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Lucian's Dialogues prepared for schools

Lucian's Dialogues prepared for schools
Title: Lucian's Dialogues prepared for schools
Release Date: 2018-08-02
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Lucian's Dialogues prepared for schools, byWilliam Henry Denham Rouse

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictionswhatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.org. If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.

Title: Lucian's Dialogues prepared for schools

Author: William Henry Denham Rouse

Release Date: August 2, 2018 [EBook #57629]

Language: Greek


Produced by an anonymous Project Gutenberg volunteer.

[Transcriber's note: This book consists of themain text and a supplement ('Notes') which not only contains explanationson the background of some stories, but also explains less frequentwords (mostly in Greek). These refer to pages (and lines)of the main text. Therefore, the page numbers have been insertedby labels like '[Page x]' in the main text.

In the notes, refence is generally made to the first word of each noteor the first part (separated by '·') which is printed bold inthe text. To avoid distraction by too much formatting,they have only in a few exceptional cases marked by underscoreswhere the referenced words are not obvious.

Very few typos have also been marked,cf. notes in the text starting with 'typo'.]




This book contains most of Lucian's Dialogues,prepared for school use by certain omissions andchanges. The syntax has been changed where itdid not accord with the normal Attic (mostly inthe use of ἄν and a few particles), and rare or poeticalwords have sometimes been simplified. The style,however, is much what it was. It would not bepossible to make the style agree with the best Atticwithout a good deal of new writing; and, although thestyle of Lucian is more cumbrous than Plato's, yetthis very fault gives scope for paraphrase as a simplerstyle would not do. We shall see later how thiscomes into the question. It is a great comfort thatthe readers will forget most of the words and formsused, unless the master takes pains to fix them in thememory; in such cases he may fix the simpler paraphrase,leaving the verbiage to take care of itself. Ifthe pupils, after reading the book, can express themeaning of any passage in simpler words, they willunderstand the meaning, which is the essential thing;and if at the same time they are able to recognizeand understand certain long or ugly phrases, thatwill do them no harm. They will not be tempted touse these phrases rather than the simpler and easierphrases.

Moreover, such disadvantages as there are inLucian's style are many times outweighed by thelively interest that he inspires. I have found the Dialogues,as far as substance goes, an almost perfect bookfor a first author. Many of them are short enoughfor one lesson; all are full of wit, and such wit asthe boy's mind can enjoy. They also teach, or causeto be learnt, a good deal of mythology; and, sincethe humorous aspect of Olympus is natural to theGreek from Homer onwards, the reader will not geta false or unhistorical impression. He is not yetready to understand the serious side of Greekreligion, which will be impressed on him whenhe comes to read Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Plato.Moreover, the boy who leaves school after oneyear of Greek will carry with him from Luciana pleasant memory such as is not given by Greekgrammars and exercise-books. If he gives a secondyear to the study of Greek, he will have read someHomer or Herodotus, and Plato's Apology or someother prose work of value.

The notes are in Greek. They are meant to beused in a way shortly to be described; but anymaster who prefers to put them at once into the handsof his class will still find them useful. The boy isin that case given a choice of two things: either hemay read them, in which case some of his difficultiesare solved, but he has to read more Greek in orderto solve them; or he may look up the words andnames in his dictionary, in which case he has thepractice of looking them up. In neither case willhe get his information without doing somethingfor it. Many teachers believe that looking up wordsin a dictionary is good for the learner; these alsowill be able to use this book. It may not be out ofplace, however, to ask those who believe this whetherthey have any reason for their belief. I do notknow that any one has made any systematic inquiryinto the use of the dictionary, to find out how long ittakes beginners to look up words and what theirminds are doing while they are looking them up.I cannot pretend to have done this systematically;but the few inquiries we have made in this school, goto show that to look up words takes a very long timefor the beginner, even when he has not a dictionarywith many meanings to the word, but a special vocabularywith only one or two meanings. It certainly distractshis attention, and he has to resume the threadof his thought before he can fit in his new word, whichalso takes time. My own state of mind in looking upnew words is quite clear to me: it is a blank, out ofwhich emerges now a word expressive of exasperation,now the address of a friend forgotten and puzzled over,or other flotsam of the subconsciousness. If it were sothat all this time the new word should be impressingitself on the memory, well and good; but it does notseem to be so, and if not, here is another of thetime-wasting devices which have become sacred inschools.


The following I have found to be the best way ofusing this book.

The pupils are in their first year of Greek; theyhave worked through all the common accidence andsyntax, and the various exercises in reading or compositionthat belong to the beginner's stage. Theyare provided with a reference grammar, containingaccidence, outline of syntax, and a table of thecommonest irregular verbs. Our problem now is tofix the grammar by use, and to enlarge the vocabulary.

Preparation. The text alone is put into the boys'hands, the booklet of notes being kept for revision. Themaster reads the text of a dialogue aloud in Greek.Each boy is expected to ask, in Greek, for an explanationof anything he does not understand. This themaster gives by paraphrasing the new word in simpleGreek words already known; and all the class (notthe one only) write the explanation in their notebooks,with accents, carefully. The master must assure himselfthat this is done, by going round and looking ashe dictates, or by calling up the boys in turn to hisdesk. When this care is taken, accuracy soon becomesa habit. Parts of new verbs, or other forms, may betreated in the same way. When the whole piece hasbeen done, if time be left, the boys are asked to readit over in Greek, two (or more) taking parts as thecharacters.

Home Work. The passage thus read is translatedinto English, at first in writing, later in writingor not, as proves to be more convenient. Any newforms are looked up in the grammar, and verb-tenseslearnt.

The next lesson will begin with the reading out ofone or more of these versions, which the master willcriticize; they will then be collected, and he canexamine them all later. He will thus be able to seewhere his explanations were not clear or sufficient,and this will guide him the next time. There is noneed to give back the papers, although criticism maybe made, of praise or blame, if time allows, withgrammar drill where the need is shown.

Preparation for next day follows; and this willtake up most of the lesson. At this stage the learneris not fit to do his preparation unaided.

Composition will be learnt by the continual practiceof question and answer, and by the paraphraseswritten in the notebooks. The master can practisealmost any construction that he wishes to practise,by changing the form of his note. More formalexercises should be given occasionally, in the followingforms: (1) a free English translation of some passagesof the text may be given to be put into Greek, notnecessarily word for word; (2) shorter sentences, alsotaken or adapted from the text, to be translated exactly;(3) passages of English of a similar type may be setfor translation; (4) the substance of any passage ofthe text may be set to be written in the boys' ownwords; (5) similar themes may be set to be written upin the boys' own words.

Of these (1) is very useful, and may form a part ofthe home-work instead of the English version, oncertain days. No. (2) is also good, so long as thesentences bear on the text or on the grammar arisingout of it, but anything arbitrary is sure to causeweariness. No. (3) is more advanced; Nos. (4) and (5)are too difficult for the first year of Greek, but aregood later.

It is found that by working on this plan thetranslation of the boys is much better than if eachlesson were construed in class; and the work is notmechanical, but individual.

Very little revision is needed; once reading throughat the end of term, in Greek, is enough, the masternow asking the questions, and the boys answeringhim in the same language. At this stage the printednotes are to be given to the class, for checking theirown. Meanwhile they may have been useful to themaster in suggesting each day how he may treatthe next lesson.

A little ingenuity and experience will suggestmany other ways of driving the work home. Forinstance, if the boys have a dictionary of biographyand mythology, one evening's work may be to writea short account in Greek of some of the personagesmentioned in the part prepared: if these are many,they may be divided amongst the boys. Or again,the boys may prepare a dialogue for acting, andrecite it in their own words, if they prefer.

I wish to repeat that these hints are not evolvedout of the imagination, but are the result of all sortsof different experiments, carried on during eight years.I shall be grateful if any one who uses the book willgive me some hints derived from his own experience.


ΠΡΟΜ. Δῦσόν με, ὦ Ζεῦ· δεινὰ γὰρ ἤδη πέπονθα.

ΖΕΥΣ. Λύσω σε, φής, ὃν ἐχρῆν βαρυτέρας πέδαςἔχοντα, καὶ τὸν Καύκασον ὅλον ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς ἐπικείμενον,ὑπὸ ἑκκαίδεκα γυπῶν μὴ μόνον κείρεσθαι τὸ ἧπαρ,ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐξορύττεσθαι, ἀνθ᾽ ὧν τοιαῦθ᾽ἡμῖν ζῷα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἔπλασας, καὶ τὸ πῦρἔκλεψας, καὶ γυναῖκας ἐδημιούργησας; ἃ μὲν γὰρ ἐμὲἐξηπάτησας ἐν τῇ νομῇ τῶν κρεῶν, ὀστᾶ πιμελῇ κεκαλυμμέναπαραθεὶς καὶ τὴν ἀμείνω τῶν μοιρῶν σεαυτῷφυλάττων, τί χρὴ λέγειν;

ΠΡΟΜ. Οὔκουν ἱκανὴν ἤδη τὴν δίκην ἐκτέτεικα,τοσοῦτον χρόνον τῷ Καυκάσῳ προσηλωμένος, τὸν κάκισταὀρνίθων ἀπολούμενον αἰετὸν τρέφων τῷ ἥπατι;

ΖΕΥΣ. Οὐδὲ πολλοστημόριον τοῦτο ὧν σε δεῖ παθεῖν.

ΠΡΟΜ. Καὶ μὴν οὐκ ἀμισθί με λύσεις, ἀλλά σοιμηνύσω τι, ὦ Ζεῦ, πάνυ ἀναγκαῖον.

ΖΕΥΣ. Κατασοφίζῃ με, ὦ Προμηθεῦ.

ΠΡΟΜ. Καὶ τί πλέον ἕξω; οὐ γὰρ ἀγνοήσεις αὖθιςἔνθα ὁ Καύκασός ἐστιν, οὐδὲ ἀπορήσεις δεσμῶν, ἤντι τεχνάζων ἁλίσκωμαι.[Page 2]

ΖΕΥΣ. Εἰπὲ πρότερον, ὅντινα μισθὸν ἀποτείσειςἀναγκαῖον ἡμῖν ὄντα.

ΠΡΟΜ. Ἢν εἴπω ἐφ᾽ ὅ τι βαδίζεις νῦν, ἀξιόπιστοςἔσομαί σοι καὶ περὶ τῶν ὑπολοίπων μαντευόμενος;

ΖΕΥΣ. Πῶς γὰρ οὔ;

ΠΡΟΜ. Παρὰ τὴν Θέτιν, γυναῖκα ληψόμενος αὐτήν.

ΖΕΥΣ. Τουτὶ μὲν ἔγνως· τί δ᾽ οὖν τὸ ἐπὶ τούτῳ;δοκεῖς γὰρ ἀληθές τι ἐρεῖν.

ΠΡΟΜ. Μηδέν, ὦ Ζεῦ, κοινωνήσῃς τῇ Νηρηΐδι·ἢν γὰρ αὕτη τέκῃ τι ἐκ σοῦ, τὸ τεχθὲν ἴσα ἐργάσεταίσε οἷα καὶ σὺ ἔδρασας–

ΖΕΥΣ. Τοῦτο φής, ἐκπεσεῖσθαί με τῆς ἀρχῆς;

ΠΡΟΜ. Μὴ γένοιτο, ὦ Ζεῦ. πλὴν τοιοῦτό γε ἡμείξις αὐτῆς ἀπειλεῖ.

ΖΕΥΣ. Χαιρέτω τοιγαροῦν ἡ Θέτις· σὲ δὲ ὁ
Ἥφαιστος ἐπὶ τούτοις λυσάτω.


ΖΕΥΣ. Ἄγε, ὦ Γανύμηδες–ἥκομεν γὰρ ἔνθαἐχρῆν–ὁρᾷς με νῦν οὐκέτι ῥάμφος ἀγκύλον ἔχονταοὐδ᾽ ὄνυχας ὀξεῖς οὐδὲ πτερά, οἷος ἐφαινόμην σοιπτηνὸς

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