Introduction to Attic Greek Paperback – Mar 19 1993
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"This is a remarkably thorough textbook, offering a full presentation of the basics, and then some"--"Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
But this is a hard book. True, Greek is a hard language: but this book is quite dry and has a dearth of sentences and a plethora of forms. I appreciate the book now because it has served me quite well (I didn't like it at all at first), but I must confess that learning Greek with this book was a huge chore and not a lot of fun.
So this is the deal. If you are like me, and hated algebra, you might not like this book, because its exercises are algebra-like; but if you stick with it, it will do you good. If you are the sort of strange person that thinks algebra is fun, you will absolutely love this book.
When it all boils down to it, I admire any author who is willing to be as structurally attentive as this one, and who admits that the learning won't be fun, but that you simply have to grind through it. The fun comes later, when you can read Herodotus and Homer with ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM if you just have the patience to get through this book. Your knowledge of Greek will probably be better than your classmates who used a less rigorous introductory textbook. This, I think, is a great compliment to Mastronarde.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on July 16 2009 by Hugo Whitfield
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 morePublished on Dec 9 2002
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. Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2002 by Benjamin A. Harrison
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 morePublished on July 14 2002 by Joseph Suriol
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 morePublished on April 30 2002 by Walter M. Shandruk
You'll groan at seemingly unimportant technical details (e.g.: a phrase translated as "(movement) away from (the vicinity of) the tent" p. Read morePublished on July 17 2001 by Zurich
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 morePublished on May 2 2000 by Colin McLarty
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 morePublished on March 13 2000
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