Watch Greek 101: Learning an Ancient Language

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With no prior experience required, Greek 101 gives you direct access to a remarkable heritage. Covering all of the topics in a typical year of introductory ancient Greek at the college level, these user-friendly lessons focus on teaching you to read unadapted passages from Homer's Iliad and the New Testament-two of the most important works in the Greek language.

Greek 101: Learning an Ancient Language is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (32 episodes). The series first aired on March 4, 2016.

Greek 101: Learning an Ancient Language is available for streaming on the The Great Courses Signature Collection website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Greek 101: Learning an Ancient Language on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, The Roku Channel online.

The Great Courses Signature Collection
1 Season, 32 Episodes
March 4, 2016
Cast: Hans-Friedrich Mueller
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Greek 101: Learning an Ancient Language Full Episode Guide

  • Learn two more irregular verbs, to go and to know, seeing them at work in sentences from John and Matthew. Then complete your last passage from the Iliad, lines 118-125, and consider strategies for continuing your Greek studies-whether you want to dig deeper into Homer and the New Testament, or discover new masterpieces.

  • The most common μι verb is also one of the most irregular: to be. Study its forms, discovering that, as unpredictable as it appears, it is more regular than its English counterparts: I am, you are, he is. Then learn to count in Greek, and analyze lines 109-117 of the Iliad.

  • Search for the features that distinguish Ž¼Ž¹ verbs from the verb forms encountered earlier in the course, whose first principal part ends in €°. Resume your study of the Lord¢‚¬„¢s Prayer, discovering two Ž¼Ž¹ verb aorist commands. Then read lines 101-108 of the Iliad, which open with a Ž¼Ž¹ verb compound.

  • Bring your study of Greek verbs to a close by focusing on an important class of verbs that end in Ž¼Ž¹ in the first principal part. There aren¢‚¬„¢t many such Ž¼Ž¹ verbs, but they are useful and common, and they appear frequently in compounds.

  • Conclude your exploration of Greek pronouns with interrogative, indefinite, and relative pronouns. These are words such as who, which, and what; and, for indefinite pronouns, someone, something, and similar unspecific descriptors. Look at examples in the New Testament and in the Iliad 81-85.

  • Plumb the depths of Greek personal and possessive pronouns. Begin with the historically later forms of the New Testament, revisiting the Lord�۪s Prayer in Matthew. Then focus on the pronouns in your next extract from the Iliad, lines 76-80. Along the way, discover a classic figure of speech called chiasmus.

  • Investigate the use of Greek demonstrative adjectives and pronouns, which correspond to English words such as this, that, these, and those. Chart a rich sampling of demonstratives, including a reflexive pronoun, in Luke 23:28-29. Then continue with the heightening tension in lines 70-75 of the Iliad.

  • In the next four lessons, return to the declension of adjectives and pronouns to explore variations on patterns you have already practiced. In this lesson, focus on third-declension adjectives. Close by reading lines 64-69 of the Iliad. Also learn about a handy class of words called particles.

  • Delve deeper into the aorist passive, which was introduced in Lesson 19. This tense may sound exotic, but it�۪s a workhorse in Greek sentences. For example, study the string of aorist passive commands in the Lord�۪s Prayer in Matthew. Then work your way through lines 59-63 of the Iliad.

  • The last of the moods is the optative, which expresses a wish-as in line 42 of the Iliad, where the priest Chryses implores Apollo, €œMay the Danaans requite my tears€¦.€ Find more examples of this easily recognized form in the New Testament. Then continue your reading of the Iliad with lines 53-58.

  • Encounter the imperative mood-the verb construction used for commands. Study the imperative endings in the present and aorist tenses. Find three aorist commands in Luke 22:36, and even more as you continue your reading of the Iliad with lines 39-47.

  • Learn to form the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect middle/passive tenses on the basis of the fifth principal part. Study examples in Matthew and Luke. Then read lines 33-37 of the Iliad, which includes a stirring scene €œalong the shore of the much-roaring sea.€

  • Move on to middle/passive participles. Greek participles pack a lot of meaning into a single word that may require an entire clause to translate into English. Look at examples from two different verses in Matthew as well as your Homeric reading for this lesson: lines 28-32 of the Iliad.

  • Participles are verbal adjectives. Like verbs, they have tense and voice. Like adjectives, they agree in case, number, and gender with the nouns they modify. Learn to form participles in different tenses of the active voice. Study examples in the Gospel of Matthew and in your reading of lines 22-27 of the Iliad.

  • Study the fifth principal part, which forms the basis of the perfect and pluperfect middle/passive, and the sixth and final principal part, which forms the basis of the aorist passive. Then learn how to construct the infinitive in different tenses, looking at examples in Homer and the New Testament.

  • Learn the fourth principal part, which governs the formation of the perfect and pluperfect tenses. Discover the great utility of these past tenses for talking about completed action. Study an example of the perfect in John 3:13, and read lines 17-21 of the Iliad.

  • In the previous lesson, you learned the primary middle/passive endings, which are used for the present and future tenses. Now compare these to the secondary middle/passive endings, which are used for past tenses. Then read lines 11-16 of the Iliad, learning new rules for scanning dactylic hexameter.

  • Go deeper into Homer with lines 6-10 of the Iliad. Then discover the middle and passive voices. The passive operates as in English, with the subject receiving the action of the verb. However, English doesn�۪t have a middle voice, which in Greek signals that the subject is acting in its own interest.

  • Read the first five lines of Homer�۪s Iliad, focusing on vocabulary and grammar. Then investigate the quality that makes Homer a great poet: his use of sound and meter. Homer composed in dactylic hexameter, which was used throughout antiquity. Learn the rules that govern this epic meter.

  • The aorist is a past tense that makes no reference to the duration or completion of an action, and focuses instead on the simple act. In Lesson 10, you learned the morphology of the first aorist. Now study the second aorist and root aorist. Analyze examples of all three aorist tenses in the New Testament and Homer.

  • Although first declension nouns are generally feminine, some masculine nouns also fall into this class. Learn how to recognize them (as well as the declensions of all nouns) from the nominative and genitive forms supplied in Greek dictionaries. Then investigate some finer points of compound verbs.

  • Learn two new tenses: the future and aorist. In the process, encounter the concept of principal parts, which are indispensable for recognizing different tenses. Concentrate on the first three principal parts for regular verbs (present and imperfect, future, and aorist). Also inspect some irregular verbs.

  • Delve deeper into the first and second declensions, discovering that the endings for demonstrative adjectives and pronouns differ in only minor ways from those for nouns. Practice using different types of pronouns, and learn that they underwent a fascinating evolution from Homeric Greek to Koine.

  • So far, you have studied first-declension nouns, which are mainly feminine. Now expand your range into masculine and neuter nouns, many of which use second-declension endings. Practice these endings together with their adjectival forms in words that you will encounter in Homer.

  • Greek verbs can be described in terms of person, number, tense, voice, and mood. In this lesson, focus on verbs that are present active indicative. Learn that voice, person, and number are indicated by endings on the verb base. For the present tense, these are called primary endings.

  • Look at two variations in the pattern of the first declension-one used in Homeric Greek and the other in Koine, the Greek of the New Testament. Despite being separated by almost a thousand years, the two dialects have remarkable continuity.

  • Invented over two thousand years ago by Aristophanes of Byzantium, head of the Library of Alexandria, accents are important clues to the pronunciation of Greek words, and they often provide other crucial information. Learn the rules for the three types of accents: acute, grave, and circumflex.

  • Learn the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet using the restored classical pronunciation, recognizing that there was some variation in pronunciation in the ancient world. Practice the pairings of vowels called diphthongs, and sound out a selection of words that you will soon be reading in sentences.