Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek

Magdalene Meretrix reviews Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek, Book I by Maurice Balme &al in the Bkwyrm archive.

Ceremonial magicians often work in dead languages for a variety of reasons. Attic Greek, one of my favorites, tends to be very popular. Greek is one of the more difficult languages to learn, but I’ve found it to be very rewarding magically to learn a language rather than just to decode it or to parrot it mindlessly. Words have a great deal of magical power and knowing the sources and subtle nuances of a word often boost a working tremendously.

The Athanaze series is the best way I’ve found to learn Greek outside of a classroom and also happens to be the text most Greek professors choose for their lessons. Its lessons build vocabulary and grammar slowly, focussing on the many sections of text which start with extremely simplified but grammatically correct Greek and work their way up to Greek the way it was written in Pericles and Pythagoras’ time.

The backs of the books are filled with chart after chart of grammar paradigms and a small dictionary that not only translates Greek words into English but English into Greek as well, something most dictionaries of Ancient Greek do not. The pronunciation guide in the front of Book One and the dictionaries in the backs of both books are very helpful as well to those who do not wish to actually learn to read and write Greek but only to calculate Gematric values of translated or transliterated words. [via]