A few years ago, in the Frankfurt airport on the way home from Greece, I bought a copy of Virginia Woolf’s “The Common Reader,” which includes her essay “On Not Knowing Greek.” I already had the book at home, but I was impressed that anything by Woolf was considered airport reading. When I was about ten years old, my father, a pragmatic man, had refused to let me study Latin, and for some reason I assumed that “On Not Knowing Greek” was about how Woolf’s father, too, had prevented his daughter from studying a dead language. I pictured young Virginia Stephen sulking in a room of her own, an indecipherable alphabet streaming through her consciousness, while her father and her brother, downstairs in the library, feasted on Plato and Aristotle.Of course she did. Sean Connery also makes a cameo appearance.
Well, apparently I had read only the title of the essay. Of course Virginia Woolf knew Greek. ...
This article is not specifically about ancient Judaism, but it is full of fun facts about ancient Greek. HT Philo scholar Ellen Birnbaum.
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