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with the etymology of one of the words of our own language, and are enabled to distinguish becomes from other verbs.
Points of history and geography also have thrown in their assistance towards facilitating the remembrance of Greek words. Méros is, middle; Totapós is, a river. Mesopotamia received its name from these two words; it being in the middle of two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Another mode of associating words is that of tracing them to their roots. Tívať, a board, is usually set down as a primitive word. But some eminent scholars have recently traced it to one, which is now obsolete in Greek, but is preserved in the Latin pinus. Iivač is so called, as being made of pine wood. Again: őßpis is, contumelious pride. The perpetual change of B and a has obscured its origin for twenty centuries. "rBgos is nothing but úngıç for őtegis from nèg, as' superbia' from 'super' which is derived from útég.
Surely it were better to bring to the student's attention such derivations and derivatives, while he is learning the vocabulary, than to defer it to a period when the power they possess of accelerating his progress has become incapable of application,
But it will be anticipated that many Greek words are incapable of the associations above mentioned. This would naturally be expected from a language which is so rich and copious as the Greek, and which has received its resources through such various and remote channels. But here also the convenience of the student has not been neglected. In these cases the writer has endeavoured to assist the memory by annexing passages in which such words occur. Those contexts have been chosen in the first place which were particularly striking : but, where this has failed, those have been selected which seemed best adapted to the memory. These passages are generally accompanied with a translation in the Notes.
Some words are left unassociated. Some of these are marked
with a star, to intimate that they occur but seldom, and in such a position that the context illustrates their meaning. The rest are marked with an obelus. These consist of the names of plants and animals, and admit of no association. By what technical njeans, which would bear the examination of the public, can we remember that zpov is the herb wakerobin, and that fauuos is the herb pannic? Of these however the number is not a hundred, and of the meaning of most of them even the best scholars are ignorant.*
It should be mentioned that the reader is supposed to be in some measure acquainted with the Latin language. To a mere English reader the words κάλαμος, κάλαθος, κουλεός are not more unknown than calamus, culathus, culeus. Nor are the names of the plants Φίλυρα, φάσηλος, αβρότονον more new to him than philyra employed by Horace and Ovid, phaselus by Virgil, and abrotunus by Horace, Lucan, and Lucretius. A passage however from the Latin writers is subjoined, in cases where the Latin word is of unfrequent occurrence.
The term 'fundamental,' as applied to the words in this Lexicon, is used as implying either those which are primitives, or those whose meaning or formation does not easily flow from their primitives. This latitude of meaning has admitted the introduction of κάββαλε, καμμύω, καταχρά, &c.
* But little attention has been here paid to the scientific disquisitions of Dioscorides, Aristotle on Animals, Theophrastus on Plants, Galen, Nicander, &c.; or to the words found merely in the works of the ancient lexicographers. These writings are read by none but such as are influenced by motives which have no interest with the generality of readers of the Greek language. The writer had intended to insert the foreign words in the translations of the Old Testament and of the Apocrypha. But the following words, which occur in one page of Biel's Lexicon, νεβέλ, νεδδι, νεέλασσα, νεεσβειεμωής, νεεσσεράν, νέξερ, decided him against putting this idea in execution.
The variations of the changes in the other tenses from the present are often so great, that the student should make himself acquainted with their general principles, before he consults this work. This will be better understood, when it is mentioned that dragon comes from δέρκα, and atom from τέμνω. Δέρκω, through its second aorist leapxov, by transposition fagaxov, produced draco and dragon; a, not, and thusw, through its perfect middle tétoja, produced atom.
For the sake of greater perspicuity in showing the etymology of words, the vowel of the present has been retained in deriving words which flow from other tenses. Thus ágyua is stated to come from άργμαι, and άρτος from άρται.
The prepositions, some pronouns and conjunctions, and a few other words, are printed in capitals, as they are the foundation of language, and should be learnt before the rest of the words. The words in italics are allied to those, to which they are attached, either by derivation or by apparent identity of origin. The Notes consist chiefly of dubious derivations, of translations of Greek passages which are quoted in the text, and of explanations of English or of Latin derivatives.
The writer has gathered his materials from any quarter from which he could obtain satisfaction. To the claim therefore of originality he makes few pretensions.* He has however occasionally ventured a suggestion, as in the derivation of airów, fait, xóvôgos, tūas, &c. He has endeavoured to avoid the numerous absurdities of both ancient and modern etymologists; and, if he has laid aside what is puerile, he hopes he may claim pardon for sometimes introducing what perhaps is merely specious.
* The writer takes this opportunity of expressing his obligations to Mr. H. Hall, a gentleman who is engaged in London in teaching the Classics in a manner somewhat similar to that which forms the basis of this publication, and whose valuable remarks suggested to the writer the idea of it.
The work is chiefly intended for those who are commencing the Greek language. But it is believed that it will not be unacceptable to those who have made some progress in the language. It may be found useful in the way of self-examination. To run over in a cursory manner and at intervals the constituent words, will be the means of detecting some yet unknown, and of detaining others which are fast fading from the memory. And the advanced reader may perhaps find here some remarks worthy of his notice on the etymology not only of Greek, but also of Latin and English words.