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Learn Ancient Greek Paperback – 24 Apr 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Duckworth; Reprint edition (24 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715627589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715627587
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Peter Jones, co-founder of the Friends of Classics, is one of the best-known figures in the teaching and appreciation of the Classics, a regular contributor to national newspapers and the author of many books and articles, including, in the same series, "Learn Latin."


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a very cunningly constructed text. The author is very clear about what he wants you to achieve: to get a sense of achievement from reading short classical texts and short sections from the New Testament.No time is diverted into learning noun endings: emphasis is on the all important definite article. You will be led by the nose through active and passive verbs and participles. Every exercise is linked to a translation key. It hardly sounds exciting but it might just hook you.

The book can be unreservedly recommended as a first text to adult beginners working completely on their own. If you do not get past the grammar of chapter three there is still plenty of interesting reading in the background pages on Greek language and culture ahead of you in the remaing 17 chapters.

By the time you reach chpt 19 you might feel the need to refer to a more formal text on grammar.Personally I found J.Taylor's "Greek to GCSE,Part 1" an ideal complement to LAG. Do not attempt JT's book on your own unless you have first worked through LAG: there is no key to translations in JT; it is after all intended to be used in schools.

Ironic perhaps that ancient Greek,dying out as a school subject ,is served so well by these recently written texts. To repeat : if you are an adult( with some interest in languages, and with a fair bit of time available) get yourself a copy of LAG - it is a thoroughly entertaining introduction which eschews any attempt to get kudos

from appearing to be only for the aristoi.
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Format: Paperback
As a member of the hoi polloi (sorry Peter), I was always far more interested in ancient history than I was in the modern stuff. It was really depressing for me at school when those evil teachers dragged me away from shields, swords and Rex Harrison as Caesar, and forced me to learn all that nonsense about Bismarck, Real-Politik and the dreaded 'Too Little, Too Late' essay about one of those Russian Alexander blokes.
And I was always terrible at languages too. The best I could ever manage was 'je ne comprende pas' or 'ich verstehe nicht ganz'. Hardly scintillating, especially in two awful French and German oral exams. But after a lifetime of speaking only chip-shop English, a friend got me to read Alan Massie's 'Augustus' which I loved (it helped explain why Richard Burton was so defiant to that fella from Planet of the Apes in Egypt), which in turn persuaded me to read Virgil's 'Aeniad', which then arrowed me into Homer's 'Illiad'. Marvellous, but wouldn't it be even better to read it all in the original? You must be joking I thought, as I slipped Peter Jones book over the bookshop counter to a smirking assistant.
But it has been a revelation. Simple, fun and quite simply the best language book I have ever read. I'm only up to Chapter three but I know I will finish it. Okay, so all I'm able to read is 'God is in man, and man is within God said Paul to the crowd', but it's in ancient greek lettering, from the original New Testament, and I actually understand it on the page. I cannot wait to finish the book, and then get onto the Latin one too. Marvellous.
My only question is, why can't all language books be as simple as this?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose I come to this text from a different angle to most other reviewers. I am just coming up to 70 and still patching up some of those 'holes' of lost opportunity - and one of these is very definitely, ancient Greek!
I am currently learning this from LAG having virtually put a rain check on Icelandic and Old English because, like some of the other reviewers, I am totally caught up in this refreshingly new and entertaining approach of Peter Jones. Like most people of my advancing age I am conscious of a frustrating slowing down in the activity of the few remaining grey cells but I still find that by using this little volume I can progress at a satisfactory pace notwithstanding the many idiosyncrasies presented in this ancient language e.g.the lack of a consistent verb root or the fact that a neuter plural noun takes a singular verb.
I notice that one of your reviewers criticises the pace of the book. I can understand this coming from a young (university?) student but for the ordinary John (or Joan!)Does who may suddenly have an urge to extend their educational horizons this is a stimulating, entertaining and very manageable introduction to the subject and it achieves exactly what it sets out to achieve. I can't wait now that I have the basic knowledge obtained from LAG to progress to the next level. I already possess a knowledge of several other living languages which will be a great help at the next stage but even without this background in languages I am sure that most others who attempt the journey will be well rewarded by their initial excursion through this introductory volume.
Worth 6 stars at least ...............!
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By Ashtree TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have already asked, 'Why can't all language books be written like this????' Greek isn't a particularly easy language, but by the time you get through this little book, you'll be hooked, and well equipped to face some of the more complex aspects - and you'll probably still have enough enthusiasm to see you through the hard times.
This book makes it seem easy. It certainly makes it all a lot of fun. Very highly recommended.
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