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Teach Yourself Ancient Greek (Teach Yourself: Language) Paperback – May 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Teach Yourself Books; 2nd edition (May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071431802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071431804
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,467,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gavin Betts was born in the small Australian town of Penrith and has spent most of his life in his native land. His interest in ancient Greek and Latin began in childhood when he was given a copy of the Children's Encyclopedia, which had been produced by Arthur Mee. Its many articles on famous incidents and characters of the Greek and Roman world caught his imagination and he resolved to learn Greek and Latin if ever given the chance.

He started Latin at secondary school, where he was introduced to Caesar's De Bello Gallico, but it was not until he entered the University of Sydney that he was able to begin on Greek. After graduating with first class honours and the University medal in Latin he spent two years of further study at Cambridge. His first academic appointment was at the University College at Newcastle (N.S.W., Australia). From there he moved to Monash University in Melbourne, where he was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 1971. He retired from this position in 1994 and now spends his time in writing books and re-reading Greek and Latin authors. As a hobby he makes mechanical clocks.

His publications include TY Latin, TY Ancient Greek (with Alan Henry), TY New Testament Greek and various translations of medieval and Modern Greek texts.

Product Description

Book Description

This is a comprehensive introduction to the people who began Western civilisation. Whether you are a complete beginner or have some knowledge of Ancient Greek, you will benefit from this clearly structured course which presents the fundamentals of Ancient Greek in 24 units. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Gavin Betts (retired) was Associated Professor of Classical Studies, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.

Alan Henry is Professor of Classical Studies, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr C Gibson on 9 April 2007
Format: Paperback
This book may appear to overload the complete beginner with accidence (that is the word endings) and there are many substantial tables of noun declension and verb charts, but the fact of the matter is that these are unavoidable and essential for the comprehension of even the most basic of Ancient greek texts so to ommit or dilute them would be unwise.

This book lacks enough grammatical depth in some instances and focuses heavily of describing the syntax etc. rather than explaining it which may lead to some confusion but to make up for this it provides the reader with a very well-rounded and complete set of vocabulary (particularly for complete beginners) and most of the texts are drawn from original sources.

By the end of the course you are reading original and unadapted texts, which is after all the main reason of studying this ancient language.

If used alongside another course, for example Reading Greek or equivilant, it proves to be a helpful reference tool and alternative to other texts.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr Dee on 9 April 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is definitely not for beginners. It is dense, difficult, demanding, and not very well laid out. Novices will be struggling from the very outset to get a handle on even the basics. The authors are merciless. For anybody who has previous experience of Classical Greek however this book might function as an excellent aid to revision, and a useful bridge to Classical Greek for anybody who has only ever done New Testament Greek. Otherwise give this grammar a wide berth.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By the great amphibian on 20 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
I have the TY book for Ancient Greek and Beginner's Greek Script. I worked through the latter within a couple of weeks and it was a very good introduction to pronunciation, alphabet, and basic vocabulary for contemporary Greek. The former, (the subject of this review), is a much more comprehensive and infinately more advanced text, being very clear about the difficulty of learning Ancient Greek from this book alone. I have conquered the first couple of chapters, and I am very pleased with the direct way that concepts are introduced, leaving the general language jargon up to the reader to learn seperately, (eg, vocative, genitive, nominative... ), but explaining the conditions specifically applicable to the Greek language. I compiled a glossary of approaching 100 terms when working through the first 20 pages or so, as all appropriate key words are used without introduction, (a good thing).
The explanations are excellent and the book seems to achieve it's aim at giving direct explanations in the best possible format to a person prepared to put in a lot of hard work. The frequent interludes of Greek History give the book excellent balance, and the exercises are consistent with the optimal standard of this book, giving lots of opportunity to practice skills such as translating; (for example, the exercise for chapter 2, (of 24 or 25), gives 15 example sentences which each take 20 minutes or so to complete). Overall, this book is very pleasing value for money and is exactly what I hoped for; and is consistent with my opinion that if a subject is hard, it can't be made easier by dressing it up in gimmicks and metaphor, it should be direct and honest like this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JR Anderson on 12 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I have always found the Teach Yourself series to be excellent, and this book is no exception. Ancient Greek is a very difficult language to master and a detailed book such as this is really required in order to make any form of progress. I have to admit, even as a none beginner I found the content quite daunting at times- it is indeed VERY comprehensive- however, I think that detail is necessary if you realistically want to read classic material. The only thing I didn't understand was why the author insisted on using the lunate sigma (i.e. c/C) throughout when the usual sigma was far more commonly used. Apart from that, no problems at all. Helpful reading exercises, great grammar summaries and interesting cultural information. The only thing I would say is if you are planning on learning Ancient Greek, you should ensure that you are familiar with grammatical terms (such as adjective, noun, verb etc..)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Busoi Marian on 28 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
The explanations are very good and the book is suitable for both beginners and intermediate learners. I learned a bit of ancient Greek before starting to read this book, so it was easier for me to grasp the concepts. The book is not perfectly structured, but it takes you through the language with baby steps. It's very nice that it has keys for all exercises (books I've worked with before didn't and that was a major drawback), so you can check where you went wrong and correct yourself. I like it that it gives introductions about the ancient authors and works cited, like Aesop etc. and the readings are very nice. Highly recommended. If you know the basic concepts of the English grammar and you don't give up easily, you will for sure be able to read classical Greek texts after going through this book carefully.

Good luck!
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