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blakemasnor's avatar

Where is the best education in ancient Greek?

Asked by blakemasnor (320points) August 7th, 2008

I am Very interested in learning the language and would like to know where the colleges that specialize in this field are.

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14 Answers

mrjadkins's avatar


Have you looked into any podcasts on Itunes? You might find some in ItunesU to get a feel for a good spot. There are so many language courses available in Itunes. I think that might be a good start.

I know Bible colleges usually teach Greek as part of their advanced Bible degrees. The reason being that new testament studies need to use the original Greek writings. Old testament studies are mostly in Hebrew.

gailcalled's avatar

“The Ancient Greek language is the historical stage of the Greek language as it existed during the Archaic (9th–6th centuries BC) and Classical (5th–4th centuries BC) periods in Ancient Greece. The Hellenistic (post-Classic) period of Ancient Greece formally constitutes its own stage in the Greek language known as Koine Greek NT Greek).

I bought a HUGE textbook on Classical Greek and tried to teach myself while I was undergoing chemo..A HUGE flop altho very interesting. The language is so inflected that I could only learn the present tense of padeo, to teach, before giving up. Brace yourself. (The participles alone -over 100 for padeo alone made me crazy.) Don’t try this at home, alone.

“In Ancient Greek nouns (including proper nouns) have five cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and vocative), three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter), and three numbers (singular, dual and plural). Verbs have four moods (indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and optative), three voices (active, middle and passive), as well as three persons (first, second and third) and various other forms.

Verbs are conjugated through seven tenses: the present, future and imperfect tenses are imperfective in aspect; the aorist tense (perfective aspect); a present-perfect, pluperfect and future perfect (all with perfect aspect). Most tenses display all four moods and three voices, although there is no future subjunctive or imperative. There are infinitives and participles corresponding to the finite combinations of tense, aspect and voice.”

tinyfaery's avatar

UCLA has a great classics department, and you can minor in Greek.

aaronou's avatar

Ya, this will definitely depend upon what type of Greek you are wanting to study. Clearly, Classical Greek would be the most recognized other than the contemporary Greek spoken today. This would cover the entire classical period of Greek history. Schools I have looked at and would recommend would be Texas, Harvard, and most definitely the California schools. There are others besides these that I’m sure would offer a top-notch education as well. Any background in Latin and other foreign languages will be of great assistance. Language is an art, so it does take mental application.

If you are interested in Koine Greek, which is the common Greek used during the time the New Testament was written, I’d say you’d probably find your best undergraduate study at a Christian university or college. This then would require much other research on what your theological background may be (your beliefs concerning God and the spiritual world). Seminaries make Koine Greek mandatory, but you must first have an undergraduate degree to study at a seminary. This would be ideal if you were desiring to study advanced Koine Greek.

nikipedia's avatar

You might want to check out St. John’s College:’s_College,_U.S.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well I was going to say the school of Aristotle in Athens circa 335BC to 330BC.

digitaljesus's avatar


( haha, sorry, I had to…;).....)

nina's avatar

@Gailcalled, thank you, this is such a great brief overview of the language. And yes, the grammar is complex, compared to the grammar of the English language, but at least the spelling is phonetic, otherwise you’d never figure out what those ancient Greeks are trying to say.

gailcalled's avatar

Nina: In Greece today, you can buy ταμπαχ at any pharmacy.

St. John’s College; both in Annapolis and Santa Fe, is a terrific idea. Cornell, Columbia, Princeton, also.

gailcalled's avatar

Also Berkeley and U.Mich. My son did a graduate degree at the latter (ahem) in Comparative Literature…French and Greek.

pathfinder's avatar

I would sudgest Thesaloniky .The city of it self is placed in northern part of greak.This is second biggest city in country and allso is not as warm as in Atheny.

janbb's avatar

I would suggest Columbia, also Oxofrd and Cambridge if you can study in England….

Seesul's avatar

@gail: I have even more respect for my grandmother now. She was a Berkeley grad, (in Greek and Latin) back when there was only one UC.

gailcalled's avatar

@See: You’re right. That was an extraordinary achievement back then. When exactly? Did your γρανδμοτηερ have a profession? Did she talk about those days with you?

My mother (93) went to Berkeley for one year in 1930–1931 and then got discovered by two Hollywood talent scouts. She dropped out of school and danced in 15 MGM movies during 1931–32. She had trouble seeing reality clearly after than. My sister and I suffered, altho I learned Latin in HS and some Greek on my own.

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