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Author Topic: Different Versions of Greek  (Read 2383 times)
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Marat
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« on: July 04, 2009, 06:51:29 PM »

I am looking at the options for Greek at my university. They offer two versions, modern and an unnamed version. I assume the unnamed version is ancient Greek (not sure what to call it, maybe classical?) since the second year classes of that sequence mention reading Plato and Euripides and the third year explores the New Testament. This leads me to two questions.

1. How long does one need to study the NT Greek until it becomes "useful"? By that I mean being able to read the NT in Greek and comprehend most of it.

2. Is the classical version of Greek what is used in the Divine Liturgy? Is modern Greek used instead? Is it something in between and altogether different?

Thanks for your help. I'm very uneducated about this and google results either don't answer this or go over my head.
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Orthodox11
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2009, 07:36:50 PM »

2. Is the classical version of Greek what is used in the Divine Liturgy? Is modern Greek used instead? Is it something in between and altogether different?

The Greek used in the Divine Liturgy is ancient. However, more than one form of Greek is used. New Testament readings are in Koine, Old Testament readings/quotations are in the more ancient Greek of the Septuagint, other prayers were composed much later, etc. But all are very different from modern Greek.
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mike
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 12:58:49 PM »

How much an average Greek understands the liturgical Greek?
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2009, 02:58:43 PM »

How much an average Greek understands the liturgical Greek?

A Greek from Greece, quite a bit. A Greek-speaker born outside of Greece, not very much.
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Apostolos
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 02:06:25 PM »

The language of the Gospels (Koine Greek) is pretty understandable with the exception of a few words, which are either 1) Atticisms-->a characteristic feature of Attic Greek (which is an older/ancient form of Greek and thus more difficult to grasp) occuring in the language of the Gospels, 2) Hebrewisms, 3)Latinisms. Sometimes the language is easy but the syntax confuses things even more.
The language of the Epistles is more difficult than that of the Gospels.
The language of the Liturgy although it is Koine Greek, it is written and used in an elaborate way that reminds Classical Greek (though it's not). Pretty understandable too.
Some Hymns are written in a very complexed and elaborate way (Poetry) which is very difficult to understand. They're understandable when read though. Other Hymns are written in Attic Greek which is difficult to understand even when read.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG5JWZlpfBA
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 08:30:06 AM »

I once heard on the Greek Orthodox radio here that one can find some very rare and unique words in the Greek liturgical texts. Some may even trace their roots back to Homer's works, so it's very hard even for an expert to understand.
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Marat
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2009, 10:20:01 AM »

Thanks for all the replies everyone. I had no illusions that a few courses would lead me to any great knowledge. I was hoping to find out it would at least be useful, and hopefully a little more than that. Languages are very difficult for me and I hoped that being excited about it would make it a bit easier.
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Apostolos
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2009, 11:58:50 AM »

I once heard on the Greek Orthodox radio here that one can find some very rare and unique words in the Greek liturgical texts. Some may even trace their roots back to Homer's works, so it's very hard even for an expert to understand.
During the Agape Vespers as you know we recite the Gospel reading (John 20:19-25) in many different languages. Well, we in Greece (among other languages), recite the Gospel in Homeric Greek. The right psaltis (or usually the protopsaltis) uses the translation of St Nicodemus the Hagiorite who respected the Homeric dactylic hexameter of Iliad and Odyssey! Here is st Nicodemus' translation:

Ὄφρακε ∫ νωιτέ∫ροισιν ‖ ἐν ∫ οὔασι ∫ πάγχυ βά∫λωμεν
θέσφατον, ∫ ἱμερό∫εσσαν, ‖ ἁ∫γνὴν Εὐ∫άγγελον ∫ ὄππα
μειλί∫ξωμεν Ἄ∫νακτα ‖ Θε∫ὸν μέγαν, ∫ οὐρανί∫ωνα.
Ἰθυγε∫νεῖς. Σοφί∫η. ‖ Εὐ∫αγγελί∫οιο κλύ∫ωμεν.

Εἰρή∫νη χαρί∫εσσ’ ‖ ἐπ’ ἀ∫πείρονα ∫ δῆμον ἐ∫σεῖται.

Ἐκ δ’ ἄρ’ Ἰ∫ωάν∫νοιο ‖ τόδ’ ∫ ἔστι ∫ βροντογό∫νοιο.

Ἄλλ’ ἄγετ’ ∫ ἀτρεμέ∫σι ‖ χρη∫σμοὺς λεύ∫σωμεν ὀ∫πωπαῖς.

Εὖτε δὴ ∫ ἠέλι∫ος ‖ φαέ∫θων ἐπὶ ∫ ἕσπερον ∫ ἦλθε
καὶ σκιό∫ωντο ἀ∫γυιαὶ ‖ ἐ∫πὶ χθονὶ ∫ πουλυβο∫τείρῃ,
ἥματι ∫ ἐν πρώ∫τῳ, ‖ ὅτε ∫ τύμβου ∫ ἆλτο Σα∫ωτήρ,
κλῃι∫σταὶ δὲ ἔ∫σαν ‖ θυρί∫δες πυκι∫νῶς ἀρα∫ρεῖαι,
βλῆντο δὲ ∫ πάντες ὀ∫χῆες ‖ ἐ∫υσταθέ∫ος μεγά∫ροιο,
ἔνθα Μα∫θηταὶ ὁ∫μοῦ τε ‖ ἀ∫ολλέες ∫ ἠγερέ∫θοντο
μυρόμε∫νοι θανά∫τῳ ‖ ἐπ’ ἀ∫εικέι ∫ Χριστοῦ Ἄ∫νακτος
καὶ χόλον ∫ ἀφραί∫νοντα ‖ Ἰ∫ουδαί∫ων τρομέ∫οντες,
ἤλυθε ∫ δὴ τότε ∫ Χριστὸς ‖ Ἄ∫ναξ θεο∫ειδέι ∫ μορφῇ,
ἔστη ∫ δ’ ἐν μεσά∫τῳ ‖ ἀνα∫φανδὸν ∫ καὶ φάτο ∫ μῦθον·
Εἰρή∫νη ὑ∫μῖν ‖ φίλη, ∫ ἡσυχί∫η τ’ ἐρα∫τεινή.
Ὡς εἰ∫πὼν ἐπέ∫δειξεν ‖ ἑ∫ὴν πλευ∫ρὴν ἠδὲ ∫ χεῖρας.
Γήθη∫σαν δὲ Μα∫θηταὶ ‖ ἐ∫πεὶ ἴδον ∫ Εὐρυμέ∫δοντα.

Τοὺς δ’ αὖ∫τις προσέ∫ειπεν ‖ Ἰ∫ησοῦς ∫ οὐρανο∫φοίτης·
Εἰρή∫νη ὑ∫μῖν ‖ φίλη, ∫ ἡσυχί∫η τ’ ἐρα∫τεινή.
Ὡς ἐμὲ ∫ πέμψε Πα∫τὴρ ‖ ὅς ὑ∫πέρτατα ∫ δώματα ∫ ναίει,
ῳδ’ ἐγὼ ∫ ὑμέας ∫ ἐς χθόνα ∫ πέμπω ∫ ‖ εὐρυό∫δειαν.
Ὡς ἄρα ∫ φωνή∫σας ‖ Μύ∫σταις ἔμ∫πνευσ’ ἀγο∫ρεύων·
Πνεῦμα δέχ∫νυσθ’ Ἅγι∫ον, ‖ φαε∫σίμβροτον, ∫ ὑψιθό∫ωκον·
Ὧν μὲν ἀ∫τασθαλί∫ας θνη∫τῶν ‖ ἀφέ∫ητ’ ἐπὶ ∫ γαῖαν,
τοῖσι νύ∫που ἀφί∫ενται ‖ ἐς ∫ οὐρανὸν ∫ ἀστερό∫εντα·
ὧν δ’ ἄρ’ ἐ∫πεσβολί∫ας ‖ ὑ∫ππερφιά∫λων κρατέ∫ητε,
τοῖσιν ἁ∫λυκτοπέ∫δῃς ‖ κεῖ∫ναι σθενα∫ρῇς κρατέ∫ονται.

Θωμᾶς ∫ δ’ ῳ ἐπί∫κλησις ‖ ἅ∫πασι Δί∫δυμος ἀ∫κούειν
οὐχ ἅμα ∫ τοῖς ἄλ∫λοις Μύ∫σταις ‖ πρὶν ὁ∫μώροφος ∫ ἔσκε
Ἰη∫σοῦς ὅτ’ ἔ∫βη εἴ∫σω ‖ μελά∫θροιο ἑ∫ταίρων.
Ἴαχον ∫ οὖν ἄλ∫λοι τού∫τῳ ‖ ἐρί∫ηρες ἑ∫ταῖροι·
Εἴδομεν ∫ ὀφθαλ∫μοῖσιν ‖ Ἰ∫ησοῦν ∫ παγκρατέ∫οντα.
Τοὺς δ’ ἀπα∫μειβόμε∫νος ‖ Θω∫μᾶς προσέ∫φησεν ἀ∫τειρής·
Ἴχνια ∫ ἤν μὴ ἴ∫δω ‖ μετὰ ∫ χείρεσιν ∫ ἡλατο∫ρήτῃς,
δάκτυλον ∫ ἐμβάλ∫λω τε ‖ ἐ∫κείνου ∫ ἔνδοθι ∫ χειρός,
χεῖρα τ’ ἐ∫μὴν εἴ∫σω ‖ πλευ∫ρῆς οἷ ∫ ρεῖα βα∫λοίμην,
οὔποτε ∫ ὑμετέ∫ροισι ‖ λό∫γοις κεφα∫λῇ κατα∫νεύσω.

(∫=dactylic meter, ‖=caesura)

You can hear it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9RiRNPjflI

PS: I can understand a few words; to the untrained ear, the language sounds "familiar", yet it is unintelligible. In reality it is the great (katharevousa)-great (Byzantine)-great (Koine)-great (Classical)-great (Homeric) mother of modern Greek.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG5JWZlpfBA
St. John Papadopoulos "The Koukouzelis"
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2009, 03:00:05 PM »

Full diacritics! I miss them...
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2011, 11:53:32 AM »

I once heard on the Greek Orthodox radio here that one can find some very rare and unique words in the Greek liturgical texts. Some may even trace their roots back to Homer's works, so it's very hard even for an expert to understand.
During the Agape Vespers as you know we recite the Gospel reading (John 20:19-25) in many different languages. Well, we in Greece (among other languages), recite the Gospel in Homeric Greek. The right psaltis (or usually the protopsaltis) uses the translation of St Nicodemus the Hagiorite who respected the Homeric dactylic hexameter of Iliad and Odyssey! Here is st Nicodemus' translation:

Ὄφρακε ∫ νωιτέ∫ροισιν ‖ ἐν ∫ οὔασι ∫ πάγχυ βά∫λωμεν
θέσφατον, ∫ ἱμερό∫εσσαν, ‖ ἁ∫γνὴν Εὐ∫άγγελον ∫ ὄππα
μειλί∫ξωμεν Ἄ∫νακτα ‖ Θε∫ὸν μέγαν, ∫ οὐρανί∫ωνα.
Ἰθυγε∫νεῖς. Σοφί∫η. ‖ Εὐ∫αγγελί∫οιο κλύ∫ωμεν.

Εἰρή∫νη χαρί∫εσσ’ ‖ ἐπ’ ἀ∫πείρονα ∫ δῆμον ἐ∫σεῖται.

Ἐκ δ’ ἄρ’ Ἰ∫ωάν∫νοιο ‖ τόδ’ ∫ ἔστι ∫ βροντογό∫νοιο.

Ἄλλ’ ἄγετ’ ∫ ἀτρεμέ∫σι ‖ χρη∫σμοὺς λεύ∫σωμεν ὀ∫πωπαῖς.

Εὖτε δὴ ∫ ἠέλι∫ος ‖ φαέ∫θων ἐπὶ ∫ ἕσπερον ∫ ἦλθε
καὶ σκιό∫ωντο ἀ∫γυιαὶ ‖ ἐ∫πὶ χθονὶ ∫ πουλυβο∫τείρῃ,
ἥματι ∫ ἐν πρώ∫τῳ, ‖ ὅτε ∫ τύμβου ∫ ἆλτο Σα∫ωτήρ,
κλῃι∫σταὶ δὲ ἔ∫σαν ‖ θυρί∫δες πυκι∫νῶς ἀρα∫ρεῖαι,
βλῆντο δὲ ∫ πάντες ὀ∫χῆες ‖ ἐ∫υσταθέ∫ος μεγά∫ροιο,
ἔνθα Μα∫θηταὶ ὁ∫μοῦ τε ‖ ἀ∫ολλέες ∫ ἠγερέ∫θοντο
μυρόμε∫νοι θανά∫τῳ ‖ ἐπ’ ἀ∫εικέι ∫ Χριστοῦ Ἄ∫νακτος
καὶ χόλον ∫ ἀφραί∫νοντα ‖ Ἰ∫ουδαί∫ων τρομέ∫οντες,
ἤλυθε ∫ δὴ τότε ∫ Χριστὸς ‖ Ἄ∫ναξ θεο∫ειδέι ∫ μορφῇ,
ἔστη ∫ δ’ ἐν μεσά∫τῳ ‖ ἀνα∫φανδὸν ∫ καὶ φάτο ∫ μῦθον·
Εἰρή∫νη ὑ∫μῖν ‖ φίλη, ∫ ἡσυχί∫η τ’ ἐρα∫τεινή.
Ὡς εἰ∫πὼν ἐπέ∫δειξεν ‖ ἑ∫ὴν πλευ∫ρὴν ἠδὲ ∫ χεῖρας.
Γήθη∫σαν δὲ Μα∫θηταὶ ‖ ἐ∫πεὶ ἴδον ∫ Εὐρυμέ∫δοντα.

Τοὺς δ’ αὖ∫τις προσέ∫ειπεν ‖ Ἰ∫ησοῦς ∫ οὐρανο∫φοίτης·
Εἰρή∫νη ὑ∫μῖν ‖ φίλη, ∫ ἡσυχί∫η τ’ ἐρα∫τεινή.
Ὡς ἐμὲ ∫ πέμψε Πα∫τὴρ ‖ ὅς ὑ∫πέρτατα ∫ δώματα ∫ ναίει,
ῳδ’ ἐγὼ ∫ ὑμέας ∫ ἐς χθόνα ∫ πέμπω ∫ ‖ εὐρυό∫δειαν.
Ὡς ἄρα ∫ φωνή∫σας ‖ Μύ∫σταις ἔμ∫πνευσ’ ἀγο∫ρεύων·
Πνεῦμα δέχ∫νυσθ’ Ἅγι∫ον, ‖ φαε∫σίμβροτον, ∫ ὑψιθό∫ωκον·
Ὧν μὲν ἀ∫τασθαλί∫ας θνη∫τῶν ‖ ἀφέ∫ητ’ ἐπὶ ∫ γαῖαν,
τοῖσι νύ∫που ἀφί∫ενται ‖ ἐς ∫ οὐρανὸν ∫ ἀστερό∫εντα·
ὧν δ’ ἄρ’ ἐ∫πεσβολί∫ας ‖ ὑ∫ππερφιά∫λων κρατέ∫ητε,
τοῖσιν ἁ∫λυκτοπέ∫δῃς ‖ κεῖ∫ναι σθενα∫ρῇς κρατέ∫ονται.

Θωμᾶς ∫ δ’ ῳ ἐπί∫κλησις ‖ ἅ∫πασι Δί∫δυμος ἀ∫κούειν
οὐχ ἅμα ∫ τοῖς ἄλ∫λοις Μύ∫σταις ‖ πρὶν ὁ∫μώροφος ∫ ἔσκε
Ἰη∫σοῦς ὅτ’ ἔ∫βη εἴ∫σω ‖ μελά∫θροιο ἑ∫ταίρων.
Ἴαχον ∫ οὖν ἄλ∫λοι τού∫τῳ ‖ ἐρί∫ηρες ἑ∫ταῖροι·
Εἴδομεν ∫ ὀφθαλ∫μοῖσιν ‖ Ἰ∫ησοῦν ∫ παγκρατέ∫οντα.
Τοὺς δ’ ἀπα∫μειβόμε∫νος ‖ Θω∫μᾶς προσέ∫φησεν ἀ∫τειρής·
Ἴχνια ∫ ἤν μὴ ἴ∫δω ‖ μετὰ ∫ χείρεσιν ∫ ἡλατο∫ρήτῃς,
δάκτυλον ∫ ἐμβάλ∫λω τε ‖ ἐ∫κείνου ∫ ἔνδοθι ∫ χειρός,
χεῖρα τ’ ἐ∫μὴν εἴ∫σω ‖ πλευ∫ρῆς οἷ ∫ ρεῖα βα∫λοίμην,
οὔποτε ∫ ὑμετέ∫ροισι ‖ λό∫γοις κεφα∫λῇ κατα∫νεύσω.

(∫=dactylic meter, ‖=caesura)

You can hear it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9RiRNPjflI

PS: I can understand a few words; to the untrained ear, the language sounds "familiar", yet it is unintelligible. In reality it is the great (katharevousa)-great (Byzantine)-great (Koine)-great (Classical)-great (Homeric) mother of modern Greek.


WOW. Thats beautiful.
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