Logophilia: Linguistics and Philological Resources

of Meani

a seminar

Earl Jackson,

Email: tomrip5@aol.com

Winter 1999

[This list has a narrative borrowed from the prehistory of this course.
For the full context click THIS]

I had to find a way to engage in a rapid, but a flexibly thorough review
of Greek grammar. Several things I found on the Internet really did the

Online Greek Grammar



Hardy Hansen’s online syllabus materials for Greek 701, a course he taught
in 1996 and 1997 at CUNY (and will teach again in the Spring of 1999).

This is a course for beginning graduate students in Classics aimed at increasing
and refining the students‘ reading ability in Attic Greek. The weekly assignments
were based on short selections from major prose writers of the fifth and
fourth centuries, B.C.E. Emphasis was an translation and analysis of both
grammar and style. The focus on style increased with each unit. The 1997
version of the course reviewed the fundamentals of morphology and syntax
through selections from the speeches of Lysias. Exercises included translation
of English sentences into Greek in order to appreciate the fine points
and functions of Greek syntax. From here the analyses grew more detailed,
particularly in terms of the differences between „loose“ structured prose
and „periodic“ prose. Assignments then included comparative analyses of
styles of different writers. This site was particularly suited to self
study because Professor Hansen generously has made available most of the
materials used in both years of the course taught so far. He organizes
the materials in a clear, easy-to-navigate and attractive arrangment. The
site includes: the written assignments; answer keys to the written assignments;
examples of completed [advanced] assignments; an essay detailing the „loose“
and „periodic“ styles; a „style scoresheet“; translations of excerpted
texts from the authors studied; biographical and contextual backgrounds
of each of the authors; a bibliography, and other aids. The Greek texts
are available from the Perseus
at Tufts University. They are hyperlinked on the syllabus and
on „selection bars“ that are placed prominently throughout the site.

Speaking of the Perseus Project, that is exactly where I went next.
In particular, to a recent addition, „A New Overview of Greek Syntax.“

New Overview of Greek Syntax“

Jeffrey A. Rydberg-Cox’s „Overview
of Greek Syntax
,“ is a 1998 addition to the Perseus Project of the
Classics Department at Tufts University. It’s a beautifully laid-out, aerial
view of the intricacies of classical Greek. The „Overview“ could not replace
more conventional grammars for the beginning student – but it clearly was
not intended to do so. Its streamline organization makes it a terrific
review and study aid whose value will increase as the student progresses.
Selfishly, I found the structure and organization ideal for a motivated
„returnee“ to Greek.
I was particularly impressed, moreover, with the effectiveness of a Greek
grammar that focused on syntax over morphology. I originally studied Greek
in a more traditional approach, which of course concentrated on declensions
and conjugations. It was only after working really closely with this „Overview“
that I realized how much more nuanced an appreciation of the dynamics of
a Greek sentence was possible through the syntax-focused analysis of the
language. This made it much easier to understand the various uses of the
participles. Recognizing and even „interpreting“ the participles correctly
meant enduring hopelessly awkward English paraphrases that could never
reconcile what the participle „meant“ with what it was actually doing in
the sentence. Now I see the participles and their constructions as integral
elements of a morphosyntactical ecosystem.
The real accomplishment of the „Overview“ does not lay in the content per
se, but in the inventiveness and ingenuity of its deployment within the
Perseus Project. The main „text“ of the Overview is thoroughly integrated
through hyperlinks to the complete, online version of the absolute ‚classic‘
of Greek reference grammars, Smyth’s Greek
. Furthermore, Rydberg-Cox didn’t need to envelope
his overview in reams of exercises and occasional snippets of „real Greek.“
Instead, he can draw on all of the Greek texts archived in the Perseus
Project. This doesn’t entail importing the archival texts into the „Overview,“
but coordinating the syntactical-structural information of the Overview,
with the reference grammar of Smyth, and the lexicographical wealth of
the Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek Dictionary (now online from Perseus
in both the „Intermediate“ and „Great“ versions.
Visitors to Perseus can access a Greek text in three modes: [1] the Greek
text (unadorned); [2] the Greek text with each word hyperlinked to an morphological
analysis; [3] the Greek text with key words hyperlinked to lemmas in the
LSJ and the Great LSJ. Switching from one mode to another (or switching
from Greek to English) is accomplished with one click of a radio button.
When the visitor calls up the morphological analysis of a word in the Greek
text, she or he is also calling upon Rydberg-Cox’s „Overview“ without even
knowing it. The „Overview“ is intricately coordinated with both the Smyth
and the LSJs to facilitate all manners of philological inquiry. I found
this features of inestimable help in reading and in directing my research
interests. But I also benefited enormously from my prolonged direct contact
with the „Overview“ and would recommend it highly.

Figures Greek and Latin


Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar




The Perseus Project


Paidia 1 Digital Canon 

Complete Primary Texts on line

Paidia 2 Logosophia 

Linguistic Resources – Language/Philology/Lexicography

Paidia 3 Panphilosophia 

Philosophy ResourcesGeneral
Paidia 4 Philosophia 

Philosophy Resources 

Greek and Roman
Paidia 5 [Philo-]Sophistikoi 

Resources on 

Individual Thinkers 

and Schools
Paidia 6 Historia 

History and Culture 

of Archaic and Classical Greece and Rome
Paidia 7 Belles Sémata lugra 

Literature and Performance
Paidia8 Grammateidia tés narkés 

Electronic Classics Journals

Paidia 9 Grammatokuphón 

Bibliographies and Databases
Paidia 10 Institution-restricted
Paidia 11 Sunousia cybernetica 

Discussion Lists, newsgroups, online seminars,newsletters


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1998-1999 Copyright 

Earl Jackson,


Lets Deviant!