Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ancient Greek and Homeric Singing

Like the Old English spot (or poet), reciting the tale of the great Geat hero Beowulf in song, accompanied by a harp, the bards of Ancient Greece, such as Demodokus the blind, would sing the epic poems for the entertainment of their audiences.
What Demodokus might have sounded like as he sang the story of Ares and Aphrodite to Odysseus and the Phaeacians.

A reading of the opening lines of The Odyssey on YouTube. See if you can read along using the text in Ancient Greek and the pronunciation key I gave you.

Check out this website for a range of classical Greek and Roman texts in the original language. It's pretty sweet: you can actually click on individual words to learn what part of speech they are; what gender they are (masculine, feminine, or neuter), what their grammatical function is, how to pronounce them according to latinic script (our letters), as well as what they mean. Check it out:
The Perseus Project