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Greek Literary Texts

This module is for those who are coming to the University with Greek at A2 or for those at the University have previously completed the Greek Language and Literature module.

It is important that all students who take this course have reacquainted themselves with the language before arriving this October, particularly those first years who have had a gap year. You are expected to start the course with the level of knowledge you had when sitting the A2 examinations.

Vocab \ Grammar \ Texts 


Language is at the core of the module, and the heart of any language is vocabulary. On the course at Warwick, the undergraduates have learnt the AS vocabulary list: here is a list of the vocabulary. They have also learned lists of Homeric and tragic vocabulary. Refresh the vocabulary you knew so well earlier this year in May. Make sure that you have gone over it carefully, and make sure that you can recognise all parts of the verbs, not just the present stem. The tester on the Eton College website is very useful as far as it goes, but lacks testing on the other parts of verbs.


You should also revise grammar. You will need to buy a copy of A Greek Grammar by James Morwood, published by Oxford University Press, and get to know your way around it before your arrival.

Experience has shown that not all first years have as good a knowledge and recognition of case endings as they should. You should know the case endings for the main nouns thoroughly and be able to recognise cases in practice quickly and accurately.

  • There are nine nouns that you must know:

1. τιμή

2. κριτής

3. λόγος

4. δῶρον

5. ϕύλαξ, ϕύλακος

6. σῶμα, σώματος

7. γένος, γένους

8. βασιλεύς, βασιλέυς

9. πόλις, πόλεως

  • You should also be looking over some of the irregular ones such as ναῦς and Ζεύς and contracted adjectives like ἀληθής and remind yourself of things like πολύς and μέγας.
  • You should also have a good working knowledge of tenses, being able to recognise the tenses and translate them appropriately and being able to form any person of any tense from given principal parts. To get an overview, many find it helpful to tabulate the first person of indicative, participles, infinitives etc. and to practice writing these out until it becomes automatic. An example is included here.
  • -μι verbs will probably need some attention at this stage, starting with learning their principal parts and then going on to check on the tenses with non-standard personal endings (mainly present and imperfect).
  • At a more basic level, check on the aorists of verbs, especially those with significant changes from the present form. The Taylor course book Greek Beyond GCSE is useful here, but you can achieve the same effect by extracting your own list from the vocabulary list.
  • Do check up on matters of syntax: particularly the uses of subjunctive and optative. Morwood is your best guide here, with a brief explanation and examples.

Reading Greek

Having said all of these – and the nuts and bolts are important – do read some Greek to get yourself back into the habit. You could start on one of the set texts of this year (see below) or at least go over your A2 texts. If you want other suggestions contact me – for example I have some copies of past A2 papers which you could usefully work through.

You might like to make a start on reading the first set text as follows, so that you can have a slightly less hectic start to your studies in October. Please contact Edmund Stewart to check which texts you will be reading.

Further advice

You must come up properly prepared in order to get off to a good start, since you will be working mainly on your own in preparing set texts. If you want any guidance, please email Language Tutor Clive Letchford at .