GREK 101, 102 – Elementary Ancient Greek

GREK 101, 102 or GREK 105 - Elementary Ancient Greek

Session 1 (GREK 101): May 26 – July 1
Session 2 (GREK 102): July 7 – August 12
Sessions 1&2 (GREK 105): May 26 – August 12

Course Description

An intensive introduction to classical Greek, with emphasis on basic grammar and syntax. Reading of simple prose and poetry. Classical Greek is also excellent preparation for Homeric and biblical Greek.

Although this video announces the 2019 course, it still gives correct information about what will be offered in 2020:

We offer the course in two different ways:

As a single course (GREK 105), which, over the course of the summer, will prepare you for intermediate Greek.

Or as a series of two courses (GREK 101 and GREK 102) which together comprise a full introductory year of ancient Greek. Students normally take both courses in succession.

Which version should you take?

If you are taking Ancient Greek to fulfill the whole Randolph College language requirement, choose GREK 101 and GREK 102, which is the equivalent of the required two semesters.

If you are taking Ancient Greek to fulfill another college’s language requirement, choose GREK 101 and GREK 102 if your institution requires a specific number of courses or semesters (check with your registrar).

If you’ve taken a semester of Ancient Greek in the recent past and you want to complete your introduction to Greek, take GREK 102.

If you are taking Ancient Greek…

  • to be ready for the next level of Greek
  • to catch up or get ahead on a sequence of Greek
  • to add an understanding of basic Greek grammar and syntax to your Latin

… then choose GREK 105.

What’s the difference?  The 101-102 sequence does not assume you’ll have another chance to read Ancient Greek with an instructor, and so it includes more excerpts of ancient authors within the course.  Both courses cover all basic grammar and syntax.

Course Objectives

Our objective in this course is to gain a fundamental and detailed understanding of Greek grammar and syntax in order to achieve beginning reading comprehension of works in Greek.  Please note that we are not learning conversational Ancient Greek; our task, rather, is to take the first steps towards reading and understanding the language of Sophocles, Plato, Sappho, Demosthenes, and the New Testament.

Course Materials

Textbook: Greek: An Intensive Course by Hardy Hansen and Gerald Quinn.
ISBN: 9780823216635

Software: Students will need to enable the Polytonic Greek keyboard on their computers, which comes standard on both Mac and Windows operating systems.

GREK 101 Syllabus (PDF)

GREK 102 Syllabus (PDF)

GREK 105 Syllabus (PDF)


GREK 101: May 26 – July 1
GREK 102: July 7 – August 12
GREK 105: May 26 – August 12

Department: Classics

Courses: GREK 101, 102; GREK 105

Credit Hours:

GREK 101 – 4
GREK 102 – 4
GREK 105 – 6


GREK 101 – none
GREK 102 – GREK 101 or equivalent
GREK 105 – none



The above requirements are from the Randolph College general education program.  Check with your home institution to see if this course fulfills your requirements.

Tuition & Fees:

$1,800 tuition for GREK 101 or GREK 102
$3,600 tuition for both GREK 101 and 102
$2,700 tuition for GREK 105

Textbooks and other course materials can be purchased separately from the source of your choosing.

Your Instructor

Amy Cohen

Amy R. CohenCatherine Ehrman Thoresen '23 and William E. Thoresen Professor of Speech and Theatre, Professor of Classics

B.A., Yale University; Ph.D., Stanford University

My doctoral work focused on the interpretive implications of doubling and the three-actor convention in Greek tragedy. At Randolph, my students and I put that work on its feet by continuing the R-MWC Greek Play tradition, begun in 1909 by Greek Professor Mabel K. Whiteside. Directing the plays provides insight into the realities facing the ancient playwrights, and my research continues to argue that you cannot understand the plays without understanding how they were played. I have now directed 12 productions using original practices, 11 in the Whiteside Greek Theatre on campus and one in Greece as part of the 2009 summer travel seminar, “Practical Wisdom: Philosophy and Drama in Greece.”

Although Greek drama is my specialty, I love teaching any course that leads students into an understanding of ancient literature and culture, in translation or in the original language. I haven’t met an obscure grammatical term I don’t love, and I do my best to inspire your passion for them as well in my ancient Greek courses. I also try to help students remember that the point of learning that declension or conjugation is to be able to read the words of the ancients, and to draw us that much closer to understanding them and their importance to us.

ReviewsWhat our students say...

“When doing a translation with Dr. Cohen’s supervision, it feels as if she is sitting right beside you every step of the way. Videos on the material alongside reading each chapter of Hansen and Quinn gave me a fairly good grasp of each concept even if I was not automatically picking up on everything that was going on immediately. I wanted to learn Ancient Greek in order to read original texts written by Plato and other Greek philosophers; I feel like I’m getting closer to that goal everyday.”

– Evan Pausic ’21

Register for Summer Session