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Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 23.11.2011

Introduction. Chapter 17, verses 16-34. St. Paul in Athens. The "Acts of the Apostles" forms the second part of the literary work begun by the "Gospel of St. Luke". It describes the rapid spread of Christianity through the Mediterranean world, a process facilitated by the wide currency of Greek (now in "koine" or "common" form, having lost its earlier dialects.) "Acts" is our main source for the earliest history of the Church. In Chapter 17 Paul has just arrived in Athens after his missionary journey through Greece. The date is...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 22.11.2011

Introduction. Sections 419B-420A (or 17-18). Great Pan is dead. This dialogue is set in Delphi in about 83 A.D. A group of learned men are discussing how oracular prophecy works, and why oracles have become less vocal and important than in the classical past. The conversation has turned to "daimones" (divine spirits, spoken of by Hesiod and Plato, as intermediaries between gods and men); the question whether divine beings can die elicits from a historian called Philip the haunting story of the death of Pan. Because the events described took place...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 22.11.2011

Introduction. Plutarch (c. 46-120 A.D.), biographer, historian and moral philosopher, was born in Boeotia in central Greece, studied at Athens, visited Egypt and Italy, and spent the last thirty years of his life in Boeotia and Delphi. His most famous work is his "Parallel Lives", in which the life of an eminent Greek is paired with that of a famous Roman with whom there were, in his view, points of resemblance. For example, the "Life of Antony" is given in parallel with that of Demetrius I Poliorcetes of Macedon...