Living Ancient Greek

4 lessons

Welcome to Living Ancient Greek, an immersive Ancient Greek curriculum!

Living Ancient Greek is a self-paced online course that offers a complete introduction to the Ancient Greek language. It features animated videos teaching Ancient Greek grammar, a graded reader which starts out in simple Ancient Greek and gradually increases in difficulty as students master grammar and vocabulary, and supplementary articles on the history and culture of the Greek language across the centuries. It is available for individual learners and for teachers, who can enroll their students in a class and access a reporting system, which allows them to keep track of their students’ progress.

Grammar Lessons

Living Ancient Greek features fun, engaging videos teaching Ancient Greek grammar. These videos start with the basics of the language, like pronunciation, and proceed all the way through the most complex topics in Ancient Greek grammar necessary to read authentic texts. All grammar videos are followed by written summaries of the main topics covered, as well as quizzes that check students’ comprehension.

Graded Reader

Features and Organization

Living Ancient Greek also includes an illustrated graded reader of more than 80,000 Greek words. This reader tells the story of a group of students from around the world studying abroad in Greece and around the Mediterranean. On their travels, they visit sites of historical and cultural interest and encounter Greek authors of different genres whose work spans over more than two millennia; from Homer and Plato, the New Testament, through the Middle Ages and all the way to the Greek Enlightenment. 

The reader is organized in two parts: 

  • The first part (Chapters 0-32) introduces students to Classical Attic and the literature of ancient Athens (philosophy, drama, rhetoric).
  • The second half of the book (Chapters 33-60) aims to introduce the student to other forms of Greek and Greek literature, such as the Homeric dialect and other literary dialects of Ancient Greece, but also looking forward and introducing the Hellenistic Koine, Biblical, and Medieval Greek (and some even later forms of Greek, excluding Modern, for which the Paideia Institute offers a separate course).  The topics here reflect the cultural and historical significance of Greek outside of Attic, before and after it, and as a result, they deal with such themes as history and historiography, religion and Church history, as well as archaeology. 

The graded reader starts in simple Ancient Greek, with chapters that are specifically designed to be easy to understand for speakers of English. Over the course of 60 chapters, the students gradually acquire grammar and vocabulary in Greek and learn to read increasingly more and more challenging texts. By the end, students are encountering fully developed Greek prose similar to what one might find in Plato, Lysias, and Lucian. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to Greek literature, with excerpts and passages from different Greek authors interwoven into the text of the chapters, sometimes adapted to the level of the student, and at other times inserted into the text in an authentic, and unchanged form. 

The reader is currently available online in a custom-designed reading environment. The reading environment features illustrations, a built-in dictionary, Greek to Greek glosses to help students understand what they’re reading while staying immersed in Greek, drop-down morphology tables, and easy access to the grammar lessons that are relevant for each chapter.

Themes of the course

While our students travel and learn together, interacting with each other throughout the story, different “arcs” of the course will focus on different characters in the group, exploring their particular interests and connecting those interests with the places visited and the works read. Each of our characters is a unique individual, they like and dislike different things, and they react accordingly throughout the story. Each of the 6 characters is particularly interested in a specific aspect of the Greek language and culture: e.g. Sophronios (Arc 1) is interested in true wisdom and how to attain it, so his character arc will see the students getting introduced to works of philosophy written in Greek, as well as visiting places that have significance in regard to philosophy, such as the Ancient Agora in Athens. Daphne (Arc 2), on the other hand, is really into theater and drama, so her character arc introduces the students to dramatic poetry, and we visit places such as the famous theater of Epidaurus. Similarly, but without giving up too many details, Zeno is interested in rhetoric, Atossa in historiography and the power of narration, Iris feels most comfortable in somewhat later topics such as the Byzantines and Church history, while Matthias’ favorite topics are archaeology and exploring how the modern world is intertwined with the ancient one. 

So be prepared for a story full of adventure; our characters will learn a lot from each one of these experiences making their voyage into the Greek cultural sphere unforgettable. But more importantly, the students will learn together with them, acquiring knowledge of Greek grammar and vocabulary while also immersing themselves in the adventures of characters that very quickly grow on them. 

History and Culture

In addition to the grammar videos and graded reader, each chapter of Living Ancient Greek includes a short article in English expanding on an aspect of the history or culture of the Greek language that comes up in the chapter. Since the scope of Living Ancient Greek is not limited to antiquity, these articles cover the history and culture of not only the Classical period, but also delve much deeper into the Hellenistic and Medieval periods, all the way up to the beginnings of Modern Greek.

Exercises and Assessments

Each chapter features interactive exercises focused on vocabulary, morphology, and syntax. As students work through these exercises, they gradually develop their language skills and enhance their ability to read and write Greek.

Quizzes follow each lesson, reading, and history and culture article to check student comprehension of the subject matter covered. Additionally, after every section of the course (first after chapter 5, and then at the end of every 9 chapters), a larger summative assessment in both English and Ancient Greek recapitulates and tests the learner’s command of the grammar introduced to them in previous chapters, ensuring a solid foundation before moving on.


All Living Ancient Greek users have access to a general Agora, an online message board where they can post questions and interact with other users. The Agora is monitored by Paideia staff, who are available to answer questions.

Learning Analytics

Teachers whose students are using Living Ancient Greek gain access to the platform’s customized reporting tools. These tools allow teachers to view student performance in the course, and filter by individual student or specific quiz or lesson elements.

The Paideia Institute wishes you a great time with this course, whether you are a student or a teacher; whether you yourself are taking your first steps in the wonderful world of Ancient Greek language and culture, or you are introducing your beginning and eager students to it.