[b-greek] Re: Attic and Homeric Greek vs. Koine

From: c stirling bartholomew (cc.constantine@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Sun Feb 24 2002 - 00:19:09 EST

on 2/23/02 8:07 PM, Ann Nyland wrote:

> I would suggest the Odyssey rather than the Iliad as it is more of a story
> and the reader is not struggling with vocab. for guts, liver, kidneys,
> spleen, and so on. And imv, it is a little easier.

I was all set to work on the Odyssey for exactly these reasons having read
Lattimore's Iliad and finding the middle section tedious. But when I started
looking for helpful books to easy my way in Homer, books on the Odyssey were
not exactly jumping off the shelves at the book stores.

Helpful books make a big difference for people working on their own. My
first year or two in Homer was a disaster. I just walked into the UW book
store and purchased the Loeb Iliad (both vols.) and Cunliffe's lexicon and
walked out again thinking I was now prepared to get started. After a few
hours of work on the first five lines I went to the library and got Clyde
Pharr. For some reason Pharr just didn't help at all.

About two years later I came across a used copy of Benner's Iliad for the
price of a latte* (a double) and that made a big difference. 10 years later
I acquired a reprint of Monro's grammar, and then T.W. Allen's Homeri Ilias
(Oxford 1931, 3 vols.) and just last year I found a used set of Willcock's
commentary on the Iliad.

The most important books for survival in Homer were Benner's "Selections
from the Iliad" and Cunliffe's lexicon which has the helpful feature of
listing a lot of the difficult forms alphabetically with cross references to
the lemma. Willcock makes a nice supplement to Benner but you can survive
without Willcock, I did for well over a decade.

Anyway, if someone wants to do Homer on their own I suggest doing some
research first on what you can get in the way of helpful books.

For reading pleasure, the Odyssey is clearly the first choice. I have
Lattimore, T.E. Lawrence and Fitzgerald on hand for pleasure reading. I have
also read some of Fagels which is good.



Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

*a double latte in 1991 was about $2.25, for people from out of town, the
latte is a unit by which all things are measured in Seattle.

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