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Intense Beginner's Greek

This intense short course is aimed at postgraduate students and researchers with no knowledge of ancient Greek. The course will introduce a complete beginner to the main elements of classical Greek grammar by covering some basic morphology (article, nouns, verbs, and adjectives) and laying the foundations for further learning. By the end of the week, students will be able to identify grammar forms and structures and translate simple sentences with the help of grammar books and a dictionary.

The ability to read the Greek alphabet is required (see bibliography section), as is some basic phonological knowledge (accents, breathing marks, vowels, and diphthongs). As this is an intensive course, a substantial amount of independent study and practice of what will be taught in class will be expected, and tasks will be given to be completed in your own time before the following session. Every session will consist of grammar material and exercises.

The course will run for five days, 15-19 January 2024, 15:00-16:30 GMT, with the last class on the Friday being scheduled for 16:00-17:30 GMT. All classes will be taught virtually on Teams. To apply, please fill in a short form here.

If you have any questions, please contact the course tutor:

Raffaello Sanzio, Scuola di Atene, 1509-1511, Sala della Segnatura, Musei Vaticani

Raffaello Sanzio, Scuola di Atene, 1509-1511,

Sala della Segnatura, Musei Vaticani

Course Schedule

1. Session 1 (15th January 2024, 15:00-16:30 GMT)

  • Preparation: phonology (Greek alphabet, accents, breathing marks, vowels, and diphthongs). The ability to read the Greek alphabet is compulsory.
  • Books/resources
  • Overview of the ancient Greek Language (cases/gender/number, article, declensions, verb moods/tenses/voices, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions)
  • Morphology: building blocks
  • Article declension
  • Nouns: 1st and 2nd declensions
  • Verbs in -ω (omega): present indicative active

2. Session 2 (16th January 2024, 15:00-16:30 GMT)

  • Nouns: 2nd declension
  • Adjectives: 1st class
  • Prepositions
  • Verbs: εἰμί (eimi, to be)

3. Session 3 (17th January 2024, 15:00-16:30 GMT)

  • Word order, sandwich construction, attributive/predicative position, possessive dative
  • Nouns: 3rd declension (consonant and vowel stems)

4. Session 4 (18th January 2024, 15:00-16:30 GMT)

  • Adjectives: 2nd class, comparison
  • Verb εἰμί (eimi, to be): imperfect and future indicative
  • Verbs in -ω (omega): present indicative middle-passive

5. Session 5 (19th January 2024, 16-17:30 GMT)

  • Verbs in -ω (omega): Future and imperfect indicative, active and middle-passive
  • Introduction to the aorist tense
  • Use of the dictionary (LSJ and TLG)
  • Consolidation/translation

Bibliography (subject to updates):

  • L.A. Wilding, Greek for Beginners, 1973
  • E. Abbott and E.D. Mansfield, A Primer of Greek Grammar, 1977
  • J. Morwood, Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek, 2001
  • E. van Emde Boas et al., The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek, 2019
  • J. Coderch, Classical Greek: A New Grammar, 2012

More information will be given in Session 1.

Material and Assignments

Grammar Exercises

Online Resources

(subject to updates)

Participants will pay £200 for the course. Those whose institution belongs to the Newberry Library Consortium may be eligible to receive CRS Consortium Grants to cover the cost of the course. (Contact your local consortium representative for details.) Warwick PhD Students will not have to pay the course fees.

Participants accepted onto the 2023-24 course, should familiarise themselves with the applicable Terms & Conditions, here.