: The existence of the five basic vowels a,e,i,o,u8,9 both short and long, the existence of the diphthongs10, the distinction between voiceless, voiced and aspirate consonants11,12, the possibility to use all sounds at the end of the word13, the free accentuation14,28, the change in stem vowels or the vowel gradation15, the thematic and the unthematic nouns16 and verbs17, the free position of the words in the sentence18, the coordination and subordination19 etc.

Some examples showing and prooving the indoeuropean theory and the common origin of the indoeuropean languages are the following:

Modern Greek (English) / Indoeuropean / Old Greek / Latin / Sanskrit

δύο (two) /* duvo, dwo20 /δύο /duo34 /dva22

τρεις (tree) /* trejes21,29 /τρεῖς /tres /trayas, tri22

επτά (seven) /* septm21 /ἑπτά /septem /sapta21

δέκα (ten) /* dekm21 /δέκα /decem /dasa22

μητέρα (mother) /* mater20,31 /μήτηρ /mater /mata20

πατέρας (father) /* pater20,30 /πατήρ /pater /pitar, pita20

ναῦς > ναύτης (sailor) /* naus20,31,32 /ναῦς /navis naus20

εἶμι >επιούσιος (I go) /* eimi25,30 /εἶμι33 /eo /emi26

γένος (gender) /* genes, -os20 /γένος /genus /yanas20

γένους (of gender) /* genes-os23 /γένεσ-ος /gener-is /yanas-as23

αγρός (field) /* agros20,31 /ἀγρός /ager /ajras20

νέος (new) /* newos20 /νέος /novus /navas20

φέρω (bring) /* bher-20 /φέρω /fero /bharami20

είμαι (I am) /* esmi24 /εἰμί /sum /asmi24

είμαστε (we are) /* smes24 /ἐσμέν /sumus /smas24

ήμουν (I was) /* esm24 /ἦν /eram /asam24

ήσαν (they were) /* esent24 /ἦσαν /erant /asant24

During the immigration of Indoeuropeans, it appears from the existence of more common elements in both languages that Greeks, for one interval, were moved together with Romans27 and when they reached Central Europe they began to be moved more southernly, Greeks to the Balkan Peninsula and Romans to the Italian Peninsula, where they were also developed the more important dialects of Old Greek (Doric, Achaic, Aeolic, Ionik-Attic)1,2,3, with written monuments of Achaic roughly from 1400 B.C. and of Italian (Latin, Faliscan, Oscian, Umbrian or Oscan-Umbrian)4,5,6 language, with written monuments of Latin-faliskan roughly from 600 B.C., that led to the classic Old Greek Language of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. and classic Latin, under the big effect of the Greek Language, of the 1st century B.C. and the 1st century A.D., languages that are the object of this effort.

This effect of the Greek language on Latin began from very early. Already from the 6th century B.C. Romans had come in contact and had commercial transactions with Greeks of colonies in down Italy. But the mainly effect began from the 3rd century B.C., when Latin Literature follows faithfully the Greek models. Libius Andronicus, a Greek from Tarant, who taught the Greek language in Rome, translated first in Latin "Odyssey" and wrote at the Greek models tragedies and comedies. Much bigger was the effect after the conquest of Greece from Romans in 146 B.C. and later.

After the classic, for each language, centuries, Greek knew a universality in the Hellenistic years with Hellenistic Koine or simply Koine = Common, that is the language of the Alexandrian years and the language of Gospels, which was also maintained in the Roman years as language of Eastern Roman State, in the Byzantine years up to 1453 A.D. as language of the Byzantine State and afterwards as language of enslaved Greeks and Greeks of dissemination up to the foundation of Modern Greek State, which constituted the national language until today, as Kathareuousa (= clear language) up to 1982 and as Demotic afterwards, though Demotic had been already established as official language of education in 1976 A.D.

Latin language was developed after the classic years into vulgar Latin, Vulgata, and continued be written and be spoken in the limits of Western Roman State, where there were developed the most big contemporary european states, until the beginning of the 13th century, when they began to be created and spoken the national european languages, and it gave exceptional samples of poetry, as the sequentia (religious hymn) "Dies irae, dies illa" in the ecclesiastical poetry and the "Carmina Burana" in the secular poetry. It continued however constituting the unique written language in Europe for enough still centuries. There were created by it these said Romanic or Romance languages as Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Catalan, the language of Provence etc. Today Latin is spoken and written in the Vatican City and in a lot of European universities it is used as language of communication.


Arrian 3, Xenophon 4 - 12, Lysias 13 - 19,

Lycurgus 21 - 22, Isocrates 23 - 28, Demostenes 29 - 35,

Plato 36 - 38, Thucidides 39 - 41,

Herodotus 42, Homer 43, Sappho 44,

Other texts 1 - 2, 46 - 49.

Old Latin reading book 3 - 9,

Lhomo’nd 11 - 19,

Corne’lius Nepos 21 - 26,

Caesar 27 - 34, Ci’cero 35 - 41,

Vergi’lius 42, Hora’tius 43 - 44,

Other texts 1 - 2, 46 - 49.



A short historical introduction

Lesson 1. Spirits, accents, sounds and letters.

Lesson 2. Grammatical and structural period analysis.

Lesson 3. The masculine (gender) nouns.

Lesson 4. The verb. Regular verbs. Present, imperfect, future indicative in active voice.

Lesson 5. The questions in main clauses.

Lesson 6. The feminine (gender) nouns.

Lesson 7. The verb. Regular verbs. The aorist and the compound tenses in active voice.

Lesson 8. The questions in subordinate clauses.

Lesson 9. The neuter (gender) nouns.

Lesson 10. Repetition and exercises.

Lesson 11. The verb. Regular verbs. The subjunctive in active voice.

Lesson 12. Noun clauses of ὅτι and ut.

Lesson 13. The adjectives.

Lesson 14. The verb. Regular verbs. Passive subjunctive.

Lesson 15. The noun clauses of fear.

Lesson 16. The degrees in adjectives.

Lesson 17. The verb. Infinitives, participles, gerunds, the grammatical forms.

Lesson 18. Relative noun clauses.

Lesson 19. The verb. Infinitives, gerunds, the structural use.

Lesson 20. Repetition and exercises.

Lesson 21. The participle as an adjective, as a complement, as an adverb.

Lesson 22. Personal and possessive pronouns.

Lesson 23. The verb. The optative mood. Consecutio te'mporum.

Lesson 24. Adverbial clauses of reason.

Lesson 25. Demonstrative and interrogative pronouns.

Lesson 26. The verb. The imperative mood.

Lesson 27. Adverbial clauses of purpose.

Lesson 28. Adverbs and the degrees of the adverbs.

Lesson 29. Indefinite and relative pronouns.

Lesson 30. Repetition and exercises.

Lesson 31. Adverbial clauses of result.

Lesson 32. The verb. Contracted verbs in -άω.

Lesson 33. Conditional clauses.

Lesson 34. The verb. Contracted verbs in -έω. Verbs of the third conjugatuion in -io.

Lesson 35. Clauses of contrast and concession.

Lesson 36. The verb. Contracted verbs in -όω. The verbs volo, nolo, malo.

Lesson 37. Adverbial clauses of time.

Lesson 38. The numerals.

Lesson 39. Verbs of the second conjugation. Stems ending with a consonant. The verbs possum, eo, fero.

Lesson 40. Repetition and exercises.

Lesson 41. Verbs of the second conjugation. Stems ending with a vowel. The verbs edo, odi, me’mini, coepi.

Lesson 42. Adverbial relative clauses.

Lesson 43. Verbs of the second conjugation. Second aorists. The verbs fio, aio, inquam, for.

Lesson 44. Direct and indirect speech.

Lesson 45. Grammatical ang structural peculiarities. Figures of speech.

Lesson 46. Old Greek texts for further exercise.

Lesson 47. Latin texts for further exercise.

Lesson 48. Modern Greek texts for translation.

Lesson 49. Periods of the Ancient Greek and Latin literature.

Lesson 50. Repetition and exercises.

English - Old Greek vocabulary.

Old Greek - English vocabulary.

English - Latin vocabulary.

Latin - English vocabulary.


BIBLIOGRAPHY (Books they have been used)

A Glossary of Later Latin, Souter Alexander, εκδ. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1996.

A Handbook of Greek Literature, Rose H.J., εκδ. Methuen, London, 1964.

A Handbook of Latin Literature, Rose H.J., εκδ. Methuen & CO, London, 1966.

A History of Cristian-Latin Poetry, Raby F.J.E., εκδ. Oxford Clarendon, Oxford, 1997.

A History of the English Language, Baugh A., εκδ. Routledge, London, 1968.

Aristophanis Comediae, Hall F.W., εκδ. Καρδαμίτσας, Αθήνα, 1978.

A Sanskrit Grammar for Students, Macdonell Arthur, εκδ. University Press, Oxford, 1962.

Altirische Grammatik, Pokorny Julius, εκδ. Goeschen, Berlin, 1969.

Cassel's Latin-English Dictionary, Simpson D.P., εκδ. Cassell, London, 1966.

Ciceronis Orationes, Macdonald C., εκδ. LOEB, London, 1977.

Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Buck Carl Darling, εκδ. Un. Of Chicago Press,1966.

Cornelius Nepos, Rolphe J.C., εκδ. LOEB, London, 1984.

De nominibus graecis compositis, Neckel O., Lipsiae, 1882.

De viris illustribus urbis Romae, Lhomond, Σκάσσης Ερ., ΟΕΔΒ.

Etymologiarum Libri XX, Lindsay W.M., εκδ. Oxford Clarendon, Oxford, 1911.

Geschichte der Deutshen Sprache, Von Polenz P., εκδ. Goeschen, Berlin, 1966.

Geschichte der Leteinische Sprache, Schmid W., εκδ. Goeschen, Berlin, 1968.

Grammatik der Griechischen Sprache, Kuehner Raphael, εκδ. Hansche, Hannover, 1892.

Greek Mathematical Works, Thomas Ivor, εκδ. LOEB, London, 1991.

Greek Metre, Maas Paul, εκδ. Oxford Clarendon, Oxford, 1966.

Greek Prose Style, Denniston J.D., Clarendon Press, Αθήνα, 1965.

Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell-Scott, εκδ. Oxford Clarendon, Oxford, 1968.

Griechische Grammatik, Schwyzer Eduard, εκδ. Beck, Muenchen, 1953.

Indian Palaeography, Dani H., εκδ. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1963.

Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft, Krahe H., εκδ. Goeschen, Berlin, 1966.

Juvenis, comentarioli linguis ediscendis, Latine, ELI, 1-8, 1987 - 8.

Latin Grammar, Gildersleeve B.L., εκδ. MacMillan, New York, 1968.

Linguistics across cultures, Lado Robert, Un.of M. Press, Michigan, 1976.

Nalum Mahabharateum, Grasberger Laurentius, εκδ. Wirgeburgi, Lipsiae, 1868.

Nuovo vocabolario della Lingua Latina, J. Mir - C. Calvano, Mondadori - Eli, 1988.

Platonis Opera, Burnet Ι., εκδ. Καρδαμίτσας, Αθήνα, 1968.

Russian, Pulkina I., εκδ. R.L. Publishers, Moscow, 1980.

Sanscrit-English Dictionary, Apte V., εκδ. Banarsidas, Delhi, 1965.

Sanskrit Grammatik, Maryhofer Manfredanfred, εκδ. Goeschen, Berlin.

Senecae Tragoediae, Zwierlein O., εκδ. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1986.

Suidae Lexicon, Adler Ada, εκδ. Teubner, Stuttgart, 1971.

Syntax of greek moods and tenses, Goodwin William, εκδ. MacMillan, New York, 1966.

Tacitus, Hutton M., εκδ. LOEB, London, 1970.

Teach Yourself A short Dictionary of Languages, Parlett D.S., εκδ. E.U. Press, London, 1967.

Teach Yourself Greek, Melluish T.W., εκδ. E.U. Press, London, 1966.

Teach Yourself Bengali, Hudson D., E.U. Press, London, 1965.

Teach Yourself Comparative Linguistics, Lord R., εκδ. E.U. Press, London, 1966.

Teach Yourself Latin, Smith F.K., εκδ. E.U. Press, London, 1962.

Teach Yourself Latin Revision, Munro Kathleen, εκδ. E.U. Press, London, 1964.

Teach Yourself Russian, Fourman M., εκδ. E.U. Press, London, 1966.

The Civil War Caesar, Peskett A. J., εκδ. LOEB, London, 1966.

The Classical Tradition, Highet Gilbert, εκδ. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1967.

The Gallic War Caesar, Edwards H.J., εκδ. LOEB, London, 1970.

The Principal Upanisads, Radhakrishnan S., εκδ. Muirhead Library, London, 1953.

Varro De lingua Latina, Kent Roland, εκδ. Loeb, London, 1977.

Xenophontis Opera, Marchant E.C., εκδ. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990.

About Bibliography written in the modern Greek language look at the end of the book.

To continue look at: Lesson 01 Part 1