Ancient Greek Beginner I

Course Status: 
CEU code: 
SLTG 5024
CEU credits: 
ECTS credits: 
Academic year: 
Start and end dates: 
17 Sep 2018 - 7 Dec 2018
Sámuel Gábor

SLTG 5024 Ancient Greek Beginner I

Introduction to the language and culture of ancient Athens


Language course, 3 credits


2018/19 Fall Term


Instructor: Sámuel Gábor


Office Hours:

before and after class or by appointment

Learning Ancient Greek at CEU

Ancient Greek is one of the most important source languages of Late Antique & Medieval Studies, Ancient Philosophy and Religious Studies. Whether your interest is in reading classical Greek texts in their own right, in studying their reception in the Middle Ages or, ultimately, in moving from classical texts towards Late Antique and Byzantine literature, a thorough training in Ancient Greek will be the conditio sine qua non to pursue any of these goals.

Goals and learning outcomes. Participants of the course will gain a sound knowledge of the Ancient Greek language (Attic dialect), i.e. an ability to read, analyse and interpret primary source material written in Greek. After four terms (two years) of study – i.e., in time for PhD studies in most cases –, participants should be able to attend Greek Text Seminars or advanced classes in Classical and Byzantine Greek offered at CEU or in higher education institutions other than CEU.

Format. Each session (75 minutes, twice a week) begins with a short written test (five to ten minutes), in order to make sure that participants have thoroughly memorized the vocabulary and grammar of the previous session. Assigned homework is checked before we turn to texts, grammar and exercises. Regular homework is set; students should estimate that successful participation in these classes requires at least twice the amount of time outside the classroom than inside the classroom.



Ancient Greek Beginner I


Classwork. The classes are based on the British Joint Association of Classical Teachers’ Greek course, Reading Greek, 2nd ed, 2007, which comes in two parts: (1) Text and Vocabulary; and (2) Grammar and Exercises; but short phrases and excerpts of original Greek texts are also included.


Assessment. Regular attendance (at least twenty sessions out of twenty four) is mandatory for everyone, including those who are registered only for Audit. (According to the SLTG Guidelines, students signed up for Audit who fail to meet this requirement will be given a W, or withdraw, grade.) Student performance will be assessed through short quizzes of five to ten minutes at the beginning of each session, the final written exam (based on all the grammar and vocabulary learnt during the semester), and the translation and analysis of a passage in Greek chosen by each participant for herself/himself and scrutinized independently. The prerequisite for Audit is that you submit all the exercises to be done at home; an additional requirement for Pass is a B (60%) for the final exam.



Week 1


1 A–B (Reading Greek)

Grammar and Exercises: The definite article; the principle of ‘agreement’; adjectives with three endings (2nd and 1st declension); the vocative case

Text and Vocabulary: “The insurance scam” 1


Week 2

1 C-D

Grammar and Exercises: Verbs ending in –ω; tense, mood, voice, person and number; compound verbs; the imperative; more vocatives

Text and Vocabulary: “The insurance scam” 2 


Week 3

1 E-F

Grammar and Exercises: Contract verbs; adverbs

Text and Vocabulary: “The insurance scam” 3


Week 4

1 G

Grammar and Exercises: 2nd declension nouns; adjectives with ‘alpha purum’; prepositions; particles

Text and Vocabulary: “The insurance scam” 4


Week 5

1 H-J

Grammar and Exercises: the verbs ‘to be’ and ‘to know’; adjectives as nouns; more particles

Text and Vocabulary: “The insurance scam” 5


Week 6

Revision 1 (1 A-J)

2 A-B

Grammar and Exercises: Middle verbs

Text and Vocabulary: “The glorious past” 1


Week 7

2 C-D

Grammar and Exercises: 1st declension nouns; the genitive case; more prepositions

Text and Vocabulary: “The glorious past” 2


Week 8

Revision 2 (2 A-D)

3 A-B

Grammar and Exercises: 3rd declension; personal pronouns

Text and Vocabulary: “Athens and Sparta” 1


Week 9

3 C-E

Grammar and Exercises: Adjectives/pronouns (‘this’ and ‘that’); ‘many’ and ‘great’; more 3rd declension nouns

Text and Vocabulary: “Athens and Sparta” 2


Week 10

Revision 3 (3 A-E)

4 A-B

Grammar and Exercises: More 3rd declension nouns and adjectives; present participle of ‘to be’

Text and Vocabulary: “Lawlessness in Athenian life” 1


Week 11

4 C-D

Grammar and Exercises: Present participles; more 3rd declension nouns

Text and Vocabulary: “Lawlessness in Athenian life” 2


Week 12

Final Revision (1 A - 4 D)

Written Exam (1 A - 4 D)