Why learn Classical Greek?

My answer is, “why not?” Don’t be put off by the alphabet – you already know 12 letters, probably more – that’s at least half the Greek alphabet. So many English words come from Greek, you’ll be surprised. Learning ancient Greek will help you with English grammar. Ancient Greek is a puzzle waiting to be solved. When you read those lines of Homer for yourself without using Lattimore’s or Rieu’s translations, then you’ll realise it has all been worth it.

Classical Greek or ancient Greek? Classical Greek refers to the period during which the type of language was used. The classical period is the fifth century BC, the 400s, during which the dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes, and historian Thucydides, were writing. A huge amount of literature was generated in Athens during the fifth century.

But the Greek of textbooks such as Athenaze and Reading Greek is that of the classical period, the fifth century BC. Learning classical Greek will enable you to attempt to read Homer (my favourite), Herodotus, Xenophon, and Plato.

Why not give it a go?

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