June 15, 2020   |   by admin

Vocabulary from C. A. E. Luschnig’s “An Introduction to Ancient Greek” (2nd ed.), the textbook used by undergraduates at St. John’s College. Lessons follow. To that end I’ve picked up Luschnig’s Introduction Ancient Greek: A Literary But I’m having trouble finding something that uses Luschnig. C.A.E. Luschnig, An Introduction to Ancient Greek: A Literary Approach. Second edition, revised by C.A.E. Luschnig and Deborah Mitchell.

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This volume represents a newly revised edition of C. An Introduction to Ancient Greek: A Literary Approach from the ‘s. In many ways, this is a remarkable volume, preserving the verve, knowledge, and perspective of a master teacher. Users of the original edition should be pleased with this new version, and those comfortable with the traditional approach of teaching Greek as an intensive course ljschnig seriously consider this book.

Teachers who are looking for an alternative to the majority of textbooks available, however, will find little here in the way of a fresh approach to beginning Greek.

Luschnig’s An Introduction to Ancient – Memrise

The presentation of the grammatical concepts reflects a desire for students to get the big picture early and build on this broad foundation.

The next three lessons lay out forms derived from the first three principal parts imperfect tense in Lesson 2, future in Lesson 3, and aorist in Lesson 4. Lessons 5 and 6 shift the focus to nouns and adjectives of the third declension. Finally, Lesson 14 adds on the imperative mood and the luscnig case. Thus there is a logic to the presentation of material, but it is not always in the best interests of the beginning student.

While it makes sense to marshal verb forms in order according to their principal parts, deferring the presentation of some material can distort the importance of certain high frequency items. Students need earlier exposure to the more common items so that they have as much practice and exposure as possible when they begin encountering them regularly in the ancient authors. The delay in presenting greeek of these ideas seems especially odd in the context of other material in the book.

The rules for contraction which apply to nouns and verbs in Lesson 13 are no different from those she invokes in many earlier lessons, so that presenting these observations as general principles of contraction would help students see and vreek their use throughout the language.

The appearance of imperatives and vocatives at the tail end of the text is odd, too, given that L. Reference material is gathered at the back of the book. One appendix gathers together paradigms and principal parts. Another gives an overview of syntax.

Greek-English and English-Greek vocabularies follow. It would have been helpful for entries to indicate in what chapter each word is introduced.



An index of grammatical topics rounds out the volume. The lessons themselves have a consistent structure: Hackett has not always done a good job of displaying the material, however.

Many pages appear crowded especially, for example, pp. Sometimes paradigms are split across pages. Even at its best, the presentation does little to help the beginning student. Most lessons feature an onslaught of paradigms, and nothing in the graphics guides the novice reader to observe their patterns. In Lesson 5, for example, students and teachers face eight paradigms of third declension nouns on page and eight more paradigms two pages later.

In fact, of course, these sixteen paradigms vary in rather small ways, and the surrounding three pages of text do explain these details, but the lists of forms themselves are monotonous no dashes, emphasis, separation, or any other marker. Moreover, there is no sense of which paradigms represent the majority of nouns in this declension. As with the presentation of verb forms discussed above, there is much useful information here, but it is not geared to the needs of a beginning student who is encountering this wealth of data for the first time.

The Exercises are plentiful and varied. They regularly include twenty or more sentences to translate into English and about ten to translate from English into Greek. Teachers will want to select from the sometimes shocking abundance of exercises in Lesson 12, there are a full hundred forms to parse and eighty sentences to translate into Englishbut choice in such material is welcome.

Each lesson then features a Readings section, consisting of quotations from classical authors. Mostly these are gnomic utterances from Menander, philosophers, or the tragedians. There are a few extended readings: Philosophy and tragedy dominate the readings, with some taste of lyric poetry. Indeed, history, oratory, and epic are almost entirely absent.

The first lesson includes several sentences from Christian writers, but there are few authors later than Menander in other lessons. The highlights of the book are found in the additional material. Each lesson ends with a brief section on some cultural item, including a few sections on conversational Greek, essays on colors, flowers, theater, luscynig so on.

Full vocabulary notes, virtually brief essays on key terms in Greek, also enrich each lesson. In these sections, L. At a number of other points, too, L. This is a window into and a legacy of her long, successful career as a Greek teacher.

Overall, however, this will be a difficult book to use. I have suggested already that L. In a somewhat tongue-in-cheek section in Lesson 1 lyschnig “Learning by Rote,” luzchnig writes, “Learning a new language necessitates taxing your memory to the utmost, because you cannot know the language in the abstract. You must know its forms and structure i.


I fear for students who luschhig perhaps simultaneously taking classes in addition to Greek or who might reserve some of their memory for other aspects of their lives. Too often, I cannot help but feel that her explications are grdek, but not helpful. I like that she provides the Greek terms for various parts of speech and other grammatical terms, but do not see where it gives students an advantage in their reading skills. Does it benefit students meeting the Greek alphabet for the first time to learn the three obsolete letters p.

Should they also, at this same stage, learn the numbers, not just the words for the numbers, but the symbols for them p. In the next lesson, after presenting the aorist, L.

An Introduction to Ancient Greek: A Literary Approach

A certain degree of carelessness is also evident. Every Greek textbook has errors and infelicities, so I do not find such problems fatal in themselves. What I cannot determine, however, grek the need for this book.

Several Greek textbooks already on the market take basically the same approach. By contrast, luscunig the basis of my experience in recent years at roundtables and workshops on teaching Greek, plenty of teachers rgeek yearning for something substantially different from the books currently available. Most teachers can state immediately what drives students away from Greek: This book offers no improvement in any of these areas.

Developing new textbooks and resources will not be easy, but L. Unsurprisingly, the numbers barely appear in the readings, but numbers are presented again in Lesson 10 pp. For example, some terms in the Introduction are glossed, but others, like “Byzantine,” are not. The reading at Lesson 3 no.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

In alphabetical order by author, the most popular such books are: Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall, Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek 2 ulschnig. Groton, From Alpha to Omega: An Introduction to Luscgnig Greek3rd ed. Focus, ISBN Hardy Hansen and Gerald Quinn, Greek: An Intensive Courserev.

Mastronarde, Introduction to Attic Greek Berkeley: In the interest of disclosure, I use Cynthia Shelmerdine’s L. ISBNbecause I find it succinct and flexible.

For a different assessment, see BMCR I have recently addressed this issue more broadly, with some suggestions for re-thinking instruction in beginning Greek, in “On Not Teaching Greek,” Classical Journal [] Bryn Mawr Classical Review Luschnig, An Introduction to Treek Greek: Second edition, revised by C. Luschnig and Deborah Mitchell. Reviewed by Wilfred E. Major, Louisiana State University wmajor lsu. Books Available for Review.