I recently posted what I thought was the (possibly apocryphal) motto of the Platonic Academy on my office door: “ΑΓΕΩΜΕΤΡΗΤΟΣ ΜΗΔΕΙΣ ΕΙΣΙΤΩ”, usually translated as “Let none ignorant of geometry enter”. This morning I came in to find another piece of paper taped below it, reading “μηδεις α-γεωμετρητος εισιτω”.
Did I get the word order wrong in my original sign? Is this some difference between Koine and Modern Greek? What’s with the hyphen? Google seems pretty evenly split between the two word orders (in terms of number of search results), so that’s not terribly helpful.
Sure hope all the foreign encoding works…
Word order in Greek isn’t fixed, so either could be correct. However, the latter word order seems more natural. Don’t know what the hyphen is about…
I believe the hyphen is separating the alpha-negative from the word for geometer. (like writing the word atheist as a-theist). Not sure if that was standard in Plato’s day or not though.
Although I am not very familiar with ancient Greek, I am quite fluent in modern Greek.
What Daphne said. The original sign is not incorrect, but sounds like something Master Yoda would say.
The hyphen though is incorrect. I’ve never ever seen hyphenated words in koine and it is very rarely used in modern Greek.
The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations says αγεωμετρηος μηδεις εισιτω and cites In Aristotelis Categorias Commentaria (118.18). This commentary is generally attributed to a figure called Elias Philosiphus who may have lived in the 6th century CE.