From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek / Edition 4

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One of the most successful Classical Greek introductory textbooks, this edition provides an introduction to Classical Greek with an encouraging, pleasant, and accessible presentation for today's modern students. Fifty short lessons presume no knowledge of Latin, and allow students to master a concept before moving on to the next. Each lesson is accompanied by numerous exercises, as well as manageable selections of Ancient Greek writings (edited in early chapters) from Aesop's most amusing and curious fables to concise Greek passages from The New Testament, Aristotle, Arrian, Demosthenes, Lysias, Plato, Thucydides, and Xenophon.

The fourth edition of From Alpha to Omega retains all the features that have made it a best-selling introductory Greek textbook, many of them improved or expanded:

  • Balanced, evenly-paced lessons to accommodate various academic schedules
  • Brief readings from Ancient Greek authors
  • Efficient translation exercises
  • Succinct, instructive vocabulary lists
  • Glossary containing all vocabulary words from lessons and readings, both Greek-to-English, and English-to-Greek

Online exercises, audio recordings, video tutorials, and more accompany each chapter at

An Ancillary Exercise Workbook and a Greek Reader are also available.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585103911
  • Publisher: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 540
  • Sales rank: 660,168
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne H. Groton is Professor of Classics at St. Olaf College, where she has chaired the Department of Classics and directed the programs in Ancient Studies and Medieval Studies.
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Read an Excerpt


Καλα Εεκινησει Ειναι μισο Εyινε  Well begun is half done
—one of Pythagoras’ sayings, quoted by Iamblichus in Pythagoras 162

Greek belongs to a large and colorful family of Indo-European languages, all thought to be descended from a very old, now extinct language spoken by people who roamed over the Eurasian continent during prehistoric times. Other prominent members of the family are the Italic (including Latin and the Romance languages), Germanic (including English), Celtic, Baltic, Slavic (including Russian), Armenian, Iranian, and Indic languages.

The Greek language has been in continuous use for more than three thousand years; its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation have been evolving gradually over the centuries. There is a great deal of difference between, say, Greek of the seventh century BCE and Greek of the first century CE, even though they are both “ancient” from our point of view. Moreover, each geographical region of Greece had its own dialect. Some authors wrote in their native dialect; others, working within an established literary genre, wrote in the dialect(s) that tradition demanded.

The ancient Greek taught in this book is Classical in date. It is the sort of Greek that would have been used by educated people during Greece’s Classical age, roughly the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. These were glory days for Athens, artistically and intellectually as well as militarily. Much of the literature surviving from the Classical period is written in Attic, the dialect of the Athenians. (Attica is the name of the district that includes Athens.) The philosopher Plato, the orators Lysias and Demosthenes, the historians Thucydides and Xenophon, the comic playwright Aristophanes—to name just a few of Athens’ most famous authors—all wrote in Attic.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface ix

  • Lesson 1 Introduction: The Greek Alphabet 1
  • Lesson 2 Introduction: The Greek Accents 9
  • Lesson 3 Ω-Verbs: Present Active Indicative, Present Active Infinitive, Present Active Imperative 13
  • Lesson 4 First Declension: Feminine Nouns, Part 1 21
  • Lesson 5 First Declension: Feminine Nouns, Part 2 27
  • Lesson 6 Ω-Verbs: Future Active Indicative, Future Active Infinitive 31
  • Lesson 7 Second Declension: Masculine Nouns 37
  • Lesson 8 Second Declension: Neuter Nouns; Adjectives: First/Second Declension 43
  • Lesson 9 First Declension: Masculine Nouns; Substantives 51
  • Lesson 10 Ω-Verbs: Imperfect Active Indicative; Correlatives 57
  • Lesson 11 Ω-Verbs: Middle/Passive Voice; Prepositions 63
  • Lesson 12 ? ?μ?; Enclitics 71
  • Lesson 13 Demonstratives 77
  • Lesson 14 Personal Pronouns 83
  • Lesson 15 Contract Verbs (-?Ω, -?Ω, -?Ω); Contracted Futures 87
  • Lesson 16 Third Declension: Stop, Liquid, and Nasal Stems 95
  • Lesson 17 Third Declension: Sigma Stems; Adjectives: Third Declension 101
  • Lesson 18 Ω-Verbs: First Aorist Active and Middle Indicative, First Aorist Active and Middle Infinitives, First Aorist Active and Middle Imperatives 107
  • Lesson 19 Ω-Verbs: Second Aorist Active and Middle Indicative, Second Aorist Active and Middle Infinitives, Second Aorist Active and Middle Imperatives; Reflexive Pronouns 115
  • Lesson 20 Ω-Verbs: Perfect Active Indicative, Perfect Active Infinitive; Pluperfect Active Indicative 123
  • Lesson 21 Interrogative τ?ς and Indefinite τις 131
  • Lesson 22 Ω-Verbs: Perfect Middle/Passive Indicative, Perfect Middle/ Passive Infinitive; Pluperfect Middle/Passive Indicative 137
  • Lesson 23 Relative Pronouns; π?ς; Expressions of Time 145



  • Lesson 24 Ω-Verbs: Present Active Participle, Future Active Participle, First and Second Aorist Active Participles, Perfect Active Participle 153
  • Lesson 25 Ω-Verbs: Present Middle/Passive Participle, Future Middle Participle, First and Second Aorist Middle Participles, Perfect Middle/Passive Participle 163
  • Lesson 26 Direct and Indirect Questions; Alternative Questions 171
  • Lesson 27 Ω-Verbs: Aorist Passive Tense 181
  • Lesson 28 Ω-Verbs: Future Passive Tense; Future Perfect Active and Middle/Passive Tenses; ο?δ α 189
  • Lesson 29 Third Declension: Vowel Stems, Syncopated Stems 195
  • Lesson 30 Deponent Verbs; Genitive Absolute; ? ?ς; ο?δ ? ?ς/μηδ ? ?ς 203
  • Lesson 31 Adverbs: Positive Degree; Result Clauses 211
  • Lesson 32 Adjectives and Adverbs: Comparative and Superlative Degrees; Genitive of Comparison; Partitive Genitive 219
  • Lesson 33 Adjectives and Adverbs: Irregular Comparative and Superlative Degrees; -υς, -? ια, -υ Adjectives; Dative of Degree of Difference 227
  • Lesson 34 Numerals 235
  • Lesson 35 Subjunctive Mood: Present, Aorist, Perfect Tenses; Active, Middle, Passive Voices; Independent Uses of the Subjunctive (Hortatory, Prohibitive, Deliberative) 243
  • Lesson 36 Optative Mood: Present, Future, Aorist, Perfect Tenses; Active, Middle, Passive Voices; Independent Uses of the Optative (Wishes, Potentiality) 253
  • Lesson 37 Conditions 263
  • Lesson 38 Conditional Relative Clauses; Relative Adverbs 271
  • Lesson 39 Purpose Clauses 279
  • Lesson 40 ? ?μι; Indirect Discourse (?τι/?ς) 285
  • Lesson 41 φημ?; Indirect Discourse (with infinitive) 295
  • Lesson 42 Indirect Discourse (with participle); Crasis 303
  • Lesson 43 More Uses of the Infinitive; πρ?ν 313
  • Lesson 44 Verbal Adjectives in -τ?ος and -τ?ς 321
  • Lesson 45 Clauses of Effort and Fear 329
  • Lesson 46 MI-Verbs (δ ?δ Ωμι, ?στημι) 337
  • Lesson 47 MI-Verbs (τ?θημι, ?ημι) 347
  • Lesson 48 ΜΙ-Verbs (δ ? ?κν?μι); Unattainable Wishes 355
  • Lesson 49 βα?νΩ, γιγν?σκΩ: Directional Suffixes; Accusative of Respect 363
  • Lesson 50 Redundant μ?; Uses of μ? ο? & ο? μ?; Attraction of Relative Pronoun 371
  • Grammatical Appendix Nouns 381
  • Definite Article 385


  • Pronouns 385
  • Adjectives 389
  • Numerals 394
  • Adverbs 396
  • Verbs 397
  • Word Lists 441
  • English-to-Greek Glossary 457
  • Greek-to-English Glossary 485
  • Index 519
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