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Why Study Greek?

Greek photo illustration

Because Their Voices Live On? For Those Who Long to Hear Them

Students who complete the first year of Greek are eligible for the Greek in Greece study abroad program?where they can complete their second year of Greek in five weeks at the University of Patras in western Greece.

The Ancient Greeks: Their bodies are dead; their voices live on—for those who long to hear them. Learn to read the very words of Homer, Plato, Thucydides, the New Testament.

The Classics & World Religions Department offers a full four-year program in Classical Greek. Many students choose to complete only two years (GK 1110, 1120, 2110, and 2120), which satisfies the two-year foreign language requirement. By the end of the second year, students typically have read a good bit of Homer and Plato along with smatterings of many other authors.

A few students choose to take a third year of Greek or even a fourth year and a complete a major in Classical Languages. Advanced courses involve extensive reading of major Greek authors: poets, historians, philosophers, tragedians, and the New Testament. Advanced Greek skills are of particular value to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in classics, ancient philosophy, ancient history, and theology or early Christian studies.

Graduates of the Greek program have gone on to successful graduate and professional school careers at such universities as Princeton, Chicago, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and Cincinnati.

Courses to Take

GK 1110 Beginning Greek I & GK 1120 Beginning Greek II comprise the two-semester first-year course. (GK 5110 & 5120 for graduate students)

This first-year sequence assumes no previous acquaintance with Greek, beginning with the Greek alphabet followed by basic grammar (and a lot of English grammar in the process), vocabulary, and reading skills. Students read adapted passages of real Greek literature that gradually escalate in complexity and interest.

By the end of the first year, students have been introduced to most basic Greek grammar and should be ready to begin reading relatively simple Greek texts (Homer, Plato, the New Testament Gospels) on their own during the summer if they choose to. The class relies heavily on group work. Students of all levels from freshman to graduate student work together?both encouraging and challenging one another toward intellectual and personal growth.

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