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Introduction to Attic Greek [Paperback]

Donald J. Mastronarde
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 19 1993 0520078446 978-0520078444
This thorough presentation of Attic Greek assumes that college students learning the language deserve, from the beginning, full exposure to all the grammar and morphology that they will encounter in actual texts. Each of the forty-two chapters is a self-contained instructional unit, with challenging exercises carefully tailored to reflect the vocabulary and grammar learned to date. The units gradually build up the student's knowledge of declensions, tenses, and constructions by alternating emphasis on morphology and syntax. Readings become progressively more complex and, in the second half of the book, are largely based on actual texts and include unadapted passages from Xenophon, Lysias, Plato, Aristophanes, and Thucydides. Logically organized and remarkably lucid, Introduction to Attic Greek provides students with a strong grounding in the essentials of Greek grammar as well as a substantial body of vocabulary, enabling students to read, on completion of the course, a continuous text with commentary and dictionary.

Included are a concise introduction to the history of the Greek language, a composite list of verbs with principal parts, an appendix of all paradigms, Greek-English and English-Greek glossaries, and a detailed index. The book is also a useful reference work for more advanced students who discover that gaps in their knowledge of basic Greek grammar prevent accurate reading of texts.

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Review

"This is a remarkably thorough textbook, offering a full presentation of the basics, and then some"--"Bryn Mawr Classical Review

About the Author

Donald J. Mastronarde is Professor of Classics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the editor of Euripides. Phoenissae (Teubner 1988) and author of The Textual Tradition of Euripides' Phoinissai (with Jan Maarten Bremer) (California 1983), and Contact and Discontinuity: Some Conventions of Speech and Action on the Greek Tragic Stage (California 1979).

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction to Attic Greek July 18 2004
Format:Paperback
If there was ever one book that I would recommend without equivocation or doubt, it would be _Introduction to Attic Greek_ by Donald J. Mastronarde (University of California Press: Los Angeles and Berkeley, 1993). This book is 425 pp. in length and worth every bit of the price.
Out of all the introductory grammars and workbooks on either Koine or Attic Greek that I've ever read or perused, Mastronarde's book seems to be the most practical one for those who desire to be either tutored or self-taught Attic Greek.
For starters, _Introduction to Attic Greek_ has the common fare. It covers the standard nominal declensions; the present active indicative endings; the present/middle passive verbs; information about conjunctions, prepositions, adverbs, pronouns as well as tense, aspect and athematic aorists. What makes this
book different, however, is its approach to and organization of the aforesaid material. In each section of the book, helpful exercises are given to assist the student in his or her endeavors to grasp Attic Greek. The lessons are also relatively short, so most pupils should not feel overwhelmed. Many helpful paradigms are included in this publication, and can be consulted with regularity in case one is inclined to forget declensions and conjugations. Rich vocabulary lists and
English associated words are also listed so that the student progressively builds a rich vocabulary and increases the pace and accuracy of his or her reading.
But Mastronarde is not content to simply include "artificial" Greek in his publication. He includes actual texts from real-life Greek sources like Aristophanes, Xenophon, and Simonides. In this way, one gets a feel for and learns directly how the Greek language functions and expresses key concepts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for Attic Greek May 2 2003
Format:Paperback
This is a very good book for learning Attic Greek (ie, the dialect of Greek spoken in Attica, a part of Greece, focusing on the classical period, although other periods are also covered), the language of Aristotle, Plato and others. It gives one an extensive vocabulary, and gives a good break-down of grammatical concepts (although that may just be for me, since I had previously learned classical Latin, thus learning the basic concepts and terms, like nominative, indicative, etc.) I highly recommend it, and it keeps its promise: to allow one to read most Greek texts with commentary and dictionary.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally an Attic Greek grammar for the serious. Nov. 18 2002
Format:Paperback
I'm not sure how to answer the chap who thinks learning a language ought to be a distractingly entertaining experience. But let me try. Language learning can indeed be accompanied by merriment at times, usually during the immersion phase and often at the expense of the learner. I'm afraid we've missed that boat by a couple millennia. If the pure cerebral rush that comes with the gradual mastery of the inner logic and outer mechanics of your target language is not sufficient stimulation in itself, then the learner might be better advised to stick to Spanish, where he can start pretending to make sentences almost from the outset.
Mastronarde's presentation of Greek grammar offers a welcome alternative to the disorganized "here a bit of noun, there a bit of adverb" approach of Crosby and Schaeffer and to Hansen and Quinn's agonizingly slow paced "Intensive Course."
Mastronarde's Introduction to Greek is well organized and to the point, but asks the learner to bring either the background or the interest required to appreciate the point. After working through Mastronarde's grammar, which can be accomplished with industry in a few weeks but should at any rate be done quickly rather than slowly, the student is much better prepared for subsequent study of Attic Greek than are others who, perhaps, spent their initial efforts trying to write (or utter!) original sentences in Ancient Greek.
A word of criticism is in order, however. Mastronarde has chosen not to mark long vowels either in text or in vocabulary lists. The justification he gives is that accentuation will indicate vowel length, which in most cases it will. But in doing so, Mastronarde denies those students fortunate enough to have good visual memory retention the advantage of that gift.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally an Attic Greek grammar for the serious. Nov. 18 2002
Format:Paperback
I'm not sure how to answer the chap who thinks learning a language ought to be a distractingly entertaining experience. But let me try. Language learning can indeed be accompanied by merriment at times, usually during the immersion phase and often at the expense of the learner. I'm afraid we've missed that boat by a couple millennia. If the pure cerebral rush that comes with the gradual mastery of the inner logic and outer mechanics of your target language is not sufficient stimulation in itself, then the learner might be better advised to stick to Spanish, where he can start pretending to make sentences almost from the outset.
Mastronarde's presentation of Greek grammar offers a welcome alternative to the disorganized "here a bit of noun, there a bit of adverb" approach of Crosby and Schaeffer and to Hansen and Quinn's agonizingly slow paced "Intensive Course."
Mastronarde's Introduction to Greek is well organized and to the point, but asks the learner to bring either the background or the interest required to appreciate the point. After working through Mastronarde's grammar, which can be accomplished with industry in a few weeks but should at any rate be done quickly rather than slowly, the student is much better prepared for subsequent study of Attic Greek than are others who, perhaps, spent their initial efforts trying to write (or utter!) original sentences in Ancient Greek.
A word of criticism is in order, however. Mastronarde has chosen not to mark long vowels either in text or in vocabulary lists. The justification he gives is that accentuation will indicate vowel length, which in most cases it will. But in doing so, Mastronarde denies those students fortunate enough to have good visual memory retention the advantage of that gift.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Answer Key
If you are trying to learn Greek, Mastronarde is much better than Athenaze. The units are well organised and explained along to go with good exercises. Read more
Published on July 16 2009 by Hugo Whitfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent supplement
I used Intensive Greek by Hansen & Quinn in an introductory Attic course. I liked that book a lot and would recommend it because of its extensive drills and exercises. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey of Discovery
Learning Classical Greek is a rewarding experience. The Romans were rightly jealous of it and thought their own language inferior to Greek, which equipped with several grammatical... Read more
Published on July 14 2002 by Joseph Suriol
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for self-study
Although I have not yet completed the book, I have thus far been thoroughly impressed. Now at Unit 17, I am able to construct basic sentences and read even more. Read more
Published on April 30 2002 by Walter M. Shandruk
4.0 out of 5 stars Rigorous, effective, thorough, but difficult.
I have excelled at Greek with this book, and have successfully read Aeschylus, Herodotus, Lysias, Plato, Homer and Euripides. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2002 by Timothy Doran
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessarily technical and dense. Masterful.
You'll groan at seemingly unimportant technical details (e.g.: a phrase translated as "(movement) away from (the vicinity of) the tent" p. Read more
Published on July 17 2001 by Zurich
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific second book for self-teaching
If you simply adore rules of grammar you could begin learning Greek from this book. But you will memorize 57 pages of complicated noun declensions and prepositional phrases before... Read more
Published on May 2 2000 by Colin McLarty
5.0 out of 5 stars Self-study Standout
Along with its answer key (ISBN 0520201779)-- and its Electronic Workbook (ISBN 05202813) this text is particularly valuable for those of us mad enough to slog Ancient Greek on our... Read more
Published on March 13 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars An overall good, systematic textbook
The grammatical explanations are exceptional - good enough for independent study. My only gripe is that the early practice sentences are completely lame. Read more
Published on Dec 13 1999 by Ethan Pooley
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