Kevin and James’s Ancient Greek Curriculum

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Sometime during early 2022, Kevin and James decided to take on the challenge of learning Ancient Greek. Along the way, Kevin chose to learn Modern Greek, too. This is a living document of resources to learn Ancient and Modern Greek. I hope it’s helpful to you.

I — What is this Document?

Sometime during early 2022, Kevin and James decided to take on the challenge of learning Ancient Greek. Along the way, Kevin chose to learn Modern Greek, too.

This is a living document of resources to learn Ancient and Modern Greek. I hope it’s helpful to you. If you have suggestions, chat with me on Twitter at @kevinpalbrecht or my website at

II — Greek: How to Start

II.1 — Starting Greek, Step 1: Which Greek?

Decide what variant of Greek you will learn. Here’s a very rough description of the phases:

Most “Ancient Greek” courses teach a combination of Attic and Koine.

II.2 — Starting Greek, Step 2: How to approach Ancient Greek?


  1. “Reverse chronological” approach — Learn Modern Greek first, then learn Ancient Greek. This has a huge advantage of learning using the huge amount of resources available to learn Modern Greek, plus you will be able to read the full range of Greek literature and speak to people in Greece.1
    • See the sections on the Reverse Chronological Approach, below.
  2. “I just want to read the Bible” approach — Learn just Koine.
  3. “I want to read all of Ancient Greek literature” approach — Learn the combination of Attic/Koine that most Ancient Greek courses teach.

II.3 — Starting Greek, Step 3: Reverse Chronological Approach

Only follow this step if you follow the “Reverse Chronological” approach.

Why learn Modern Greek first?

How should you work your way backward?

  1. Learn Modern Greek for 1-2 years and reach a comfortable level of fluency using modern methods:
    1. Find a conversation partner on the internet
    2. Watch Greek movies and documentaries and shows
    3. Listen to Greek radio
    4. Travel to Greece
  2. Learn in reverse chronological order

Some people who advocate for this approach:

See Guide to Learning Modern Greek.

II.4 — Starting Greek, Step 4: Learn an Ancient Greek pronunciation style

There’s a lot of options:

  1. Modern Greek pronunciation — This is the way ancient Greek is taught in Greece to this day, and it facilitates learning Modern Greek later.3

II.5 — Starting Greek, Step 5: Learn Ancient Greek

Buy a dictionary — start with Little Liddell (see Dictionaries)

Buy a method book — start with Athenaze Volume 1 (see Book Courses section)

Use Anki with the phrases and sentences you learn in Athenaze. See SigmaX’s comment on this Reddit thread for an explanation.

You can learn Greek to fluency, using these steps:4

  1. Learn the pronunciation
  2. Accumulate words and phrases
  3. Read as much as you can without worrying about understanding every word
  4. Then tackle the grammar

III — Ancient Greek Resources

III.1 — Book Courses

Learn using a method that uses Comprehensible Input (CI) with Context, not a “decoding” technique or the old Grammar-Translation Approach. When looking for good approaches, look for people who mention “Stephen Krashen” or “Comprehensible Input”.

III.1.1 — Book Courses: Comprehensible Input Approach

Best at top.

Athenaze Series5

Polis Series

Cambridge Reading Greek Series7 (AKA “JACT” or “Joint Association of Classical Teachers”)

Thrasymachus: Greek Through Reading by C. W. Peckett, A. D. Munday

III.1.2 — Book Courses: Grammar-Translation Approach

These use the old grammar-translation (G-T) approach to language acquisition, which is an older method and generally more difficult than the comprehensible input methods above.

Introduction to Attic Greek by Donald J. Mastronarde

From Alpha to Omega11

Ancient Greek, Second Edition: A New Approach by Carl A. P. Ruck12

An introduction to ancient Greek: a literary approach by C. A. E. Luschnig & Deborah Mitchell13

Greek Ollendorff by Asahel Clark Kendrik

Ancient Greek Alive

Greek to GCSE Series by John Taylor

The Greek Paradigm  Handbook by Erik Geannikis, Andrew Romiti and P.T. Wilford

Learn to Read Greek series by Keller & Russell

Greek: An Intensive Course by Hansen and Quinn

Homeric Greek by Clyde Pharr

Complete Ancient Greek: A Teach Yourself Guide (Teach Yourself (McGraw-Hill)) 3rd Edition

Learn Ancient Greek Paperback - Peter Jones18

Reading Koine Greek by Rodney J. Decker — Reading Koine Greek (Baker Publishing Group)

III.2 — Readers

“Readers” are a broad category of texts written in modern times in Ancient Greek, with the goal of presenting a simpler form of the language to assist in learning.

How to use bilingual texts:19

  1. Read the translation (English)
  2. Use the translation as a crutch to understand the Greek
  3. Reread the Greek, using the translation only when you forget a word or a construction
  4. Continue rereading the Greek text until you can read it without difficulty

See also How to use a graded reader.

Why should you focus on reading? See Paul Nation’s Four Strands Model for Language Learning and Extensive reading to learn languages.

III.2.1 — Readers: Graded Readers

Lucian’s A True Story: An Intermediate Greek Reader: Greek Text with Running Vocabulary and Commentary

Greek reader intended for second year AG students:

III.2.2 — Readers: Bilingual/Interlinear Texts

You can find interlinear/bilingual texts for many works, including both Greek and English.

Interlinear Septuagint

Interlinear new testament

Loeb Classical series

III.2.3 — Readers: Annotated Texts

You can find annotated Greek texts for the major texts, which have annotations explaining difficult parts of the texts

III.2.4 — Readers: Unorganized


III.3 — Text Courses

University of Texas’s Linguistics Research Center Course on New Testament (Koine) Greek

University of Texas’s Linguistics Research Center Course on Classical Greek

III.4 — References: Grammars

III.5 — References: Dictionaries

Start with the “Little Liddell” and get the other ones as your fluency increases.

“Little Liddell”

“Middle Liddell”

“Big Liddell”

III.6 — Online Classes & Video Courses

The Ancient Language Institute

The Great Courses Greek 101 by Professor Hans-Friedrich Mueller

Introduction to Homeric Greek (Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies

Learn Ancient Greek with Leonard Muellner & Belisi Gillespie

Biblical Greek - Lessons in Order - YouTube

Alpha with Angela

Ancient Greek in Action [in ascending order] - YouTube

OMIΛEIN Online Courses

III.7 — Mobile & Web Apps




Mango Languages: Ancient Greek

Mango Languages: Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek in Action: Ancient Greek in Action! Ancient Greek Lessons: Koine, Classical Attic, Biblical - YouTube

III.8 — Podcasts

Biblical Languages Podcast from Biblingo

III.9 — Other Resources

List of beginner resources:

Ancient Greek By The Ranieri-Dowling Method by Luke Ranieri

Textkit Greek and Latin Forums

Ancient Greek Net

If you want to nerd out on how the pronunciation of Greek probably changed over time: Ranieri’s Greek Pronunciation Chronology

IV — Ancient Greek Literature

These are authentic texts from history.

IV.1 — Lists

IV.2 — Intermediate Literature

Which texts should I start with?

IV.3 — Collections

IV.4 — Advanced Literature

Apology of Socrates by Plato

The Clouds by Aristophanes

The Histories by Herodotus

Unorganized below

Neo-Greek literature?

IV.5 — “Modern” Ancient Greek Literature

IV.6 — Audiobooks

V — Books about the Ancient Greek world

Medieval and Modern Greek by Robert Browning

VI — Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to the advice from the following people:

VII — References