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CG311 Greek Prose: Herodotus' Histories

Prof. Michael Arnush Ladd 209 x5462
marnush@skidmore.edu Hours: MF 12-1
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FIRST ASSIGNMENT: THE PROOIMION OF HERODOTUS' HISTORIES
In the Herodotus Reader by Blaise Nagy (the gy is pronounced like the consonant in "Asia"), read the Preface and A Students' Introduction. What are the key issues Nagy outlines in this brief introduction and what issues would you like to explore further during the semester?
 
Now turn to the first passage, the prooimion (labelled "prologue" by Nagy). Try to make sense of the Greek without looking at any translation. Don't write out a full translation in English; instead, take notes in a notebook devoted to this course, notes that will aid you as you translate aloud in class. We will discuss the questions that follow in class, so take some notes in preparation for Tuesday, Sept. 13th.
  1. What kinds of vocabulary does Herodotus employ and what is their morphology - what forms do they take? For example, does he use nouns and if so, are they of persons or things? does he use verbs? How would you classify his vocabulary?
  2. How does the Ionic dialect differ from the Attic one you learned in first-year Greek? That is, some of the forms (stems, endings, etc.) may seem unfamiliar. Which ones are they and how would they be rendered in Attic Greek? See Nagy's notes on "New Ionic Greek" on pp. xviii-xix.
  3. What kinds of grammar does Herodotus employ? Does he use subjects? objects, direct or indirect? verbs, and are they transitive or intransitive? etc.?
  4. What is the syntax of the prooimion? That is, how does Herodotus employ word order? Does he use conditions? clauses? connectives? etc.
  5. What is the meaning of the prooimion in simple terms - that is, how would you render it in English?
  6. What does the reader take away from this introduction to the Histories?