Introduction to Attic Greek Second Edition
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About the Author
- Publisher : University of California Press; Second edition (February 1, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 512 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0520275713
- ISBN-13 : 978-0520275713
- Item Weight : 2 pounds
- Dimensions : 7 x 1.5 x 10 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #503,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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In the end, all learners are different. It may be that you are moved to choose another text. But what you will find in "An Introduction to Attic Greek" is sound methodology that will give you many clues early on which will be a great help in future mastery. Mastronarde's text is challenging, but "do-ably" so, thorough without being overwhelming, and eminently rewarding the deeper one goes. It works well for those studying Classical Greek (its intended audience), but is not unsuited even for Biblical koine Greek and even later texts (whose authors often sought to imitate the Classical idiom). I highly recommend this book even for those working on their own without a teacher, especially if they have had previous experience with another inflected language (e.g., Latin, Russian, or even German). The student of any language needs patience, and nowhere is this more true than in the study of Classical Greek. Be patient, set reasonable goals, and review often.
1. It has the "dual" as part of the main presentation. Some books omit it or relegate it to the appendix. (E.g., Teach Yourself Ancient Greek Complete Course by Gavin Beets and Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek by James Morwood. These "lost" to Mastronarde for this reason when I was trying to choose a book.) I don't know how important the dual will turn out to be, but the idea of leaving a gap and having to fill it later does not appeal to me.
2. It spends a great deal of time on how accents work, if necessary by going into earlier (uncontracted) forms.
3. It tries to reduce the number of things you have to memorize by pointing out whatever could be "understood" instead, such as patterns and origins. Item 2 above is actually an instance of this.
4. It is "austere" (as another reviewer put it). It just gives you the stuff without worrying about whether you will find it interesting. I only wish it were more austere. For example, I would have liked it to do nouns all in one place before moving on to verbs etc.
5. It's got an associated Web page, in which you get paradigm tables and some audio. The paradigm tables are quite handy if you want to study on your mobile device. I created a huge verb sheet by cutting and pasting from the online tables.
6. It's got great appendices: paradigms, Greek-English glossary, E-G glossary, index, etc. The index is quite thorough.
Another reviewer (who doesn't seem to have liked this book much) wonders how many people that like this book would have got past unit 18 in two years time.
I don't think working through the book from unit 1 on down (the way you may do a math book) would work for me. Related things are too far apart. For instance, Present Active Indicative is in unit 5, and Future Active in unit 18, when they look quite similar. You couldn't avoid this "too far" spacing even if all the verb materials were collected together (just too many of them).
Instead I am trying to do an area (e.g. verbs) in many quick layers (the way you apply lacquer). E.g. look at all the verb forms one day. Copy the whole thing another. Spend a few weeks trying to memorize them all. A few days to read all verb units in the book, etc.
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