Koine Greek pronunciation assistance kindly requested

Cerne · 4 · 3680

Cerne

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Greetings all,

I must apologise immediately for my subject heading not meeting the requirements for posting a new topic on this forum, but I sincerely did not know where else it would fit other than the 'Ancient Greek -> English' section of the site.

If, however, the moderators deem it ok for me to continue, then any help that your good members would be willing to offer me would be gratefully received.

As my title suggests, it is pronunciation help that I am specifically seeking. I have (as far as I am aware) the Greek version of text, and also (again, as far as I am aware) the approximate English translation. I also have MP3's of modern Greek pronunciations of it, and a variety of similar, if not exact, phonetic versions in writing. If anyone would be willing to give me a phonetic version in Koine Greek then I would be incredibly grateful.

I will not post the text before I know it is ok for me to do so, and will say in advance it is a ritual text if that is problematic also.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Craig.


billberg23

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Craig, your question is not an easy one to answer.  We do have some evidence, often epigraphical, for the pronunciation of Greek at various times and in various places through the history of the language.  We know that the Erasmian system (pretty much universally taught in ancient Greek courses) is flawed, and would be particularly inaccurate for Koine Greek, which probably sounded much like modern Greek.  I attach a couple of pages from a study by R. Whitney Tucker that appeared in the American Journal of Philology in 1969 — a study that I have long admired.  The pages refer to changes in pronunciation that theoretically took place during the period you are interested in.

If you let us know what text (and from what period) you are dealing with, we may be able to work with you to suggest something close to an "authentic" pronunciation.  But let me stress that it's all, of course, wildly theoretical.



Cerne

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Bill, thank you very much for taking the time to answer, and for providing the pages you attached. I realise it's not a simple thing to do, and would be made doubly so by the fact that the text in question is not of ancient origin, but written in 1913 by Aleister Crowley. I refer to what is known in 'magical' circles as The Star Ruby, a ritual for the banishment of evil spirits and (possibly) the calling of Pan.

As I am aware, Crowley made some grammatical errors in his writing of the text, perhaps purposely so, but not being a Greek linguist I cannot clarify this. My reason for the Koine pronunciation is that Crowley was a student of 'Athenian' Greek, and references to teletarches, iynges, and synoches in the text are concerned with the Chaldean Oracles which, as I am aware, date from the Koine period. If 'Athenian' Greek were another option for pronunciation, that would also be fine.

If this makes things (even more!!) difficult, then I can stick with what I know, and many thanks again for taking the time to respond. If, however, you would be interested to have a look then I can post Crowley's Greek, the English translations, and the phonetics I have, to see what you think.

Again, my thanks Bill.

Craig.
« Last Edit: 23 Apr, 2009, 22:52:58 by Cerne »


billberg23

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My reason for the Koine pronunciation is that Crowley was a student of 'Athenian' Greek
I see.  Perhaps he meant "Attic" Greek, the dialect spoken in Athens during the Classical period, which is the one normally read in schools.  It predates Koine by several hundred years.
My advice would be to stick with the modern Greek pronunciation you already know about.  It is, after all, the only authentic pronunciation of Greek that we have.  And your text is, as it turns out, a modern one.

Do let us know if you ever need help with a genuine ancient Greek text.  And good luck with your project, whatever it may be!



 

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