Re: Bear with me, here. :-)

From: Joe A. Friberg (
Date: Sat Oct 16 1999 - 22:35:27 EDT

Carl et al.:

I have never been stringently taught a system of pronunciation, and
generally encountered a very lax attitude towards the subject. I also have
not purused the subject on my own--yet. My question then is two-fold:
1. I have always assumed that the primary difference between omicron & omega
was quantitative/length rather than quality. Was this true at some point,
and when did it cease being true?
2. Would you begin to recommend a bibliography on the subject, covering the
different proposed systems, reconstructions, etc.?

God bless ya'll!
Joe Friberg
----- Original Message -----
From: Carl W. Conrad <>
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 1999 7:28 PM

> At 8:16 PM -0500 10/16/99, Geoffrey Lessel wrote:
> >Okay, all you Greek experts. I'm a VERY new newbie (started Thursday)
> >was wondering about the pronounciation of a letter. How exactly is the
> >omikron pronounced and how different is it from omega? Example: Is QEOS
> >pronounced "theohs" or more like "theahs"? Another one that's giving me
> >trouble is LOGOS because I just want to pronounce it like an omega,
> >aparently. Anyway, I have no one to ask but you guys, so there you go.
> Welcome to the list, Geoffrey. I must warn you, however, that you are not
> to expect unanimity on even so seemingly simple a question as this. I
> that the probability is that the omicron at the time of the writing of the
> NT was pronounced pretty much like an English long O, while the Omega was
> more likely pronounced like the O in "doll." HOWEVER, the pronunciation
> taught in most American schools is traditionally termed "Erasmian" because
> this system of pronunciation was supposedly originally taught by the Dutch
> Renaissance scholar who edited the first printed Greek New Testament; that
> pronunciation generally renders the Omicron more like the O in "doll" and
> the Omega like an English long O. Some B-Greekers favor using the
> pronunciation of modern spoken Greek for the Greek of the NT era, and
> that's probably closer to what I first suggested above. Be assured,
> however, that you'll be reading other opinions here. And again, welcome to
> the list.
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics/Washington University
> One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
> Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
> WWW:

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