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Classical Greek Online

Lesson 10

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

Little is known of Pausanias. He was apparently born in Lydia. On the basis of references in his work, as to contemporary Roman emperors, it is concluded that he lived from approximately 120-180 AD. He traveled widely throughout the eastern Mediterranean area, including Italy. While aware of his limitations as a writer and interests, we are grateful to him for his information on the highlights of Greek civilization before many of them were damaged or destroyed.

Reading and Textual Analysis

Pausanias's Description of Greece reports his travels in Attica, the Peloponnese and central Greece. As in the selection below, he provides a straightforward account of sites, especially the most famous for their art or architecture, amplified by accounts of people. He is not highly regarded for his style, nor for the insight that distinguishes the histories of Herodotus and Thucycides. But his descriptions inform us of the state of the magnificent products of the important period of Greek civilization, such as that of the Parthenon before it was blown up by an explosion of munitions in the 17th century. The description is very detailed, extending through ten books. In addition to its content, the selection here, Attica xxii: 4-5, may illustrate that the language conforms to the standards of the classical period.

καί ἐς δέ τὴν ἀκρόπολίν ἐστιν ʼέσοδος μία.

  • καί -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • ἐς -- preposition; <ἐς> towards -- to
  • δέ -- particle; <δέ> and, on the other hand -- but
  • τὴν -- article; accusative singular feminine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • ἀκρόπολίν -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <ἀκρόπολις> Acropolis -- Acropolis
  • ἐστιν -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <εἰμί> I am -- there is
  • ʼέσοδος -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <ʼέσοδος> entrance -- entrance
  • μία -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <εʽι̂ς> one -- (only) one

ἑτέραν δὲ οὐ παρέχεται, πα̂σα ἀπότομος οʼυ̂σα καὶ τει̂χος ʼέχουσα ἐχυρόν.

  • ἑτέραν -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <ʽέτερος> other -- another
  • δὲ -- particle; <δέ> and, on the other hand -- and
  • οὐ -- particle; <οὐ> not -- not
  • παρέχεται -- verb; 3rd person singular present middle of <παρέχω> provide -- it does... provide
  • πα̂σα -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <πα̂ς> all, every -- everywhere
  • ἀπότομος -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <ἀπότομος> precipitous -- precipitous
  • οʼυ̂σα -- verb; nominative singular feminine of present participle of <εἰμί> I am -- being
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • τει̂χος -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <τει̂χος> wall -- wall
  • ʼέχουσα -- verb; nominative singular feminine of present participle of <ʼέχω> have -- having
  • ἐχυρόν -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <ἐχυρός> strong, secure -- strong

τὰ δὲ προπύλαια λίθου λευκου̂ τὴν ὀροφὴν ʼέχει καὶ κόσμῳ καὶ μεγέθει τω̂ν λίθων μέχρι γε καὶ ἐμου̂ προει̂χε.

  • τὰ -- article; nominative plural neuter of <ὁ> the -- the
  • δὲ -- particle; <δέ> and, on the other hand -- and
  • προπύλαια -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <προπύλαια> gateway -- gateway
  • λίθου -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <λίθος> stone -- marble
  • λευκου̂ -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <λευκός> white -- of white
  • τὴν -- article; accusative singular feminine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • ὀροφὴν -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <ὀροφή> roof -- a roof
  • ʼέχει -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <ʼέχω> have -- has
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • κόσμῳ -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <κόσμος> beauty, order, world -- in beauty
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • μεγέθει -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <μέγεθος> size -- size
  • τω̂ν -- article; genitive plural masculine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • λίθων -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <λίθος> stone -- stones
  • μέχρι -- preposition; <μέχρι> until -- until
  • γε -- particle; <γε> indeed -- ...
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- ...
  • ἐμου̂ -- pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <ἐγώ> I -- my time
  • προει̂χε -- verb; singular present of <προείχω> to be superior, excel -- is unexcelled

τὰς μὲν οʼυ̂ν εἰκόνας τω̂ν ἱππέων οὐκ ʼέχω σαφω̂ς εἰπει̂ν, εʼίτε οἱ παι̂δές εἰσιν οἱ Ξενοφω̂ντος εʼίτε ʼάλλως ἐς εὐπρέπειαν πεποιημέναι.

  • τὰς -- article; accusative plural feminine of <ὁ> the -- (regarding) the
  • μὲν -- particle; <μέν> on the one hand -- on the one hand
  • οʼυ̂ν -- adverb; <οʼυ̂ν> indeed -- indeed
  • εἰκόνας -- noun, feminine; accusative plural; of <εἰκών> image, portrait -- statues
  • τω̂ν -- article; genitive plural masculine of <ὁ> the -- of the
  • ἱππέων -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <ἱππεύς> horseman -- horsemen
  • οὐκ -- particle; <οὐκ> not -- not
  • ʼέχω -- verb; 1st person singular present of <ʼέχω> have -- I can
  • σαφω̂ς -- adverb; <σαφω̂ς> truly -- truly
  • εἰπει̂ν -- verb; aorist infinitive of <λέγω> say -- say
  • εʼίτε -- conjunction; <εʼίτε> whether...or -- whether
  • οἱ -- article; nominative plural masculine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • παι̂δές -- noun, masculine/feminine; nominative plural of <παι̂ς> child -- sons
  • εἰσιν -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <εἰμί> I am -- they are
  • οἱ -- article; nominative plural masculine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • Ξενοφω̂ντος -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Ξενοφω̂ν> Xenophon -- of Xenophon
  • εʼίτε -- conjunction; <εʼίτε> whether...or -- or
  • ʼάλλως -- adverb; <ʼάλλως> otherwise, especially -- otherwise
  • ἐς -- preposition; <ἐς> towards -- for
  • εὐπρέπειαν -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <εὐπρέπεια> appearance, beauty -- beauty
  • πεποιημέναι -- verb; participle perfect middle of <ποιέω> make, do -- produced

τω̂ν δὲ προπυλαίων ἐν δεξίᾳ Νίκης ἐστὶν ʼΑπτέρου ναός.

  • τω̂ν -- article; genitive plural neuter of <ὁ> the -- of the
  • δὲ -- particle; <δέ> and, on the other hand -- on the other hand
  • προπυλαίων -- noun, neuter; genitive plural of <προπύλαια> gateway -- gateway
  • ἐν -- preposition; <ἐν> in -- on
  • δεξίᾳ -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <δεξιά> the right hand -- the right
  • Νίκης -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <Νίκη> Victory -- Victory
  • ἐστὶν -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <εἰμί> I am -- is
  • ʼΑπτέρου -- adjective; genitive singular feminine of <ʼΆπτερος> Wingless -- of Wingless
  • ναός -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <ναός> temple -- the temple

ἐντευ̂θεν ἡ θάλασσά ἐστι σύνοπτος, καὶ ταύτῃ ῥίψας Αἰγεὺς ἑαυτὸν ὡς λέγουσιν ἐτελεύτησεν.

  • ἐντευ̂θεν -- adverb; <ἐντευ̂θεν> from there -- from there
  • ἡ -- article; nominative singular feminine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • θάλασσά -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <θάλασσα> sea -- sea
  • ἐστι -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <εἰμί> I am -- is
  • σύνοπτος -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <σύνοπτος> visible -- visible
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • ταύτῃ -- demonstrative pronoun; dative singular feminine of <οʽυ̂τος> this -- there
  • ῥίψας -- verb; nominative singular masculine of aorist participle of <ῥίπτω> throw down -- threw . . . down
  • Αἰγεὺς -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Αἰγεύς> Aegeus -- Aegeus
  • ἑαυτὸν -- reflexive pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <ἑαυτός> himself -- himself
  • ὡς -- conjunction; <ὡς> as, thus -- as
  • λέγουσιν -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <λέγω> say -- they say
  • ἐτελεύτησεν -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <τελευτέω> finish, die -- died

ἀνήγετο μὲν γὰρ ἡ ναυ̂ς μέλασιν ἱστίοις ἡ τοὺς παι̂δας φέρουσα ἐς Κρήτην.

  • ἀνήγετο -- verb; 3rd person singular present middle of <ἀνάγομαι> put out to sea -- put out to sea
  • μὲν -- particle; <μέν> on the one hand -- on the one hand
  • γὰρ -- conjunction; <γάρ> for -- for
  • ἡ -- article; nominative singular feminine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • ναυ̂ς -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <ναυ̂ς> ship -- ship
  • μέλασιν -- adjective; dative plural neuter of <μέλαν> black -- with black
  • ἱστίοις -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <ἱστίον> sail -- sails
  • ἡ -- article; nominative singular feminine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • τοὺς -- article; accusative plural masculine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • παι̂δας -- noun, masculine/feminine; accusative plural of <παι̂ς> child -- children
  • φέρουσα -- verb; nominative singular feminine of participle of <φέρω> bear, bring, carry -- carrying
  • ἐς -- preposition; <ἐς> towards -- to
  • Κρήτην -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <Κρήτη> Crete -- Crete

Θησεὺς δὲ -- ʼέπλει γὰρ τόλμης τι ʼέχων ἐς τὸν Μίνω καλούμενον ταυ̂ρον

  • Θησεὺς -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Θησεύς> Theseus -- Theseus
  • δὲ -- particle; <δέ> and, on the other hand -- on the other hand
  • ʼέπλει -- verb; 3rd person singular imperfect of <πλέω> sail -- was sailing
  • γὰρ -- conjunction; <γάρ> for -- indeed
  • τόλμης -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <τόλμα> courage, venture -- of a venture
  • τι -- indefinite pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <τις> someone, something -- something
  • ʼέχων -- verb; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <ʼέχω> have -- having
  • ἐς -- preposition; <ἐς> towards -- against
  • τὸν -- article; accusative singular masculine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • Μίνω -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Μίνος> Minos -- of Minos
  • καλούμενον -- verb; accusative singular masculine of present participle passive of <καλέω> call, summon -- so called
  • ταυ̂ρον -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <ταυ̂ρος> bull -- bull

πρὸς τὸν πατέρα προει̂πε χρήσεσθαι τοι̂ς ἱστίοις λευκοι̂ς, ʼήν ὀπίσω πλέῃ του̂ ταύρου κρατήσας.

  • πρὸς -- preposition; <πρός> to -- to
  • τὸν -- article; accusative singular masculine of <ὁ> the -- his
  • πατέρα -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <πατήρ> father -- father
  • προει̂πε -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <προ-λέγω> say beforehand -- had said . . . beforehand
  • χρήσεσθαι -- deponent verb; infinitive middle of <χράομαι> need, use -- (he would) use
  • τοι̂ς -- article; dative plural neuter of <ὁ> the -- the
  • ἱστίοις -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <ἱστίον> sail -- sails
  • λευκοι̂ς -- adjective; dative plural neuter of <λευκός> white -- with white
  • ʼήν -- conjunction; <ʼήν> if -- if
  • ὀπίσω -- adverb; <ὀπίσω> back -- back
  • πλέῃ -- verb; 3rd person singular present optative of <πλέω> sail -- he would sail
  • του̂ -- article; genitive singular masculine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • ταύρου -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <ταυ̂ρος> bull -- bull
  • κρατήσας -- verb; nominative singular masculine of aorist participle of <κρατέω> hold fast, take to heart; rule, conquer -- having conquered

τούτων λήθην ʼέσχεν ʼΑριάδνην ἀφῃρημένος.

  • τούτων -- demonstrative pronoun; genitive plural neuter of <οʽυ̂τος> this -- these (things)
  • λήθην -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <λήθη> forgetting -- (him) to forget
  • ʼέσχεν -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <ʼέχω> have -- caused
  • ʼΑριάδνην -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <ʼΑριάδνη> Ariadne -- Ariadne
  • ἀφῃρημένος -- verb; nominative singular masculine of passive participle of <ἀφαιρέω> take away -- having lost

ἐνταυ̂θα Αἰγεὺς ὡς εʼι̂δεν ἱστίοις μέλασι τὴν ναυ̂ν κομιζομένην, οʽι̂α τὸν παι̂δα τεθνάναι δοκω̂ν, ἀφεὶς αὐτὸν διαφθείρεται.

  • ἐνταυ̂θα -- adverb; <ἐνταυ̂θα> then, there -- then
  • Αἰγεὺς -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Αἰγεύς> Aegeus -- Aegeus
  • ὡς -- conjunction; <ὡς> as, thus -- when
  • εʼι̂δεν -- verb; 3rd person singular aorist of <εʼι̂δον> saw -- saw
  • ἱστίοις -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <ἱστίον> sail -- sails
  • μέλασι -- adjective; dative plural neuter of <μέλαν> black -- with black
  • τὴν -- article; accusative singular feminine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • ναυ̂ν -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <ναυ̂ς> ship -- ship
  • κομιζομένην -- verb; accusative singular feminine of passive participle of <κομίζω> provide for -- traveling
  • οʽι̂α -- relative pronoun; accusative neuter plural of <οʽι̂ος> like, such that -- that
  • τὸν -- article; accusative singular masculine of <ὁ> the -- his
  • παι̂δα -- noun, masculine/feminine; accusative singular of <παι̂ς> child -- son
  • τεθνάναι -- verb; infinitive perfect of <θνήσκω> die -- had died
  • δοκω̂ν -- verb; present participle nominative singular masculine of <δοκέω> seem, think -- thinking
  • ἀφεὶς -- verb; nominative singular masculine of aorist participle of <ἀφίημι> send forth, throw down, permit, forgive -- throwing ...down
  • αὐτὸν -- pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <αὐτός> oneself, he -- himself
  • διαφθείρεται -- verb; 3rd person singular present middle of <διαφθείρω> destroy, kill -- killed himself

Lesson Text

καί ἐς δέ τὴν ἀκρόπολίν ἐστιν ʼέσοδος μία. ἑτέραν δὲ οὐ παρέχεται, πα̂σα ἀπότομος οʼυ̂σα καὶ τει̂χος ʼέχουσα ἐχυρόν. τὰ δὲ προπύλαια λίθου λευκου̂ τὴν ὀροφὴν ʼέχει καὶ κόσμῳ καὶ μεγέθει τω̂ν λίθων μέχρι γε καὶ ἐμου̂ προει̂χε. τὰς μὲν οʼυ̂ν εἰκόνας τω̂ν ἱππέων οὐκ ʼέχω σαφω̂ς εἰπει̂ν, εʼίτε οἱ παι̂δές εἰσιν οἱ Ξενοφω̂ντος εʼίτε ʼάλλως ἐς εὐπρέπειαν πεποιημέναι. τω̂ν δὲ προπυλαίων ἐν δεξίᾳ Νίκης ἐστὶν ʼΑπτέρου ναός. ἐντευ̂θεν ἡ θάλασσά ἐστι σύνοπτος, καὶ ταύτῃ ῥίψας Αἰγεὺς ἑαυτὸν ὡς λέγουσιν ἐτελεύτησεν. ἀνήγετο μὲν γὰρ ἡ ναυ̂ς μέλασιν ἱστίοις ἡ τοὺς παι̂δας φέρουσα ἐς Κρήτην. Θησεὺς δὲ -- ʼέπλει γὰρ τόλμης τι ʼέχων ἐς τὸν Μίνω καλούμενον ταυ̂ρον πρὸς τὸν πατέρα προει̂πε χρήσεσθαι τοι̂ς ἱστίοις λευκοι̂ς, ʼήν ὀπίσω πλέῃ του̂ ταύρου κρατήσας. τούτων λήθην ʼέσχεν ʼΑριάδνην ἀφῃρημένος. ἐνταυ̂θα Αἰγεὺς ὡς εʼι̂δεν ἱστίοις μέλασι τὴν ναυ̂ν κομιζομένην, οʽι̂α τὸν παι̂δα τεθνάναι δοκω̂ν, ἀφεὶς αὐτὸν διαφθείρεται.

Translation

There is only one entry to the Acropolis. It does not provide another, being precipitous everywhere and having a strong wall. And the gateway has a roof of white marble, and is unexcelled for the beauty and size of its stones to my day. Regarding the statues of the horsemen, I cannot truly say whether they are the sons of Xenophon or whether they were produced especially for beauty. And on the right of the gateway is the temple of Wingless Victory. From here the sea is visible, and here, as they say, Aegeus throwing himself down died. For the ship carrying the children to Crete put out to sea with black sails. But Theseus, was sailing on something of a venture against the bull of Minos, so called. He had said to his father beforehand that he would sail back with white sails, having conquered the bull. But having lost Ariadne caused him to forget these things. Then Aegeus, when from this point he saw the ship traveling with black sails, thinking that his son had died, throwing himself down killed himself.

References

46. Texts.

Editors have worked with Greek texts since the Alexandrian period, when the texts of Homer were essentially fixed. Western scholars have continued the tradition as in the Teubner publications, those published by the Clarendon Press, and so on. If one examines an edited text with extensive introduction and commentary, such as Hesiod: Works and Days, M. L. West, ed. xiii, 399 pp. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), the information provided is enormous. The author states that he "perused" over six hundred texts when producing his book. As noted in the comments to the selection included here, the differences between his text and others, however, are slight.

Unless a text with extensive commentary is desired, readers of the Greek texts will do well to use the editions of the Loeb Classical Library, which have the added advantage of including translations. They are readily available from the Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA 02138). The texts have been widely read in schools and universities, such as those of Xenophon, Plato and Homer have been published with introductions and commentaries, often also with glossaries. Or commentaries may be published separately, such as A Commentary on Herodotus by W. W. How and J. Wells, 2 vols., 456 and 445 pp. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1912, often reprinted). References may be found in catalogues of libraries and publishers, and increasingly on web sites.

47. Grammars.

Similarly, grammars of Greek are based on long attention. The fullest grammar is that of Eduard Schwyzer, Griechische Grammatik, I-III. Munich: Beck, 1939-53. For ready reference, most readers will find useful a shorter grammar, such as that of Herbert Weir Smyth, Greek Grammar (1920), revised by Gordon M. Messing, Harvard University Press (1956).

For a historical treatment, see the Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin by Carl Darling Buck (Chicago: University Press, 1933). A successor is the New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, by Andrew L. Sihler (Oxford: University Press, 1995); it is written like a novel -- no references, no bibliography.

48. Dictionaries.

Dictionaries of various extent are readily available. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, founded upon the seventh edition of Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon: 1989) provides good coverage for texts of every type.

49. Specialized handbooks.

Catalogues in libraries and lists of publishers are excellent sources for handbooks dealing with all aspects of Greek culture and history. A highly interesting work for information on oral epic and especially Homer is The Making of Homeric Verse, the Collected Papers of Milman Parry, Adam Parry, ed. (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987). While no Mycenaean texts have been included here, chiefly because of their brevity, readers may wish to consult Documents in Mycenaean Greek, by Michael Ventris and John Chadwick (Cambridge: University Press, 1956). The sub-title reads: Three hundred selected tablets from Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae with commentary and vocabulary. A History of Greece to 322 B.C. by N.G.L. Hammond (Oxford: Clarendon, 1986, 3rd ed.) provides broad coverage, dealing also with dialects, literature, art and thought. A Smaller Classical Dictionary, ed. E. H. Blakeney (New York: Dutton, 1928) provides compact entries on persons, places and things in the Roman and Greek world. One should not overlook the essays in encyclopedias, such as those in the celebrated 13th edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. These deal with various aspects of culture and history.

50. The Legacy of the Greek World.

The legacy of the Greek world on western civilization is evident in all aspects of political and cultural life. Democratic government had its start there. The works of Thucydides, Demosthenes, Plato and Aristotle among others provided many of the principles as well as intellectual support for civil arrangements.

In literature the Homeric poems have been a constant inspiration, as translations, commentaries and references indicate. The great tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, as well as the author of comedies, Aristophanes, are similarly admired, as well as lyric poets like Pindar. The influence of Greek art and architecture, whether produced by unknown artists or sculptors like Phidias, is visible on government buildings throughout the western world.

While Greek religion maintains interest for mythology and literature, the wide adoption of Christianity is evident in the maintenance of the New Testament and the majority of early commentary, as of St. Augustine, through the Greek language. The three creeds, the Apostle's, the Nicaean, the Athanasian, were all formulated in Greek. And while Roman culture has been influential in these fields as well, it owes much to the heritage of the earlier Greek culture, as in matters like the alphabet. The Greeks may have adopted it and other items from other cultures, but they reshaped them and passed them on in improved form to lands much larger than their small area. As a result especially of Alexander's conquests, Greek civilization and culture influenced the entire Mediterranean and surrounding areas, with lasting effects on far larger areas.