[B-Greek] Koine to Classical

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Mon May 19 16:18:27 EDT 2008

James egrapse:
>Others will undoubtedly have other ideas :) But, I suggest grabbing some
...  Lucian (Vera Historia is a blast).

I would amen. And we can call it by its real name
First Sci-fi. Travellers to the moon on a boat in a typhoon.

AND it's 2nd century CE, so I actually want to include this sort of stuff
in a full KOINH pedagogy. Maybe in our book 5. We will probably want to
have some of Lucian's Περι της Συριης θεου. Such IONIC! NAI. And some
of the epic influenced EPIGRAMMATA. We've got a bit of Plutarch in our
summer course. When a person is done with a full training they want to
be able to read Greek prose and appreciate some poetry.
But we can always leave Aristophanes word-smithing for later pleasure
and Homer is an experience all by itself. And while we can justify the
including of 'classical' and 'Ionic' and 'epic' structures and selections
in a KOINH class, a KOINH class cannot dwell on them or do them
literary justice.

All of these are really matters of degree. If you read enough KOINH
you pretty well see what you see in 'classical' Greek, just not in the
same degree. Josephus uses both KOINH and
Attic morphology in his verbs and nouns.  DIPSH~ TIS H PEINH~ TIS
Is anyone thirsty or hungry? [these are indicative ! and turn up in 1st c.
prose) (from DIPSHN to thirst and PEINHN to hunger) Josephus uses an
occasional dual. I recently read the PERI ALHQWN DIHGHMATWN and
remember prisoners being marched off to the Sun with their dual-hands
tied behind their backs. I don't need to mention EYTIKH optative and
MELLWN future participles and infinitives, because they are even
sprinkled throughout the NT, LXX.

So I would say, read what you want to read. You will slowly absorb the
whole language. And set your goal the ability to discuss in Greek
the texts you read, though your discussion need not be in the same
dialect. A plain KOINH is fine for discussing the ornamental

And think about it,
KOINH to classical was practiced by people like Luke and Paul,
Josephus and Epiktetos.

ERRWSO 'be well'

Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

More information about the B-Greek mailing list