From: Chuck Tripp (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 13:40:08 EST
Let me give you a learner's perspective on the differences. This is based
on the following: being self taught, I happened to latch onto a Attic Greek
book a few years ago, which has become my primary learning tool for learning
greek. I had previously read a beginners book on NT Greek. I am also
reading slowly Herodotus (which is written in Ionic) and read of couse the
NT and the LXX. I don't do this for a living, have never taken a formal
Attic and the older Ionic of Herodotus seems to rely more heavily on the
inflected nature of the language. The Koine of the NT, while inflected,
makes more use of prepositions to convey an idea. If I read Herodotus for
an extended period of time and then switch to the NT, some of the
preposition use almost seems redundant at times. In Attic and Herodotus,
there is more extensive use of the Optative which is pretty rare in the NT,
also you see future infinitives and participles which I often confuse with
aorists. It seems also that there are more ways in Attic/Herodotus to
construct sentences with subordinate clauses, only perhaps a third of which
appear regularly in the NT.
Here is a couple of examples: the construction MEN....DE. A weakened form
of 'on the one hand, on the other hand' is fairly common in
attic/herodotus, appears a few times in the NT but is not that frequent.
Also, the word TE, used in common with KAI, is used very frequently in
attic/herodotus. It pops up i think in Luke/Acts and a few Pauline letters.
The TE lets the reader know that another KAI is coming or that there is a
series or that if it accompanies a second KAI that that second has a link
the first KAI.
By comparison with NT, Attic is particle happy. All those second words of a
sentence. Sometimes it seems that a sentence can consist of more particles
than any other word type. Even now, I am not sure what new meaning these
particles add to a sentence.
Homer. I have looked at Homer and can't make heads or tails of it. I think
the thing there among other things is that words are lengthened or shortened
to fit a 'meter' which makes them hard to recognize at first. I have heard
that once you get the hang of it it is not that difficult, actually less
difficult than attic.
The attic has been helpful to me in that I recognize some of the rarer
constructions in the NT that I might not otherwise recognize right away. If
you have the energy, I would recommend doing extra biblical reading in
greek. I don't know if I would recommend Herodotus though. Maybe Anabasis
by Xenophon which is reputed to be one of the easier of the attic writings.
----- Original Message -----
From: Stephen Y. Duncan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Biblical Greek <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 3:31 AM
Subject: [b-greek] Attic and Homeric Greek vs. Koine
> I am just beginning to learn NT Greek. How much of a stretch will it be
> for me to read Attic and Homeric Greek? Are the differences similar to
> the great differences of OE, ME, and Mod. English? Thanks for your help.
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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