GREEK 101 A: Introductory Greek

Meeting Time: 
MTWThF 1:30pm - 2:20pm
DEN 113
Olga Levaniouk

Syllabus Description:

GREEK 101: FIRST YEAR GREEK                                                          Fall 2017


Monday-Friday 1:30-2:20, Denny 113


Olga Levaniouk                         Denny M262B

Dept. of Classics phone: 206 543-2266

Office hour:  Thursday 2:30-3:20pm and by appointment


First year Ancient Greek courses give you direct access to the thoughts and writings of the ancient Greeks and allow you to the explore cultural, social and political world in which they wrote. Learning to interpret and use an ancient language requires you to think in new ways: both the language itself and the texts written in it are products of a world very different from ours. Our focus is on Greek as a literary language. Course activities are designed to foster a collegial and collaborative atmosphere and to encourage you to make strong connections between the ancient language and literature we are exploring together and your other interests, passions and pursuits.


Course Goals:

  • Analyze, explain, and apply Greek grammar and syntax
  • Read and translate selections from ancient Greek authors and compose simple sentences in Greek.
  • Understand and explain the literary, historical and cultural context of texts by ancient Greek authors.
  • By completing the first year sequence (101-102-103) you equip yourself to read any Greek author. In our second year courses (304, 305, 306, 307) students read selections of Xenophon (305), Plato (306), and Homer (307), and other authors (304).


Required texts

  • Anne Groton: From Alpha to Omega (abbreviated as ΑΩ in what follows)

    • Only the fourth edition should be used. This book explains Greek grammar and syntax and contains many short readings from ancient Greek authors.
  • Anne Groton and James May, 46 Stories in Classical Greek
  • recommended free on-line Greek dictionary:

Grades will be calculated on the basis of the following percentages:

-completion of homework assignments and in-class exercises                        30%

Homework and in class activities includes: maintenance of a well-organized notebook, preparation of translations, exercises in which you compose sentences in Greek; and other assignments as noted on the syllabus or distributed during the term

-four quizzes             (Friday of week 2, 4, 6 and 8)                                             40%

-final exam                Monday, December 11, 2:30-4:20                                      30%

Course overview:

 In the first two quarters of Greek you will learn the noun declensions and the present, future, imperfect, aorist, and perfect tenses in the active and middle/passive. You will learn Greek’s system of participles: the active, middle and passive participles of the present, future, aorist and perfect tenses. You will begin to work with various kinds of subordinate clauses to construct complex sentences. In Greek 103 in the Spring you will learn to use the subjunctive and optative to talk about situations that are not factual. This will allow you to master many more types of subordinate clauses and construct every type of complex sentence possible in Greek. You will encounter some highly irregular (and frequently used) verbs and become familiar with their peculiar habits. Throughout the year we will continue reading texts in Greek, gradually progressing to more complex texts and towards increased independence in reading them. By the end of the year, you will have the basics of Greek grammar under your belts and will be ready to read Greek literature in the original.

            All quizzes and the final are cumulative.  They will include passages for translation, grammatical analysis, and literary and cultural commentary. I will strive to communicate clearly exactly what materials the quizzes and the final will cover. Please ask if anything is unclear.

            We will read short additional texts from Groton and May’s 46 Stories and some extra texts brought in the instructor, and occasionally do other activities that provide an opportunity to stretch ourselves in Greek. These are aimed to strengthen the foundations of those who plan further study of Greek and provide an interesting platform for discussion for everyone without adding lots of agonizing about mastering additional materials for exams.

            My goal is for everyone to succeed in having a satisfying and enlightening encounter with the riches of ancient Greek language and civilization. If there are things I can do to help you advance toward this goal, I will do them. At any point during the term you are welcome to bring ideas to me about how make this course more effective and you likewise are urged to contact me for help if things are getting unmanageable or if you just want to check in.


Students taking Greek at UW in 2017 want you to know ...

Ancient Greek is fun because it is like a code (with its own alphabet) and when you decipher it there are so many more levels of connotation and meaning to texts originally written in Greek -- like the Iliad!

-Computer Science and Math major

 Ancient Greek gives you a window to explore western civilization in a new way by introducing you to to influential authors, interesting etymologies, and terms, ideas, and stories that have lasted thousands of years.

-Classics and Drama major

 Learning Ancient Greek is like learning a musical instrument. It takes a lot of consistent practice, but you'll find it's worth every minute. Even now, more than 2000 years later, you can still feel the impact the Greeks have made on our world.

-Computer Science major

 I am taking Greek and Latin because it allows me to use a different part of my brain than my biology classes. ... On top of that, the Classics faculty are some of the most helpful and approachable people on campus so they make learning these challenging languages enjoyable and rewarding,

-Classics, History and Biology major

I studied Greek to be able to read the New Testament, but I became fascinated with how Greeks approached the world. So much of what we think and how we think starts with the Greeks, something you can only appreciate by studying the language.

Catalog Description: 
An intensive study of grammar, with reading and writing of simple Attic prose. First in a sequence of three. Offered: A.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
November 14, 2017 - 9:14pm