Looking for Ancient Greek resources

Hello everyone,

I took some advice I found on another thread and have begun importing ancient Greek lessons into the Esperanto slot. Now I’m on the hunt for as much beginner / intermediate material I can find, preferably with English translations. The first text I’m importing are the exercises from Hansen and Quinn’s Greek: An Intensive Course as a private lesson.

I’m considering typing up “first reader” type texts from old, out of copyright materials that have been scanned from Google books (ex: Charles M. Moss’ A First Greek Reader A First Greek Reader with Notes and Vocabulary - Charles Melville Moss - Google Livres). My question is two-fold: 1) are there others here with easy/intermediate ancient Greek content they would like to share with me, and would anyone like to start a project typing in out of copyright materials? I’d love to have more texts to work with, while waiting for lingq to launch an Ancient Greek slot.

(Being new to this community, I hope everything I’m asking is kosher!)

gregf, the following thread starts out w/ Latin but also discusses Greek. The 6th posting lists resources for Greek as well as Latin, including another discussion in the LingQ forums, w/ links. http://www.lingq.com/forum/1/15084/

There are several discussions on this subj. in the forums, although we tend to repeat ourselves. Do a search for Greek, and you’ll find some more.

Great subj., BTW. I should be studying Attic Greek soon, FWIW, to catch up to my brother who is studying now as a beginner, so I may take you up on the typing. (But typing in in Greek, is slow going, espec. at first, so I wouldn’t start w/ too long a selection.) Polytonic Greek has umpteen ways for inputting, storing, and displaying. That’s a discussion “typists” should have, so that the materials can be shared. How are you doing it (computer, font, code page, etc.)

Best of success!

More intermeditate material for ancient Greek:

  1. Here is the index to the Chambry Greek edition of Aesop’s fables:


There are 358 fables in total, and they can be copied and pasted into LingQ. It is not clear, by the way, that Chandry’s version is out of copyright (published 1925/26). There are no sound files associated with these fables.

  1. Geoffrey Steadman has published several books of selected or complete Greek works that include text and vocabulary side by side on the same page.* You can buy the books rather inexpensively from Amazon or you can download the pdf’s of the books from Steadman’s website. The name of the website consists of his name in full (no space) dot com. The text of the downloaded pdf can be copied and pasted into LingQ; or at least the pdf for Herodotos Book I can be. You must be able to read English to get much benefit from Steadman’s books.
  • In fact, not ALL the vocabulary comes side by side with the text. Words that appear very frequently in the work are listed, with definitions, in an appendix and also in whatever you would call an appendix that appears in the beginning of a book. (prependix?)
  1. Evan Hayes and Stephen Nimis have also published a series of Greek texts that have vocabulary and notes side by side with the Greek. (I have begun work on their “Lucian’s On the Syrian Goddess.”) Two more works of Lucian and one by Plutarch are in the series. The Perseus version of “On the Syrian Goddess” can be used to upload the Greek into LingQ. The works can be downloaded as pdf’s, as well, but I have not figured out how to do that. I think maybe you have to email the authors, but since the text is freely available from Perseus, I haven’t bothered.

I should add that I purchased all of the works of Hayes and Nimis that I mention above. They too are available from Amazon. I also bought Steadman’s “Herodotus Book I” from Amazon. No sound files with any of them, unfortunately.

The works of Steadman and of Hayes and Nimis are a bit rough and ready. They’ve used no formal editing apparatus, so errors slip in. Their readers apprise them of their mistakes, and they all three are rather quick to make corrections, at least to the pdf’s.

  1. Don’t forget the pages of the University of Texas, which contain selections and running vocabulary:


Steadman, Hayes and Nimis, the relevant staff of the University of Texas, as well as Laura Gibbs, who worked the website for Aesop’s Fables, are pioneers of sorts* in this endeavor, and deserve the equivalent of Oscars or at least Pulitzer Prizes for the gargantuan amount of work they have put into their projects and for the extremely learner-friendly results.

Again, it must be said, these resources are only for folks who understand English.

  1. Maybe off-topic, because ancient Greek drama is certainly not Beginner or Intermediate stuff, but here are three performances on Youtube of ancient Greek plays:

Prometheus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYKiKvRbYUM
Euripides’ Alcestis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmA6z2YAeLE
Sophocles’ Electra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAO53cXDtyY

And one reading, but without video, of Aeschylos’ Prometheus:

I listened long enough to all four performances to ascertain they were indeed in the ancient Greek. I did not listen to any of them all the way through, so you’re on your own. Obviously, you don’t need to know English for these resources.

  1. You need to know some French to benefit from “Hodoi elektronikai,” a kind of French Perseus with readings in Greek, vocabulary lists and other learning aides:


I spotted, roughly speaking, a 100 or so authors. Quite an impressive site, really.

Wonderful, thank both for your comments. I had indeed read most (if not all) the Ancient Greek threads here on lingq, which was the impetus behind me signing up in the first place. However, beyond many many scanned books and intermediate texts (ie. not copy-and-pastable), I was having difficulties finding things I didn’t have to type in myself.

I’m about half-way through Hansen and Quinn’s textbook, so I’m still working through relatively elementary material, but I think the Aesop fables might be manageable. The next step, of course, are the Steadman books, which look wonderful.

Though I’ve heard quite a few people say one should just jump right into a “real” text, and so I think I’ll import the Anabasis book by book from Perseus (I also have a Loeb edition). I’m looking forward to the day when we can actually share these things as lessons! Perhaps we’ll set off a wave of “Greek Immersion” materials, similar to what Latin seems to have underwent over the past decade or so… :slight_smile:

You’re welcome.

I was having difficulties finding things I didn’t have to type in myself.

donhamiltontx has pretty well covered things, espec. w/ the Perseus project. Here are a few more notes.

bibliotheca Augustana , for instance look in the Bibliotheca Graeca for authors that interest you.

This has some good pointers: https://sites.google.com/site/ancienttexts/Home

The marvelous HODOI site that donhamiltontx mentioned features some similar, related sites–all in French, however. I think they can be found from here: ITINERA ELECTRONICA . They put out an irregularly issued e-mail in French listing additions to the site–mostly new texts, or new translations; if you’re interested, I’ll find a copy and send it to you.

If you wish to type in texts, some of the “readers” listed here have simple material that would be a good place to start: Spiphanies: Greek readers . The same goes for “Greek Readers” listed here: edonnelly.com - Great Books on G'Oogle and Internet Pharrchive .

Jumping into a “real” text could work, but it may be very hard to keep going w/ so much material unknown to you–no matter how assiduously you’ve worked to prepare yourself. The easy readers are a good substitute if Xenophon (or whoever) turns out to be just too much work at first.

Thanks again for the information. You’re right, there is plenty of original material that is easily accessible online (especially with Perseus), but I’m not finding a lot of A1-B2 materials beyond pdf’s of 19th century readers I would have to retype. For the moment I’ve found a site with what appears to be most of the sentences from the JACT course Reading Greek, and I’ve started to import that, while using my print copy as a dictionary to enter lingq’s.

My plan is to work through Hansen and Quinn and the Reading Greek book (plus the French Assimil with the audio) in this way, before moving on to Steadman’s books and other original texts with comments and glossaries. Once one makes it through an introductory textbook, and thereby acquiring the concomitant vocabulary/grammar, there appears to be more than enough things to read and import…

Maybe typing is the thing for you, then. I bet any kind of OCR would require a VERY clear copy, as the diacritical marks are so small; maybe that’s why there isn’t much plain text online. There are a few brief texts here: Greek Reading Exercises , and here http://www.cornellcollege.edu/classical_studies/ariadne/readings/index.shtml , but the latter you’ll have to edit a bit, as there’s English mixed in with some of the passages. Should I find any more, I’ll pass them on.

The Athenaze texts are much like Reading Greek in their simplicity, and they’re of graded difficulty; you might want to take a look, if you haven’t already.

Your plan sounds good. Provided that you keep going, it should work just fine.

How are you typing all this in–what operating system are you using, what font, etc.? Years ago when I studied Greek online, I used the sgreek scheme, but maybe Unicode would be better . . . There is this, for text entry (it’s unicode based): http://www.quasillum.com/software/unicorn.htm It works well on Windows and Macs, and was written by the man who “hosts” these lists: Latin & Greek Study Groups . It’s JAVA, so it’s not blazingly fast, but that hardly matters for text entry.

If you’re not subscribed already, you may wish to join the Greek list (above). The people are awfully nice, you can ask questions about things that are a problem for you, and when the drudgery becomes especially wearing, their similar struggles can help inspire you to keep plugging ahead.

As I said, I’ll restart Greek one of these days (as soon as I can muster the will); anything good I find or type in, I’ll let you know about.

For typing I’ve found that just activating the Greek Polytonic keyboard on both Mac and Windows has worked flawlessly on a host of programs: firefox, open office, word, etc. All immediately recognize Greek characters when I switch the keyboard, no need to install any fonts or anything like that. (That said, I have installed the SBL Greek font for reading on screen and printing, but only because I found it attractive).

I did print out this pdf file http://www.logos.com/media/support/logos_bible_software_keyboard_layout_greek_polytonic.pdf and have managed to learn to type relatively quickly (though the iota subscript still gives me some problems). I’m still not fast enough to want to try typing in lots of native material, but I’m pretty good at making anki cards and typing in sentences here and there.

Reading Greek from JACT turns out to be a better resource the more time I spend with it. I’ve heard their grammar book is pretty poor, but I’ve found that doing the first 7 or 8 chapters of Hansen and Quinn has allowed me to fly through the first few chapters of Reading Greek. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants beginning/intermediate material. Coupled with their book on Greek culture and history (The World of Athens), the readings are a wonderful way to learn Greek history alongside the language.

Great to find someone else who is interested in communicative approach to learning Ancient Greek. My special interest is Koine.

I have yet to hunt down all the links listed above, but in my past extensive searches for material, I have only found material written at too high of a level. Even the simplest books (Rouse’s “Greek Boy at Home”) assume a student is coming in with a) a full grasp of Latin and b) a Greek teacher who is teaching grammar lessons concurrently with reading the story. There are some other good texts out there (Peckett’s Thrasymachus or Saphhire’s Greek Alive), but again they are all at a level far above beginning level.

My conclusion is that new, beginning level Ancient Greek material needs to be written, not found.

For my classes this year, I have been teaching using TPR, TPRS, and WAYK. I have found it necessary to compose my own stories. That was a HUGE chore at first, but is getting much easier.

I just joined LingQ because I wanted to evaluate whether this would be a good platform for posting Ancient Greek materials. I have only looked at one lesson so far. What is your opinion? Would this platform work for Ancient Greek? If I use the LingQ system some more and become convinced that it would work, I’d be interested in helping with writing and audio taping material. But I need to be convinced this is a good format for the effort.

Looking forward to your reply.

Welcome to the community Pnitz! I’m in a bit of a strange position, having learned a lot about second language acquisition and having taught German in a classroom setting using TPR-based materials, and yet starting out with Ancient Greek using what is effectively a grammar-translation based approach (Hansen and Quinn’s Intensive Greek). That’s why I’m looking forward to participating in Christophe Rico’s summer program in Rome in July, to see the effect of being taught with such methods first hand. (I learned German and French in more traditional classroom settings, and lived and studied in both France and Germany for a number of years.)

As for this website, I’m coming to the conclusion that LingQ is almost the best possible platform I might find for learning on my own with what is essentially a text-based approach. I’d love to have more audio to work with, but even with only the textual tools, I find that I’m retaining vocabulary and learning patterns in a way I never had before. I’m even considering posting something about it over at Textkit, inviting users there to come over here to work on Latin and Greek, but I’m a little hesitant considering that Greek still isn’t even a “beta” language. In the meantime I’ve been importing a number of materials into the Esperanto slot, but they’re all private so as not to gunk up the system. If you’d like me to email you with short texts to import, occasionally linked with audio, please let me know. If Ancient Greek becomes an official beta language, I already have a number of things to make public.

It would be wonderful to have a thriving classical language community here on LingQ: obviously the more people participating, the better a social network like this system functions. There seems to be an enormous amount of Latin material out there for importing, but I think you may be right, Greek may need to be made by ourselves. We could start simply by having someone read aloud easy materials, but first we’d have to agree as to what pronunciation system to use. :wink: I’m a big fan of reconstructed Attic, but I’ve come to the conclusion that anyone wanting Ancient Greek audio have to get used to Modern Greek, Koine, and Erasmian as well…

gregf, sorry I didn´t reply in Feb.; I missed the note (almost never do I “follow” a discussion, and I guess I’m set in my ways). Thanks for the keyboard layouts. My problem w/ Greek Keyboards is there are several layouts available, and the one I don’t like is the one I have no way to change (that I know of), so I often type out text in a text editor and paste it into my web browser. If I had my “druthers,” I’d use the old Sgreek layout (beta keys) everywhere. . . . So, it is the Rico Koiné course you will be attending in Rome. Sounds great!

In re simple/elementary Greek, let me reiterate that I’ve heard that the souped-up version of Athenaze (Italian version by Miraglia) is intended to be very much like Lingua Latina per Se Illustrata. Here is a brief comparison of the English-language and Italian versions of Athenaze, which I just now found: Comparison of the U.S. and Italian editions of Athenaze - High School and Self-Education Board - The Well-Trained Mind Community . Perhaps when you are in Italy this summer you’ll see a copy. It sounds like you are just about past that stage, however.

BTW, what do you think of the recordings for the ASSIMIL Grec ancien course? I still have not yet bought a copy, just as I have not purchased the Italian version of Athenaze. (Russian is the bottleneck for me, here, but I’m not complaining, considering how much fun I am having with Russian.)

pnitz, posting beginning Greek at LingQ would be super. I hope you decide to do it. This is a marvelous site in many ways. I really look forward to seeing your “lessons” here, when that’s possible. . . . Had to look up TPR, TPRS, WAYK (total physical response, total physical response storytelling, and where are your keys?, for those as clueless as I was).

This was a long note, which is no surprise with me, but I’ve pruned it heavily after reading gregf’s post. Welcome to the LingQ site.


Thanks much to the insightful Greg and prolific Ernie.

If someone is just getting into Greek now, I’d go with Randall Buth’s materials. The audio is excellent. The first book is very good - essentially a picture book with audio. http://www.biblicallanguagecenter.com/ My second choice would be Rico’s materials, but that’s based on hearing reviews from others.

Yes, if you are going with communicative Greek, you need to just live with the fact that some will be Erasmian and some Restored Attic and some Modern Greek. I use a fourth, Randall Buth’s system from his Living Koine courses. He bases it on some pretty solid research of orthography. It is closer to Modern Greek than Erasmian, but it retains more vowels sounds (big advantage). Here is my re-digestion of the system. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/98867968/Imperial%20Restored%20Living%20Buthian%20Koine%20Description%20-%20A3%20version.docx

So, because it is what I use and know and love, if I did any lessons here, it would be with that pronunciation, often called Restored Koine (sometimes called “Imperial Koine”).

I’m not sure what LingQ’s method is. Is it basically shadowing method? Do you read the target language and hear a translation as you go? I’ve only tried the Hebrew just a little bit and it’s pretty unwieldy. Shadowing | Learn Any Language | Fandom

What I really want to set up is TPRS. A story would be composed of about 6 lines. The story would target one language structure. The story would be read aloud in full once. Then it would be read line by line, perhaps three times each line. After each line is read, the learner would hear questions about the story. E.g. “Saul has a cup of wine.” Does Saul have a cup of wine? Does Saul have a cup of wine or water? Does Saul have a cup of water? Who has a cup of wine? What kind of cup does he have?"
For each question, an audio answer (or two or three) would be available for the learner to listen to.

So, can you all tell me… would LingQ support doing that sort of thing?
If it does support it, then what? The LingQ support guy told me that there is no plan for Ancient Greek, but that there is a poll going for the next language to put up. If that’s the criterion, A. Greek will never be put up. There just won’t be enough votes for it.

pnitz, LingQ’s lessons usually (always?) consist of a recording and the corresponding, matching text, supported by a flashcard mechanism and (optional?) Cloze tests. It seems to me that what you described could be done here, with appropriate pauses in the recordings. The text would match this audio, although I don’t know that this need be so, if you did not want the answers written out. I do not think that LingQ is locked into this one-to-one correspondence of text and audio. LingQ is primarily interested in attracting people to study language here, and an active “community” using such lessons would I suspect be fine by them.

You can prototype your lessons to see how they turn out here. Simply do not share them, and you will be fine.

As to what’s next . . . You’re right, Greek as a new language offering here is many hundreds of votes short of being implemented, according to the LingQ staff. As far as I can tell, the only way to share lessons would be to co-opt a language slot that seems least likely to be used by prospective Greek students. However, I do not know that this would be allowed by LingQ, as it would interfere with “legitimate” users of the slot, and should it not be okay, sharing lessons would be impossible. LingQ staff are the ones to check with about this.

However, all this is just my opinion. Perhaps gregf (or anyone else) has some insights to share.

Note that to share any copyright material here, such as Buth’s book, permission must be granted by the copyright holder.

I agree with Ernie, for me, LingQ with classical languages is above all about working through texts, with the added benefit of audio here and there and flashcards. I see this system less as a platform for developing TPR and other audio-related approaches, and more as a supercharged way of doing what classicists have always done: reading lots and lots of texts, one after the other, and learning vocabulary and grammar by mountains of comprehensible input.

My feeling is that there is enough Greek (and certainly enough Latin) text materials of varying degrees of difficulty, either in the public domain or through free materials that can be gleaned here and there on the web, to make a wonderful platform for allowing students to work through as many graded readings as they might need, before moving on to more intermediate texts like Steadman’s commentaries or works from Perseus. The nice thing about this system is that it keeps track of what you know and what you don’t, so you have a constant visual reminder of words you still need to learn, either through flashcard testing or simply by reading more texts. Moving from beginning to intermediate and then on to real literature is a smooth transition, with your saved lingq’s moving through the process with you…

I’m not sure if this answers your question, Pnitz (what is your first name by the way?). I think you can certainly be very flexible with making a graded series of readings, and matching them with audio. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait for either more people to come and start using the site, or for LingQ to make Greek “official”, an unfortunate chicken-or-egg scenario. :wink: But my guess is that poll or no poll, if we could get 20 or 25 people regularly using the system, forming a community, sharing resources, etc., we wouldn’t have to wait too long for official beta status. I’ve been doing all my Greek in the Esperanto slot, with zero problems… But in the meantime, I would love to collaborate to get some easy or intermediate Greek materials with audio, while awaiting the big day.

Also, Paul (I found your first name on your profile: who would have imagined!), have you checked out this video - YouTube ? It’s a good introduction to the basics of using the LingQ system. I think the benefits to students of Latin and Greek should be pretty apparent, but it did take me a couple of weeks of really using the system every day (with the emails turned on), to understand just how novel and useful this approach was. I would suggest giving it a shot with some imported Ancient Greek texts, and working through them at your guise. I can send you some if you need.

I think we might be onto something. After our little discussion about developing more Ancient Greek audio resources, I noticed yesterday that both Dekka Glossia and Evan der Milner have added Ancient Greek courses.


Evan der Milner

Very nifty! deka glossai, for me, anyway, is much easier to listen to. I think Evan der Milner is also starting something on Google + . . . https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/116834283420909105565 :

Have you looked at ΣΧΟΛΗ ? http://sxole.com/ For instance, Περὶ τοῦ τὴν ἐν τῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ σπουδὴν ὀρθῶς διατάττειν, which is №1 under “Top content” is along the same lines as what deka glossai and E. der Milner are posting. (Way beyond my abilities at this point.)

There are a few out there starting to develop some materials, but I have to say for myself, I haven’t seen anything that I could learn from efficiently.

I have an ideal format and course for Ancient Greek in mind. It sounds like LingQ would work for one component of that - the TPRS (“Teaching Proficiency and Reading through Storytelling” ((Blaine Ray)) - or “Total Physical Response Storytelling”).

So, if I understand Greg and Ernie correctly, I can create as much materials as I want on my own profile. I could then view and use those materials myself. But what if I wanted to share a test lesson with others, like you two? Is that possible?

I wish LingQ would have a feature where those who were interested could sign into and work on a Beta Language that was not shown publically. That way, they would have no risk of having a poorly done language on the site, but developers could play around with a dedicated slot. Think there’s any chance of that?

Can video be added to LinqQ lessons?

If you are interested in seeing clips from my Greek class, look here:

But what if I wanted to share a test lesson with others, like you two? Is that possible?

I think this is how it works: If you are using a language slot, say Esperanto, for your Greek, if you share a Greek lesson, you share it with everyone. Those of us interested in Greek could make use of it. But it would be visible to everyone else using the Esperanto slot, too. That means the Greek lessons would be listed along with the Esperanto lessons, and the Greek vocabulary would degrade (from the Esperanto point of view) the Esperanto flashcards, etc… This would hardly be fair to those studying Esperanto.

I hope the site support staff will comment, as I may be wrong.


Thanks a lot for the video link. It looks like a lot of fun! I’ll probably watch your videos quite a bit once I’m back in practice and can better withstand the influence of the accent you use. (No offence intended, and I hope none taken.)

I wish LingQ would have a feature where those who were interested could sign into and work on a Beta Language that was not shown publicly. . . . Think there’s any chance of that?

It doesn’t look like it. I don’t think the site support staff wants to take on any more support duties. They’ve got more than enough to do now. That’s why they raised the “bar” for a new beta language so high last year, it seems to me. I sure wish they’d change their mind, but they haven’t so far.