The longest word in Ancient Greek literature
Recently, I've been teaching the passive voice. What's the difference between the active and passive voices? If you can add "by zombies" after your verb, you're looking at the passive voice.
My students have been learning how to form the future passive, which becomes very wordy to translate into English, for example, ὁ ἄγγελος ἀκουσθήσονται, "the messenger will be heard." The future passive participle will translate as "being about to be heard", while the future passive infinitive is "to be about to be heard". So, six English words for one in ancient Greek.
But none of these passive forms come close to the longest ancient Greek word which contains 172 letters and is found in Aristophanes' Ecclesiazusae (The Women at the Assembly), line 1169ff.
This word appears at the end of the play to describe a banquet and it means:
limpets and saltfish and sharksteak and dogfish and mullets and oddfish with savory pickle sauceand thrushes with blackbirds and various pigeons and roosters and pan-roasted wagtails and larks and nice chunks of hare marinated in mulled wine and all of it drizzled with honey and silphium and vinegar, oil, and spices galore!
(trans. Jeffrey Henderson)