ancient greek lexicon and grammar
March 6, 2005 7:57 PM   Subscribe

Language-filter: I'm looking for a no-nonsense ancient greek lexicon and grammar... any suggestions? [MI]

I'm aware of the perseus project and what-not, but would prefer something similar in book format. Thanks!
posted by Frankieist to Writing & Language (8 answers total)
 
One added caveat: Since I know next-to-nothing about ancient greek, it can't be written with an assumption of basic knowledge. I'd prefer something academic and thorough though over "teach yourself x..."
posted by Frankieist at 8:06 PM on March 6, 2005


You're asking for two different things, really. The Cambridge Reading Greek series will get you started; then get a used copy of the abridged Liddell & Scott from abebooks or similar, or use the online lexica, texts and other tools.
posted by riviera at 8:58 PM on March 6, 2005


Which variant: Attica, Koine, Homeric? I'll assume the first. Hansen & Quinn seemed decent when I browsed through it. Here's a resource.
posted by Gyan at 9:00 PM on March 6, 2005


If you really want academic and thorough, Smyth's grammar is the one to use. Really, though, I wouldn't recommend trying to learn the language from it — it's much better as a reference, but it is the only reference grammar you'll need.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:05 PM on March 6, 2005


You're going to have an easier time with Ancient Greek if you've had at least a little Latin first--getting comfortable with an inflected language using a recognizable alphabet is a big help. That said, I've used several books over the years to study Ancient Greek and by far, the best one I've found for absolute beginners is An Introduction to Greek by Crosby and Schaeffer. It's still in print and can be found at Amazon and even Borders stores. There is an active Ancient Greek study list with a groups using Athenaze, Hansen & Quinn, a koine text and even doing Homeric. There are any number of summer Classics programs you might want to investigate as well. As for grammars, Smyth is the be all and end all, but it's most useful for students with more experience. Oxford has recently released a slimmer but comprehensive grammar that might be more acessible. However, a text like Crosby and Schaeffer will have all the reference to grammar you'll need for quite a while. Good luck.
posted by gsh at 9:52 PM on March 6, 2005


If you wouldn't mind an old book, try Textkit. They have scanned old Greek and Latin school text books, converted them to PDFs, and posted them for downloading.

These are not OCR-scanned files, they are graphics (one per scanned page, all assembled in a PDF), so if you use these you will want to print them, not use the electronic versions.
posted by pracowity at 8:26 AM on March 7, 2005


If you really want academic and thorough, Smyth's grammar is the one to use. Really, though, I wouldn't recommend trying to learn the language from it — it's much better as a reference, but it is the only reference grammar you'll need.

Yes! I can't imagine trying to learn Greek this way, although I guess it's possible. I used the Athenaze books to learn Greek, and I thought they were pretty good. After that, I used the Liddell and Scott lexicon and Smyth's grammar.

If you want to do things in the impress-your-friends style, though, there's nothing more gnarly than to start your study of Ancient Greek with Denniston's "The Greek Particles." It's six-hundred pages plus entirely about the Greek particles, of which there are like three. As my college Greek professor said admiringly, "Now that's scholarship!" After you're done with that, why, the sky's the limit. You'll see the payoff almost immediately -- nearly every sentence will have at least (at most?) one word you recognize.
posted by MarkAnd at 12:09 PM on March 7, 2005


Thanks for the responses, I picked up Scott & Lidell's lexicon, The Smyth Grammar, An Introduction to Greek by Crosby and Schaeffer, and Ancient Greek (2 vols) by Ellis. Now I just need to find the time to get through this stuff!
posted by Frankieist at 3:54 PM on March 8, 2005


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