Greek Drinking Song

Romans, Gauls, Greeks and Egyptians - our well documented early history

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Greek Drinking Song

Postby the_power on Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:42 am

Drinking songs (skolia) were sung at the all-male drinking parties
known as symposia (e.g. Plato's philsosophical work 'The Symposium'
relates the happenings at a drinking party attended by Socrates,
Aristophanes and others). This one is preserved by Athenaeus in the "Sophists at Dinner"
(deipnosophistai), from AD 2-3;

ὑγαίνειν μὲν ἄριστον ἀνδρὶ θνητῷ,
δεύτερον δὲ καλὸν φυὰν γενέσθαι,
τὸ τρίτον δὲ πλουτεῖν ἀδόλως,
καὶ τὸ τέταρτον ἡβᾶν μετὰ τῶν φίλων.

To be healthy is best for a mortal man,
second to have a good nature,
third to be wealthy without fraud,
and fourth to be in the prime of life with his friends.

Hmm. Must learn to pronounce Greek.

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Re: Greek Drinking Song

Postby Nerva on Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:55 pm

You forgot the last line..."It's good to lift your tunic for the man next door"

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Re: Greek Drinking Song

Postby femgeek on Thu May 15, 2008 10:08 pm

That's pretty cool, do you know which publication that's under. I can't seem to find a lot of Greek books with both the English and ancient Greek, other than plays.
I think the pronouncy goes like; ugainein men ariston andri thneto, deuteron de kalon phuan genesthai, to triton de ploutein adolos, kai to tetarton eban meta ton philon.
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Re: Greek Drinking Song

Postby carraig on Tue May 20, 2008 12:02 pm

That's about the right way to pronounce it, except "ou" is pronounced as "oo", much the same as the French ou. The "u" should be either pronounced like "y" in the word "fyrd" or more probably, similar to a French "u" or German "u + umlaut".

One more thing - a skolion is not just an ordinary drinking song. Most symposial poetry was made by starting with a verse or two, then passing the subject onto another comrade, in the normal version, according to the order the guests at a house were "seated", or in case of a "skolion" (meaning "curved") the guy saying the verses chose randomly someone from the drinking-chamber (for instance a friend, a favourite courtesan etc.) to pick up the topic and continue.
The "unpredictable" nature of a skolion made it one of those drinking-games, that the Greek played to save their wits and sharpness of toungue while drinking heavily. But, I think I got carried off (one of my favourite Greece-related subjects are the symposia), so that's it for now.
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Re: Greek Drinking Song

Postby Zip on Wed May 21, 2008 2:01 pm

Hey I thought you Roams sorted out them Greek boy lovers as one of my generals pu it in Rome total war .
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