Learning Ancient Greek like a Two-Year-Old

love studying Ancient Greek by myself. I sit down, read up on grammar and do translation exercises over and over again until I feel like I learned something. However, sometimes this independent study setup can be daunting so I try to make it as fun as I can.

For instance, I have a lot of interesting mnemonic (from the AG, μνημονικός mnemonikos) devices for the alphabet.

Disclaimer: The boyfriend who is a dead languages expert does not approve of my learning methods, but he laughs every time he sees this list!

*Ahem*

1.ω-> omega looks like a butt. 

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It does though!!!

2.The dative declension ending for masculine and neuter nouns is -ῷ aka butt with squiggly line OR butt with a tail.

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3. Ancient Greek also has Ψ/ψ -> psī, which I call King Triton’s fork.

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4. I fondly call phi (φ) lollipop.

giphy3 5. My favorites though are ζ->zēta and ξ-> xī, which I like to call twirly line and super twirly line respectively. However, I can barely write it correctly so I end up making  both letters extra twirly.

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And these are just a few examples of the things I do to entertain myself while I learn (yet another) dead language. I’ll keep you posted on my progress which is terribly slow, but one day I’ll be able to read Plato (a girl can dream).

*All gifs are from giphy.

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Love

Ugh! Valentine’s Day weekend is finally over.

However, I was not unhappy to celebrate this past week. I was radiant and happy to join my family and friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day (and let’s not forget about Galentine’s Day!)

Did you know that there are four different types of love in Ancient Greek?

  • ἔρως [eros]
  • φιλία [philia]
  • στοργή [storge]
  • ἀγάπη [agape]

Eros:

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This is the most celebrated love in the world for Valentine’s Day. It means “love, mostly of the sexual passion”. Plato believed this type of love to contemplate beauty and appreciate it as a whole. In many of his books, he aspired to explore eros as an ideal of beauty, in which the derivative would fall into the realm of forms.

Philia:

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Philia is an “affectionate friendship” of sorts. It was depicted as a dispassionate, virtuous type of love by Aristotle. Philia is an expression of affection between friends, family and, even, lovers. However, it is portrayed commonly in friendships.

Storge:

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This is all about familial love. It is fondness, affection and quite emotive. Although, it was rarely used by the Ancients. It is the type of love between a parent and his/her offspring.

Agape:

CS Lewis considered this the greatest of all. It is the love that God has for us; and the love that we should have for Him.  Agape is love, yes, but it is a type of love beyond friendship or romantic love. It is to wish well to, to long for, to esteem someone. It refers to embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying Him. With pursuing “agape love”, you will actively be pursuing what the Lord prefers, with His Power and Direction. It has to do with preference, preferring to follow Christ.

Another formidable translation of this love is: charity. Charity is held to be the ultimate symbiotic relationship between glorifying God, or love of God, and love of man: including loving one’s neighbor and one’s self. According to St. Thomas of Aquinas, this is the absolute requirement for happiness because this caritas, charity in Latin, or agape love will lead you to loving God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.

I apologize for the long rambling post about love, but I needed to write about it!

Last Valentine’s Day, I focused on agape. I focused on the love that God has for me and how I should hold him closer to my entire self. I made this little doodle-attempt at calligraphy. I want to focus on Him, breathe in His Word and love Him. No other love will complete me.

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*All definitions are based on my limited knowledge of Ancient Greek, a talk I presented on The Greatest Commandment, Plato (Symposium), Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics), and CS Lewis (The Four Loves).