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Learn Ancient Greek

Introduction

The resources below are by no means comprehensive, but are a very good start indeed for anyone wanting to learn Ancient Greek. For Ancient Greek queries, you can use the fora.

A typical inhibition is the different alphabet, but this should not be an issue as one can master it in one lesson. After all, the Greek letters are fewer than the Latin ones and most of them are the same.

Moreover, Greek is much easier to read than English, or French for that matter, since it is read as it is spelled.

It should be noted that you probably already know a hell of a lot of Greek. How is that possible?

Earlier, when the Romans had conquered the East, Greek continued to be spoken there. Indeed, from the second century BC it had a great influence on Latin and consequently, directly or through Latin, on practically every other language. This was a long process, as a result of which today many of our languages can be seen as a kind of semi-Greek or crypto-Greek.[1]

Here is a small list of Ancient Greek words you already know.

Ancient Greek Grammars and Textkbooks

PDF books

Web sites

Material in Modern Greek

Material in French

Material in German

Material in Spanish

Material in Italian

Material in Other Languages

Dictionaries

Meta-Dictionaries on the Web

These are portals which provide search results from multiple sources.

  • LSJ.gr (containing English, French, Spanish, Russian, Modern Greek translations as well as Woodhouse's English to Ancient Greek dictionary in a wiki format with full, diacritics-insensitive text search)
  • Logeion University of Chicago multiple dictionary (and corpus) lookup tool
  • Eulexis Includes the big Bailly and an ancient Greek lemmatiser/inflection tool.
  • Lexilogos Dictionaries Search forms for various dictionaries from a single page and other resources.

Free PDF Dictionaries

Greek > English

Greek > French

Greek > Modern Greek

Greek > Swedish

Greek > Romanian

Print Dictionaries (not free)

English

  • The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek, Franco Montanari, £61.21 or $110 from the US. The English translation of Montanari's Italian dictionary Vocabolario della lingua greca. This is by far the most authoritative and contemporary dictionary of Ancient Greek (the only one which is more recent is the Cambridge Greek Lexicon, see below) with example phrases translated. It brings together 140,000 headwords taken from the literature, papyri, inscriptions and other sources of the archaic period up to the 6th Century CE, and occasionally beyond. Read more about it, access reviews and download a 28 page pdf preview. A Modern Greek version of this title is also available (see below) and a German version is under preparation.
  • Cambridge Greek Lexicon, issued in 2021 in two volumes, hardcover, £59.78 or $84.99 from the US. This is the dictionary that would be recommended for students for its modern lexicographical approach. The editors have re-examined the source material and provided translations in contemporary English. Read more about it.
  • A Greek-English Lexicon, Henry G. Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones, Roderick McKenzie, P. G. W. Glare; £136 hardcover/£24 paperback or $187 from the US. This is the 1996 edition of the LSJ. The new Revised Supplement is a complete replacement for the 1968 Supplement containing nearly twice the size of the 1968 edition; with over 20,000 entries, it adds to the dictionary words and forms from papyri and inscriptions discovered between 1940 and the 1990s as well as a host of other revisions, updatings, and corrections to the main dictionary.
  • Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Robert Beekes, £88 (paperback version) or $125 from the US. Beekes takes full account of Mycenaean Greek, the best and most updated etymological dictionary of Ancient Greek.

Italian

Modern Greek

Free Software

  • Diogenes is an environment for reading and searching through texts in Latin and Ancient Greek. It consists of two connected projects, the Diogenes desktop application, which has been in existence for nearly 20 years, and the new DiogenesWeb webapp.
  • Eulexis is a lemmatiser and multi-dictionary reference for Ancient Greek texts

Fora

Other

References

  1. Francisco Rodriguez Adrados, A history of the Greek language from Its Origins to the Present (Historia de la lengua griega)