This section is all about Philip's being blind, their visit to the doctor who can't help but sends them to Epidaur to try and get help from the god of medicine: Ἀσκληπιός (Asclepius). How they travel there, whom they meet and what insight they are given into recent Greek history by a sailor who had lived through it all.
As far as Greek everyday life is concerned, we learn about Greek medicine, about Greek trade and travel. And about the rise and fall of Athens and its empire.
Most of this is 4th century B.C. Greek history as told by (or rather adapted from) the Greek historian Herodotus, narrating how small Greece fared in its struggle against the mighty Persian Empire.
The main point of the next few lessons:
We learn to talk about the past using proper past tense forms:
- I used to dream about the future.
- I was dreaming instead of listening and didn't hear the teacher's question.
- Last night I dreamt I could* fly and woke up on the floor..
We say could
fly, but in this case the Greeks do not use the past tense. Since I dreamt: «Oh how fabulous, I can
fly.», the Greeks, being logical people, keep the present tense, in indirect speech
One of those little differences of interpretation we've got to learn to adjust to. When dealing with Greek we must adopt their way of thinking, just as they must accept ours when using English.
It is going to be a little more difficult as far as grammar is concerned, but the reading matter is getting more interesting and varied. By the time we get to lesson 16 we should be quite proficient in reading basic Greek, ready to tackle the subtler points of Greek morphology and syntax as presented in book 2.