Re: Fwd: reading for vocabulary

From: Edgar Krentz (
Date: Thu Sep 24 1998 - 04:36:02 EDT

Tony Prost wrote:
>Another consideration in reading for comprehension in Greek, at least in
>Homer, is the problem of reading dactylic hexameter despite the accents. I can
>read the language as "prose" (with the proper accents) and (sort of)
>understand it, but when I switch to reading the meter, my comprehension goes
>out the door. It takes several readings to bring the two mental functions into
>Tony Prost

Sorry I did not get to this till today. Dean's responsibilities at the
opening of a term are frigtfully time-consuming.

Tony, I think that is true at the beginning of reading any poetry, even in
English. Metrical demands lead to interwovern word order different from
prose, in Greek to some "strange" things. For examkple, prepositions that
in Prose precede a nooun or pronoun may be post positive with regressive

Part of your problem may also be that you still struggle with the prosody,
the reading of dactyllic hexameters. I learned to read Homer when I had a
graduate seminar in which we read two books of the Iliad or the Odyssey a
week, i.e. each week between 3000 to 4000 lines. [At the beginning that was
hours of work; by the second semester when we did the Iliad it was quite
doable in a reasonable amount of time. I am still grateful to Saul Levin
for making us do that. By the way, each week there was also another
assingment, since he used the course as a preo-seminar in method.]

Edgar Krentz
Acting Dean, Fall Quarter 1998
Professor of New Testament Emeritus
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 E. 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615 USA
e-mail: (Office) (Home)

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