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Greek Language (Beginners')

Thinking about 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 an inflected language is very helpful indeed.

Try a taster here.

Please note that we will not be using the text book Reading Greek next year but instead Wilding's Greek for Beginners. You will need your own copy of this and a copy of Morwood's Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek.


    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. Greek offers a significant intellectual challenge, so those proposing to take it need to discuss it with the module convenor, Clive Letchford. We generally ask students to learn the alphabet before the first class of the year.

    This module will be taken by:

    • 1st Year Q800 students who have no recent GCSE in Greek.
    • Other first year students who can demonstrate that they are likely to be able to learn Greek successfully.
    • 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.
    • Third (or fourth) year students who have been studying Latin for two years. Students will need to have completed the Latin Language and Literature module in a satisfactory manner.

    The Department welcomes enquiries from students outside the Classics Department. Potential non-classicists should email the module convener to signify their interest. 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. One thing I will check is whether you have taught yourself the alphabet.


    There are three hours of teaching each week. They are an integral part of the course and so attendance is required at all classes. If you have an appointment you can't miss, please discuss this in advance, If you are ill, you should email as soon as possible giving an indication of why you could not be expected to attend. In the absence of any such email, your absence will be noted as unauthorised. Our experience is that regular attendance is the single most important factor for success on this module.

    If your illness means that you have to miss classes for more than one week, we require a medical certificate from your GP. 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.

    Office hours

    Office Hours are an important part of the module, offering students the opportunity to sort out areas of uncertainty as the module progresses. For 2018-19, my office hours are Wednesdays 12-1 and Thursdays 11-12 in the first and second terms (excluding Reading Week) and Weeks 1 to 3 of the third term. You do not have to check in advance - just turn up. I am very happy to see you at other times, but please email me first. If there is a small query on the language, we can often sort this out with a quick email.


    Module convenor: Mr Clive Letchford

    Module Handbook 2018-19

    Verb testers:

    Eton (for παύω)

    Sphinx (for other verbs)