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MentorBox Podcast


Mar 26, 2018

“Academics have agreed on, or deduced, the value of Greek vowels. So there is an agreed upon pronunciation.” - Mary Norris

(click to tweet)

We don’t ever think Ancient Greece can help us.

But what if those epic novels and thousand-page philosophy reads were distilled into a more digestible read? What if you could boil down the robust history and narrative into a more simpler story of personal interest? The takeaways are eerily potent despite the thousands of years separating us from these tales.

On today’s episode of The MentorBox Podcast, we are joined by copy editor at the New Yorker and the comma queen herself, Mary Norris, to discuss the intricacies of Ancient Greece. Mary is the author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, where she discusses language, culture, history, class, and much more. Her soon-to-be-released book Greek To Me offers her take on Ancient Greece. Tune in today to learn about Ancient Greece and understand how that knowledge can be applied to your day-to-day.

You can order Mary Norris’ Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen here

“People are put off by the Greek alphabet, which is unnecessary or exaggerated, because you learned an alphabet as a child.” - Mary Norris

(click to tweet)

Points to Keep In Mind

  • The word “autochthonous” means: indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists
  • Seek out social avenues when learning a new language
  • The same audience that enjoys English literature will like Ancient Greek literature
  • The culture of Ancient Greece only lasted about 3 traditions
  • Read new female-translated texts: Emily Wilson’s The Odyssey and Caroline Alexander’s Iliad
  • Greece did not have beer until very recently after importing for a Bavarian king
  • Read Patrick Leigh Fermor’s Mani to hear about a beautiful Mediterranean island now sought out for pilgrimages