June 24 – July 8, 2010 in Washington, DC

Agora stoneGreek Dialects and Greek Historical Grammar

This summer graduate seminar at the CHS focuses on Greek historical grammar and the Greek dialects. The seminar will combine a detailed introduction to the comparative and historical grammar of Greek with a close reading of inscriptional and literary material from Attic-Ionic, Aeolic (Lesbian, Thessalian, and Boeotian), West Greek (Laconian, Corinthian, Cretan, etc.), and “Achaean” (Arcadian, Cyprian, and Mycenaean). Special topics to be surveyed include the changes that have led to the formation of the four dialect groups, the significance of Mycenaean for the history of Greek, and dialect in early Greek poetry and the formation of the Homeric poetic language.

Qualifications and Instruction

The seminar, which will be conducted by Professors Jeremy Rau (Harvard University) and Michael Weiss (Cornell University), is intended for graduate students in Classics (or Linguistics) who have a solid background in ancient Greek. Secondary readings will be assigned in preparation for and during the course of the seminar, in addition to intensive reading in Greek. As a final project, students will produce a collaborative translation and running linguistic commentary on selected Greek dialect texts which will be published on the CHS website. The seminar will thus encourage research in a traditional discipline of Hellenic studies and the dissemination of that research through the possibilities offered by web-based publishing.


A typical day will consist of a seminar meeting at the Center’s state-of-the-art seminar space in the morning or afternoon, lunch at the CHS, and a session devoted to the tools and skills required for the electronic publishing of research.

Space in the seminar is limited. Housing, weekday lunches, travel expenses, and a stipend are provided to all students.

Deadline and Application Procedures

The application consists of:

1. Curriculum Vitae and cover letter stating the student’s interest in the seminar and experience with Greek, the Greek dialects and linguistics.

2. Two letters of recommendation from professors. The CHS will contact your references directly for recommendations.

The deadline for applications and recommendations is March 29, 2010. The online application is available at


Past Seminars

2009 Tragic Pathos: Body and Mind in Greek Tragedy led by Emily Allen and Eirene Visvardi