tags: ancientgreek
Originally Published: 2018-03-02
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A question I often see (and wonder myself) is: “What’s the best textbook for learning Ancient Greek?”. There are enough (modern) Ancient Greek textbooks that even keeping them all straight is a little confusing. So this post is just a roundup of the major textbooks for Ancient Greek that I’m aware of.1

Note that this list is primarily focused on Attic Greek,2 and many are designed for a classroom setting, making them more difficult if you intend to learn on your own.3

Many of these are gleaned from two Twitter threads I have bookmarked, where you can go to get a variety of opinions on the relative merits of them (as well as some other textbooks off the beaten path):

Another excellent resource is Juan Coderch’s Teaching Ancient Languages: a selected guide to available material (PDF), which discusses grammars, textbooks, and other resources for Ancient Greek & Latin.


Maurice Balme and Gilbert Lawall

Learn to Read Greek

Andrew Keller and Stephanie Russell

- or -

Reading Greek

Joint Association of Classical Teachers (JACT)

Introduction to Attic Greek

Donald J. Mastronarde

Greek: An Intensive Course

Hardy Hansen and Gerald M. Quinn


C.W.E. Peckett and A.R. Munday

An Introduction to Ancient Greek: A Literary Approach

C.A.E. Luschnig and Deborah Mitchell

From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek

Anne H. Groton

Introduction to Greek

Cynthia W. Shelmerdine

A New Introduction to Greek

Alston Hurd Chase and Henry Phillips Jr.

Greek to GCSE & Greek Beyond GCSE

John Taylor

Complete Ancient Greek

Gavin Betts and Alan Henry

Ancient Greek Alive

Paula Saffire and Catherine Freis

Classical Greek: A New Grammar

Juan Coderch

Recently, two free and open textbooks for learning Ancient Greek have also been published online. These are:

Ancient Greek for Everyone

Wilfred E. Major and Michael Laughy

Greek and Latin Roots

Peter Smith

(this textbook is designed as a two part sequence for learning both Latin and Greek, with Greek coming second)


  1. There are also a large number of 18th, 19th, and even earlier-20th century Greek textbooks not mentioned here, many of which are freely available online (see also this list of open access resources at AWOL, with some new exciting developments in this area as well). There are also some Greek grammars which are so generally useful that everyone still actually uses them. The most notable of these is probably Herbert Weir Smyth’s A Greek Grammar for Colleges (also on the Internet Archive or in print). Another is W.W. Goodwin’s Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb (Internet Archive, CUP reprint of 1867 edition, BMCR review of Cambridge reprint, Bristol reprint of 1889 edition), often referred to simply as “GMT”. 

  2. For the Homeric dialect, see the resources listed in my post “Resources for Reading Homeric Greek”. For Koine Greek, see Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar or Croy’s A Primer of Biblical Greek, among others. 

  3. Note also that most of these are oriented around the grammar-translation method. The major direct method text I’m aware of for Ancient Greek is the Italian Athenaze. There are also a variety of graded readers, perhaps one of the most well-known being W.H.D. Rouse’s A Greek Boy at Home (+ vocab), designed to go alongside his First Greek Course and Greek Reader. There have been some modern adaptations of AGBAH as well, such as Alexandros: To Hellenikon Paidion. And since we’re here, there’s also the Polis Institute’s Polis for spoken Ancient Greek.