- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Geoffrey Steadman (November 4, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 098430651X
- ISBN-13: 978-0984306510
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Plato's Symposium: Greek Text with Facing Vocabulary and Commentary
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About the Author
Geoffrey Steadman (Ph.D., Classics) currently teaches Latin and Greek in Knoxville, Tennessee.
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Top customer reviews
The Commentary and vocab list on opposite pages is simply marvelous. Steadman's definitions are concise, but he includes the full range of meanings of each word, even meanings which may not be found in Plato. His notes cover every possible problem you might have, and they are wonderfully brief and to the point, using simple grammatical terminology. He gives you a literal translation for almost every difficult passage, so you really have everything on one page, dictionary, commentary, and translation. This makes the Symposium a joy to read without flipping around. Steadman even includes a few paradigms of rare or irregular verbs or nouns right there on the same opposite page where you need them. The book is a great size, thin but tall enough to produce a large font. It does not exactly lie open in your hand but it is more flexible than most paperbacks. It lacks a ribbon marker but you can put one in yourself. I have already bought Steadman's Odyssey and intend to buy just about anything else he produces in this series. (Although I have passed on his Herodotus simply because I find Greek history boring!)
As to Plato's work itself, it is marvelous Greek, witty, profound, dramatic, moving. Plato makes the serious point that God is love, and yet he has so much fun that you will too. There are jokes in here that will make you laugh out loud and Greek sentences you will want to read again and again. Steadman and Socrates make a great team!
The Symposium is a retelling by Apollodorus of a dinner engagement devoted to a discussion of various aspects of eros. Steadman asks the question: Why did Plato choose the particular people for such a discussion? Apparantly, the down low of the lowdown going down involved a desecration of Hermes statues--gential mutilation of the statues-- and the conduct of Eleusian mysteries outside of the proper place--something of a sacriflige. This all preceded the failed Athenian sicilian expedition which ended as disaster in 415-414 bce. Anyhow, the book is a helpful addition to the student's library. The student who has taken four semesters of Greek might want to try a hand at translating. Taking two days to type out the Greek, and translate, the student can finish in a relatively short 3 or 4 months; such an exercise will increase the studen't vocabulary and grasp of Greek Grammar. I hightly recommend this text for the student.
One small con is that while the Greek text appears to by typo-free, this isn't true of the commentary. I caught a few major mistakes; nothing that would have seriously hindered the students, but which should be fixed if there's another printing or on the author's website.