Samstag, 14. Februar 2009

Greek Phrases

Aesop's Fables
ἑσπέρας ἐπιλαβουσης / ὡς ἑσπέρα κατέλαβε - als es Abend wurde
πυνθάνεσθαι (+ interrogative) - s. erkündigen
μετ’ εὐλόγου αἰτίας - unter einem guten Vorwand
ὕπνου τυχεῐν - zum Schlafen kommen
ποιεῖν ἐπ’ ὠφελείᾳ / εἰς ὠφέλειαν πράττειν - zu (ihrem) nutzen tun
πρὸς τὸ παρόν - für den Augenblick
καταφεύγειν, προσφεύγειν - zu jemandem flüchten
τὸ τελευταῖον λέγειν - zum Schluß sagen
πολλῷ τῷ ῥοίζω (φερομενος)
τῇ χειρὶ νεύειν = einen Wink geben
τὸν νοῦν ὅλον ἔχειν πρός
ἄψυχον - tot; ἔμψυχον - lebendig
μέλλων τελευτᾶν - im Sterben legen
τὴν νικὴν ἀπενεῖμαι
ἔγνω δεῖν
ἐπονείδιστον εἶναι - tadelnswert sein
βαδίζειν ὁδόν
μὴ πρὸς αὐτοὺς τοῦτο εἶναι - es hat nichts mit ihnen zu tun
τάττειν προθεσμίαν - einen Termin vereinbaren
ὑποτυχούσα εἷπειν - unterbrechen
δοκεῖν τις εἶναι - glauben, wer zu sein
οἶδα (+ inf) - know (how) to do
κατὰ δύναμιν

Euripides, Bacchae
τρίβων λόγων - skilled in words
χρῄζων = εἰ χρῄζει
βολὴ χιόνος - snow shower
ἄξια εἰδέναι - (things) worthy of being known
ποῦ ποτ' εἶ λόγων - "wherever you are in your words," i.e., what you are saying
ἐπὶ τούτῳ - on this condition
ᾧ μη ταῦτα μέλει (+ inf) - "for whom these things are not a care (namely, to do...)"
ἤν δοκῇς μέν, ἡ δὲ δόξα σου νοσῇ - "if you think, but your thought is unsound (sick)"
μισθοὺς φέρειν - receive wages
εἰκῇ - at random
τὸ μέλλειν - delay, hesitation
τὸ μέλλον - the future
οὐκ ἄνευ θεῶν τινος - not without (the help of) some god
ἐξιστάναι τινὰ φρενῶν - drive one out of his senses
φυλάττω μη (+ opt) - take care not to...
ἀπορίᾳ λελημμένος - at a loss
καρδία πήδημ' ἔχει - "the heart gives a leap at," i.e., fears (+ acc)
οὐκετ' ὤν - dead (lit: "being no longer")

Dienstag, 3. Februar 2009

On tragic form

We've been reading the Bacchae for my Greek class and it suddenly dawned on me how much it has in common with Kleist's play Penthesilea. Not just because of their violence, or in the similarities of the savage customs of the Amazons with the rituals of the maenads, and the challenge both of them pose to conventional views of femininity. It's the sudden, violent intrusion of an outside force which destabilizes the entire system upon which society is based: the cult of Dionysus in the Bacchae, the Amazons in Penthesilea. The inability to integrate this third element sets in motion the tragic development of the action.

It seems to me there's a subtle, but perhaps important difference from more classical models for tragedy, where the tension results from the pull of competing, but equally valid claims (for example, the conflict between duty to one's parents and necessity of avenging a crime in the Oresteia, or between obedience to to the state and respect for the dead in Antigone). Here, instead, one of the claims is not only unrecognized, but even explicitly rejected.

Sonntag, 1. Februar 2009

Watch this space

So, I finally caved in and decided to start a blog, about two years after the rest of the world and after everyone else has presumably moved on to newer and more interesting things. (I'm still holding out on the myspace/facebook thing, however.) I've been needing a place to put down my thoughts while working on research papers, information I've gathered on various topics, and, of course, a way to keep a travel log next time I decide to go running off to Europe at short notice.

The title is from a misspelling of 'epiphany' -- so don't expect anything profound here, just my usual idiosyncratic combination of the personal and the academic. A warning: Posts will be in whatever language or combination of languages I happen to feel like writing in the moment; which will typically mean English or German, but there may be occasional forays into Russian or composition in ancient Greek.