On Cato, a philosopher’s uniform, and training.


“Seeing the lightest and gayest purple was then most in fashion, he would always wear that which was the nearest black; and he would often go out of doors, after his morning meal, without either shoes or tunic; not that he sought vain-glory from such novelties, but he would accustom himself to be ashamed only of what deserves shame, and to despise all other sorts of disgrace.”

— Plutarch, The Life of Cato the Younger.

Koine Lessons, Part II


This weekend I had my second session for studying Koine.  My tutor is very personable and we get along well.  Although my background is linguistics (specifically syntax and phonology),  this tutor’s teaching style is less “here’s a chart of declensions to learn” and more “let’s  talk in Greek about your family.”

We’re using the pronunciation values for modern Greek, which is closer to how Koine would have sounded than the ecclesiastical or Erasmian pronunciation schemes.

So far, I’m  enjoying it.  I haven’t  had a serious language project in some time, which is something I have missed. 

At these early days, there are two immediate issues.
1) I cannot predict Greek stress.  Like, not all.
2) The Greek question  mark is ” ; ” and not ” ? ” .

I’m used to having very good intuition for Slavic languages about stress, which is not helping and is in fact hurting my acquisition of Koine Greek.  Luckily, in most of the texts I have available, the stress is overtly marker with an acute accent mark.

For some reason the Greek question mark  throws me for a loop.  I’ll  get used to it in time, but as of know it interfers with the smoothness of my reading and writing.

I’m  really looking forward to being able to read our classic Stoics in the primary language.  I’ll  keep you updated on my progress!