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Greek: An Intensive Course Hardcover – Jan 15 1992

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press; Second Edition edition (Jan. 15 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823216640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823216642
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4.6 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,449,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


aThis is a text of such wonderful clarity that it is a delight for both student and instructor.a

About the Author

Hardy Hansen is Professor of Classics at Brooklyn College and at the Latin/Greek Institute of City University of New York. Dr. Gerald M. Quinn was Dean of the College at Lincoln Center, Fordham University.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10 2003
Format: Paperback
The main problem with this book is the overwhelming size of the units. This not only makes it quite difficult to work through the exercises since you have to digest so much morphology to be able to do them, but it also means that by the end of the book, though you will have a good grasp of syntax and morphology, your working vocabulary will still be quite small. I also found the order in which the grammatical concepts are presented to be somewhat unnatural - the subjunctive and optative are introduced before you have a good feel for the indicative mood and its endings. The verb forms are presented in such quick succession that I ended up not feeling very comfortable with them.
On the plus side, though, the basic concepts morphology and syntax are explained very thoroughly and clearly, and the vocabulary notes (usage notes on each individual word, possible alternative meanings, idiomatic uses, etc.) were quite helpful. There were also plenty of drills and reading sentences for practice. Overall, I'd say this book might be well suited to its original purpose - a workshop setting where all of basic grammar is covered in 6 weeks - but for the general reader it is a bit too dense. For the aspiring self-taught Classicist, I'd recommend Mastronarde. I myself ended up switching over to his book after 10 units of Hansen and Quinn, and find it to be better balanced overall, with shorter, more approachable units, and better organized chapter vocabularies.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Purger on Feb. 1 2003
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book recently with a friend with the intention of learning Attic Greek. We are both Latin students, and having heard many good things about this book, we decided to try it.
After just a few weeks of work, I can already see the difference between this text and others: this book assumes that the reader is capable of understanding a language vastly more complicated than English. Having a strong background in Latin and an open mind definitely helps, though; I don't suggest using this text if you lack either of these qualities.
However, if you are planning to work alone, this may not be the best option: the title does not lie when it reads "Intensive." I know that working with a friend has helped me so far, and I can only imagine how much help a qualified instructor would be.
After the first few units, I was already finding myself reading and understanding parts of Plato's Republic and other authentic Greek texts.
Either way, I highly recommend this series over the other Greek texts out there, and i hope you pick this one up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By on June 7 2000
Format: Paperback
Hansen and the late and sadly missed Quinn put together in the 1970's what is well nigh the only elementary Greek text worth considering. Greek: An Intensive Course covers in 20 units and an appendix what other courses cannot aspire to manage in multiple volumes (e.g., the disgraceful Athenaze series). Hansen and Quinn provide a solid and rigorous foundation in morphology and syntax. Ancient Greek is not supposed to be easy; it is as it is and any attempt to dilute its reality does a disservice to people who actually want to read the classical authors. The only disappointment is that I would have suggested to the authors that space be devoted in the appendix to a discussion of the dialects, especially the Homeric, along with readings of other passages than Attic Greek. The book's readings are perhaps the only weakness in a largely flawless text; there is far too much of an emphasis on Plato and the orators at the expense of historians and tragedians. Most students today will not care to learn so much grammar just to read the Gorgias...without Homer and mythology forget keeping most people's interest today. But for the serious student who does not need to be coaxed into learning her or his lessons, this is the text to use.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Walsh on May 23 2002
Format: Paperback
There are two books in Greek language instruction, "Greek: an Intensive Course," and Clyde Pharr's "Homeric Greek." All others are mere pretenders. Classical Greek is not an easy language for the English speaker, and recent attempts to flatten the steepness of the learning curve somehow fail to achieve to critical velocity in my opinion. A sturdy foundation in Greek that will bring a joy lasting a lifetime begins with some dedicated effort, and this book admittedly demands your attention if you want to be successful. Hansen presents the fundamentals of Greek grammar and morphology in a systematic and logical way, building up the foundation on which will stand the demands of more advanced texts.
I do, however, want to stress that this is an intermediate level book, and perhaps should not be the first book one attempts. Its 21 Units cover a great deal of material. Although, no prerequisite knowledge on the part of the reader is assumed by the text, it's explanations are very to the point and concise, which may not be as clear to the novitiate as needs to be. This book does not do any hand-holding to guide the reader through the difficult sections, so to speak. I suggest Clyde Pharr's "Homeric Greek" for the pure beginner, and then this book.
This book will reward you with the effort you put into it.
My only complaint is that it tends to ignore the arts in favor of the philosophy of the Greek culture. I would like to see more Sophocles, Euripides, and other playwrights of the Golden Age of Classical Greece. Language and culture exist together in a symbiosis, and the richness of the language can only be seen in readings from all the major genres, poetry, drama, history, and politics--not just philosophy, and certainly not just one author--namele Plato.
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