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09 December 2009 @ 02:15 pm
There is spirits in there, and we're the one that they want.  

Apparently the woman in that commercial was so scared she couldn't think grammatically.

At twenty degrees and the first few flurries of the season, it's finally starting to feel like December. All I have left is till next Thursday, and I'm done with the semester, and I am so happy! Even though finals are next week, and I'm not working nearly as hard as I should. But I've got to read one of my stories on Monday, a speech and my only serious exam on Thursday, and my Greek history exam. Which, if I do badly, I am obligated to smash my head into a wall. Because it's on Philip and Alexander.

You know, I can appreciate how much credit my Greek History teacher gives Philip. It occurs to me that he gets such a bad wrap all the time, which I think must have been partially 'cause he slept around so much. But my professor has said "There's no Alexander without Philip...well, biologically, of course, but he wouldn't have achieved everything by the age of 32, because he would have had to spend all that time building up Macedon."

I get the impression, actually, that he doesn't like Alexander very much. I may be wrong, of course. He could just be trying to express that Alexander wasn't quite as great as everyone seems to think he is--he makes sure we realize just how much he demolishes Thebes, and he completely believes that Alexander was involved in his father's assassination, which completely logically explains. But Dr. Holoka spends a fair amount of time trying to fix people's way of thinking; he has a class on women in the ancient world, and he's said to us that women tend to get demonized, and he thinks that happened a with Olympias, at least to some extent. We haven't talked very long about Alexander, (actually, he have to get through him and Philip in four classes, due to time constraints) but he has already made sure we know that Alexander "unlearns" racism. He also has a very good point that, were he alive today, Alexander's parents would have doped him up on Ritalin. The way he tells the story of him dumping the entire container of incense on a fire when he was nine, instead of the pinch that he was supposed to, was actually really funny; in fact, he manages to put humor in all of his stories.

Also, for the longest time I would get the sort of scoffing disdain when I heard what Greeks thought of Macedon. But there was an analogy made, saying that the Greeks saw Macedon how we see Appalacia. All he had to say was, "Has anyone ever read the book or seen the movie Deliverance?" When I was a senior in high school, I found out only one other person I knew had seen the movie, and at one point I dreamt about it. I told him that I spent a good few hours afterward thinking that the mountain men from that movie were coming, and he said "I would have cried." Seriously, if you told a New Yorker (Athenian) he was going to live with the people in the Appalacian Mountains (Macedonians), you could watch his pupils shrink and all the blood leave his face. Even to me the thought is terrifying.

So that's what happening in Greek history! It actually took up most of the post. Although, I'd like to know all his sources, because he says that Alexander's eyes were two different colors--one was blue and the other was brown. I know it's only a small detail, like the apparently he had a voice that is one of those that you don't expect to come out of his body (I guess it was a little...high pitched) but it matters to me. Cause I'm a geek!

Oh, and I now have a pure hate for the widespread use of "k" in Romanized Greek (wow...that made little sense, in a way; English uses the Roman alphabet plus k, but Latin doesn't have k, and....yeah...) because... it doesn't make sense! English phonetics does not allow "Bukephalus" to be pronounced "bu-seh-fa-lus", it only allows "bu-keh-fa-lus." You can't just go changing that kind of thing, I don't care what you say. K's are hard, and that's all there is to it! Dammit!

*cough* Yeah, a very short rant, there.

Over and out.

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See you later, instigator: Alexander Statueoudeteron on December 9th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
You have snow and the semester as good as over? Gah, two counts on which I can envy you.

Anyway, I really like the sound of that class you're having. It's pretty true that people tend to make Philip and Olympias look so much worse in comparison to Alexander, when in fact there's no denying that they at least influenced him. And that's great you even get details! (I think I've heard the bit about the eyes somewhere, but can't remember where it could have been.)

Um, I have to disagree with the rant a little. In the original Greek, Bukephalos is how it was pronounced. If English pronounces it with a /s/ due to the transliteration via Latin (and that's problematic all on its own), that's actually a shift and I suspect the different way of transliteration aims to undo that. I can promise you there was a /k/ there in Greek. :P
MissTeacakes: backstorymissteacakes on December 10th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
Don't so much on the first one. Our winters are really, really bitter. Yesterday it was so windy I almost got blown over several times, and even on still days the cold stings.

I tend to go with what my teacher has to say with Greek. Normally I wouldn't, since I've had teachers that were wrong, but the language itself is actually his specialty when it comes to Classics. (Apparently he's gotten into discussions with Greeks about the labial (sp??) shift, cause things are pronounced different for them now than Ancient times.) He says he's obsessed with words; he translates just about everything for us, including names, although he has yet to fully do Alexander's. Part of it means "blonde", I know, which may or may not be a happy coincidence. But apparently in Latin they fixed the hard-versus-soft problem with c v ch. (it's a lot to do with placement of vowels and stuff) It's all very complicated, I guess...

Okay, now that I wrote huge response, I'm editing it to correct myself: There are circumstances in which I can accept (and actually do use) k in Greek. This mostly has to do with my English-speaking sensibilities. We're actually surprisingly intolerant of change for a language that's comprised of about ten others.

Edited at 2009-12-10 01:37 pm (UTC)
See you later, instigator: Toshioudeteron on December 11th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
Right now I'd really prefer the wind to the ridiculous sleeting rain. It's already cold, why can't it be just a bit colder to let it turn into snow?!

Well, I wouldn't want to make your teacher look wrong if the language is his interest... I'm just pretty sure what's spelled with K in Greek is pronounced with it, too. (The labial shift? Could be about "beta" no longer being pronounced as such in modern Greek, although it's written the same.) I'd be curious what he says about Alexander since I live under the impression that it means... "protector of man" or something along those lines? (I'm pretty sure about the "andros" part being the genitive of "man" in Greek, actually. Which means he could still be just a BLOND GUY. XD) I think if something is spelled as "ch" in Latin, then it's aspirated ("chi" letter in Greek), but I'm no expert on Latin. I've just heard that the convention for it got messed up somewhere along the line with regards to how we read the C/CH spellings.

I can understand if your issues have to do with English phonetics, yeah. The difference between spelling and pronuncation in English gets hard to maintain as it is. XD
MissTeacakes: alexhephmissteacakes on December 11th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
The shift happened much more drastically with English *cough* OTHER languages, but it happens. Anyway, if I can't trust my teacher, then school is completely useless.

We didn't have time to go over Alexander in-depth. In fact, we had so little time, Hephaestion's name wasn't mentioned. Not blaming him, Hephaestion was on the outline, but we went five minutes over and still didn't have enough time. (I was a little angry, cause I wanted some sort of closure on pronunciation...)

I was told than the "xan" is blonde (Achille's horse is named Xanthus, which strongly implies that he was a light bay.)

English is a very bizarre language. I had to explain to someone recently that it isn't a Romantic language. It's Germanic that's been Romanticized.
See you later, instigator: Dir en greyoudeteron on December 12th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
Well, I think there's a difference between talking about a language from the outside and actually having studied the grammar. Not saying you can't trust them since I haven't heard what the teacher says, but it's never bad to cross-reference.

That sucks you didn't have enough time. But as for the pronunciation, Greek was written mostly phonetically as far as I know.

Yeah, "xanthos" does mean blonde, but the name can't be segmented as Ale-xan-dros. The rest of it wouldn't mean anything that way! XD

Geez, I thought English not being a Romance language was pretty common knowledge. Even if a huge part of it comes from French. XD
MissTeacakes: despairmissteacakes on December 12th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
I'm sure the Greeks were as good about phonetics as the Germans. The problem is that I hardly even know the alphabet yet >.< In American universities that's a little sad, actually, since all fraternities/sororaties are named by the letters. (kappa kappa psi, tau beta sigma, etc) Next year! Next year I'll start Greek!

I can't remember where he was bringing up the "xan" part. It was me trying to put the pieces together on that one, so I could just be like...a mile off.

Edit: I thought it was common knowledge, too. We actually learned about the evolution of English at one point in high school, so that we had some background before going into Beowolf and Shakespeare and stuff.

Edited at 2009-12-12 10:27 pm (UTC)
See you later, instigator: Dr. Manhattan - photographoudeteron on December 13th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
Good luck when you do! Really, the alphabet is the easiest part. XD

That could be it. I'm just pretty sure the Greek compounds don't work with taking a random part of a word and tacking it between random parts of other words. Especially these "speaking names" don't have any leftovers in them that wouldn't mean anything on their own.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is and that someone just missed out on their education...