Greek 102 |     Elementary Greek

Why Greek

  1. There are many reasons to study ancient Greek, from an interest in historical linguistics to a personal fascination with ancient culture. The study of Greek has great practical merit as well. To read Greek, you will need to hold a complex system of facts in your head and manipulate these facts with both precision and imagination— a capability useful, even critical, in just about any higher occupation you choose to pursue. Greek students outperform on GRE, LSAT, and MCAT exams, and that is not a surprise.

  2. But most people, rightly, study Greek in order to meet in the original language one or more of the great minds that wrote in Greek. The list is breathtaking: Homer, Hesiod, Sappho, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, to name just a few of the more obvious.

  3. This semester course continues our first semester’s work towards the goal of reading authors in the original Greek. We will continue to accumulate command over the elements of grammar and vocabulary, and by semester’s end we will be reading mostly unadulterated Greek. After finishing the year’s course, you will be prepared to continue reading Greek at the intermediate level (Greek 203), and to read simple prose, from Aesop to the New Testament, more or less independently.


  1. Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek, Book 2. 2nd edition. Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall. Oxford, 2003.

  2. Workbook II to Athenaze. Oxford, 2004.

Class logistics and goals

  1. Class will be a mixture of exercises, Q&A, explanation of new grammatical material, practice in reading, discussion of points of culture. Assignments will typically involve a mix of memorization, reading, written practice. Assignments must be prepared thoroughly prior to each class, since class time will often depend on knowledge gained from the assignment. Our aim will be to finish the substantive part of Athenaze Book 2. In general, we will average about 1 chapter, or slightly more, per week.


Course Overview

William A. Johnson


    Allen 229B

Office hours:

    Wed. 1:15-3:15,
    by chance, by appt.




Teaching Assistant:

    David Stifler

    Office hours: Allen 05,

    hours M 2-3 Th 1-2


Graded Material

  1. Homework & class participation (25%). Attendance at all class meetings is required: if you do not attend, you cannot participate. Written homework will often be collected and graded.

  2. Quizzes (20%) Short quizzes will be given, roughly every week or so. No make-up quizzes will be given; excused absences will result in the quiz not being counted. The lowest quiz score will be dropped.

  3. Hour exams (30%) Two hour tests (15% each) will give you the opportunity to review the material and display your newfound knowledge.

  4. Final examination (25%): Like the hour tests, the final exam will be (necessarily) cumulative.


  1. We are very fortunate to have the luxury of an advanced graduate student to assist with the course, David Stifler. Use his help; that is why he is here. His office hours are Mon. 2-3, Thur. 1-2, in Allen 05 (basement floor at the back of the Allen Building). His email address is David is, in particular, the person to go to when you have questions about the written assignments (which he will typically be grading). My office hours are Wed. 1:15-3:15 or by appt.; do not hesitate to come by.