Pseudo-Demosthenes, Against Neaira

Pseudo-Demosthenes’ Against Neaira ([Dem.] 59) is in many ways an ideal text for undergraduates: not only does it shed light on key aspects of Greek social and cultural life, but its prose is eminently readable for students in third- or fourth-year Greek. (In fact, I’ve taught it a number of times to undergraduates—as well as graduate students—at the University of Washington.) It is all the more surprising, then, that no undergraduate-level commentary has existed until now. Alice Patteson’s Commentary on [Demosthenes] LIX: Against Neaira(1978), a difficult-to-access dissertation, provides insights into legal and historical issues, but does not explain points of grammar. The notes of Christopher Carey’s Apollodoros Against Neaira [Demosthenes 59] (1992; now out of print) are keyed to his translation of the text, rather than to the Greek, and therefore do not offer any grammatical assistance. And Konstantinos Kapparis’ excellent Apollodoros “Against Neaira” [D. 59] (1999), while it does provide some grammatical guidance, primarily explains textual issues and historical context and is pitched at an audience of advanced graduate students and scholars. This commentary, by contrast, explicitly seeks to anticipate the types of questions undergraduates might have.

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