="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 512 512">

12 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 3.

Classical Readings

1. When Euripides died in 406 BC, he left behind several scripts of plays that were never performed during his lifetime. One of these is Iphigenia at Aulis. It is set at Aulis, where the collected forces of Greece are ready to sail to Troy to start the Trojan War. Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War, is called upon to sacrifice his oldest daughter to the goddess Artemis so the Greek forces can sail to Troy. The play chronicles the controversy that ensues over whether Agamemnon’s daughter, Iphigenia, should be sacrificed.

Clytemnestra, Iphigenia’s mother, arrives. She meets the Greek warrior Achilles and introduces herself:

Λήδας μέν εἰμι παῖς, Κλυταιμήστρα δέ μοι ὄνομα, πόσις δέ μοὐστὶν Ἀγαμέμνων ἄναξ.

Ἀγαμέμνων –ονος ὁ Agamemnon

ἄναξ –ακτος ὁ chief

Λήδας (gen sg) ἡ Leda

μοι (dat sg) me

μοὐστίν = μοι ἐστίν

πόσις (nom sg) ὁ husband

Euripides Iphigenia at Aulis 828


2. In another play, another member of the family arrives and introduces himself:

Ἀγαμέμνονός τε καὶ Κλυταιμήστρας τόκος, ὄνομα δ’ Ὀρέστης.

Ἀγαμέμνων –ονος ὁ Agamemnon

Κλυταιμήστρας (gen sg) ἡ Clytemnestra

τόκος (nom sg) ὁ offspring

Euripides Andromache 885


3. In a lawsuit c. 323 BC about a breach of contract, a man (possibly named Darius) alleges, among other things, that the defendant has not repaid his loans:

οὔτε τὰ χρήματα ἀποδίδωσιν οὔτε τὸ ἐνέχυρον καθίστησιν εἰς τὸ ἐμφανές.

εἰς into

ἐμφανές (nom/acc sg) τό plain view

ἐνέχυρον (nom/acc pl) τό security (for a loan)

καθίστημι set up

χρῆμα –ατος τό thing; (pl) money

Demosthenes 56.3


4. Having just made an uneasy alliance with Seuthes II, King of Thrace, the Greeks prepare for the night:

ὥρα νυκτοφύλακας καθιστάναι καὶ σύνθημα παραδιδόναι.

καθίστημι set up

νυκτοφύλαξ -ακος ὁ night watchman

σύνθημα –ατος τό password

ὥρα (ἐστίν) (nom sg) ἡ hour

Xenophon Anabasis 7.3.34


5. Aristotle is studying the problem of growth and decay and gives an example of how bodies can be susceptible to change from forces through an intermediate agent:

τὸν μὲν γὰρ ἀέρα τὸ πῦρ, ὁ δ’ ἀὴρ τὸ σῶμα θερμαίνει.

ἀήρ, ἀέρος ὁ air

θερμαίνει (3rd sg) heats

πῦρ, πυρός τό fire

Aristotle On Generation and Corruption 327a5


6. Aristotle is preparing to analyze the parts of the bodies of animals. He discusses the theory that the physics of basic substances governed the growth and form of animals:

ὁ δ’ ἀὴρ καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ ὕλη τῶν σωμάτων ἐστίν.

ἀήρ, ἀέρος ὁ air

ὕδωρ, ὕδατος τό water

ὕλη (nom sg) ἡ wood, material, matter

Aristotle Parts of Animals 640b16


7. This is from an ancient collection of problems that intellectuals and philosophers tried to solve. This particular one asks why the sound of crying is shrill (ὀξύ) but laughing is a lower sound (βαρύ). In part, the explanation is:

γελῶντες θερμὸν τὸ πνεῦμα ἀφιᾶσιν, οἱ δὲ κλαίοντες…τὸ πνεῦμα ψυχρότερον ἀφιᾶσιν.

γελῶν -ῶντος ὁ laughing person

θερμόν (nom/acc sg) τό hot

κλαίων -οντος ὁ crying person

ψυχρότερον (nom/acc sg) τό colder

ps-Aristotle Problems 900a26-28


8. Aristotle here is trying to establish the First Principle of everything (τῶν πρώτων ἡ ἀρχή) in the cosmos. He discusses a number of earlier philosophers, all of whom reckon this Principle as corporeal (σωματική):

ὕδωρ γὰρ καὶ πῦρ καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα σώματά ἐστιν.

πῦρ, πυρός τό fire

τοιαῦτα (nom/acc pl) τό this kind

ὕδωρ, ὕδατος τό water

Aristotle Metaphysics 987a5


9. Aristotle explains the distribution of power in a democracy:

οὐ γὰρ ὁ δικαστὴς οὐδ’ ὁ βουλευτὴς οὐδ’ ὁ ἐκκλησιαστὴς ἄρχων ἐστίν, ἀλλὰ τὸ δικαστήριον καὶ ἡ βουλὴ καὶ ὁ δῆμος.

βουλή (nom sg) ἡ council

βουλευτής (nom sg) ὁ council member

δῆμος (nom sg) ὁ Demos (the democratic citizen body of the city)

δικαστήριον (nom/acc sg) τό court

δικαστής (nom sg) ὁ juror

ἐκκλησιαστής (nom sg) ὁ assembly member

Aristotle Politics 1282a35


Biblical Readings

1. Isaiah quotes God on monotheism:

ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ θεός, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλος.

ἄλλος (nom sg) ὁ other

ἐγώ (nom sg) I

θεός (nom sg) ὁ god

LXX Is. 45:22


2. The Pharisees question the blind man after Jesus has restored his sight, and at one point say:

Σὺ μαθητὴς εἶ ἐκείνου, ἡμεῖς δὲ τοῦ Μωϋσέως ἐσμὲν μαθηταί.

ἐκείνου (gen sg) ὁ that man (Jesus)

ἡμεῖς (nom pl) we

μαθητής (nom sg) μαθηταί (nom. pl.) ὁ student

Μωϋσέως (gen sg) ὁ Moses

σύ (nom. sg.) you

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 9:28


3. The names of the Apostles:

τῶν δὲ δώδεκα ἀποστόλων τὰ ὀνόματά ἐστιν ταῦτα· πρῶτος Σίμων ὁ λεγόμενος Πέτρος καὶ Ἀνδρέας ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ, καὶ Ἰάκωβος ὁ τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου καὶ Ἰωάννης ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ,

ἀδελφός (nom sg) ὁ brother

ἀποστόλων (gen pl) apostle

αὐτοῦ his

δώδεκα twelve

λεγόμενος (nom sg) ὁ called

πρῶτος (nom sg) ὁ first

ταῦτα (nom/acc pl) τό these

Κατὰ Μαθθαῖον 10:2


4. The names of the Apostles continued:

Φίλιππος καὶ Βαρθολομαῖος, Θωμᾶς καὶ Μαθθαῖος ὁ τελώνης, Ἰάκωβος ὁ τοῦ Ἁλφαίου καὶ Θαδδαῖος, Σίμων ὁ Καναναῖος καὶ Ἰούδας ὁ Ἰσκαριώτης ὁ καὶ παραδοὺς αὐτόν.

αὐτόν him

παραδούς (nom sg) ὁ who betrayed

τελώνης (nom sg) ὁ tax collector

Κατὰ Μαθθαῖον 10:3-4


5. Paul likens the individual members of a church to the limbs of a body and concludes:

ὑμεῖς δέ ἐστε σῶμα Χριστοῦ καὶ μέλη…

μέλη (nom/acc pl) τό limb

ὑμεῖς (nom pl) y’all

Χριστοῦ (gen sg) ὁ Christ

Πρὸς Κορινθίους α’ 12:27


6. Paul is discussing the Resurrection Body:

ὁ δὲ θεὸς δίδωσιν αὐτῷ σῶμα καθὼς ἠθέλησεν, καὶ ἑκάστῳ τῶν σπερμάτων ἴδιον σῶμα.

αὐτῷ (dat sg) ὁ him, τό it

ἑκάστῳ (dat sg) ὁ, τό each

ἠθέλησεν (3rd sg) wishes

θεός (nom sg) ὁ god

ἴδιον (nom/acc sg) τό their own

καθώς as

σπέρμα –ατος τό seed

Πρὸς Κορινθίους α’ 15:38


7. From the first letter of John:

καὶ τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν τὸ μαρτυροῦν, ὅτι τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια. ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες,  τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν.

ἀλήθεια (nom sg) ἡ truth

ἕν (nom/acc) τό one

εἰς into

μαρτυροῦν (nom/acc sg) τό bearing witness

μαρτυρῶν -οῦντος ὁ bearing witness

τρεῖς (nom) ὁ three

ὕδωρ, ὕδατος τό water

Ἰωάννου α’ 5: 6-8


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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