Re: Greek Grammarians and Aspect

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Fri May 01 1998 - 14:59:28 EDT


George "dalmatia" (it would help if everyone signed full names; there are
several Georges on this List, for example) writes and asks:

Edward Hobbs wrote:

> Wes Williams, seconded by Rich Lindeman, asks whether there were
> Greek grammarians of Classical and Koine times, and if so, what
> did they say about aspect, time, and tense.

> We know of two major grammarians, both in Hellenistic times.
> Dionysius Thrax was an Alexandrian of the second century BCE.
> Apollonius Dyscolus was also an Alexandrian, of the second century CE.
> We have portions of their work, mostly published over a century ago in
> Leipsig by Teubner, over a century ago.

Robertson, in his Grammar [1914 AD], criticizes Thrax for failing to
appreciate and understand properly the Greek aorist, speculating that
his Latin mind was not adequate for this Greek verb form. What I
would be interested in would be the TERMS that Thrax and Dyscolus used
in their grammatic instruction. Thrax apparently wrote so as to teach
Latins [who wanted to learn it] the Greek language. His terms should
be illuminative, even if his purposive focus is not, because they
would have probably been taken from his Hellenistic Greek mentors. [I

Does anyone HAVE the portions Edward alludes to above? Were they
transalted in parallel into English? Has nobody done a book on them?
Could they be scanned and posted?
<<<<<<<<<<---------------end of quote from George

Yes, we have all the Teubner-published materials here at Harvard; and other
good libraries around the country surely have them.

No, they were not translated into English, though I have been hearing and
reading abut such projects for years--for some time, at Indiana University,
and then at the University of Louvain in Belgium. But I've been out of
touch with historical linguistics circles since moving here from Berkeley
17 years ago, and it may be it has really happened by now. Micheal Palmer
might know, perhaps Mari Olsen; but I'm behind the times in this specialty.

My guess is that the TLG is the best source for them, in electronic form.

Edward Hobbs

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