Re: Greek Pedagogy

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 11:04:05 EDT

At 9:31 AM -0400 5/24/00, Rodney J. Decker wrote:
>Of your comments re. method, etc., I agree heartily with almost all of what
>you've said so well. (Only on the Greek composition end of your argument do
>I waver--"almost thou persuadest me"!).

One further argument on behalf of Greek composition--at least at the
sentence level, although I think it would be salutary to essay writing the
formal elements of Pauline epistles: salutation, thanksgiving, etc.. (a) it
is a test of one's understanding how the syntax and morphology work (and
often enough of whether one understands idioms)--one LEARNS a great deal
from doing it: quite apart from learning what it is that one doesn't know
well enough, one learns--or should--the how and the why of the right
construction. (b) it IS, along with the reading in volume, a PAIDAGWGOS
into "thinking Greek" (where this whole current exchange began); honestly,
it really IS, if one keeps at it. It is drudge work that pays off, perhaps
not immediately, but in the long run, it really does pay off. Conversation,
such as Randall Buth urges, would indeed also be a very useful tool and
serve some of the same purposes, but speaking conversational Koine is not
quite the same thing as writing narrative or epistolary Greek: each of
these has its own distinct pedagogical benefits. META DE TAUTA PEPAUMAI


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243 OR

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