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Greek Language (Beginners')

Thinking about classical Greek?

Be assured "that the Latin once obtained, the Greek may be gotten with farre less labour, and every thing as certainly." Brinsley (1627) Ludus Literarius

It's not necessary to have learnt Latin, but it is certainly helpful, and some acquaintance with another inflected language is very helpful indeed. The course goes quickly, so we look for evidence that you are confident in learning a new language. This will typically be studying Latin, perhaps for a year at Warwick or to GCSE, or taking a modern language at A level.

Try a taster here.




    This module offers the opportunity to learn the basics of the classical Greek language and is designed for students who have little or no previous experience of the language. The department believes that language is at the heart of the discipline and all students should, at the minimum, have a basic knowledge of one of the classical languages.

    This module will be taken by:

    • 1st Year Q800 students who have no qualification in Greek.
    • 2nd year students who want to add to try Greek after a year of Latin, or begin Greek alongside further study of Latin. Students will need to have completed the Latin Language module in a satisfactory manner with a minimum of 70% overall.
    • First year students who can demonstrate that they are likely to be able to learn Greek successfully or Latin . Evidence might be an A level in a classical or modern language or Latin GCSE. Otherwise, first year students generally take Latin which provides a better foundation for taking up Greek in their second year
    • Third (or fourth) year students who have been studying Latin for two years and who have done well in both years.


    The department welcomes enquiries from students outside the Classics Department. Potential non-classicists should email the module convener to signify their interest. Because Classical Greek is a demanding language, we will need to see evidence that you will be able to meet the demands of the course so we will discuss your previous language learning experience.

    Before arriving at Warwick, all students proposing to take this course need to have learnt the alphabet and practiced reading passages of Greek out loud with confidence, available on the module website. They will be tested on their fluency in the first week of the academic year.


    Main points

    For 2020/21, we have one group with three hours of tuition: on campus twice a week on Mondays and Fridays and a live on-line class on Wednesdays. We will use the course book Greek for Beginners by Wilding.

    The course uses a very traditional approach to the language with translation both ways. You ned to develop strategies to memorise new vocabulary and a significant number of endings. The classes need to be backed up by a significant amount of independent study, for which extensive materials are available on-line.

    You should expect to:

    • spend 2-3 hours between each class on independent study
    • revise for exams over the Christmas and Easter vacations,
    • set aside time for 300 hours of study over the year in total


    Attendance is required at all classes, unless there is a very good reason you cannot attend. If you have appointment you cannot miss, please discuss this in advance. If you are ill, you should email as soon as possible (on the day) giving a brief explanation of why you could not attend. In the absence of any such email, attendance will be noted as unauthorised in the register. Our experience is that regular attendance is the single most important factor for success on this module.

    In the event that you have to miss classes for more than one week due to illness, university regulations usually require you to submit a medical certificate from your GP or similar healthcare professional to the departmental office. You will be informed if there are different arrangements for 2020/21.

    More importantly, you should be in email contact with the module tutor and your personal tutor since it is easy to fall behind in such a situation and catching up becomes progressively harder.

    Drop-in sessions

    Drop-in sessions are an important part of the module, offering students the opportunity to sort out areas of uncertainty as the module progresses. Often a quick, well-directed question can sort things out quickly and put your mind at rest. Drop-in sessions are particularly important where you have missed a class. You are expected to do the work which is always set out on-line, but you should use a drop-in session to check on anything you have not understood.

    I have a dedicated session for Greek on Fridays 12-1 , and another general session on Tuesdays 9-10.


    Module convenor: Mr Clive Letchford