It’s Nearly All Greek to Me

I’ve just finished my daily dose of Hellenic hell. I jest, I’m actually really enjoying learning Ancient Greek (why else would I bother? It’s not like I have a Tardis) but some days have a steeper learning curve than others. Recently I’ve learned several new verbs, one of which changes its stem vowel half-way through which is not playing fair at all. To give you an idea, imagine the verb ‘to read’ going ‘I read, you read, she reads’, then changing to ‘we road, you road’ and finally going off on one with ‘they roaiaroud.’ It’s just not playing fair and I’m going to protest.

But mostly it’s fine, even if the sentences you translate end up a bit like a Janet and John book: I am reading. You are listening. Are they hearing? And then, since this is a book designed for philosophy students wanting to read Plato, you suddenly get ‘Socrates is corrupting the youth of the city.’ It’s all terrific fun…

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a Tardis, though, and go back to Ancient Greece? Except that knowing my luck instead of meeting Plato or sitting at the foot of Socrates I’d end up in a cheese shop in some bizarre Pythonesque situation trying to buy cheese with a vocabulary geared to classical philosophy. I’d stretch my hand towards the street and say ‘hoi polloi’ and that would be that.

Mind you, I’d have to change gender in order to do anything at all since life was pretty horrible for women in Ancient Greece. These heroes of the Iliad and Odyssey treated women and slaves abysmally; read The Silence of the Girls and weep: I did. It wasn’t much better in Rome but at least you could go out of the house; Greek women were only allowed out to go to the shops, otherwise they had to stay at home. I can’t imagine what that would be like…

Kirk out

2 thoughts on “It’s Nearly All Greek to Me

  1. Are you learning that scribbly Greek script? That would be impressive. And you could also read all the dirty bits in those old Victorian travel journals.

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