Greek Prose Composition



Outline: Anyone who has attempted to learn a modern language will testify to the importance of speaking, imperfectly at first, and getting better with usage and time. For the learning of the two Classical languages the speaking component is not deemed to be essential, because they are not spoken (at least not in the form that we study them). However, the process by which one is encouraged (or compelled) to use a language actively, and not simply understand it passively, is equally important in the learning process. You may not be asked to speak Classical Greek or Latin, and you may not even be asked to write it in daily usage. However, the attempt to compose in the language is extremely valuable as a learning tool, because it forces one to understand in depth the way the language works. For example, if you had to use correctly the subjunctive in a composition, you would come to understand much better what it is and when it should (or should not) be used. In this respect Prose Composition performs a similar function to the speaking and writing components in Modern Languages and is equally important for the learning process.


Assessment: Training on a weekly basis is essential for progress in this course, and for that reason the assessment primarily will be based on your weekly assignments (70% of the grade, i.e. 5x14, for the 14 weeks of the course). VIGOROUS class participation carries 10%, and the Final Test carries 20%. .


Attendance Policy: Attendance is obligatory and critical for success in this course. Short of serious illness or the end of the world, no other excuse will be accepted for missing a class, and the grade will be reduced even for one unjustified absence.


Course Handbook: North – Hillard Greek Prose Composition (The numbers in the schedule below correspond to the pages of North-Hillard).





Part 1: The Basics


Week 1:


The Article [1-7]




Week 2:

Nouns and Adjectives.


Middle and passive voice [8-19]


Week 3:


Time and Space

Comparison [20-29].


Week 4:

Absolute Genitive


Connection [34-45]


Week 5:

Indirect Statement [48-55]

Direct Questions [58-61]


Week 6:

Indirect question

Genitive as an object [62-71]


Week 7:



Commands, Exhortations, Wishes

Negatives [72-81]


Week 8:

Indirect Commands

Subordinate Clauses in Indirect Speech [82-86]

Causal Clauses

Use of Tenses in the Moods

Final Sentences [90-97]


Week 9:

Verbs of Fearing

Consecutive Clauses

Conditional Sentences [98-121]


Week 10:


Impersonal Verbs

Verbal adjectives

Prepositions  [122-142]


Week 11:

Indefinite Construction

Temporal Clauses

Usage of the negative particles [148-165]


Part 2: Composition of complex passages with focus on styles


Week 12: The Greek of Xenophon


Week 13: The Greek of Lysias


Week 14 The Greek of Thucydides


Week 15: The Greek of Aristotle


Week 16: Final Test



Class Assignment for Xenophon (prepare for class)

Weekly Assignment for Xenophon


Lysias Assignment