Friday, July 10, 2009

A Tale of One (Two) Poets?

Do you know these two famous poets:

I'm currently reading through Paul in the Greco-Roman World edited by J. Paul Sampley, and I'm in Chapter 7, "Paul and Greco-Roman Education" written by Ronald F. Hock. Pretty good so far, and I just noticed this last night:

A line from famous poet #1:
πρὸς δ' ἐμὲ τὸν δύστηνον ἔτι φρονέοντ' ἐλέησον
Have pity on me, the unfortunate one, while I am still alive. -- Homer the Greek

Awe factor: Greek scholiasts recognized that this line from the Iliad represented each of the eight parts of speech! πρὸς is a preposition, δ' is a conjunction, ἐμὲ a pronoun, τὸν an article, δύστηνον a noun, ἔτι an adverb, φρονέοντ' a participle, ἐλέησον a verb. I have not read up enough on Homer to know if this is accidental or intentional, but I am currently standing with the latter choice.

A line from famous poet #2:
I've always wondered if there was a god. And now I know there is -- and it's me. -- Homer the Simpson
Awe factor: In this one line, Homer succinctly sums up the core of humanity since the Fall.

Is Homer Simpson Ὅμηρος reborn?

PS: On a related note, does anyone know of any good textbooks to learn Classical Greek and Latin?

No comments: