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Ω is not "ow" but the sound you hear, when you extend the word "slooooooooooooooooow" and then just pronounce the vowel right afterwards, without the "w".
It is a trick to help English-speakers find and isolate the correct vowel.

According to what Nescio wrote, this is wrong though. I interpret your hint as [oː], but that's the pronunciation of ου according to Nescio. In any case, it's not the pronunciation of ω, which is is [ɔː]. English descriptions furthermore depend on the dialect of English spoken. I often see pronunciation hints for [ε] as "ay" which makes my toenails curl, because that suggests [εj], which is wrong. "e" as in "send" would be a better description, but not for people from down under and Kiwis, because they will pronounce it as [e] if I'm not mistaken.

tl;dr be really, really careful with "English" spelling to help with pronunciation. The only way to be really precise is to use the IPA, which is what it was invented for.

Edited by GunChleoc
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It's best to avoid English when approximating sounds, because English orthography is horrible and because English phonology varies greatly between different dialects. The classical pronunciatition of ω is /ɔː/; if you do want English equivalents, I'd say it's the sound as in more or saw (Received Pronunciation), not slow /sloʊ/.

Unless otherwise stated, Classical Greek means 4th C BC Attic prose, the language of Lysias, Plato, and Xenophon. There were quite a few sound shifts later in Hellenistic times:

α, ᾳ → /a/
ε → /e/
ει, η, ῃ, ι, οι, υ, υι → /i/
ο, ω, ῳ → /o/
ου → /u/
β → /v/

It is important to realize e-psilon, o-micron, u-psilon, and o-mega are modern names; in Classical times they were called εἶ, οὖ, ὖ, and ὦ, respectively (other letters already had their current names); e.g.:

Quote

[Σωκράτης] ὧν γ᾽ ἔστιν ἓν καὶ ‘τέχνην’ ἰδεῖν ὅτι ποτὲ βούλεται εἶναι.
Socrates: One of which is to see what the word τέχνη (art, science) means.

[Ἑρμογένης] πάνυ μὲν οὖν.
Hermogenes: Certainly.

[Σωκράτης] οὐκοῦν τοῦτό γε ἕξιν νοῦ σημαίνει, τὸ μὲν ταῦ [414c] ἀφελόντι, ἐμβαλόντι δὲ οὖ μεταξὺ τοῦ χεῖ καὶ τοῦ νῦ καὶ τοῦ νῦ καὶ τοῦ ἦτα;
Socrates: Does not this denote possession of mind, if you remove the tau and insert omicron between the chi and the nu and the nu and the eta (making ἐχονόη)?

— Plato Cratylus 414b–c

[EDIT]: In short, ε was /e/, ει was /eː/, η was /ɛː/, ο was /o/, ου was /oː/, and ω was /ɔː/ in Classical Greek.

Edited by Nescio
ce
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13 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

Ω is pronounced somewhere between the English vowels in raw and slow. And in all authentic reconstructions, you will hear it closer to the Ω in slow.

But you can try to record a passage of a few lines from a Greek text, and then I can do the same, and we can let the other Greek-speakers here decide whose pronounciation is superior?

This is exactly why I am pushing for the use of the IPA. Your first sentence could have been replaced by 1 simple IPA symbol. You obviously care very much about the rigor regarding the transcription into Latin letters - the same sort of rigor could be applied here with the help of the IPA. It's a great tool once you get used to it.

And no, I can't record a sentence right now, because I don't speak Greek at all. Since I speak multiple languages and have quite a lot of phonemes practiced, I could record a sentence though and probably make a fairly decent job of it if I had an IPA transcription with some pointers for what the intonation needs to be like.

Which is the whole point I am trying to make - people versed in the IPA can pronounce pretty much anything with only a very slight accent given enough practice and some intonation pointers. I believe that it's a vastly underused tool and it should be taught in school along with articulatory phonetics, buy sadly pronunciation is usually vastly neglected in language teaching.

Edited by GunChleoc
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3 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

We need to decide on a reasonably informed system to transliterate unit and building names in the game, not decide the eternal truth. 

How to transcribe Greek into the Latin alphabet is a separate discussion that belongs elsewhere. The purpose of transliteration is to stay as close as possible to how something was written; the purpose of IPA is to stay as close as possible to how something was pronounced. The exact pronunciation of Greek is irrelevant for the transliteration of Greek discussion.

3 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

time to record some Greek for us to prove it then, right?

Perhaps it's better if you record how you think the Greek vowels ought to be pronounced and then ask @GunChleoc to convert your audio into IPA. As has been pointed out before, looking for English equivalents is problematic.

3 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

But I will say this: You @Nescio are here defending your position by simply repeating what you wrote in the previous post, that ΟΥ is not corresponding to 'u'

Although 〈ου〉 became /u/ in Hellenistic times, it was indeed not yet pronounced so in Classical Attic.

The fact that Plato and others call 〈ο〉 οὖ indicates they were the same sound, i.e. /ο/; mutatis mutandis for 〈ε〉 εἶ /e/; feel free to look it up in your LSJ.

Another argument is to compare Attic inscriptions with Attic literary texts after the spelling reform of 403 BC, e.g. EXΟΣΙΝ = ἔχουσιν, ΕΠΕΣΤΑΤΕ = ἐπεστάτει.

We could also look at spelling differences between Ionic and Attic: Ion. ξεῖνος / Att. ξένος; Ion. μοῦνος / Att. μόνος; Ion. οὐδός / Att. ὀδός.

Or one could look up how these spurious diphthongs emerged. Answer: by compensatory lengthening; e.g.:

PIE *h₁e-men-sm̥ → *emenha → emē ̣na = Ionic/Attic ἔμεινα
Doric ἄγοντι → *ἄγονσι → Attic/Ionic ἄγουσι

All of this indicates that 〈ει〉 was the spelling of /eː/ and 〈ου〉 was /oː/ in 4th C BC Attic.

3 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

The letters were not even the same for each region and the dialects, but you will find large charts showing all the countless variants.

Yes, I'm fully aware of that. There were dozens of Greek alphabets, not yet a single one; nor were Etruscan, Latin, and other Italic scripts different alphabets.

3 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

ΟΥΡΑΝΙΑ=Uranía
ΧΕΙΡΩΝ=Cheírôn
[...] For this is not a settled matter, but I think that writing "Cherôn" and "Orania" is an inferior solution, and dare to state this opinion here.

Again, the transliteration of Greek is a different issue from the pronunciation. E.g. Ἀθῆναι is Latinized as Athenae and Anglicized as Athens; its Classical pronunciation was /atʰɛ̂ːnai̯/, its modern is /aˈθina/.

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@Anaxandridas ho Skandiates I have never claimed that any Greek letters were pronounced a certain way - I only wanted to point out that trying to describe them accurately using English spelling is extremely hard, while describing them with IPA is fairly easy. "between close-mid [o] and open-mid [ɔ]" is a very good description that one who is not an expert at Ancient Greek can work with. I am certainly not going to argue about which pronunciation is correct, since I don't speak the language. I used @Nescio's examples to make my point about using the IPA and not to state which one of you is more correct or which pronunciation variant should be chosen. I never, ever had the intention of challenging your expertise in the language. How could I, since I have no expertise in this particular language myself except for some very rudimentary knowledge about the alphabet, taught to me with probably the wrong pronunciation anyway.

How about we table the IPA discussion for now and focus on the correct transliteration of the specific names first, so that some work can be accomplished? Pronunciation notes can come later for the voices list.

Edited by GunChleoc
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6 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

You do not seem to want help at all, you just seem to be right with your wikipedia-knowledge.

Actually I do not claim to be always right – nobody is – but when I see something I believe is incorrect I feel obliged to respond. If you look at my posts, you'll see I didn't quote Wikipedia.

Let's take a step back. I believe we agree on most points:

  • θ, φ, χ were pronounced /tʰ pʰ kʰ/, respectively, not /θ f x/; we also agree on the other consonants
  • ο and ω were different sounds
  • a number of sound shifts occurred in Hellenistic times (e.g. iotacism)
  • ου was eventually pronounced /u/

The thing we seem to disagree about is the Classical Attic pronunciation of 〈ει〉 and 〈ου〉. I provided a number of arguments (Plato, LSJ, epigraphy, comparative linguistics) why I believe they were (still) pronounced /eː/ and /oː/. However, I don't think I'll be able to convince you; you seem to be entrenching yourself without providing real arguments; which is your good right.

The fiercest discussions are typically on minor issues. I believe this one to be no exception.

Personally I don't care how people pronounce Greek. If people want to pronounce 〈φ〉 and 〈ου〉 as /f/ and /u/ that's perfectly fine; in fact, I do so myself, because the purpose of language is to be understood, and to a modern audience /pʰ/ and /oː/ often sound indistinguishable from /p/ and /o/.

2 hours ago, GunChleoc said:

How about we table the IPA discussion for now and focus on the correct transliteration of the specific names first, so that some work can be accomplished? Pronunciation notes can come later for the voices list.

Well, we all agree on that, don't we?

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7 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

I have now had enough of this non-sense. I am going to record a passage of Plato's Ion, and I am going to send it to one of the people on this forum who is neutral in these matters. Then I want you guys to record the same passage, and then produce real Attic Greek! If you can! I have been friendly and polite, for so long, but it is a joke that you just continue arguing, for no reason whatsoever. You do not seem to want help at all, you just seem to be right with your wikipedia-knowledge. I doubt that you can speak even one paragraph of Greek, and I challenge you to prove otherwise. I am willing to present my Greek here to establish my expertise as more than just empty speech, but real result.

@Anaxandridas ho Skandiates You need to calm down. This place is for polite and peaceful discussion. Being offensive is not acceptable. You may disagree with Nescio, but if he presents arguments, you have to take them into account: you are free to consider them worthless, but you should then either refute them or leave the discussion. You cannot prevent others from participating to the discussion because you think they lack knowledge: they certainly know useful things that you don't.

We would be happy to hear about recordings from you, but this will not become a competition. This thread is described as aimed at "Experts", and experts in Antiquity should know that reconstructing information from thousands of years ago is not an easy task. Experts should know above everybody that the knowledge we have of Antiquity is constantly challenged, and they should keep personal pride outside of discussions. Your expertise is dependent on the new findings that researchers make all the time.

Looking forward to the recordings and the IPA transcription we make of it. I am not a native English speaker, so I am unable to understand the discussion above as long as you don't use IPA. My accent is faulty at best, and I don't trust myself to know the exact and correct pronunciation of "saw" or "slow".

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2 minutes ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

Compare it to a situation where I would be criticizing several of the 3d-modelers on this forum and their skills in using maya or 3ds max in protracted discussions, engaging them in these time-consuming pursuits and always saying that I knew better how to do it

It is obvious that we are not in this situation, and that Nescio has a lot of knowledge in the area. You may both have knowledge and yet disagree. But if you resort to questioning your opponent's knowledge instead of actually answering their points, that makes you appear as arrogant and unreliable to readers like me.

I posted to make you aware of that, so please calm down. Maybe log off for a few hours and think about it, try to see the situation from my point of view or Nescio's.

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Maybe all of you should differentiate the part where it is about helping and the part about debating. Conflictual talk is common and not necessary a problem when it is for the sake of the debate, but in this case it is maybe getting out of hand because the stakes are high. I suggest you to remember that any of your choices are good enough for the public. Even modern Greeks won't notice the difference I think. Only people with a scholar level in ancient Greek could. Anyway, a transliteration is something mandatory problematic because a part of the information is lost or corrupted. Even in the ancient times transliteration of ancient Greek wasn't perfect. 

And if there is something I am sure about, it is that experts are difficult to satisfy. Remember it is a game and by essence it is impossible to really portray a culture in a perfect way in this media. I think historical accuracy is more a matter of how you want the players to remember the cultures that you are portraying. How you broke cliché, how they learnt a different view and how will remains their imaginary about these ancient cultures. 

Thus if you want to debate and to get a consensus, remember that the stakes are not that high. Try to take some pleasure on the process of debating and exchanging knowledge before to worry about the final result. More humility and less taunting are the first steps to a healthier debate. 

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Most people, including sadly almost all modern Greeks, do not have the first clue about their own history or even the language of their ancestors who founded European civilization. The whole reason why I find this game praiseworthy and spend lots of time researching and contributing, is because it can help FIX THAT.

where you from? (polite question)

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  • 1 month later...

@Anaxandridas ho Skandiates I saw you commenting on hellenistic/greek fortifications in the "===[TASK]=== Trees" thread. I thought it more appropriate to reply here.

 

I found these in the Osprey title: "Ancient Greek fortifications 500 - 300 BC":

Spoiler

1389302649_Ospreyancient-greek-fortifications-500-300-bc.thumb.jpg.7128f5e13b2fdf007fa7894f2d3f1c30.jpg2135187076_Ospreyancient-greek-fortifications-500-300-bc6.thumb.jpg.82cbe779184e334a8fccb31a996c2c69.jpg655599332_Ospreyancient-greek-fortifications-500-300-bc2.thumb.jpg.c9cfbf9cd61b37882c28d5effc35e661.jpg1664948926_Ospreyancient-greek-fortifications-500-300-bc7.thumb.jpg.dae80286cbace921dc47644478055221.jpg609916639_OspreyGreekfortificationsofMessenereconstruction.thumb.jpg.73822c07ac68ad9c2cb61b503dfe97db.jpg

 

And one more from a mystery source :) 

SidedePanfilia.thumb.jpg.e6afd7d5ddfff275c9485d5c50908212.jpg

 

@LordGood, interesting perhaps?

Here's the actual Osprey title for those who like to read (includes pictures of ruined fortifications):

Osprey ancient-greek-fortifications-500-300-bc.pdf

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The issue is one of gameplay, unfortunately. For gameplay reasons, you need nice wide open gates to allow elephants, siege engines, large numbers of troops, long lines of traders, resource-shuttling citizens, et al. to pass through. It might have even been acknowledged back in the day that gates could be more accurately presented, but the gameplay considerations do remain. It is possible to make double gates and other configurations though with some tweaking of the obstruction code (I made the Triumphal Arch passable under the arch; not exactly a good comparison, just saying I've played around with it a bt).

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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1 hour ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

The issue is one of gameplay, unfortunately. For gameplay reasons, you need nice wide open gates to allow elephants, siege engines, large numbers of troops, long lines of traders, resource-shuttling citizens, et al. to pass through.

Isn't it poetic to have a special kind of orchard that only lets infantry or civilian communities in on foot?

Sometimes I think we limit ourselves to a lot of creative things from real life.

with a door like that would not allow the passage of accidental threats. it would be like a roadblock.

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3 hours ago, wackyserious said:

I need opinions about the Hepatizon or the Corinthian Black Bronze. What information do we have about it? And was it possibly used in smiting battle gears like helmets, armors and shields?

According to this: https://exarc.net/issue-2017-2/ea/colour-palette-antique-bronzes-experimental-archaeology-project the Corinthian Bronze has a color close to Munsell 7.5R 5/8; Hex #b66158.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinthian_bronze

Corinthian Black Bronze is different however: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatizon

Here an example:

https://exarc.net/sites/default/files/Fig. 6. An Hellenistic statuette Corinthium Aes or Hepatizon-2.jpg

And a study about it (images on the right side): 

https://exarc.net/issue-2018-1/ea/experimental-diachronic-exploration-patination-methodology-dark-patinated-arsenical-copper-alloys

 

 

Edited by Genava55
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