Ancient Greek 1: Beginners

Course details

From £370.00
20 CATS points

Term 1
30 Sep 2019 - 09 Dec 2019
Term 2
13 Jan 2020 - 16 Mar 2020
Half term
21 Oct 2019
Day of week

Ancient Greek 1: Beginners


The writings of Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Plutarch, St. Paul and many others are widely available in translation. Yet critical introductions and footnotes frequently inform demoralised readers that the text cannot be adequetely expressed in English.

This course is designed for those with no prior experience. Starting with the letters of the alphabet,  we will spend two terms studying the grammar and language of Ancient Greek using the excellent book, Reading Greek, from the Joint Association of Classical Teachers.

The course introduces adult students to short Greek texts from day one. We focus on 'Attic', the Greek spoken and written in Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. This is a good basis, not only for the texts written in Athens at that time (for example, Euripides' tragedies, Plato), but also earlier texts (for example, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey) and later ones (for example, the New Testament). As we go along we will take in aspects of the life, literature and culture in ancient Athens.

Programme details

Week 1:          Alphabet & Pronunciation, start 'Reading Greek'

Week 2:          Definite article, 2-1-2 adjectives, 1st and 2nd declension nouns

Week 3:          Present indicative active, compound verbs

Week 4:          Present indicative active of contract verbs

Week 5:          Imperative, vocative, adverbs

Week 6:          1a, 2a and 2b nouns, enclitics, important particles

Week 7:          : Present indicative middle/passive, eimi and oida

Week 8:          1b, 1c and 1d nouns

Week 9:          Present indicative middle/passive of contract verbs, prepositions

Week 10:        3a nouns, personal pronouns


Term Starts: 13th January

Half Term:   17th February

Week 11:        Demonstrative pronouns, negatives

Week 12:        Polus and megas, naus and Zeus

Week 13:        3b, 3c, 3e, 3f nouns, 3rd declension adjectives

Week 14:        tis/ti, oudeis, 3g nouns

Week 15:        Present participle active

Week 16:        Present participle middle/passive, elision and crasis

Week 17:        Imperfect indicative active and middle/passive

Week 18:        Imperfect indicative active and middle/passive of contract verbs, imperfect of eimi

Week 19:        Indefinites/interrogatives, 3d nouns

Week 20:        Future indicative active and middle, including eimi and erchomai

Background Reading:

JACT., Reading Greek (2nd edition, 2007). Volume 1: Text and Vocabulary, Volume 2: Grammar and Exercises

JACT., The World of Athens: An Introduction to Classical Athenian Culture (2nd edition, 2008). ISBN: 978-0521698535

JACT., Reading Greek: An Independent Study Guide (2nd edition, 2008). ISBN: 978-0521698504

JACT., Speaking Greek, CD (2008). ISBN: 978-0521728966.


The Eton Greek Project website


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between 1st January 31st and July after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)


Description Costs
Course Fee £370.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


David Hodgkinson

David Hodgkinson has taught Classics for many years in Oxford schools. After many years as a Head of Department, he decided to pursue a DPhil at Balliol College, working on a comparative study of the Greek and Sanskrit epic traditions, whilst also teaching part time at Magdalen College School.

Course aims

To enable students to study some ancient Greek texts using a dictionary and grammar. To provide students with a coherent and useful foundation for further study of Ancient Greek.

Course Objectives

To support students in their learning of Attic Greek to understand simple texts.

To give students weekly opportunities to practice, consolidate and master the grammar at a sensible pace.

To introduce students to aspects of ancient Greek language and literature.

Teaching methods

In class students will participate in activities by reading out, analysing and translating sentences, sometimes in small groups and sometimes in turn. Questions in class are encouraged and answered will be discussed. Grammar is explained systematically and practised in suitable exercises. Homework is assigned regularly in order to enhance the students' learning process. We will chant verb and noun paradigms, partly because it enlivens tired minds and partly because it really works!

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be expected to be able to:

1. read texts aloud in the Greek alphabet and pronounce them correctly;

2. apply their knowledge of the basics of Greek grammar and word formation; and

3. understand short texts in ancient Greek and translate them into English with the aid of a lexicon.

Assessment methods

1) Students will submit written translations of a short Greek text in Weeks 5, 8, 15 and 18, which will be marked. Translation skills will be practiced in class prior to these dates.

2) In Weeks 3 and 13 students will submit a written translation as their piece of formative assessment.

3) In other weeks, homework will consist of learning vocabulary and grammar, which  will not be formally assessed.

Due to the continuous assessment required for language classes, students must submit one completed Declaration of Authorship form per term. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands