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10 Reading Passages

Reading Passages



For each of the following Greek sentences: 1). Read it aloud; 2) Parse each verb and noun; and 3) Translate each sentence into English. To download this assignment as a pdf, click here: AGE Readings 2.

Classical Readings

1. Euripides’ tragedy Phoenician Women is an epic-length version of the house of Oedipus, focusing primarily on the battle between Oedipus’ two sons, Polynices and Eteocles. Eteocles has forced his brother from power and exiled him. Polynices raises an army to attack his brother and regain power. As part of negotiations between the two, their mother Jocasta cites a proverb:

αἱ δ’ ἐλπίδες βόσκουσι φυγάδας

βόσκουσι (3rd pl) feed, nourish

δ’ and

φυγας –άδος ὁ exile

Euripides Phoenician Women 396


2. In a fragment of Euripides’ play about Archelaus, someone is asking for help, to which the addressee asks why he is needed. The first person explains that:

ἐλπίδας δίδως.

Euripides Archelaus fr. 231


3. This is from an ancient collection of curious and bizarre information. One section explains how a certain people in Illyria get salt. From a specific mountain spring, they collect a lot of water which they cover during the day, and at night (τὰς δὲ νύκτας):

…[τὸ ὕδωρ] εἰς τὴν αἰθρίαν τιθέασι.

αἰθρίαν (acc sg) ἡ open air

δέ and

εἰς (+ acc.) into, in

Aristotle On Marvelous Things Heard 844b14


Biblical Readings

1. Jacob wrestles with a man through the night until dawn. His opponent asks to be let go, but Jacob refuses until the mysterious wrestler blesses him. The wrestler asks:

Τί τὸ ὄνομά σού ἐστιν;

When Jacob gives his name (Ἰακώβ) the wrestler says that he has held on to God (Θεός) and renames him Israel (Ἰσραήλ).

σου your

τί what?

LXX Gen. 32:28


2. After the Exodus from Egypt, Moses prepares to (re)impose the Sabbath and says:

Τοῦτο τὸ ῥῆμά ἐστιν.

ῥῆμα -ατος τό speech

τοῦτο (nom/acc sg) τό  this

LXX Ex. 16:23


3. A common formula of rules in Leviticus:

βδέλυγμά ἐστιν.

βδελύγματά ἐστιν ὑμῖν.

βδέλυγμα -ατος τό abomination, something sickening

ὑμῖν (dat pl) y’all

LXX Lev. 11


4. The introduction to the catalog of David’s army:

ταῦτα τὰ ὀνόματα τῶν ἀρχόντων τῆς στρατιᾶς

στρατιᾶς (gen sg) ἡ army

ταῦτα (nom/acc pl) τό these

LXX 1 Chron. 12:23


5. Job laments his suffering:

τὰ ῥήματά μού ἐστιν φαῦλα

μου my

ῥῆμα-ατος τό speech

φαῦλα (nom/acc pl) τό trivial, worthless

LXX Job 6:4


6. An admonition from Proverbs:

πρόσεχε ῥήμασιν στόματός μου

μου my

ῥῆμα -ατος τό speech

πρόσεχε pay attention!

LXX Pr 7:24


7. The prophet Isaiah quotes God:

ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεός, τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ ὄνομα

ἐγώ (nom sg) I

θεός (nom sg) ὁ god

κύριος (nom sg) ὁ lord

μου my

τοῦτο (nom/acc sg) τό this

LXX Is. 42:8


8. The prophet Hosea is listing the crimes of Israel:

αἵματα ἐφ’ αἵμασιν μίσγουσιν.

ἐφ΄ = ἐπί on, to

μίσγουσιν = μιγνύασιν

LXX Is. 42:8


9. In 142 BC, the Maccabean leader Simon and the Seleucid king Demetrius II Nicator came to terms. This comes from Demetrius’ letter to Simon:

ἀφίεμεν δὲ ἀγνοήματα καὶ τὰ ἁμαρτήματα

ἀγνόημα -ατος τό error from ignorance

ἁμάρτημα -ατος τό error, mistake

δέ and

καί and

LXX 1 Maccabees 13:39


10. From the Last Supper:

τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου.

Τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου

μου my

τοῦτο (nom sg) τό this

Κατὰ Μαθθαῖον 26:26, 28

Κατὰ Μᾶρκον 14:22, 24

Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 22:19


11. From Jesus’ final speech:

Εἰρήνην ἀφίημι ὑμῖν, εἰρήνην τὴν ἐμὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν· οὐ καθὼς ὁ κόσμος δίδωσιν ἐγὼ δίδωμι ὑμῖν.

ἐγώ (nom sg) I

εἰρήνην (acc sg) ἡ peace

ἐμὴν (acc sg) ἡ my

καθώς as

κόσμος (nom sg) ὁ world

ὑμῖν (dat pl) y’all

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 14:27


12. From the Clementine Homilies: Peter mentions honors often given to those killed by lightning:

τῶν τεθνεώτων ἰδίων μορφῶν ἱστᾶσιν ἀγάλματα.

ἄγαλμα -ατος τό statue

ἰδίων (gen pl) their

μορφῶν (gen pl) ἡ shapes

τεθνεώς –ότος ὁ dead

Homily 9 5.4


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Reading Passages by Wilfred E. Major and Michael Laughy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.