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From Alpha to Omega, An Introduction to Classical Greek, Rev Third Edition 3rd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
This book is the textbook for my first semester learning the language, and I could not be happier. The book is very easy to navigate, and has resources in the back that make studying much easier than it otherwise would be. Groton was successful in putting together a textbook that covers a vast amount of information in an easy-to-understand formats, and while there is a LOT of information covered, it is divided into smaller, easy to learn chapters that do not give too much information at once.
The back of the text book contains both Greek-to-English and English-to-Greek dictionaries of all words covered in the textbook, individual vocab lists for each chapter, and charts for each declension and conjugation learned. Although I personally would be hard-pressed to pick out many errors in the Greek text, there are little to no errors within the English portions and my very-well-qualified professor claims this book is one of the best he has worked with thus far.
We have only gone through chapter 24 thus far and will be continuing through the book next semester, but I am extraordinarily pleased with the ease with which I have been able to learn from this book. Learning Ancient Greek is no piece of cake -- in truth, it is the most difficult course I have ever taken -- but it is truly worthwhile and I have become a regular Greek-geek. I cannot imagine trying to learn the language without Groton's book, and will undoubtedly treasure it long after the course is done.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No one is going to tell you that Greek is easy, because it isn't. But that having been said, this is a terrific introduction for beginners. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sigourney Richmond-Darbey
This Greek textbook is nice until you get about halfway through then it piles on too much material and vocabulary without supplying sufficient reading material and exercises to... Read morePublished on December 14, 2013 by Rob McConeghy
This book is as good for learning English grammar as it is for learning ancient Greek. Highly recommended, even (or maybe especially) if you are using another text as your primary... Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by John Moore
With the mixed reviews, my expectations for this books were a bit low. Then I came upon it in a book store. After leafing through the pages, I bought it on the spot. Read morePublished on December 2, 2012 by L. Saltern
The method of introducing verbs should be reworked. When giving vocabulary for a chapter, verbs are given only by the principle parts that the student knows at that time. Read morePublished on June 21, 2010 by R. L. Aitchison
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... Read morePublished on June 9, 2010 by Andrew Waters
I just finished two semesters of this book and it was by far the best language textbook I have ever had the pleasure of learning from! Read morePublished on May 16, 2010 by A. Hoak
I used this text in a college Greek course. I had already learned Greek in high school, and so was spared some of the pain inherent in it. Read morePublished on December 16, 2009 by A. Smith