Textkit Logo

Why not H. W. Smyth as beginners textbook?

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.

Why not H. W. Smyth as beginners textbook?

Postby peripatein1 » Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:44 pm

Why may H. W. Smyth not be used as a textbook for auto-didactique beginners?

I am studying ancient greek so I may analayse and translate ancient authors. Particularly Aristoteles and the Septuagint.
In general, I am looking for a highly thorough textbook which will cover most requisite.

Forogot to mention: I particularly dislike online books.
Last edited by peripatein1 on Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:25 pm

Postby swiftnicholas » Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:44 pm

Smyth's book is a reference grammar; there's an electronic copy posted here on Textkit, so you can browse through before purchasing it, or even use the electronic copy instead of purchasing it. I think the suggestion is that you obtain an introductory textbook---an Introduction to Attic Greek if Aristotle is your goal. This type of book will be organized as a series of lessons, introducing grammatical information and vocabulary progressively, with exercises designed for each lesson, and short dictionary designed especially for that textbook. It might even provide a concise reference grammar. Perhaps somebody else could recommend a good Attic book---I think there is a recent thread regarding that issue.

Regarding the Septuagint: It is a peculiar Greek, being a rather literal translation from the Hebrew. Once you have finished an introductory Attic textbook, you could move easily to the LXX, noting the peculiarities as exceptions. Conybeare and Stock's "Selections from the Septuagint" explains those peculiarities and provides selctions with notes, but it assumes that you have studied Greek previously. It is also available for free on Textkit.

Here are two resources for LXX studies when you're ready:

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/gopher/text/r ... /lxxmorph/

This site provides grammatical analysis and the root for each word in the LXX.


This site provides some resources for LXX, including some short reading passages with notes.

Welcome to the forum. I wish I had discovered it earlier. It will save you some headaches for sure. Good luck!
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:04 pm
Location: New York

Postby Skylax » Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:45 pm

Ouch ! Aristoteles doesn't seem very suited for beginners (or work better with a translation at your side), for Aristoteles' text reflects mainly his oral teaching : what are left to us are notes taken by his pupils !
User avatar
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 672
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 8:18 am
Location: Belgium

Postby Emma_85 » Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:56 pm

there's a free textbook that teaches attic greek here, it's White's First Greek Book (http://www.textkit.com/learn/ID/105/author_id/39/)
User avatar
Global Moderator
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:11 am

You know how you yourself learn languages far better than I do. Just, before you spend any money, look at Smyth on the internet (via Textkit or Perseus), and look at some of Aristotle's stuff on Perseus as well. Also look at some other textbook options - it can not hurt, after all, to know what else is on the market. And if even after doing all the research you still think Smyth fits your purposes best, by all means go ahead. You control your own education.
User avatar
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:37 am
Location: Mountain View

Postby Bert » Wed Jan 26, 2005 12:23 am

You say you want a highly thorough textbook.
Smyth is a highly thorough book but it is not a textbook.
I would recommend that you get a textbook with lessons and exercises etc. and get Smyth so that you can look things up if you want more information than the textbook gives you.
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1890
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 2:28 am
Location: Arthur Ontario Canada

Return to Learning Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 80 guests