Classical Studies
GRE 6-102-2010

Beginning Ancient Greek II

A temple physician massages a patient's shoulder while a priestess, serving as a nurse, looks on. Relief from Epidauros, 4th century BCE

Instructor: John Gruber-Miller,

Office: 312 College Hall; x4326

Office Hours: M W F 11:00-noon and by appointment.

Class meetings: M - F 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Required Texts:

  • Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall, Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek, 3rd ed., Book I, Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall, Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek, 3rd ed., Book II, Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze, an online textbook that supplements Athenaze with images, short essays, oral scripts, readings, and activities to help you improve your knowledge of ancient Greek.

Course Goals

The Greek we will study is the language used by the Athenians in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. Learning Classical Greek will also make it possible for you to read the Koine Greek of the New Testament. In Greek 102, we will cover Chapters 11-20 of Athenaze.

The Greek sequence (Greek 101-102, 205) is designed to help you develop proficiency in listening, speaking, writing, and especially reading ancient Greek. Such a goal means that you will acquire certain linguistic knowledge and skills (e.g. pronunciation, vocabulary, morphology and syntax), but it also means that you need to understand the culture that produced texts in Greek and used it on a daily basis. Third, it means that you will learn not only to observe, abstract, and analyze linguistic and cultural information, but also to synthesize it and to put it into context.

This course addresses the following Cornell College Educational Priorities and Outcomes: Knowledge, Reasoning, Communication, Intercultural Literacy, Ethical Behavior, and Well-Being.

Preparation for class

The most important thing to remember about a language is that it is a cumulative process, one set of forms and concepts building upon another. It is quite normal for someone new to a language to make lots of mistakes and not to master new material in a single day. Be patient with yourself. The important thing is to use the language as much as possible. At the same time, since you will be learning nearly all of Greek morphology in two and a half terms, it is important not to fall behind. Therefore, spend time every day reviewing vocabulary and grammar. Second, spend time reading connected prose, re-reading it, listening to the tapes. Third, practice orally by working with a partner to do the oral script in Ariadne, asking a partner questions in Greek, and reading aloud. Fourth, practice in writing by composing sentences that use new vocabulary, new sentence patterns, new grammar, and by doing online exercises, Ariadne activities, and other homework. If you are an active learner, using all your senses and motor skills, you will learn Greek much more easily, and best of all you will retain it!

Steady, daily progress is the best way to assure retention and mastery of the Greek tongue, and consequently good grades. Cramming for quizzes and tests, though it may seem to work in the short term, will inevitably hurt you during the second and third terms. Daily homework assignments are due on the day scheduled at the beginning of class. They will not be accepted late.

Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze

Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze follows Athenaze chapter by chapter. Activities from Ariadne are part of the assigned homework each night. Ariadne includes:

  • images with additional cultural information,
  • oral scripts to practice your ability to speak Greek, to develop vocabulary, and to practice new grammatical concepts and forms.
  • authentic Greek texts, often inscriptions, illustrating the lives of women, metics, slaves, and non-Greeks.
  • writing activities to help you look at Greek culture through the eyes of others
  • culture questions to challenge your assumptions about Greek culture and to help you understand different points of view within the Greek world.

Online exercises

There are several on-line programs available for Grammar practice. See the On-line Exercises section on the Greek Links page for more exercises.

Taped reading/story writing:

Three times this term I will ask you to put your oral and written skills into practice. Depending on your inclination, you may choose either two readings and one story or two stories and one reading.

The taped reading will be a reading of a passage from a chapter recently covered in class. It should be at least one full page in length. Try to catch the phrasing and meaning of the Greek with your reading. Don't be afraid to be expressive! Record at the beginning of a tape. Be sure to label the outside of the tape with your name, and begin the reading with the chapter number, title of the passage, and the page number with which you begin. Please practice your reading before recording.

To record in CAN-8,

  • Go the Start menu and find the program CAN-8.
  • Log on by typing your Cornell ID number as User ID; for your password, type pword.
  • Then choose Greek 102 and the appropriate week that you are recording.

The story writing will be graded on comprehensibility (e.g. is the grammar reasonably correct) and coherence (does the story flow from one sentence to the next, use the proper transitional words, etc.). Try to write the first draft looking up only a minimum of words. Put it aside, and then come back to it later. I expect you to use the vocabulary and grammatical structures that are currently being studied. Remember to write and think, as much as possible, not in English, but in Greek! Each story should include a title in Greek. The final draft should be typed, double spaced, and use one-inch margins.

These assignments will be due on the fifth, tenth, and fifteenth day of the term.


There will be three tests (including the final). Each one will include oral comprehension questions, questions on the grammar and vocabulary, a reading comprehension section, a writing component, and a culture essay (in English).

Since language is a cumulative process, after each midterm I will ask you to correct all sections of your test except the culture essay and then hand it in the following day. In the process of revising your test, you will have a chance to review your notes and textbook, confer with others, and learn from your mistakes. As a result, hopefully your knowledge of the previous material will be more secure and you will be able to add new information to a firm foundation. Please use a different color to mark your corrections.

Course Requirements and Grading

  • 25% frequent quizzes (1 of which can be dropped)
  • 15% oral, taped reading of passages/story writing
  • 40% 2 midterms, each worth 20%
  • 20% final exam

Since one quiz can be dropped, there will be no make-up quizzes. There will be an oral component to the exams as well as questions on the cultural readings.

Letter grades will be assigned according to the following pattern:

A 93-100

B 83-86

C 73-76

D 63-66

A- 90-92

B- 80-82

C- 70-72

D- 60-62

B+ 87-89

C+ 77-79

D+ 67-69

F below 60

Final Note: Do not get behind at any time. Ask for help before you feel you are slipping.


Attendance: Since our class time is devoted to using the language in context, it is essential that you come to class every day, prepared and ready to participate actively. Any unexcused absence after one missed class period will harm your final grade. If you must miss class, please inform me ahead of time if at all possible. If you have a fever and/or symptoms of the flu (seasonal and H1N1), please send me an email each day keeping me up to date about your condition. For your health and the health of the rest of the class, please do not come to class until you have been fever-free for 24 hours.

Deadlines: no late work will be accepted. If an emergency or illness occurs, please let me know immediately so that other plans can be arranged.

Academic Integrity: Students are encouraged to work with others as they prepare homework and practice the language. Nonetheless, each student is expected to submit her or his own work on quizzes, exams, compositions, and other assignments. Click here for Cornell's policy on Academic Honesty.

Accommodations for different learning styles: Cornell College is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to all students.  If you have a documented learning disability and will need any accommodation in this course, you must request the accommodation(s) from me as early as possible and no later than the third day of the term. Additional information about the policies and procedures for accommodation of learning disabilities is available on the Cornell web site at

Photo Credit: ANTIQUA MEDICINA: From Homer to Vesalius (Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia)

Maintained by: Last Update: February 11, 2016 9:25 pm

Professor John Gruber-Miller
CLA 6-102-2010
Beginning Ancient Greek II

©2007 Cornell College; All Rights Reserved