[b-greek] Re: Attic Greek

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sat Jun 24 2000 - 07:17:13 EDT

At 11:59 PM -0800 6/23/00, Barbara Haney wrote:
>I've stumbled into 2 texts that seem to be somewhat popular for Self Study
>Introduction to Attic Greek
>Donald Mastronarde
>Athenaze: Book 1
>Maurice Balme, Gilbert Lawall
>Has anyone used these? Do both of these use the same method?
>Also, as someone who knows a little Koine, what do I need to watch out for
>in Attic? Many of the vocabulary word lists I've seen for these two books
>seem to overlap greatly the core words we have been working with in Koine.

Although I have taught from neither textbook, both have gained themselves
good reputations (as has also Anne Groton's _From Alpha to Omega_) as Attic
primers. There are good phonetic (on-line) and grammatical drill (on disk)
materials available for Mastronarde. _Athenaze_ is the Oxford UP textbook
similar in many ways to Cambridge UP's (actually JACT's) _Reading Greek_,
which is the textbook I myself taught from for many years. Both _Athenaze_
and _Reading Greek_ are based on the notion of reading sizable chunks of
continuous prose Greek text while learning the grammar. Personally I think
that _Athenaze_ is pitched at a lower level than _Reading Greek_ and is
really meant to be done in three semesters--and it would really take three
semesters to do _Reading Greek_ adequately.

The differences between classical Attic and NT Koine are considerable, and
yet not so great that they are not recognizably the same language. The
Attic verb is somewhat more complex and there are significant changes in
vocabulary; Koine syntax is simplified from classical Attic in some ways,
but it would be more accurate to say that the kinds of linguistic change
that ordinarily occur over a period of four hundred years may readily be
discerned in the two 'dialectal variants' of a common language. A good
compendium of differences between classical Attic and NT Koine has been
compiled by Jay Treat and may be read at:


and if you have the downloadable SPIonic Greek font (both PC and Mac
versions available), you can read the Greek in this discussion directly.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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