Inventory of Classical Greek Teaching in the Schools


Read or share Classical Greek teaching materials, such as lesson plans, teaching tips, pedagogical strategies, exercises, work sheets, sample quizzes and exams, projects, reviews of books, videos, and computer programs of use to Greek teachers, at Greek Teachers' Corner.

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Appendix - Questionnaire

Anton Vishio
Gilman School
5407 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21210

  1. YES
  2. blank
  3. blank
  4. YES

Introd. - Text: Introduction to Attic Greek, Donald J. Mastronarde (numbers vary; this year slim pickings - only 1)
2nd and 3rd year - 4 students, Homer, Iliad
4th year - 2 students, Euripides: Medea, Denys L. Page

Gilman School has had Greek courses for the past thirty-three years.

Robert Greving
18603 Autumn Mist Drive
Germantown, MD 20874

  1. YES Greek I, 6, Chase & Phillips; Greek II, 3, Athenaze
  2. NO
  3. NO
  4. YES

This is only my second year teaching Greek. I switched to Chase & Phillips because I found Athenaze too slow and cumbersome and also devoid of Greek thought. Chase & Phillips is difficult in a “no nonsense” way, but I find that better. Since I have such limited experience teaching, though, I don’t how much value my opinion has.

John Cahill
8404 Snowden Oaks Place
Laurel, MD 20708

I am an instructor in Greek (and Latin) in a rather unique program.

I teach Greek and Latin for Community Colleges and public school systems in Maryland, but in the Adult Continuing Education and Senior Continuing Education programs. I began with the teaching of classical Greek in 1994 at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland. I had an enrollment of 19 adults! Since then I have continued to teach Greek (and also Biblical Greek) for this Community College and have been teaching since 2000 in the program for Seniors (60 years and older). I have also taught Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin in these venues.

From the Prince George’s Community College I have branched out into other counties and have taught at colleges in Montgomery, Howard, and Baltimore counties in the state of Maryland. Out of these language classes I developed courses in classical mythology in the arts, and etymology (Latin and Greek roots in English). Under the auspices of Prince George’s Community College, I have even taught mythology and etymology at Retirement Communities which offer full service health care to their residents. Also, I have taught Latin to a home schooling group and in a pilot program at a Middle School in Fulton, Maryland. I am currently teaching Biblical Greek on the faculty of Faith Bible College and Seminary in Washington, D.C.

As you can see, this is hardly a “traditional” teaching of Greek. I don’t know if this is being done anywhere else in the country. I suspect that I am the only one doing this in the whole state of Maryland!

The students are very receptive to learning Greek and Latin, and I continue this fall with classes in Classical and Biblical Greek as well as etymology. I thoroughly enjoy my teaching experiences and hope to continue in this work for many more years.

In addition, I have done much private tutoring in Biblical Greek. Almost all of this teaching has been done since my retirement from the Federal Government in 1995, where I worked as an intelligence analyst, not in the field of Latin or Greek!

I hope this information will be of interest to you. I should also mention that I use your textbook Athenaze in my Greek classes, and the Oxford Latin Course in Latin classes.

Bill Mohan
Georgetown Prep School
10900 Rockville Pike
North Bethesda, MD 20852

  1. NO I teach New Testament Greek
  2. blank
  3. blank
  4. YES I’d love a New Testament Greek Exam

Gospel of Matthew
On Internet - Internet is primary text “book” - with hypertexts for grammatical analysis and a NT lexicon. Students meet daily in computer lab and work with Greek text on their monitors. We use the NT grammar text by Croy as a reference.

Although it might diminish the import, the immediacy, of the story and Jesus’ words, we are reading the Gospel in Greek in order to understand it better and better apply it. If an exam could be in service to that, I’d like one. As it is, the students (11th & 12th graders at this Jesuit Catholic day and boarding school) seem to like the drill of translating rigorously and then discussing.

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Kathleen Prins
Foreign Language
Cony High School
120 Cony Street
Augusta, ME 04330

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  2. YES
  3. NO
  4. NO

Homeric Greek, A Book for Beginners, by Clyde Pharr. I teach the first 15 chapters on an independent study basis with my Latin IV students. I have them memorize the first seven lines of the Iliad in meter.

I wish I had energy to do more, but I already have 5 preparations and over 100 students.

Good luck with this project!

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Jane Osman

Dear Gil - Nick Young University of Detroit High School ( is the only one in a Michigan high school of whom I am aware who teaches any Greek. I sent him your four questions, but his reply to me was that he uses Athenaze I and teaches just bits in Latin III, IV, and V. He has one student who has requested that he tutor him second semester in Greek. Hope this helps you just a bit.

Jane Osman, MCC secretary

Katherine Bradley
Greenhills School
850 Greenhills Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

  1. NO
  2. YES Independent Study as interest arises. We meet 4x/week and try to finish a year of college level each year. I either use Chase & Phillips & Xenophon or JACT course for year I, Plato & Homer for year II.
  3. NO
  4. NO

Mary G. Campbell
School (Sept.- June)
The Roeper School
1051 Oakland Avenue
Birmingham, MI 48009

(248) 203-7428

Home (preferred)
716 South Minerva
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Voice (248) 546-6707
Fax (248) 546-6782

I noticed that your web site lists only Nick Young as teaching Classical Greek in Michigan.

This past year, my Head of School authorized my proposal to initiate and develop an official Classics Program at The Roeper School (for gifted students) as a part of our Foreign Language Department. At present, I am the sole teacher, although courses such as Ancient Philosophy are offered by other departments. Since I came to Roeper in 1998, our school has gone from 12 students registered in two Latin courses to 64 students registered in various classics courses for 2001/2002 out of a total population of less than 300. Roeper will hire other classicists as the program continues to expand.

Roeper offers Latin in grades 6–12 in classes of combined Middle School and Upper School students. Language levels are not mixed but grades and ages are. Thus, Middle School students are expected to function at Upper School level. I presently can also offer one Classics course per semester.

The spring Classics course is Ancient City. The ancient “cities” studied rotate in sequence: Jerusalem, Rome, Athens, and London and its environs. In the summers following, I offer an optional trip to the location studied.

Next year, I will begin offering a Classical Greek I–II sequence. As the full-time course load is five classes, I have been able to initiate the study of Greek in the following way: it will be taught every other day during the same period as the Latin IV course is scheduled that also will be offered every other day. Latin IV will then be taught as a pre-AP course, “Latin Literature,” and we will take two years to read that syllabus.

I am offering Greek I to students in grades 7–12, and it is encouraged as an addition to the study of Latin rather than as an alternative.

I will be using the Cambridge JACT set, Reading Greek, along with their World of Athens text and the “Speaking Greek” tapes. I have purchased software, vocabulary computer games, from and vocabulary/paradigm flash drills from Centaur Systems, and I have scheduled one computer lab day, every other week for that use.

In addition to the textbook on culture and the language software, instructional material for teachers with ideas for projects, celebration of holidays, et cetera, would be helpful, particularly for teaching younger students. I would be interested in developing something like that as a supplementary text for Middle and Upper School instructors.

Yes, there is a need for an Introduction to Greek Exam. However, we will be registering for the National Greek Exam next spring to see where we stand in our study.

Thank you for initiating this forum. I look forward to learning of your results.

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Valerie Jones
Jackson Preparatory School
PO Box 4940
Jaxckson, MS 39296-4940

  1. YES Classical Greek I: Athenaze; 7 students
  2. NO
  3. YES More culture and derivatives
  4. YES

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Michael Cusick
Rockhurst High School
9301 State Line Road
Kansas City, MO 64114


  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. NO
  4. blank

Greek I
A New Introduction to Greek, Chase and Phillips

Greek II
Plato’s Apology (Bryn Mawr); Greek New Testament; Odyssey 1 - 12, Stanford (when in print)

Mary Lee McConaghy
St. Louis University High School
4970 Oakland Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110


  1. YES
  2. blank
  3. NO
  4. blank

Greek I

  1. Open only to Seniors
  2. Enrollment - 18 this year, usually 10–15 students
  3. Text Athenaze - Vols. I & II (part)

William C. Rowe
Head of School
Thomas Jefferson School
4100 South Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63127

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. NO

November 20, 2000

Prof. Gilbert Lawall
Dept. of Classics
University of Massachusetts
Box 33905
Amherst, MA 01003

Dear Professor Lawall:

In response to the questions in your recent letter, here is a summary of the Greek courses offered at Thomas Jefferson School. One of the unusual features is that all students who enter the ninth grade (except a few international students) take a two-year Greek sequence — either

A few students will follow some other path. Example: an occasional student who did not gain the promotion described above will get better and more interested in Greek by the end of tenth grade and will then elect Greek 3 for the junior year.

Here are the course descriptions:

As to your other questions, we don’t see any need for another introductory Greek book. If we were to shift away from Homer and start with Attic (not something I would want to do), we would probably use Athenaze.

I also don’t see that a new Introduction to Greek Exam would be likely to fit our students’ training, since it would most likely be Attic-based. So we’re probably not interested in that either. They do, however, take the current Homeric Greek Exam and generally do well on it. I hope you never drop that exam!

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with. I teach the Greek 1 class here, and the teaching of Greek nationwide is of great interest to me. Thanks for asking.

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Bryce Carpenter
Bozeman High School
205 N. 11th Ave.
Bozeman, MT 59715

  1. NO
  2. YES As independent studies and after school activities, though not in Latin club.
  3. YES AND NO I use Athenaze and enjoy it along with my students. I do, however, see a need for more Greek textbooks employing a wider variety of approaches. Perhaps a text that presents material in much the same way as Hans Oerberg’s brilliant Lingua Latina per Se Illustrata would create an option attractive to teachers of the Cambridge Latin Course and other reading approaches. While Athenaze does work well as a companion to the Oxford Latin Course, which I teach in conjunction with Lingua Latina, there is a greater emphasis on grammar-translation than in the OLC. For the overloaded student seeking Greek as an enrichment to his Latin, this isn’t always the best approach. My Greek students are fairly comfortable with the grammar on account of their experiences with Latin. They can quickly zero in on what is “Greek” about the dative and so on (and conversely what is “Latin” about it in their other class) and would enjoy more stories, more reading, and something with color. All the major Latin books are very well laid out with rich, colorful photographs that truly do work well with the chapters. Perhaps a new edition of Athenaze could be in color. Greece and Greek artifacts photograph very well. Students would surely benefit from pictures, especially students, such as mine, who live 10+ hours by car from a museum with any classical collection. This last suggestion may not be entirely substantive, and there are those who assert that such revisions are not truly necessary. It would, however, make a difference to today’s students who increasingly need to associate images with content.
  4. YES Yes! Not all of my Greek students are able to complete a full syllabus of first year Greek. They take it when they can. Such an exam as you propose would be very well received by my students, who thoroughly enjoy the National Latin Exam.

Mary Lou Carroll
Northeastern High School
963 Oak Stump Road
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Hi, Gil!

I’m a Latin teacher, as you know.

I’ve got an MA in Classics from Tufts and almost studied enough ancient Greek as an undergrad. at UVM to double-major.

I really love Greek, and would love a chance to teach it. Unfortunately, in ten years of high school teaching I’ve never had a chance. I’m at the point where I’ve lost almost all interest in ancient Greek because I feel I’ll never have a chance to teach it. If you don’t use it, you lose it. I’ll be very interested in the results of your survey.

I think we get caught in a catch-22 sometimes: if your Latin program is really successful, your course load is too full to offer Greek. If your numbers are weak for Latin, the administration won’t support an effort to introduce something like Greek. Latin has a stronger practical side, as far as improving vocabularies and SAT scores, than Greek does. I’m not saying it can’t help scores. I’m just saying that, if I had to pick one language on that basis, Latin would be it, since more English comes from Latin. Greek is harder to sell to budget-minded administrators.

Actually, I think I could work up interest in Greek here in Elizabeth City, NC. The Latin program is quite successful, and there are lots of children-of-ministers in my program. We’re in the Bible belt. Their families seem less likely to scoff at ancient Greek than the general public. It all comes down to school budget. I doubt I could ever do it without sacrificing something from Latin.

I THINK there’s a public-school in Chesapeake, Virginia, that offers ancient Greek. Might be worth checking?

I think Greek textbooks are woefully lacking at the high school level. I’ve had some (extremely bright) students teach themselves a little bit from Athenaze in their spare time during Latin I. Even the best of them don’t get too far. They tell me it’s too hard (and I think Athenaze is the best of what’s available right now). What we’d really need is a Greek textbook series similar to Ecce or CLC.

That’s my two cents' worth. I’ll be curious to know the results of your survey.

Grimsley High School
Greensboro, NC

Patricia Marshall
Wake Forest University
Department of Classical Languages
Box 7343 Reynolda Station
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7343

Last year I did, in addition to adjunct teaching here at Wake Forest, a fill-in at Grimsley High School in Greensboro, NC—40 students doing classical Greek! But texts are needed to accommodate—these students will go on to do IB Greek, and there is nothing that really takes IB into account.

In general, however, I think we need something with story like Athenaze, but more etymology and recorded readings to accompany. Perhaps also study guides on-line for web and guides for teachers to help them promote some oral practice of ancient Greek.

Sarah Wright
Northwest Guilford High School
5240 Northwest School Road
Greensboro, NC 27409

I was reading the latest CAMWS newsletter and saw your request for an inventory of Classical Greek programs in American schools. I’m currently teaching (for the first time) a Greek I class with all of 8 students (more had actually signed up but had scheduling conflicts). We’re using as our primary text Crosby and Schaeffer, which we had hoped was going to be reissued this year, but so far that hasn’t happened, so I xerox a lot. As a backup text we have Chase and Phillips, and we occasionally use the readings from Alpha to Omega. I do see a need for a new Greek text for high schools, a hard-back with lots of exercises for the grammar/syntax in each chapter. Pictures would be nice too, along with culture and history. I currently teach mythology using my own handouts plus readings from the Theogony and the Homeric Hymns.

I have 12 students registered for Greek I for next year, and only three for Greek II, so I don’t know what my principal will do, especially in light of the fact that my Latin enrollments have increased so that I will have a full-time job just teaching those, or the system will have to hire a part-time Latin teacher for just one class. I doubt they will or can do that.

In response to another of your questions, I would appreciate a National Greek Exam that is equivalent to the NLE, or at least a NGE with someplace where we could register comments (the CAMWS translation test includes a stamped post card for comments and feedback).

Finally, the high school where I teach is public, and I get the feeling that most Classical Greek is taught in private schools. Do you have current data on this?

            Sarah Wright

Jonathan Avery
Ravenscroft School
7409 Falls of the Neuse Road
Raleigh, NC 27615

I’m writing to let you know about the Greek program at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC. We offer two years of Greek, both of which are taught as Honors courses (i.e., they are more rigorous than the typical “college prep” courses and therefore receive an extra point in computing a student’s GPA). Greek I and II are purely electives (they do not fulfill a student’s language requirement) and this year are taught during different periods.

Greek I currently has six students, while Greek II has 1 (I’m teaching Greek II during one of my planning periods). I expect the enrollment to be about the same next year.

As to the question “Is there a need for a new Intro. to Greek book?”: I’ve taught high school students with Athenaze and used Hansen and Quinn and From Alpha to Omega at the college level. While I wish that it were possible to introduce more grammar, such as the perfect tense or the subjunctive, in Greek I, Athenaze I works well for our students. The readings about Dikaiopolis and his family keep the students’ interest, and they learn quite a lot about Greek culture and history from the readings and passages adapted from Herodotus. I usually have the class read the Theogony in English, so I’ve never felt the need for more mythology in the textbook. For the students who are motivated enough to continue to the second year, Athenaze II has been effective.

The Greek I students I’ve taught have done well on the Beginning Greek exam; an Intro. to Greek Exam would probably be good if Greek weren’t a regular class, but since we meet every day, we’re able to cover enough of the Beginning Greek syllabus by the time of the exam.

Christopher Cudabac
St. Timothy’s Hale School
3400 White Oak Road
Raleigh, NC 27609

  1. YES Greek I - Athenazae; Greek II - Crosby & Schaeffer; Greek III - Apology & Medea
  2. NO
  3. NO
  4. YES

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Alison Barker
St. Pauls School
325 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301

  1. YES
  2. YES I would be interested in helping these teachers!
  3. NO I am already working on materials to supplement Thrasymachus.*
  4. YES If it would promote the study of Greek.

Greek I (5 students) - Thrasymachus (chapters 1 - 22) & on-line supplement “Ancient Greek with Thrasymachus.”

Greek II (1 student) - Thrasymachus (chapters 23 - 32). Plato, Apology and Selections from Herodotus (Barbour, ed.)

Greek III (4 students) - Homer, Iliad (Benner, ed., if in print again)

Greek IV (1 student) - A tragedy of Euripides, Thucydides, lyric poetry as appropriate. Greek IV is taught as an independent study, scheduled according to convenience of student and teacher.

I have taught Greek as a 1/2 credit course in the past. Thrasymachus works well for this.

* This is in the form of an on-line, chapter by chapter supplement with grammar explanations and exercises. Students are helping to develop this resource.

Paul Langford
Phillips Exeter Academy
20 Main Street
Exeter, NH 03833

  1. YES
  2. NO
  3. YES
  4. NO

Greek 110-130; A. Groton, From Alpha to Omega; enrollment, ~/5

Greek 210; J. Adam, Plato: Crito; enrollment, 1-2

Greek 220; M. Stokes, Plato: Apology; A. Adam; enrollment, 1-2

Greek 230; A. R. Benner, Selections from Homer’s Iliad; enrollment, 1-2

Greek 310-330; normally two tragedies and one comedy in their entirety. We usually read a play of Euripides first, then either another by the same or one of Sophocles. For comedy, we have usually read Clouds or Frogs.

New Greek Text:
We are generally more satisfied with Groton’s text than any other we know of. We would prefer a text with still less vocabulary and fewer errors; introduction of the verbs earlier on might also be worthwhile.

P.S. If you could share with schools the data you collect in this survey, we would appreciate it very much. It is difficult for us to tell what is being done with Greek around the country.

Robert Grenier
Fall Mountain Regional High School
134 FMRHS Road
Langdon, NH 03602-9612

Our school did offer Introduction to Ancient Greek this year, but because I had too many Latin classes, and the registration was for about 12 students, we do not have the class.

I do however have two students taking the class as independent study. The students use Athenaze, I make the teacher’s edition available to them so they can correct their work, although only one of the students actually uses it on a regular basis. I do also provide a small amount of supplemental materials, mostly to do with English derivatives.

I like the Athenaze book, though it could contain more derivative work.

Mary Cornog
Pembroke Academy
209 Academy Road
Pembroke, NH 03275

  1. YES Greek 1: 8 students, Athenaze I
    Next year: Greek 1, 2: Athenaze I and II
  2. NO
  3. YES Need workbook with more exercises; like Athenaze flexibility. Etymology: Have written one myself. Would be happy to help.
  4. YES

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Henry Bender
1116 Harvest Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Dear Professor Lawall,

I am writing in response to your survey on Greek. I have included it in my Notes and News Column for the forthcoming issue of Classical World. Secondly, I am writing to you about the Greek program here at Hill and also for St. Joseph’s Prep. I have encouraged the Chairs of each of those departments to respond to you, and they may. But since wheels move slowly, I am sending you a response that could be used for them.

Greek at Hill School

St. Joseph’s Prep

All the best.
Yours, Henry V. Bender

Father Harry Oppido SJ
St. Peters Prep School
144 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302

  1. NO Not for the last 5 years or so
  2. NO
  3. YES
  4. NO

New Introduction to Greek:

In the course we used at home we had:

2nd year:

3rd year: Odyssey - about 2000 lines including the travels, return home, revenge of the suitors, and reunion.

Heidi Houst
Princeton Latin Academy
P.O. Box 8077
Princeton, NJ 08543


  1. YES We offer Greek to every child, starting in grade 3 and continuing through grade 8.
  2. NO
  3. YES
  4. YES

This year there are 50 students taking Greek.

The textbook we use is by Groton and Finn, A Course in Attic Greek (the Hill School).

A new intro to Grammar should have a clear, structured systematic approach with paradigms and explanations of Grammatical topics - and then exercises that illustrate those topics and paradigms. I would give my left arm for a Greek book like the Jenney or Wheelock. Ideally, it would not be watered down with too MUCH culture or etymologies or other fluff.

Christopher MarchettiPrinceton Latin Academy
P.O. Box 8077
Princeton, NJ 08543

Princeton Latin Academy, where I am Assistant Headmaster, is a private elementary school (grades K–8), in which all students begin studying Greek, as well as Latin, in 2nd grade. I have prepared a textbook for our children, which I have tried to make as simple as possible. In this coming school year, I plan to write a continuation of what I’ve done so far.

Paul Manning
Oratory Prep School
1 Beverly Road
Summit, NJ 07901


  1. YES (Homeric Greek (once every four years); Schoder, A Reading Course in Homeric Greek)
  2. YES (Cf. above. Also a thirty-hour summer course in Herododus. Enrollment3; our school has 180 students, 9 - 12.
  3. NO
  4. NO

In grades 7 - 12, we provide a six-year Classics program, of which the fifth year is Homeric Greek. This year-long course is followed by a summer course (30 hours) in Attic Greek.

Homeric Greek, 20 students, A Reading Course in Homeric Greek, Schoder & Horrigan.

Attic Greek (Herodotus), 3 students, The Wars of Greece and Persia, W. Lowe

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Thomas Virginia
Amherst Central High school
4301 Main Street
Amherst, NY 14226

  1. NO
  2. YES As independent study. I’ve offered independent study Greek to seniors 3 times in the last 15 years. I’ve used your Athenaze text once & Wilding’s Greek for Beginners twice. I meet the students once a week on lunch hour.
  3. YES Active indicative of present, imperfect, future & aorist tenses of verbs, 3 declensions of nouns; adjective agreement with nouns, articles, attributive position of adjectives, an introduction to middle voice & subjunctive and optative moods.
  4. Not sure

Paul O’Rourke
Saint Ann’s School
129 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

  1. YES

Thank you for your inquiry about our Greek program. I hope this information is helpful.

We teach five levels of Greek using the following curriculum.

When there has been a demand from junior and senior Latin students who are thinking about Classics as a college major, we have offered an intensive Greek I course, using Hansen and Quinn and Plato’s Ion. The students who finish that course go into Greek III. We don’t offer that course as our regular first-year course because a number of Greek I students are seventh or eighth graders, and most of our students are taking Greek as their third language. If we put seniors in our regular Greek I course, they will have to take Greek I again in college, which seems to defeat the very purpose of their beginning Greek before college. Our students who continue Greek in college are placed in high intermediate or advanced level classes and do well.

All of the regular Greek courses meet four times a week for forty-five minutes (the regular number of meetings for an academic subject). When offered, Intensive Greek I meets before the school day at 7:45 AM, four times per week.

We currently have five people teaching Greek. All teach Latin as well. Everyone feels that the two volumes of Athenaze coupled with Chase and Phillips provide a solid preparation for the reading courses that follow. Five years ago, I taught a Greek III class made up of students coming from Greek II and Intensive Greek 1. Both groups were very well prepared, neither seeming to have suffered from the two different approaches of their introductory courses.

The one desideratum that we have is for a National Greek Exam that better tests what the students really know. The level of difficulty in the Attic I and II exams seems inconsistent from year to year, and some of the past tests seem to have favored good test takers over good Greek students. We think that a straight-forward grammar/syntax section (of perhaps twenty questions like the first half of the National Latin Exam) followed by questions based on a reading passage or two would yield a more balanced test. In this area, we would be happy to help in any way that we could.

We are proud of our Classics program and are heartened by the recrudescence of the study of Greek and Latin in America. If I or any member of this department can be of help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us. See addresses above.

Barbara Kuebler
Mount Mercy Academy
88 Red Jacket Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14220-2090

  1. NO
  2. YES
  3. YES Simple stories, basic Greek roots
  4. NO

In the last quarter of Latin IV, we do two weeks of Greek: alphabet, transliteration, roots, a few vocabulary words. We read and watch Greek drama; students do a paper on one of Euripides’ plays.

Nancy Andrake
51 Ashland Ave.
Elmira, NY 14903-9220

  1. YES “Introduction to Greek” is listed in the handbook, but to open it needs the magic number of 15. Last time it was offered was 6 years ago with 24 students. We’re trying hard to open it in Sept. ‘01.
  2. YES If a student expresses an interest, I am happy to help out.
  3. NO I was happy with Athenaze.
  4. NO I thought there already was a Nat’l Greek Exam through the ACL. Did it stop?

Richard V. Russo
Townsend Harris High School at Queens College
149-11 Melbourne Avenue
Flushing, NY 11367

  1. YES
  2. blank
  3. blank
  4. blank

From its re-foundation in 1984 Townsend Harris High School has required four semesters of a classical language from its students. Most elect Latin; a self-selecting elite chooses Classical Greek (Attic).

Currently we have fifty-nine students in our Attic Greek program: thirty-three in Level II and twenty-six in Level I. Though we had been using the Cambridge Reading Greek course (and were very satisfied with the results we achieved with it), we are now piloting Athenaze. This program forms part of the general curriculum.

As far as the National Greek Exam is concerned, I never allow my first year students to take it. The framers of the test take for granted the “traditional” curriculum by which the students learn principal parts of verbs from the inception and are thus able to deal with the future, the aorist active and passive etc. by the middle of the spring semester when the test is given. So far, whether using Cambridge or Athenaze my students have never ‘gotten that far.’ They always do rather well, though, on the Level II test in their second year.

So far, what I miss most in Athenaze are the Socrates passages, the Amazon episode from Herodotus, and the Aristophanes, which were in the Cambridge course.

Anthony G. Pontone, Ph.D.
Great Neck North Senior High School
Language Department
Great Neck, NY 11023

  1. NO
  2. YES I offer an independent study for a select group (see curriculum below).
  3. NO
  4. NO

Ancient Greek Curriculum (grades 8 through 12 Advanced)
Instructor: Anthony G. Pontone

I. Greek Language

  1. Basic Text: An Introduction to Greek by Crosby and Schaeffer
  2. Additional Texts: Ancient Greek - A New Approach by Carl Ruck; Greek -An Intensive Course by Hansen and Quinn; and A Greek Reader for Schools by Freeman and Lowe
  3. Elementary Readings: Selections from the Old and New Testaments, Herodotus, Plato, Aesop, Xenophon, Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Thucydides, and Aristophanes.
  4. Intermediate and Advanced Readings: Plato, Apology and Crito; Homer, Iliad Books I and XXIII; the Homeric Hymn to Demeter; Euripides, Hippolytus, Sophocles, Antigone

II. Greek Literature and Civilization

  1. Greek Culture and History: Basic text - The Greeks by H.D.F. Kitto
  2. Epic: Hesiod, Theogony; Homer, Iliad and Odyssey; Vergil, Aeneid
  3. Tragedy and Comedy: Aeschylus, Oresteia, Prometheus Desmotes, Persae; Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannos, Antigone, Oedipus at Colonus, Ajax, Philoctetes; Euripides, Medea, Bacchae, Orestes, Alcestis; Aristophanes, Clouds, Frogs, Birds, Lysistrata; Menander, Dyskolos; and Plautus and Terence
  4. Greek Historians: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon (selections from Hellenica), Plutarch’s Alexander
  5. Philosophy: Plato, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Symposium, Republic
  6. Unit on Greek and Roman architecture, sculpture, and pottery
  7. Classical Tour to Italy and Greece

Philip E. Schwartz
Department of Ancient and Modern Languages
Friends Seminary
222 East 16th Street
New York, N.Y. 10003-3703

To answer your query in the Spring issue of The Classical World, we offer a two-year sequence of Introductory Greek to juniors and seniors. Because Latin and Greek do not satisfy our foreign language requirement for high school graduation, I do not offer the sequence every year. We are not offering it this year but will begin the sequence next year. In the first year, there are usually 8–10 students and 4–6 in the second year. I use Hansen and Quinn because I learned from it and because I’m only a mediocre Hellenist. More than a new textbook, I think, there is a need for a school lexicon that lists verbs and nouns with all their principal parts.

The Introduction to Greek National Exam would be a very good idea.

Lisa Miller
Stuyvesant High School
345 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10282

  1. YES Introduction to Classical Greek: 13 students, Athenaze I.
  2. NO
  3. See below
  4. See below

We’ve just started this program, and my students haven’t even taken the National Greek Exam yet. I supplement Athenaze with the readings from Reading Greek. I have the students take on the roles for oral practice. I would like to see a textbook give some attention to how Greek finds its way into scientific and medical terminology. I’m getting some information from my students (we’re a math & science high school). I have a personal interest in human anatomy, so we pick up tidbits here and there.

David Murphy
The Nightingale-Bamford School
20 East 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128

  1. YES We offer 2 years of Athenaze 1 & 2 and a third year of mutually-chosen authors every two years. When we get 5 students for the Level I, we begin the 3-year sequence for them.
  2. NO
  3. blank
  4. YES We tried the existing Nat. Greek Exam, but I don’t like the questions.

Note: Another interesting question: What pronunciation: “restored,” Erasmian, or Modern? Last two sequences I taught “restored” à la Stephen Daitz, but I may do Modern next. Not sure, because of the vowels.

1. Our school offers a three-year sequence in Classical Greek. The first year is open to sophomores and juniors, and the subsequent levels, to those students as they are promoted to the next grade. The first year course is offered every two years. The enrollments in the first year course were:

    ‘95-’96: eight
    ‘97-’98: two
    ‘01-’02: two

The textbook is Athenaze for the first two years. In the third year, which I’ve taught twice, we read parts of the Odyssey and then selected other authors, including the Bolchazy-Carducci Herodotus textbook.

Our school requires ninth-graders to drop one major course for tenth grade because homework increases and some courses go from four meetings per week to five in tenth grade. The big problem is for foreign language courses. Most ninth-graders take a modern language plus Latin. To go into tenth grade, the majority drop one of these. A small number keep both languages and defer science for a year. The result is that very few take Greek, since most want to stay with the language/s they already are learning.

2. The class meets during a regular period, 4 times a week. So, it’s not scheduled nontraditionally. It is, however, an “add-on “ to my teaching load. I do it because I enjoy teaching Greek, even with two students.
3. Need for a new textbook for nontraditionally scheduled classes - I can’t say.
4. National Greek Exam like the Intro to Latin part of the NLE - it probably wouldn’t be advanced enough for my first-year students by March or whenever the NGE is given.

A propos of that: I wish the NGE would be reduced in length so it could be given in one 40-minute class period. I also found that it presumed more material than our class had been able to cover by that point in the year.

Father Barry J. Allaire
Archbishop Walsh High School
208 Forth 24th Street
Olean, NY 14760

  1. YES We use Athenaze Book I - It is an Introductory Course; we have 2-4 students each year. It runs for 1 year. It is an elective.
  2. YES I periodically will do independent study in a tutorial form after school once or twice a week.
  3. YES
  4. YES

Comments on Athenaze: A work book would be helpful w/ a few more exercises and even some tests. The grammar presentation is good. Etymology is a very important part of the course I teach as I use it to help students in the sciences, English, and PSAT/SAT tests. A stronger emphasis on etymology would be appreciated. The stories are good but could be expanded. Students (at least mine) enjoy them.

P.S. Thank you for your text; it is a great asset to me & my students. I’ve had students go on to take Greek in the seminary and other courses. Your text helped greatly.

Jeff Greenberger
Riverhead High School
700 Harrison Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11901

  1. YES
  2. blank
  3. blank
  4. blank

Thanks for your efforts to investigate and promote the study of Ancient Greek in the schools.

Here at Riverhead High School this is the second year of our Ancient Greek program. Last year I had sixteen eleventh and twelfth graders combined in the level l class. Of last year’s several juniors, four have continued this year in level 2. (Four other potential level 2 students decided not to continue their Greek instruction, in favor of music; unfortunately, orchestra was scheduled at the same time as Ancient Greek for this year.) This year I have eight beginners (level I) combined with the four veterans (level 2), all scheduled into the same 45 minute period. As is often the case in such a setting, the results have been mixed — though all the kids seem to be enjoying the material and the class.

We have been using the JACT twin books, Reading Greek. We supplement our language work with discussions based on their readings from The World of Athens, the culture/civ. companion volume to RG. We are also lucky enough to have living nearby a professor of medieval and ancient philosophy who comes in periodically for guest lecture/discussions on philosophical (primarily ethical) topics.

While I don’t see the need to replace RG, it would be a tremendous benefit to have a “user—friendly” set of charts & tables treating the morphology & syntax of Ancient Greek. This information is scattered throughout the text in RG, and is very cumbersome to consult.

My students are drawn from eleventh and twelfth graders who have successfully completed a Regents-level foreign language course. Ancient Greek is, for them, something of a treat, and — like most lucky Latin & Greek teachers in public schools, I serve at the pleasure of my constituency. Therefore I am disinclined to introduce the rigors of preparation for a national exam, at which I fear my students, already overtaxed (by today’s standards, of course), would balk.

I hope my answers are useful to you! Thanks, again, for your interest!

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