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.
Term Starts: 13th January
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
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.
All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.
There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information.
Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.
If you are planning to purchase books, remember that courses with too few students enrolled will be cancelled. The Department accepts no responsibility for books bought in anticipation of a course.
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.
Course Fee: £370.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support