Skip to main content


The study of ancient Greek begins each fall quarter with the first quarter of a year-long grammar sequence: Beginning Greek (LTGK 1), Intermediate Greek I (LTGK 2), and Intermediate Greek II (LTGK 3).

By the end of the first year students will have mastered the basics of ancient Greek grammar and have read selections from the New Testament, the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), and more than a book of Homer's Odyssey.

The goal of this sequence is to introduce students to reading ancient Greek. Aside from some written exercises and reading aloud in class, the skills of speaking, listening, and writing are not taught.

Course Descriptions

Greek 1 (Fall Quarter): We first learn the alphabet, punctuation and pronunciation, and then begin to study grammar (noun, adjective and verb morphology; basic syntax). Within weeks we are able to read basic sentences, and soon short excerpts from Greek authors.

Greek 2 (Winter Quarter): We continue to learn new morphology and syntax, but it is really very much like what we have learned in Greek 1. Our readings, however, get more complex and more interesting. Greek 3 (Spring Quarter): This is where the real fun begins! This quarter is entirely dedicated to reading episodes from Homer's Odyssey. We will review grammar as we need to.


Text (for all three quarters) is Schoder and Horrigan, A Reading Course in Homeric Greek (Focus Publishing) This book will introduce you to Ancient Greek in a way which should be not only easier but more satisfying and pleasant than the usual: rather than focusing on Attic Greek (the dialect of, for example, Plato, Demosthenes and Thucydides), you will learn the Homeric dialect. Homeric syntax and morphology are somewhat simpler than Attic Greek, and yet, once mastered, make Attic Greek seem more logical and thus easier. Furthermore, the formulaic nature of Homeric verse makes it repetitive and thus allows for reinforcement of vocabulary as well as grammar. The final part of the text consists of passages from Homer's Odyssey in the original.


Students who have studied ancient Greek at a school or college before arriving at UCSD should contact the instructor of Greek language for the Department of Literature to discuss the level of Greek appropriate for their continued study of the language.

Literature and College Requirements

Literature majors can fulfill their secondary literature requirement by completing a minimum of three LTGK courses, at least one at the upper division level. Revelle and Roosevelt students can fulfill their foreign language breadth requirements by completing an upper division LTGK course. Muir students can partly satisfy breadth requirements by completion of LTGK 1-2-3.

Did you know?

Many educated Romans such as Cicero or Julius Caesar were as fluent in Greek as they were in their native Latin.

Greek is the original language of the Christian scriptures of the New Testament.

Knowledge of Greek philosophy came to medieval Europe via Arabic-speaking Islamic philosophers in Sicily and Spain.