Advanced Training

If you are eager to deepen your knowledge of the Ancient Greek language, you can consult one of the systematic grammars listed in another section of this website. But apart from this there are a limited number of other specialized web resources and documents: they focus on specific linguistic questions or on matters of style and some of them offer materials for advanced language training, such as English-Greek translation exercises or prose composition. Articles published in specialized journals which can be consulted on-line are not included here.

Greek Prose Style

(by Hardy Hansen): excellent web site presenting the contents of a course taught at the City University of New York in the springs of 1996, 1997 and 1999: Greek Rhetoric and Prose Style, a course in Greek prose style and prose composition. Via these pages you can access directly more than 90% of the materials contained in the 200-page workbook which Hansen produced for the course. These materials, useful for anyone interested in reading and appreciating Attic prose, include: a general bibliography with links to other web sites; a Style Scoresheet presenting a summary of stylistic features of each of the most important classical prose authors (Hecataeus, Anaxagoras, Herodotus, Ps.-Xenophon or the Old Oligarch, Thrasymachus, Antiphon, Gorgias, Lysias, Isocrates, Xenophon, Thucydides, Demosthenes, Plato, and finally Protagoras and Agathon as portrayed in Plato’s dialogues); some Excerpts from Ancient Critics on these prose authors (such as Dionysios of Halikarnassos on Lysias and on Plato, several ancient opinions on Thucydides, Demosthenes, Antiphon, Isocrates, etc.); a very interesting Essay on Loose Style and Periodic Style, lavishly illustrated with examples from either of both styles (for the loose or running style from Hecataeus, Herodotus, Lysias and Plato, for the periodic style from Demosthenes, Lysias, Gorgias and Isocrates, but also from Xenophon, Thucydides, Herodotus and Plato, thus illustrating not only rhetorical, but also historical and philosophical periods). Hansen’s intelligent discussions of these periods, often taking Demetrius’ treatise On Style (&# 928;ερὶ ἑρμηνείας) as a starting-point, well illustrate their stylistic particularities.
Another important element of this website is the Syllabus with its weekly assignments for the students. These consist of exercises of an advanced level, including repetitions of specific syntactical rules, English-Greek translation exercises modelled on the prose fragments presented here, and some papers on specific topics of Greek prose composition. Attached to these assignments are charts on the uses of the correlative pronouns and on conditional sentences in indirect statement. Hansen has taken care to make his Greek texts accessible to anyone by providing links to the Perseus-texts or by using scanned images of the Greek quotations or even presenting an entire document as a jpeg-image; only for brief Greek quotations embedded within English text, he uses a simple system of transliteration.

North and Hillard’s Greek Prose Composition & North and Hillard’s Greek Prose Composition Key

Both documents can be viewed and downloaded freely as pdf-files from the website of Textkit: Greek and Latin Learning Tools. They contain the famous century-old exercise book by M.A. North and A.E. Hillard, Greek Prose Composition for Schools, 5. ed., London, 1910, VIII, 272 p., and the corresponding Key (114 p.). These consist of 175 excellent exercises in Greek Prose Composition, i.e. English-Greek translation, with the corresponding answers: they are ordered according to progressive difficulty and introduced by the specific grammatical rules they illustrate. Apart from this the book contains some useful appendices, such as an alphabetic list of elementary vocabulary, a list of principal parts of irregular verbs and lists of the commonest compounds, prepositions and particles.

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