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From Alpha to Omega, An Introduction to Classical Greek, Rev Third Edition Paperback – April 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1585100347 ISBN-10: 158510034X Edition: Third Edition, Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Focus; Third Edition, Revised edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158510034X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585100347
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

For the first year long course in ancient Greek where courses emphasis grammar. Fifty lessons covering all aspects of grammar, words lists, Greek-to-English Glossary, English-to-Greek Glossar, other appendices. Fifty lessons covering all aspects of grammar, words lists, Greek-to-English Glossary, English-to-Greek Glossar, other appendices.

About the Author

Anne Groton is Professor of Classics, Department Chair, and Director of Ancient Studies & Medieval Studies at St. Olaf College. She is the author of several articles on ancient drama and two popular textbooks including "From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek," published by Focus. She received the American Philological Association's Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Classics in 1995. Past President of the Classical Association of Minnesota and a former Trustee of Eta Sigma Phi, the national Classics honor society, she is currently Secretary-Treasurer of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 2003
As a first year Greek student I base my opinion of this text not on my expertise in the language but on my use of the text itself.
I have no complaints about the content of the text; it seems reasonably paced and thoughtfully developed.
My two critiques (I hope contructive in anticipation of the 4th edition)are thus:
1. The text still contains typos (including within the Greek paradigms) that I am surprised to find in a third edition.
2. The formatting of paradigm tables (particularly in the appendices) leaves something to be desired. The content is complete but they could be laid out better. I suspect that formatting has been compromised for the sake of space. My own opinion (speaking chiefly as a spreadsheet fanatic) is that it would be worth killing a few more papyri for the sake of tables that are intuitive to look at. I would gladly incur the necessary extra cost.
I recommend this text but sincerely hope a 4th edition is in the works.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By James W. Picht on January 12, 2007
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"From Alpha to Omega" is an introduction to the classical Greek of Athens (Attic). I'm using it in conjunction with Pharr as I attempt to study Homeric Greek. There are some differences in the dialects, but I like Groton's text because it provides explanations that are relevant to Homer's Greek, and I find the layout much easier to navigate than Pharr's. The book is very good either as a primary text in classical Greek or as a companion to a text in Homeric Greek.

This text was recommended to me by a colleague in Classics who loaned me hers. I liked it enough to buy my own. It isn't a perfect text by any means. It is far more detailed than is needed or wanted by most students of Greek, and I'd hate to have to cover the entire thing in two semesters. I have a fairly good language background, but unless I were a Classics major or were taking no other courses, I'd be overwhelmed by it. A teacher who wants to attract students from other majors into a few semesters of Classics should definitely use a different text.

I think Groton's text is very good for the student who has considerable language experience, or the person like me who can't remember the whats of a language without a thorough grasp of the hows and whys. It's also good for the student who wants to continue studying Greek beyond the first year. If your interest doesn't extend beyond a basic course, this text will likely be a frustrating overload.

This text isn't perfect, but it's perfect for me. Whether it's perfect for you depends on your learning style, your language experience, and your expectations for continuing with Greek. Whether it's perfect for you or not, I strongly recommend buying "From Alpha to Omega: Ancillary Exercises" (Jon Bruss) to go with it. Because Groton's text is detailed, so are the ancillary exercises. You don't have to do all of them, but they really will help you understand and remember the material in the text.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Farmer on December 10, 2003
Groton has been our class textbook through Greek 100 and, so far, half of Gr 200. At the start we were very enthusiastic about it, especially those of us who learned Latin from Wheelock, but after a while.... The book is similar to Wheelock's Latin, but much less accessible. The layout is dreadful (particularly the appendices). Ms Groton tells us far more than we need (or want) to know about some things: digammas, thematic vowels, quantitative metathesis and so forth. But more importantly, the readings are inadequate and the exercises will drive you nuts: Is it really useful to know how to say "Either have I now made clear who the stranger is, or shall I also announce what name he has?"?
If you are using Groton, get the Ancillary Exercises as well. They're a big help. You might also get the Loeb Xenophon and try to read it with a lexicon. The point after all is to learn to read greek.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By madly reading on November 30, 2008
I'm in the first year of an additional Classics BA and am taking Greek 1 with this text. I'm expecting an A-/B+. I find the book full of information, but horrible to use. As a former teacher, I would never want my students to use such a poorly designed book. The appendices and diagrams are terribly laid out. I often have to read and re-read multiple pages to find the most important grammar points hidden away and obscured by minute details, resulting in frustratingly long times to find crucial grammatical points. The exercise sentences are ridiculous. Rather than build with a simple foundation and increase the complexity of any particular grammatical point, the book makes overly contrived and convuluted sentences that will likely frustrate and discourage many. Example: "It is not possible, atleast for the students, either to say the long names or to explain the passages."
If you must use this book, the additional exercise book is very helpful and highly recommended.
Overall, I can't deny it is an informative book, but I would not recommend it for use unless there are no better alternatives, or ample time to devote to each lesson. Often the lessons combine to entirely different grammatical points that could easily get there own chapter.
Still, I suspect there must be at least one book out there that is easier to use.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Waters on June 9, 2010
I used this book as a student for my first two semesters of Attic. It is very detailed and contains a number of good exercises, including translation from English to Attic, Attic to English, and readings that get progressively more difficult (and also more interesting).

The biggest complaints that I have with the book are:

1) No real review of the relevant parts of English grammar. For a Classics major or for someone with a good language background, this isn't as much of a problem. For others, however, this can make understanding the material very difficult. Trying to remember the exact function of relative pronouns, demonstrative adjectives, participles, etc is not something immediate for most people, and often the accompanying examples in the book are a bit shallow.

2) The layout is dreadful, especially in the appendices. The paradigms for nouns and verbs are difficult to read, and it would not be hard to improve these dramatically.

3) The book often overwhelms readers with far too much information. For someone already familiar with the basic concepts, this additional information is extremely helpful, especially in understanding why certain verb forms evolved into their current forms. To a beginner, however, it is hard to know which material is there simply to be helpful and exploratory, and which information is crucial for understanding the language. Early students will definitely get bogged down in the beginning trying to distinguish between the two.

At the end of the day, the book is still very worthwhile. You will learn the language and it is an extremely good reference afterwards. Hopefully future additions of the book will address its drawbacks.
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