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Ancient Greek for Everyone: A New Digital Resource for Beginning Greek 2013 edition Wilfred E. Major

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient Greek for Everyone: A New Digital Resource for Beginning Greek 2013 edition Wilfred E. Major"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient Greek for Everyone: A New Digital Resource for Beginning Greek 2013 edition Wilfred E. Major

2 Ancient Greek for Everyone This class – You have learned the Greek alphabet and other components of the Greek writing system. – This slide show offers an overview of Ancient Greek for Everyone (AGE), the digital textbook resource for this class. It surveys: – The organization of AGE by Part of Speech – The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – The method and purpose of the readings.

3 Ancient Greek for Everyone The organization of AGE by Part of Speech – The units of AGE are organized by Part of Speech. – Greek has effectively the same parts of speech as English: – verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, interjections

4 Ancient Greek for Everyone The organization of AGE by Part of Speech – The units of AGE are organized by Part of Speech. – Each unit consists of: – A survey of some feature of a Part of Speech – A vocabulary list of items pertaining to this feature – Reading passages which provide practice with this feature and review of the Greek you have already learned.

5 Ancient Greek for Everyone – The organization of AGE by Part of Speech The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – Each unit includes two vocabulary lists: a Classical Vocabulary list and a New Testament (NT) vocabulary list. – Both lists are geared to the topic of the unit.

6 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – Many words appear on both lists. – The lists both consist of high-frequency Greek vocabulary, and since the most frequent words in Classical writings and the New Testament are often the same, the lists often overlap. Because of differences in time and topic, there are also some differences, of course. – You are required to memorize vocabulary that is common to both lists. Each unit includes a Core vocabulary list that compiles this vocabulary.

7 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – The Classical vocabulary list derives from the Core Vocabulary list of the Dickinson College Commentaries (DCC) series – At this link, you can view the entire list and you can select various subsets of the list by type or meaning: – The DCC list consists of a little under 500 words.

8 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – The DCC list consists of a little under 500 words. These words make up an average of about 2/3 of Greek texts. – This is because, like most languages, Greek in practice repeats some words often and uses other words more rarely. – In English, for example, words like the a and is appear repeatedly, but a word like paraclausithyron, sadly, is used very rarely.

9 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – Scholars have studied word frequency in English and learned that adult English speakers typically carry about 10,000 to 15,000 vocabulary items. They do not use them all equally, however. – In fact, about 100 words make up nearly half of speaking and writing in English. – Furthermore, about 2,400 words make up 80%. After that, vocabulary becomes more specialized and less frequent.

10 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – The 50% and 80% levels are common leveling points in vocabulary usage and the numbers for these levels in English are average compared to many other languages (although the complete vocabulary of English is much larger than for most languages). – Greek, by contrast, uses a much small vocabulary.

11 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – It takes only about 65 words to make up 50% of Classical Greek texts. – It takes fewer than 1,100 words to make up 80% of these texts. – The DCC list at a little less than 500 makes up somewhere around two-thirds.

12 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – The DCC list is designed to serve as the high frequency core vocabulary list for all intermediate readers of Classical Greek. – As new readers are developed for the DCC and elsewhere, they will provide running vocabulary for words, but assume you already know the words in the Core. – By the end of AGE, you will have the entire DCC Core Greek vocabulary list. Thus, you should be ready for intermediate-level reading at that point.

13 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – The New Testament (NT) list works on similar principles. – Each unit includes high-frequency vocabulary items from the NT. By the end, it includes every vocabulary item that occurs 30+ times in the NT.

14 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – Two intermediate reading editions of the NT make use of this same list: – Richard J. Goodrich and Albert L. Lukaszewski, A Readers Greek New Testament, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), ISBN – Barclay M. Newman, The UBS Greek New Testament: A Readers Edition (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007), ISBN

15 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – Both include this list of words occurring 30+ times in the back, and then provide running vocabulary for all other words on each page. – By the end of AGE, you will have the complete 30+ vocabulary list and thus be prepared to use either of these readers.

16 Ancient Greek for Everyone The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – Note: The AGE vocabulary lists do not include the proper names of people or places, even when, statistically, such names are frequent enough for inclusion. – Running vocabulary lists for the readings in AGE include any words that have not appeared in the AGE vocabulary lists up to that point. Vocabulary which is part of the Core Vocabulary by that point will not be glossed.

17 Ancient Greek for Everyone – The organization of AGE by Part of Speech – The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – The method and purpose of the readings. – Each unit of AGE includes three readings: readings from Classical Greek readings in Greek from Biblical texts.

18 Ancient Greek for Everyone Classical Greek strictly speaking refers to writings from the city of Athens during the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. These writings include: Scripts of the worlds first plays, both comedies and tragedies (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes). Some of the earliest writings about history (Thucydides, Xenophon).* The earliest complete writings of philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle). Important legal and political writings, as well as the earliest biographies, essays, literary letters, and historical fiction (Xenophon, the canonical orators). The readings in this course in Classical Greek draw primarily from the above writings.

19 Ancient Greek for Everyone Recall that Attic/Classical Greek became the basis for koine Greek. The most famous writing in koine Greek is the New Testament. The Hebrew Bible was translated into koine Greek in the second century B.C., and this version of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX), was the one known to early Christians. Other writings from this period related to the Bible were also written in koine Greek. The Biblical readings in this course draw from New Testament, the Septuagint, and related ancient writings.

20 Ancient Greek for Everyone – The organization of AGE by Part of Speech – The method and purpose of the vocabulary lists – The method and purpose of the readings. – The readings are chosen in part because they use the grammatical topic of a particular unit, and because they are famous or interesting. – The readings from Classical and Biblical texts are unchanged from standard scholarly editions. – Vocabulary (as explained above) and grammatical notes are added for material not covered yet in AGE by the time of the reading.

21 Ancient Greek for Everyone Ancient Greek for Everyone (AGE) – At this point, AGE includes units only for Classical and Biblical Greek. – In coming years, the plan is to add units for Homeric/Ionic Greek, post-Classical Greek, Medieval/Byzantine Greek and Katherevousa/Demotic Greek. – Even now, however, the lessons of AGE provide the core and gateway for these others eras of Greek!


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