Greek Grammar - Estienne, Henri II
Dialogus, de bene instituendis Graecae linguae studiis — Geneva 1587
Dialogus, de bene instituendis Graecae linguae studiis. Eiusdem alius dialogus, De parum fidis Graecae linguae magistris. Et, De cautione in illis legendis adhibenda … — [N. pl., n. pr.] Excudebatur anno M. D. LXXXVII. [Geneva, Henri Estienne, 1587].
4to (233 x 155 mm). *2 A-X4 Y2: (4), 172 pp. Stamp on upper fly-leaf. Lower quarter of leaves with faint water margin. 19th c. half-calf. – Adams S-1765; ustc 203306 (5 copies)
¶ „First edition (apparently never reprinted) of one of Henri Estienne’s rarest works, consisting of his views on the teaching of Greek, his theories on pronunciation of the language, and his opinions on the best and worst Greek authors and grammars one should read or avoid.
The work is in the form of a two-part dialogue, between ‚Cornelius‘ and ‚Philippus‘, dealing with the best method of studying Greek. Estiennes passes in review all the major Greek grammars, from Moschopoulos’s to the most recent, pointing out their respective shortcomings and good points. Among the authors and grammarians discussed are Theodorus Gaza, Erasmus, Clenardus, Isaac Casaubon (Henri Estienne’s son-in-law), Guillaume Budé, and Henri Estienne himself (speaking of his own works in the third person).
In the second dialogue, dealing with „untrustworthy teachers of Greek“, there is an interesting discussion of the pronounciation of ancient Greek; the student must „unlearn“ (dedocere) the corrupt pronounciation instilled by teachers who use the modern, or vulgar, form of the language.
This little-known book provides a valuable sidelight on the history of culture and education, as well as on the history of classical scholarship.“ (Fred Schreiber’s catalogue 37, no. 55)