There were 810 entries in the Commentary. With at least 4 words in each, plus meanings for each elementary sign, you would have memorized a table of over 4,050 words at the end of a course of instruction in Ancient Greek shorthand.

So to read/write a complex shorthand word, the large character would point you to an entry in the Commentary (e.g. "Crete, Lesbos, Rhodes, Chios") while a small modifier character would point you to a specific word in the entry (e.g. "Rhodes").

Each entry in the Commentary was a tetrad or pentad (4 or 5 words). Sometimes these entries would form a sort of almost proverbial phrase (e.g. "the wise man sleeps well") or thematic group ("Crete, Lesbos, Rhodes, Chios").

You may think "two years is a pretty long time just to learn shorthand". But Ancient Greek shorthand involved first memorizing a system of elementary signs, then memorizing what was essentially a gigantic lookup table for combinations of those signs known as "the Commentary".

σημειογράφος (semiographos)
—a shorthand writer. Attested in P.Oxy. 4 724, a 2nd century CE contract apprenticing a slave to a shorthand writer for two years to be taught shorthand: papyri.info/ddbdp/p.oxy;4;724

Following @pouetnet really makes me want to build something that will run them in a browser and/or automatically generate videos from them

“Συνθήκη τε αὐτῷ ἐκβεβιασμένη καὶ συμπεπιεσμένη καὶ ἔκκροτος, ὡς ἀνάγκην εἶναι τῷ ἀναγινώσκοντι τὰ ἐκείνου τύπτειν σφοδρῶς τὸν ἀέρα τοῖς χείλεσιν, εἰ μέλλοι τρανῶς ἀπαγγέλλειν ἃ περιτραχύνων καὶ συστρέφων συνθλίβων τε καὶ παρεμβάλλων καὶ ἀκρωτηριάζων ἐκεῖνος μόλις συνέταττε.” Photius, Bibliotheca, cod.138, tr. La Rue van Hook

‪Photius on Eunomius: “His composition is so forced, condensed, and harsh that the reader must violently beat the air with his lips if he is to recite clearly what the author has with difficulty composed by roughening, condensing, squeezing, interpolating, and mutilating.”‬

It also intersects with Ancient Greek lexica and paremiography in a totally fascinating and unexpected way

I mean we do have nearly 400 papyri in papyri.info with unexpanded "tachygraphic marks" that are absolutely ripe for scholarship

Help, I've accidentally started down the rabbit hole of Ancient Greek tachygraphy

"In conclusion, though the suggestion is bound to seem more hostile and ungrateful than it is intended to be, a candid reviewer is bound to express the feeling that the whole of the present edition should be revised and reissued in an improved form by someone, perhaps even a group of scholars, with the necessary command of textual criticism as well as an interest in the various types of text that Photius deals with. The plain fact is that one still cannot regard Bekker's edition as superseded."

Just updated the Database of Classical Scholars template on Wikipedia, fixing broken links on every single one of these pages: en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?t

maybe i shouldn’t have blasted a 24oz cold brew at 4pm

“It’s all Greek to me! Ha ha ha”
“You mean perfectly comprehensible with a moderate amount of study?”

Couldn't locate one of the books I needed so I looked up buying a copy. There are 8 available ranging from $180 to $1,133

Also you can’t remove any of the books from the room and if you sit still to read for more than 5 minutes the lights will turn off

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