Favorite Greek Textbooks?

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ThatLanguageGuy
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Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by ThatLanguageGuy » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:29 pm

What are your guys favorite Ancient Greek textbooks?

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Dante
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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by Dante » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:50 pm

Mastronarde.

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Sofronios
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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by Sofronios » Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:37 am

JACT.. wont be bad.. long sentence, repetitive.. yes we need that.. not flawless but still many advantages..
use mastronarde if you can follow him, I cant.. greek is not for the dumb they say
ὁ δὲ εἶπε· πῶς γὰρ ἂν δυναίμην, ἐὰν μή τις ὁδηγήσῃ με;
Qui ait : Et quomodo possum, si non aliquis ostenderit mihi ?

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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by rmedinap » Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:26 pm

I'll basically post what I've already answered elsewhere.


1) I've already reviewed Prof. Zuntz's Griechischer Lehrgang, which I consider to be the best method for Greek available and pointed out its flaws in the mentioned review and in other posts where I suggested many other materials. Although it is not stricto sensu a graded reader it can be perfectly used as such, it has the advantage of containing almost only "real Greek" instead of the "home-grown" or "home-made" Greek that Professor Zuntz so despised. Its Grammatical companion and vocabulary are of exceptional help and its proposed exercises do provide the perfect opportunity and encouragement to engage in the reading and comprehension questions I mentioned, as well as composition and review. Its only flaw (in my humble opinion) is that it's still too attached to the old "grammatical-analysis" method or at least it can prove very tempting to fall into that nightmarish methodology or its evil twin the "translation method". That aside the lack of an answers sheet can prove disturbing to the self-taught learners.

2) I've also already praised the Italian version of the Athenaze in the mentioned review and post (The original English version has been so thoroughly surpassed by the Italian version that I cannot conceive of any reason to consult it other than the inability to read Italian, the English Workbooks however do offer some utility). It is by far the best (although still not perfect) implementation of the Nature Method for the teaching of Greek, it's comparable to Ørberg's Lingua Latīna per sē illūstrāta in depth, quality and friendliness to the pupil. Along with its exercise books, it forms a very good learner's package, it includes a summary of the grammar and each chapter has an Enchiridion (or explanation), exercises and a vocabulary. It does lack an answer's sheet, but the only real flaw that it may have is that a great deal of the first volume is not "original Greek", that must be admitted, but in defence of the books I call not only on Prof. Miraglia's thorough knowledge of Greek but on the expertise, experience and unrivalled competence of the people who revised and corrected Miraglia's Greek, among others: Prof. Dr. Herwig Görgemanns and Prof. Enrico Renna. The second volume is practically an anthology of original Greek so Prof. Zuntz's criticisms of "home-grown" Greek do not apply.

3) Peckett & Munday's Thrasymachus: A New Greek Course has already been reviewed by Prof. Zuntz in the articles quoted below, so I omit further comment other than the praise on its (at the time, unequalled) innovatory conception, it has been surpassed by the Athenaze.

4) The celebrated Reading Greek of the Joint Association of Classical Teachers. It was this book's popularity which ultimately defeated Prof. Zuntz's attempts to publish his method in England and forced him to seek better luck elsewhere. Its a very, very good reader and method. It has the unrivalled advantage of being a living and thriving project so its under constant revision and edition. It has a very holistic approach best represented by its Independent Study Guide or its companion volume The World of Athens. It is the only other reader that can compete with Athenaze in its vividness and natural proclivity to be used according to the principles of the Nature Method. More thorough reviews of the method and its parts are available here, here, here, here, and here.

If Athenaze can claim that it passed Prof. Görgemanns' punctilious examination, Reading Greek answers that the legendary Prof. Kenneth J. Dover is responsible for a great deal of the Greek text. So like with Athenaze I believe Prof. Zuntz's reticence of "home-grown" Greek would be uncalled for in this case.
_____________________

Other materials (although not precisely textbooks) I've already recommended here, I copy again:

I recommend Menge's Repetitorium der griechischen Syntax. The whole book is actually a series of German phrases to be translated into Greek, and questions regarding Grammar with an exhaustive and detailed answer's section (the one thing that both the Lehrgang and the Italian Athenaze lack). The one defect of this book is that is very demanding and (if you do not read Greek constantly) dull and oft-times boring. From the 10th edition onwards, the Repetitorium includes a supplement by Jürgen Wiesner on particles, it is very thorough and illustrative with an impresive variety of examples, it is not theoretic like Denniston's Greek Patricles and is far more student friendly and straightforward, I have not found a better tool for the study of particles. Denniston (and Dover for that matter) may be unsurpassed in their knowledge and expertise of the Greek language but I simply cannot conceive a pupil (much less a beginner) actually consulting the Greek Particles to his advantage if he does not have previously a very good command of the subject.

Another great tool for composition (far more beginners-friendly than the Repetitorium) are the two volumes written by Herwig Görgemanns, Manuel Baumbach & Helga Köhler:

Griechische Stilübungen I. Übungsbuch zur Formenlehre und Kasussyntax

Griechische Stilübungen II. Übungsbuch zur Verbalsyntax und Satzlehre

Like Menge's book, these two have answers sections, reasonably short but explicative (they also register other possible correct solutions or variations of the correct answer) and actually explain why something is right or wrong. They refer always to two Greek Grammars in their explanations:

1) Hans Zinsmeister's Griechische Grammatik I: Griechische Laut- und Formenlehre and Hans Lindemann & Hans Färber's Griechische Grammatik II: Satzlehre, Dialektgrammatik und Metrik. It is a very good and practical grammar, made with the University student in mind, pays special attention to linguistic phenomena.

2) Eduard Bornemann & Ernst Risch's Griechische Grammatik. Is the official grammar used everywhere in Germany to teach Greek. Very reliable and direct, is not exhaustive but still is detailed enough to make it the basic reference grammar for beginners.

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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by pdenisowski » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:18 am

Call me old fashioned, but I like White's First Greek Book and an Introduction to Greek by Crosby and Schaeffer. Athenaze and JACT are nice as well, but I really like the older Greek and Latin textbooks.

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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by okrad » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:53 am

Mastronarde. I want to try JACT, though. Does JACT have an answer key?

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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:12 pm

rmedinap wrote:I'll basically post what I've already answered elsewhere.
So, for those people who would prefer not to learn Italian or German first, what would be the best resources in English? From what you've written (although it's a bit difficult to ferret out) you would say JACT and Athenaze (and, yes, we know the English Athenaze is vastly inferior to it's Italian cousin)?
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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by daivid » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:21 am

I loved John Taylor's Greek to GCSE part 1 because he took everything in baby steps. New words were introduced in groups of 8 and given plenty of examples so I remembered them. The grammar in a similar way was carefully reinforced before moving to the next stage.

In Part 2 the pace rapidly increased and so it didn't work as well.

His beyond GCSE he so skimped on the examples that I was completely lost.

The only advanced book that doesn't have that problem of rushing things is Claxton's Attica. I do have problems with the method - it is ultra grammar translation - but it is an especially well done implementation of that method.
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rmedinap
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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by rmedinap » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:48 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:So, for those people who would prefer not to learn Italian or German first, what would be the best resources in English? From what you've written (although it's a bit difficult to ferret out) you would say JACT and Athenaze (and, yes, we know the English Athenaze is vastly inferior to it's Italian cousin)?
Sorry for the late answer, I hadn't seen your post.

Yep. Basically JACT and Athenaze (you can perfectly read the English version or just the instructions and grammar explanations and still read the Greek text of the Italian edition, the grammar subjects remain pretty much the same, there's just more Greek text and the ørbergian layout). There's also Peckett & Munday's Thrasymachus.

And there's an English translation of Zuntz's Lehrgang but it's almost impossible to find.
okrad wrote:Does JACT have an answer key?


Yes, yes it does. Look at the link I posted above.

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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:21 pm

rmedinap wrote:
Sorry for the late answer, I hadn't seen your post.
S'right, not in a hurry! :D
Yep. Basically JACT and Athenaze (you can perfectly read the English version or just the instructions and grammar explanations and still read the Greek text of the Italian edition, the grammar subjects remain pretty much the same, there's just more Greek text and the ørbergian layout). There's also Peckett & Munday's Thrasymachus.


Yes, yes it does. Look at the link I posted above.
Thanks for the clarification. The last time I taught elementary Greek, I used the venerable Crosby & Schaeffer combined with Athenaze. It was interesting and quite fun.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by madhg » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:45 pm

I very much like the second edition of Carl A. P. Ruck's "Ancient Greek: a new approach", MIT Press.

I haven't seen the 1st edition; the 2nd ed. (1979) says that it has been changed a lot "both to offer more help to the self-learner and to make the text usable not only as a beginning method but also as a review book for more advanced students".

I am a relative beginner, self-studying over this summer, and it's the first book I've used since schooldays long ago. I like:
  • the logical way that new concepts are introduced
  • the horizontal approach, as he calls it, where you first learn the nom. sing., then the accusative case in all declensions, and then another case and so on. Less daunting and easier to learn, for me at least, than starting with a table of all cases and numbers for one declension.
  • the exercises: a large number for each chapter (or lesson as he calls them), well-designed for beginning learners, imaginative, various different types of exercise, including some aimed at reviewing material from earlier lessons.
I found a copy in my university library, and after a week or two, decided to buy it. It's available second-hand at reasonable prices in the USA, more expensive when shipped to the UK, but worth it.

Not found anything to dislike yet, except that there's no key to the exercises as far as I know. But then there's a learned and very helpful community on this site! For which I am very grateful.

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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by madhg » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:09 pm

Well, I have to confess that as I get further into Ruck's book, I'm finding it more difficult. Having read good things about the JACT from various sources (including this forum, and the fact that the UK Open University beginning Greek course uses it), I plan to switch to that, and keep Ruck as a higher-level book.

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Re: Favorite Greek Textbooks?

Post by Aetos » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:32 pm

Hi David,
Like yourself, I'm a retiree who is attempting to recover his knowledge of ancient Greek and would very much like to know what specifically you found difficult in Ruck. The book is not locally available, so I don't have the opportunity to have a look at it.

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