This course, the first of four, begins Fellows’ journey through Athenaze, the celebrated, graded introduction to ancient Greek from the Oxford University Press. At the end of the fourth course, and the second volume of Athenaze, Fellows will be prepared to make their own way (with the help of a lexicon and reference grammar) through any ancient Greek text: Homeric epic, tragedy, classical philosophy, the Septuagint, New Testament, or the philosophy of later antiquity. That’s 32 weeks to a working knowledge of ancient Greek.

Class begins on Tuesday March 5th, at 5pm Pacific (8pm Eastern), and continues for EIGHT Tuesdays. There will be NO CLASS March 26th, due to Holy Week.

Class meetings will be divided into two “hours” (separated by a ten-minute break), each dealing with one division of the two into which each chapter of Athenaze falls.   Adequate preparation?  Spend an hour in study for each hour in class: recite readings aloud; write out Vocabulary on 3 x 5 cards (Greek on the front, translation on the back), and run through the whole collection once each week; write out English and Greek translations and compare them to the paradigms produced in class;  in all things, note difficulties, RAISE QUESTIONS.

Text: Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall, Athenaze Books I – II, 3rd ed., rev. James Morwood (Oxford University Press, 2016).  Book I (for Introduction to Ancient Greek I and II), ISBN 978-0-19-060766-1.

Text: Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall, Athenaze Books I – II, 3rd ed., rev. James Morwood (Oxford University Press, 2016).  Book I (for Introduction to Ancient Greek I and II), ISBN 978-0-19-060766-1.

Week One, 3/5 (Fellows will prepare Athenaze I, Introduction, pp. xxvi – xxxiv, which will be reviewed in the first hour):

First Hour: Ο ΔΙΚΑΙΟΠΟΛΙΣ (α), “Dicaeopolis” (a): introduction to the main character of Athenaze’s on-going narrative, an Athenian free-holder (ὁ αύτουργός, an independent farmer and citizen) named (with patriotic pride) Dicaeopolis  [“(son of) the just city”]; introduction to the Greek verb, noun and article.


Second Hour: Ο ΔΙΚΑΙΟΠΟΛΙΣ (β), “Dicaeopolis” (b) continues the introductory narrative, with glimpses into the life of an Athenian freeholder; introduction to Greek accents; a reading, Ο ΚΛΗΡΟΣ (“The Farmstead”), and first translations from classical Greek (a fragment of Heraclitus) and the New Testament (Luke).

Week Two, 3/12

First Hour: Ο ΧΑΝΘΙΑΣ (α), “Xanthias” (a), introduces Dicaeopolis’ slave, Xanthias, and begins to explore their (complex) relationship; more on the verb (indicative, present tense; singular person); proclitics, the imperative mood of the verb.


Second Hour: Ο ΧΑΝΘΙΑΣ (β), “Xanthias” (b), narrative of master-slave farm-work continues; cases of adjectives, articles and nouns (singular), uses of the cases, persistent (nouns, adjectives) and recessive (verbs) accent; a reading Ο ΔΟΥΛΟΣ (“The Slave”), translations of a fragment of Callimachus, Luke 3:22.

Week Three, 3/19

First Hour: Ο ΑΡΑΤΟΣ (α), “The Field” (a): Dicaeopolis’ and Xanthias’ at work—freeholder, slave and oxen; verb forms of present indicative and imperative, the present infinitive, in the 3rd person plural.


Second Hour: Ο ΑΡΑΤΟΣ (β), “The Field” (b): the narrative introduces a third character, ὁ φίλιππος—Philip—Dicaeopolis’ adolescent son; complete declensions of articles, adjectives and nouns, rules for change of accent; a reading, ΟΙ ΒΟΕΣ (“Oxen”), and translation of a fragment of Menander and Luke 6:46.

Recess, 3/26 (Tuesday of Holy Week)

Week Four, 4/2

First Hour: ΠΡΟΣ ΤΗΙ ΚΡΗΝΕΙ (α), “To the Spring” (a) introduces Dicaeopolis’ wife, Myrrhine (ἡ Μυρρίνη) and her daughter, Melitta (ἡ Μέλιττα) in their daily trek to fetch water; present active indicative and imperative -ω  and -εω verbs, and the irregular verb εἰμί (“I am”) with their infinitives; Greek declensions, four types of feminine nouns of the 1st declension, feminine adjectives and articles of the 1st declension.


Second Hour: ΠΡΟΣ ΤΗΙ ΚΡΗΝΕΙ (β), “To the Spring” (b): the narrative continues with exchange of news between Myrrhine and others, come to fetch water from the spring; first-declension mascline nouns, second-declension feminine nouns, first- and second-declension adjectives and two irregular adjectives; formation of adverbs, articles as case-indicators; reading, ΑΙ ΓΥΝΑΙΚΕΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΑΝΔΡΑΣ ΠΕΙΘΟΥΣΙΝ (“Women Persuade [their] Men”); translations from the classical author, Callimachus, and Luke 6:45.

Week Five, 4/9

First Hour: Ο ΛΥΚΟΣ (α), “Wolf(!)” (a): as Philip and the farm-dog, ὁ ἄργος (“Argos”) make their way toward the sheepfold, Argos courses a hare and speeds off; Philip and his grandfather pursue . . .; -αω verbs, recessive accent in finite verbs, articles at the beginning of a clause, elision; 


Second Hour: Ο ΛΥΚΟΣ (β), “Wolf(!)” (b): Philip, his grandfather behind, finds Argos baiting a wolf at the sheepfold; dog and boy dispatch the wolf and save the sheep; subject-verb agreement, personal pronouns, attributive and predicative position, possessives, adjective αὐτός, -ή, -ό; reading, Ο ΑΡΓΟΣ ΤΑ ΠΡΟΒΑΤΑ ΣΩΙΖΕΙ (“Argos Saves the Sheep”), translation of a verse from Anacreon and Luke 4:22, 24.

Week Six, 4/16

First Hour: Ο ΜΥΘΟΣ (α),  “The Legend (Myth)” (a): Myrrhine tells Melitta the tale of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur; uncontracted -εω verb πλέω, voice of the Greek verb, conjugation of middle voice verbs, deponents.


Second Hour: Ο ΜΥΘΟΣ (β),  “The Legend (Myth)” (b): Myrrhine completes the tale, but declines to tell how Theseus and Ariadne parted; changes of meaning with changes from active to middle voice, some uses of the dative case, prepositions; reading, Ο ΘΕΣΕΥΣ ΤΗΝ ΑΡΙΑΔΝΗΝ ΚΑΤΑΛΕΙΠΕΙ (“Theseus Abandons Ariadne”); translation of Hipponax (?) “On Marriage,” Luke 13: 10 – 16.

Week Seven, 4/23

First Hour: Ο ΚΥΚΛΩΨ (α), “The Cyclops” (a): denied the telling of Theseus and Ariadne, Melitta begs another myth; Myrrhine demurs (she has in mind to prepare dinner), but Philip takes up the tale of Odysseus and the Cyclops; substantive use of adjectives, noun declensions, 3rd-declension nouns with stems in γ, κ, χ (velars) and δ, θ, τ (dentals), reflexive pronouns.


Second Hour: Ο ΚΥΚΛΩΨ (β), “The Cyclops” (b): Melitta finds the tale of the Cyclops unsettling, but hears it through, rejoicing in the cleverness of Odysseus; 3rd-declension nouns with nasal (ν), labial (β, π, φ), and liquid (λ, ρ) stems; 2rd-declension adjective σώφρων, σῶφρον (sound-minded, prudent); interrogative and indefinite pronouns, adjectives; reading Ο ΤΟΥ ΘΗΣΕΩΣ ΠΑΤΗΡ ΑΠΟΘΝΗΙΣΚΕΙ (“Theseus Kills his Father”), translations of fragments from Sophocles, Thales.

Week Eight, 4/30

First Hour: ΠΡΟΣ ΤΟ ΑΣΤΥ (α), “To the City” [τὸ ἄστυ: the citadel, the walled stronghold of the Athenian state] (a): Myrrhine and Melitta persuade a weary Dicaeopolis to attend the festival of Dionysius in the city of Athens; present and middle participles, translations—a fragment from Archilochus, Luke 5: 20 – 21.


Second Hour: ΠΡΟΣ ΤΟ ΑΣΤΥ (β), “To the City” (b): The country folk arrive in the city; 3rd-declension stems in ρ, the irregular nouns ἡ γυνή, τῆς γυναικός (woman, wife), ἡ χείρ, τῆς χειρός (hand), 1st/3rd declension adjective πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν (all, every, whole); translation of an apothegm from Periander of Corinth; Greek numerals, expressions of time: when, duration, time within which; reading, Ο ΟΔΥΣΣΕΥΣ ΚΑΙ Ο ΑΙΟΛΟΣ (“Odysseus and Aeolus”); translation of a lyric from Sappho. 

About Instructor

Steven Cortright

Steven A. Cortright is a Professor in the Philosophy Department and Integral Program at St. Mary’s College of California where he has been teaching since 1977. A graduate of St. Mary’s College himself and the University of Notre Dame, Professor Cortright is the founding president of the Albertus Magnus Institute.

5 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 8 Lessons
  • Course Certificate