Finding Beauty in the Smallest Words: Anna Bonifazi on Ancient Greek Particles

We are pleased to share the following video conversation with Dr. Anna Bonifazi (Universität Heidelberg) who directs a collaborative project on particle use across genres in ancient Greek literature. In a forthcoming monograph and digital publication, Bonifazi and her team show that the systematic study of particles and particle clusters offers valuable information about performance and narrative organization. Every student and teacher of ancient Greek literature will be interested in their findings.

This discussion offers an accessible and engaging preview of Bonifazi’s work. What emerges is a sense that the smallest and most frequently overlooked words offer some of the most beautiful and striking insights into ancient authors and traditions.

Books mentioned in the video:

  • Matthaeus Devarius, De graecae linguae particulis (originally printed Rome 1588, reissued 1657)–the 1657 edition is available here as a free ebook on Googlebooks
    [The next two are in section 1, p. 589 of J.D. Denniston, The Greek Particles (Oxford at the Clarendon Press 1934, 2d ed. 1954, reprinted with corrections 1959)]
  • H. Hoogeveen, Doctrina particularum linguae graecae (Leiden 1769)
  • W. Bäumlein, Untersuchungen über griechische Partikeln (Stuttgart 1861)
Members can share questions and comments about this video in the Forums.

UPDATE: The work has now been published and is available at CHS:
Bonifazi, Anna, Annemieke Drummen, and Mark de Kreij. 2016. Particles in Ancient Greek Discourse: Five Volumes Exploring Particle Use across Genres. Hellenic Studies Series 74. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.