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Getting started on ancient Greek
Getting started on ancient Greek

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Welcome to Getting started on ancient Greek. This free course offers a taster of the ancient Greek world through the study of one of its most distinctive and enduring features: its language.

This introduction will give you a brief historical overview to the Greek language. You will then start your study of the language by learning the alphabet. Sessions 1 to 3 introduce you to the letters, tackling them through a combination of reading, speaking, listening and writing.

Session 4 reinforces the first three sections by turning the focus onto whole words. It also asks you to reflect upon the influence that some of these words have exerted upon the English language.

Sessions 5 to 7 dip a toe into the waters of Greek grammar, especially the use of word endings, a device that plays a more central role in Greek than English.

Session 8 looks back upon the course, ties up some loose ends, and looks ahead, asking what it is like to study Greek in greater depth.

Along the way you will meet examples of Greek from the ancient world, including: a snippet from a Platonic dialogue, the genealogy of a Spartan king, a dedication by Alexander the Great from a temple in Turkey, Greek writing on pottery and coins, a law code from Crete and two boundary stones from Athens. Accompanying images will introduce you to Greek as it was actually written in the ancient world, which can differ in interesting respects from the standardised Greek familiar today.

We hope you enjoy the course.