Learning Ancient Greek

with Professor Leonard Muellner and Belisi Gillespie

The following video series provides a guided introduction to the ancient Greek language. The videos are meant to correspond to the textbook Greek: An Intensive Course, 2nd revised edition, by Hardy Hansen and Gerald M. Quinn (New York: Fordham University Press, 1992). The text can be puchased directly from Fordham University Press; portions of the text are available for preview via Google Books; and the text is available for check-out or purchase in new and used formats from Amazon and other book retailers. Videos for later units will be released as they become available.

Introduction: Videos 1-2

1. Introduction to Learning Ancient Greek

Professor Muellner tries to help us wrap our minds around what learning Ancient Greek is like for the modern student. Some of the topics under discussion include: differences between learning a language through writing versus speaking, the limited types of texts that we have, and what grammatical concepts we might encounter along the way. This video does not correspond with any particular lessons in the Hansen & Quinn textbook, but you might want to begin to digest the information in their Introductory chapter, particularly pages 1-6 (up until Section 10) which discusses the alphabet, basic pronunciation, and breathing marks. Happy learning!
2. Introduction to Ancient Greek Accents

The Greek accent is a musical accent, which is slightly different from the "stress" accents that most modern language learners are accustomed to. In this video, Professor Muellner takes us through WHY the accent system works the way it does in Ancient Greek and he gives us some tips for memorizing the rules for using them. Learning accent rules is essential for successfully reading Ancient Greek. This video corresponds to pages 6-15 (including the drills and exercises) in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.

Unit 1: Videos 3-7

3. Basic English Grammar

In this video, Professor Muellner establishes some basic grammatical concepts in English, so that we can familiarize ourselves with some of the grammatical vocabulary used in the texbook (and in most language-learning tools). It's a great review for students at any learning level!
4. First Declension Nouns: Feminine

Introduction to "First Declension Nouns." This video provides supplementary commentary for the information provided in Unit 1 of the Hansen & Quinn textbook, especially pages 17-24. Professor Muellner explains why this declension appears the way it does and gives us a few things to look out for when memorizing the forms.
5. Second Declension Nouns: Masculine and Neuter

This declension, the second of three total declensions of Ancient Greek nouns to be learned, is comprised of (mainly) masculine- and neuter-gendered nouns. Professor Muellner explains a little bit about the reasoning behind declensional differences and "gendered" nouns. He also points out some of the patterns you will encounter when declining nouns. For further reference, the full paradigms and textual explanations can be found on pages 24-27 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
6. The Definite Article and its Grouping Function

This video covers the ever-so-important 'definite article' in Ancient Greek - the article has forms in all three genders and all the grammatical cases so that it can modify its noun(s) and/or adjective(s). Memorizing these forms and attaining familiarity with the article and its uses will simplify just about everything that follows in these lessons, so it's an essential video for beginners. For further discussion, check out pages 27-30 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
7. Vocabulary Comments: Unit 1

Learning Ancient Greek vocabulary with Professor Muellner is a treat! Meanings of the words, funny forms, interesting word-histories, and study tips are some of the tidbits shared in these types of videos. While watching this video, you might want to follow along by looking at the full vocabulary listing on page 31 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook. Afterwards, it might be helpful to peruse the 'Vocabulary Notes' in the subsequent pages (32-34). Drills and exercises at the end of each unit are always a great way to practice recognizing forms and cementing the meanings of words in your memory. Happy studying!

Unit 2: Videos 8-12

8. Greek Verbal System

The structure of the Greek verbal system presented here varies slightly from the manner in which the authors lay out the material in the Hansen & Quinn textbook, but the main themes discussed in the video roughly correspond to the information presented in Unit 2, especially pages 39-45. Professor Muellner explains the concepts behind Voice, Aspect, Mood, Tense, Person, and Number as they apply to verbs; he also provides a brief preview about participles and infinitive verbs.
9. Greek Verb Forms: Present and Imperfect Active Indicative

Both the "present active indicative" and the "imperfect active indicative" pertain to the "imperfective aspect" that we discussed in the previous video (referred to as "progressive aspect" in the  Hansen & Quinn textbook). Professor Muellner provides some verb form paradigms (and the patterns behind them) and explains the nuances in meaning behind them. Similar paradigms and discussions can be found on pages 45-48 in the textbook.
10. Greek Verbs Forms: Future and Aorist Active Indicative

Professor Muellner presents the "future active indicative" in comparison with the "present" tense forms learned in the preceeding video - essentially, the only difference is the addition of an 's' to the end of the verbal stem. The "aorist active indicative" also features an 's' at the end of the stem, but there are other differences to watch out for, especially the "past indicative augment" and the 'a' after the 's.' Check out pages 48-49 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook for their paradigms and explanations, too. Happy Memorizing!
11. Greek Verbs: Agreement of Subject and Verb, Infinitives, and Questions!

Besides learning verb forms, it's important to understand how they work in a sentence. In this video, Professor Muellner talks about how verbs 'agree' with their subjects (whether the subject is expressed in the sentence or not). Verbal infinitives, which ONLY have ASPECT are also very important when it comes to reading and understanding Ancient Greek, so Professor Muellner introduces the concept of an infinitive and some of the nuances behind the various forms you will encounter. The video ends with a brief introduction to forming questions (although this concept will be explored more fully later on). Corresponding pages in the Hansen & Quinn textbook are: 49-52.
12. Vocabulary Comments: Unit 2

Another vocabulary discussion with Professor Muellner! Follow along with the list on page 53 on the Hansen & Quinn textbook. The 'Vocabulary Notes' on the subsequent pages also provide some very helpful tips regarding the vocabulary words introduced in this chapter. Happy Memorizing!

Unit 3: Videos 13-17

13. Greek Verb Forms: Perfective Aspect and Indicative

Professor Muellner explains the "living, breathing, functioning way of forming a perfect [form] of a verb"! The main elements to look out for are: reduplication of the stem and the k- suffix. There's a helpful review of Greek aspects at the end, too. A complementary discussion can be found on pages 61-63 of the Hansen & Quinn textbook. Happy memorizing!
14. Greek Verb Forms: Optative and Subjunctive Moods

Moving beyond the indicative "mood," Professor Muellner introduces the subjunctive and optative moods by explaining their forms. In the next video, we'll attack the concept of these moods in a bit more detail. An important take-away from this unit and something to recognize as you move forward is the alternation of thematic vowels. Pages 63-67 in the Hansen & Quinn texbook are a helpful resource for mastering this material.
15. Greek Verbs: Concept of Moods

Professor Muellner illuminates the system behind the way the moods work in Ancient Greek. This video vignette is very short, but very helpful when reading more complex passages later on. Enjoy!
16. Syntax: Purpose Clauses

What is a "purpose clause"? Professor Muellner first explains what a "clause" is and then takes us through this important bit of syntax. Greek prose is full of complex syntactical clauses like this one, so understanding how they're put together and why they're used in certain ways will make your progression through these lessons much easier. An important note about negating clauses follows the general introduction. The section on "the sequence of moods" on pages 67-68 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook, along with the subsequent sections about purpose clauses (68-70), lay this material out as well.
17. Vocabulary Comments: Unit 3

Aside from a fun tour through the vocabulary words listed and discussed on pages 71-73 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook, this video introduces some short words that help to identify syntactical units, like the purpose clauses that we learned about in the previous video.

Unit 4: Videos 18-21a

18. Two New Types of First Declension Nouns

Some new nouns are added to the "first declension" paradigm that we learned in the first unit - including some masculine-gender ones! Professor Muellner introduces these noun-forms with some explanations as to why these variations exist. It's a fun discussion that can also be reviewed on pages 87-89 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
19. Adjectives and Their Endings

This video introduces the forms and functions of adjectives in Ancient Greek. Adjectives fall into two main categories (3-ending and 2-ending) and carry the same gender, number, and case as the nouns that they modify. Don't forget to keep an eye out for accents and the variants which follow ε, ι, and ρ. The corresponding lesson can be found on pages 89-92 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
20. Attributive and Predicative Position and Function

Continuing the discussion about adjectives, Professor Muellner explains the very important grouping functions that adjectives can perform when they're put into different positions within a clause. These positions are called "attributive" and "predicative." Learn about the differences between them here, but also review pages 92-93 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
21. Conditional Sentences

A new chunk of syntax is introduced in this video: conditional sentences. Professor Muellner explains what they are and how they work in Ancient Greek. There are several kinds of conditional sentences; here you can learn about them conceptually, but you should review the specific examples and explanations on pages 93-98 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook to fully grasp this material.
21a. Vocabulary Comments: Unit 4

Another fun discussion on the Ancient Greek vocabulary introduced in Unit 4. Follow along on pages 99-100 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook!

Unit 5: Videos 22-29

22. Passive, Active, and Middle Voices

There are three different "voices" in Ancient Greek. In this short video, Professor Muellner explains what the voices are, why they exist, and how they can be confusing. Grasping these differences will serve to deepen your understanding of Greek when you begin reading full texts.
23. Passive Imperfective Aspect: Indicative, Subjunctive, and Optative

This video covers Middle/Passive verb-endings. The presentation of the endings offered here differs slightly from the way they are laid out in your textbook, but the same information can be found in both. In particular, pages 111-115 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook are helpful for seeing all of the variations of these endings in the various moods and tenses we've learned so far.
24. Aorist and Future Passive

The endings of the Passive Voice differ from those of the Middle Voice when dealing with the aorist and future tenses. Professor Muellner points out theses differences and tells us what to look out for when trying to recognize these forms. Pages 115-119 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook correspond with this lesson.
25. Perfect and Pluperfect Passive

Moving on to the perfective aspect forms of the passive voice, Professor Muellner reviews the usual markers that distinguish the perfect system and explains how they integrate into the new passive endings introduced in this unit. Special circumstances do arise when dealing with the perfect passive forms, namely consonant clusters at the junction of stem and ending. This video briefly introduces the concept; further discussion can be found on pages 119-124 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
26. Agent Constructions

When a verb in the passive voice requires the mention of the actor or agent of the action, a special grammatical construction is used. For example, if the following phrase, "the bananas were eaten by Louise," were to be translated into Greek, it would require a passive verb form, "bananas" as the subject, and "by Louise" as the agent. This video explains how to formulate this type of phrase. A complementary discussion can be found on page 125 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
27. Passive Infinitives

Infinitive verb forms pertaining to the imperfective, perfective, and aorist aspects in the passive voice are introduced in this video. The above-mentioned pages in the Hansen & Quinn textbook introduce these forms as part of the general discussion, so you may have already familiarized yourself with them. We present them here just as a reminder and so that we can point out the key features of the forms.
28. Three Things You Can Do With Articles

As we mentioned in Video #6, learning the definite articles is an essential piece of learning to read and recognize Ancient Greek vocabulary. This video picks up on that theme and points out three extremely important and very common grammatical tricks that the definite article can perform. Pages 125-128 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook also present this information.
29. Vocabulary Comments: Unit 5

This video discusses some of the vocabulary presented on page 129 of the Hansen & Quinn textbook (a nice discussion of the vocabulary can also be found on thhe subsequent pages). Professor Muellner explains some of the trickier bits here. Happy Memorizing!

Unit 6: Videos 30-35

30. Third Declension Nouns

This unit wraps up the noun declensions we learn for Ancient Greek. In this video, Professor Muellner explains the ins and outs of the third declension - the largest and the oldest class of nouns. Pages 139-142 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook discuss the third declension too, although there are a few extra features in this video!
31. Relative Pronouns: English and Greek

Relative pronouns, words like 'who,' 'whose,' and 'whom,' are somewhat complicated in Greek. These pronouns require declining, like with regular nouns/adjectives, and they perform their own functions within sentence clauses, so there are grammatical considerations to incorporate when recognizing or generating relative pronouns. This video attempts to explain the concepts behind relative pronouns so that the various forms introduced in the next video can be appreciated and understood.
32. Relative Pronouns: Forms in Greek

The forms of the relative pronouns look very similar to the endings and articles you have already learned, so this video focuses on introducing the features that distinguish them in a sentence. Patterns in accenting are also pointed out by Professor Muellner. Pages 142-144 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook provide further discussion and sentence examples that are quite helpful in mastering relative pronouns!
33. Independent Uses of the Subjunctive

Until now, Professor Muellner has stressed that verbs in the Subjunctive and Optative moods cannot be independently translated until the overall structure of the sentence is understood (as with conditional sentences, we need to first identify the type of condition before proceeding to translate). This video introduces independent uses of verbs in the subjunctive mood (stay tuned for a similar video for the optative mood), how to identify them, and formulas for translating them. Check out pages 145-146 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook for the corresponding lesson.
34. Time Expressions

The last piece of grammar in Unit 6 deals with expressing different kinds of time and space. The Ancient Greeks use the case-system with time (and space) words to convey certain notions of their passage or extent. This video gives examples of how to express time and corresponds with the information on pages 147-149 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
35. Vocabulary Comments: Unit 6

Pages 150-151 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook introduce a new set of vocabulary for Unit 6. In this video, Professor Muellner adds a little bit of commentary and background to these words to help you understand their full meaning and/or use. As always, the vocabulary notes on the subsequent pages in the textbook are also a great resource for exploring the vocabulary a little more deeply.

Unit 7: Videos 36-42

36. Middle Voice: Meaning & Use

Unit 7 deals primarily with the Middle Voice, but Professor Muellner tries to explain the use and function of the Middle in a better way than the textbook does. This video makes some general statements about what "the Middle" is, but it will probably take time and experience for its meaning to sink in.
37. Middle Voice: Forms of the Future and Aorist

All of the forms that you know as belonging to the passive voice also belong to the middle voice, so they are not re-introduced in this unit. The important exception is: verbs in the aorist aspect and the future tense. This video, as well as pages 165-168 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook, describes the new forms: future indicative middle, aorist indicative middle, aorist subjunctive middle, aorist optative middle, and the aorist infinitive middle.
38. Middle Voice: Second Aorist

Professor Muellner describes a "new" kind of aorist form. Until now, the unifying theme in aorist active and middle forms has been the '-sa-' before the endings. The "second" aorist forms operate on an older principle, they are strong verbs that demonstrate an alternation in their stem vowels to denote tense. Pages 169-172 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook offer more complete paradigms.
39. Independent Uses of the Optative

As promised back in Video #33, this video explains how verbs in the optative mood can be used (and translated) without depending on another main verb in the sentence. There are two circumstances under which this may occur: the "potential optative" which expresses expectation or possibility, and the "wish optative" which expresses a wish that could come true (there's a different way of expressing wishes that cannot possibly come true). Pages 174-175 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook provide a parallel explanation of these specialized usages.
40. Demonstrative Pronouns, Part 1:  ἐκεῖνος, ἐκείνη, ἐκεῖνο

Demonstrative pronouns are words for pointing at things in a sentence. There are three demonstrative words in Ancient Greek that are introduced in this course and roughly correspond with English "this" and "that." This video introduces one demonstrative pronouns that means "that." Pages 175-176 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook correspond with this particular discussion.
41. Conditional Sentences With Relative Clauses

This lesson combines two chunks of grammar that you have already learned: conditional sentences and relative pronouns. Conditional clauses with relative pronouns can appear tricky at first, but a little perserverence and faith in what you've learned will get you through! Pages 176-178 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook describes this syntax thoroughly, too.
42. Vocabulary & Adverbs: Unit 7

The last piece of grammar in Unit 7 covers the method for forming adverbs. Professor Muellner explains that process and then moves on to discuss the vocabulary introduced on page 179 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook. Special reference to page 168 is also made in this video because it provides a comprehensive list of vocabulary words that you already know, but that have different meanings in their middle forms. Happy memorizing!

Unit 8: Videos 43-47

43. The wonderful world of participles

Kicking off the unit on participles, Professor Muellner explains what a participle is and how it functions in a sentence by offering examples in English. Pages 203-204 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook offer further explanation.
44. Forming active participles

Now that we know what a participle is and have a basic idea of how it functions in a sentence, it's time to learn how to form them in Ancient Greek! Professor Muellner begins with active-voice participles. Pages 204-208 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook lay out these forms for us too, but they look a bit overwhelming. This video aims to simplify the material presented therein and help us figure out what to look for when trying to identify participles in a sentence.
45. Forming middle-passive, passive, and middle participles

In this video, Professor Muellner explains how to form participles in the middle/passive. Afterwards, he introduces the forms for  the middle and passive voices separately (forms vary only with the aorist and future tenses, just like we learned in Unit 7). The corresponding pages in the Hansen & Quinn textbook are 208-211. Like with the preceeding video, this one aims to simplify the material presented in the textbook.
46. How to translate participles

The truly amazing array of participles in Ancient Greek often pose a challenge for students when it comes to translating them. In this video, Professor Muellner offers some additional information about the usage of participles and some advice for translating them in sentences. Pages 213-216 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook provide additional examples for you to work with and which may help you internalize this important feature of Greek grammar.
47. Vocabulary Comments: Unit 8

In this video, Professor Muellner introduces the paradigm for πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν (all, every, and whole) and explains how to use the word in a sentence to convey one particular meaning. Page 217 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook lays out the paradigm for you in its entirety. Afterwards, Professor Muellner explores some of the other vocabulary introduced in this unit - the corresponding list can be found on page 218 (with helpful notes on the subsequent pages). Remember that if a word begins with α or ε (alpha or epsilon), it starts with η (eta) when augmented.

Unit 9: Videos 48-52a

48. Greek Verbs: Alpha contract verbs, their formation, and principal parts

The so-called "contract" verbs are really just verbs that have been derived from a noun or adjective. In this unit, Professor Muellner explains how this is done in English as well as in Ancient Greek. Pages 231-236 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook offer full paradigms and examples.
49. Greek Verbs: Formation of epsilon contract verbs

The second type of "contract" verb is introduced in this video. Pages 236-239 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook offers a full paradigm that is helpful to look at while watching this video. Professor Muellner focuses on vowel alternations and change patterns to help you identify the verbs in when reading them in sentences.
50. Greek Verbs: Principal parts of epsilon contract verbs

In this short video, Professor Muellner continues explaining epsilon-contract verbs, this time focusing on their principal parts. Page 236 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook lists these principal parts for you, too.
51. Demonstrative Pronouns, Part 2:  ὅδε, ἥδε, τόδε & οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο

Professor Muellner enhances the explanation of the varying degrees of demonstrative pronouns offered in the textbook. Ultimately, these pronouns correspond with the first-, second-, and third-person that you're already familiar with from verbs. Pages 239-242 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook provide full paradigms and further discussion.
52. Syntax: Genitives and datives

The end of Unit 9 introduces two new uses of the genitive case and two new uses of the dative case. Professor Muellner gives some explanations for these new grammatical features and provides some examples. A parallel discussion can be found on pages 242-244 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
52a. Unit 9 Vocabulary

Unit 10: Videos 53-61a

53. Inflection of Kinship Terms

Terms for family-members usually fall into the 3rd-declension. In this video, Professor Muellner reviews the 3rd-declension endings and discusses some distinctive features (and consistencies) of these very important terms. The corresponding pages in the Hansen & Quinn textbook are pp. 259-260.
54. S-stem Nouns

S-stem nouns can be difficult because, at first-glance, they look a lot like the 1st-declension "λόγος"-type words. They are quite different, however, and are new territory for us to cover. Professor Muellner explains the differences in this video. Look at pages 260-261 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook to follow along.
55. I-stem and U-stem Nouns

More 3rd-declension nouns, this time of the "I-stem" and "U-stem" variety are discussed by Professor Muellner in this video. They're everywhere in Greek texts, so they're worth understanding thoroughly. To see the declensions written out in the Hansen & Quinn textbook, check out pages 261-262.
56. 3rd-Declension Adjectives

The 3rd-declension wouldn't be complete without a discussion of its adjectives! They're an older class of adjectives and vary from other forms that we have covered so far. Professor Muellner runs through their forms in this video. Find the relevant material on pages 263-264 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
57. Greek Verbs: O-contract forms

Contract verbs look daunting in the textbook, but can be boiled down to a few simple rules. Professor Muellner explains these rules as they pertain to O-contract verbs and tries to simplify the textbook's presentation. The forms can be found on pages 264-267 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
58. Greek Verbs: Contract futures

Professor Muellner continues the discussion about contract-verbs in this video. He explains why they have contracted to the form we're learning (which is not explained in the textbook) and goes through the relevant forms. The forms, however, can be found on page 268 of the Hansen & Quinn textbook.
59. Syntax: Subjects of infinitives

A special feature of articular infinitives (combinations of the neuter singular article + an infinitive which yield a "gerund") is that they can have a subject internal to it. Professor Muellner explains how to construct this combination in Greek and also shows how we have a roundabout way of saying it in English, too. Pages 268-269 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook also present this construction.
60. Syntax: Natural & actual result clauses

After several sub-units about noun and verb forms, the textbook finally introduces a new chunk of syntax. "Result clauses" describe a feeling or action that is a consequence of being in a certain state. Professor Muellner introduces these clauses and how to construct them. Follow along on pages 269-270 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook!
61. Greek Verbs: Compound verbs

Wrapping up Unit 10, Professor Muellner talks about "compound verbs" - that is, verbs that are composed of more than one element. What are these "elements" and how are they combined? This video explains the process. Pages 270-271 in the Hansen & Quinn textbook are helpful for seeing examples of these verbs.
61a. Unit 10 Vocabulary