tags: ancientgreek
Originally Published: 2019-02-25
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Recently, I’ve been reading some Homeric Greek, and thought it would be beneficial to collect some resources I’ve found useful or interesting in the process. Similar to my Ancient Greek Textbooks Roundup post, this is just a post for gathering everything together in one place for convenient reference.

Grammars/Introductions for Homeric Greek

Homeric Greek: A Book For Beginners

Clyde Pharr

The original 1920 version of this book is freely-available in the public domain, but there have been two later revisions of it—one by John Wright in 1985, and a further revision by Paula Debnar which is curently in print from the University of Oklahoma Press. This textbook is designed for students with no background in Greek, leading them through the grammar of Homeric Greek in particular, culminating in readings of Iliad 1.1-611. There’s also an excellent web site with a vast amount of supplementary material (videos, exercises, etc.) for the book available here: https://commons.mtholyoke.edu/hrgs/

Beginning Greek with Homer

Frank Beetham

Similar to Pharr, this book is designed for students with no background in Greek, guiding them through grammar for Homeric Greek, and leading them through a reading of Odyssey 5. See also this review in BMCR.

A Reading Course in Homeric Greek

Raymond V. Schoder, Vincent C. Horrigan, and Leslie Collins Edwards

This book is also designed for students with no background in Greek. Book 1 focuses on Odyssey 9 (alongside various other selections), while Book 2 goes through Odyssey 6 & 12.

Homer: A Transitional Reader

John H. O’Neil and Timothy F. Winters

Unlike the other books in this category, this book is designed for introducing Homeric Greek to students who already have some background in Attic Greek. Specific passages covered are all selections from the Iliad: 1.1-21, 1.121-39, 1.148-60, 1.172-87, 3.328-39, 5.297-352, 6.421-39, 16.306-57, 16.843-61, 18.97-116, 22.306-30. See also this review in BMCR.

A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect

D.B. Monro

While this book has the advantage of being in the public domain, it is probably most suitable as a reference grammar to Homeric Greek for someone who has already learned some amount of Ancient Greek.


Bristol Classical Press

M.M. Willcock, W.B. Stanford

These combine a Greek edition with corresponding English commentary at the back of each volume:

Harvard Loeb Classical Library

A.T. Murray and William F. Wyatt/George E. Dimock

As with all Loebs, these present the Greek text with a facing English translation. Murray’s original edition has fallen into the public domain, but the editions currently in print have been revised by later editors:

Oxford Classical Texts

David B. Munro and Thomas W. Allen, eds.

These present the Greek text without commentary, but a brief apparatus criticus at the bottom of each page:


Martin L. West, ed.

The best introduction to West’s edition (and an excellent overview of the issues involved generally) may be the series of reviews and exchanges surrounding it in BMCR. Start with Gregory Nagy’s review of the first volume and Jean-Fabrice Nardelli’s of the second volume, and West’s response. If you’re still interested in more, there’s an exchange over West’s Studies in the Text and Transmission of the Iliad (review, response), as well as a review of West’s (posthumous) Odyssey edition.


Walter Leaf, ed.


A significant portion of my reading is done in the excellent Attikos app from the University of Chicago. You can tap on any word for a quick parse and definition, or open a full definition in the corresponding Logeion dictionary app. I’ll often split-screen this on my iPad with a PDF open in the Documents app. You can also read texts online in any web browser with Perseus or Perseus under PhiloLogic.


David Chamberlain has recorded audio for all of the Iliad & (as of this writing) Odyssey 1-7, presented alongside a fully scanned text, available online at A Reading of Homer (work in progress) on Hypotactic.com. He also has fully parsed versions of Odyssey 6 & 7 available here.

The Chicago Homer

The Chicago Homer presents many Homeric works in an online interface with optional interlinear translations, as well as clickable parses for each word. Martin Mueller has also written an introduction to using The Chicago Homer.


Perhaps an outlier when people think of “Homeric Greek,” but Bloomsbury have recently published an edition (with text, translation, and commentary) of The Homeric Battle of Frogs and Mice (or Batrachomyomachia), edited by Joel P. Christensen and Erik Robinson. The relative shortness, ease, and weirdness of the text can make it an excellent candidate for transitioning to reading Homeric Greek. Matthew Hosty’s PhD thesis which provides an edition and commentary of the Batrachomyomachia has also been turned into a fuller monograph published by Oxford University Press. The standard edition of the Batrachomyomachia scholia remains the 1896 edition of Arthur Ludwich (starting on p.198), which also presents an edition of Theodorus Gaza’s prose paraphrase (for which see below).


A Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect

Richard John Cunliffe

This edition expands Cunliffe’s Lexicon with his Homeric Proper and Place Names. Originally published in 1924, the Lexicon is definitively in the public domain in the U.S. as of 2020.

A Homeric Dictionary for Schools and Colleges

Georg Autenrieth, translated by Robert P. Keep

Originally published in German by Autenrieth, the English translation of this dictionary was published in 1889 and is freely available in the public domain. It’s also available as a digitized dictionary within Perseus and Logeion.

Readers, Commentaries, & Scholia

D Scholia

The so-called “D” Scholia come from an ancient schoolbook tradition, and largely consist of glosses on Homer. These are not available in English translation, but can be very valuable for reading while staying “in language,” as often these scholia will give an expanded Greek explanation for a confusing bit of Homeric Greek. Two excellent editions of these scholia are freely available as PDFs:

Geoffrey Steadman

Geoffrey Steadman generously publishes his readers/commentaries for various ancient works as free PDFs and inexpensive print-on-demand paperbacks:

Pamela Draper

These readers/commentaries are somewhere between the level of Steadman’s and the more general “Introductions to Homeric Greek” listed above:

Bristol Classical Press

In addition to the fuller editions/commentaries listed above, Bristol also publishes some volumes with individual books of Homer containing Greek text with facing vocabulary/commentary:


Cambridge also publishes a six-volume comprehensive commentary on the Iliad under the general editorial guidance of G.S. Kirk:


Simon Pulleyn

These combine an edition, translation, commentary, and glossary:

The Basel Commentary

Allen Rogers Benner

Benner’s Selections from Homer’s Iliad is available in the public domain on Perseus and the Internet Archive, and covers books 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, and 24.

Charles Anthon

Originally published to cover the first three books of the Iliad, this work was later expanded as The First Six Books of Homer’s Iliad: with English Notes, Critical and Explanatory, a Metrical Index, and Homeric Glossary - both are in the public domain.


Although there are no end of available translations of Homer, the English translation which is likely to be most useful for the purpose of aiding a reading of the Greek is that of Richmond Lattimore:

These also have the advantage of having standalone commentaries available based off of them:


Perhaps an odd category, but over the years various people have made Attic/Koine Greek paraphrases of Homer. Similar to the D Scholia, these can help with reading Homer while staying “in language.”

Theodorus Gaza

I’ve also made a start on a digital edition of Gaza’s paraphrase of the Batrachomyomachia, available here.

Michael Psellos

Neophytos Doukas