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Materials — Ancient Greek

March 5, 2012
English: Geographical distribution of the dial...

Map of Ancient Greek Dialects' Distribution

The blog post I’m currently drafting is taking longer than expected, mostly because my time to blog is severely limited of late. So I’m trying in the meantime to put up the first of a quick type of blog post that I have had in mind since the inception of this blog. Namely, the web is full of materials needed to learn most languages— even apart from those one has to actually pay for. So I’m planning to list materials needed for learning a variety of languages. These lists won’t include my own discussions of the various languages.

I’m starting with one of my favorites: ancient Greek, which includes Classical Greek strictly speaking or which more loosely is also known as Classical Greek.

Pronunciation and Writing System

The latter two of the three grammars listed below include a thorough introduction to the Greek alphabet, Greek punctuation and the language’s pronunciation.

An excellent summary of basic pronunciation including sound files can be found here. This link does not seem to include the accents however except incidentally by means of reading actual texts.

Grammar and Syntax

An excellent introductory grammar Athenaze can be downloaded here for free in pdf form. I’ll not vouch for the site but the book is excellent and well worth buying a printed copy of in my opinion.

A short grammar can be found here, but although the author intended it as an introduction it is not epsecially suitable for self-study.

A freely available reference grammar is that by Smyth. This remains one of the standard references today.

Basis Vocabulary

The excellent website Memrise has a number of word lists for ancient Greek, but the learner should be adviced that those labelled as “Biblical Greek” or “New Testament Greek” should not be trusted for those learning Classical or general ancient Greek. While identically the same language, the Greek vocabulary and grammar taught by Classicists and by Christian tradition for religious studies differ markedly. The latter is in my experience not to be trusted.

Reading Materials

The Perseus Classical Library includes a wide variety of texts in classical Greek and Latin.

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