Department of Classics at UC Berkeley

2020 Intensive Greek Workshop

Greek Vase

SUMMER 2020 UPDATE: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to maintain the safety of our students and instructors, this summer's Greek Workshop will be conducted remotely. Click here to see a description of the new format. The start/end dates, content, and pace of the course will remain the same. Our instructors are dedicated to maintaining the rigor, engagement, and enjoyment of this course as we take it online. If you have any questions, please email the director, Christopher Jelen, at christopher.jelen@berkeley.edu

Since its founding over forty years ago, the Greek Workshop has successfully guided thousands of students to proficiency in Ancient Greek. Students of all ages and from all stages of academic life have successfully participated in the course, including high-school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and adults simply seeking to learn a new and exciting language. The Greek Workshop has proven effective not only for students of the ancient Mediterranean, but also for students of history, philosophy, theology, and many other disciplines besides. While the course focuses on the dialect used in the literature of Athens and of Homer, students have also completed the program exceedingly well prepared to read the Greek of the Septuagint and the New Testament. So if you want to be able to read the language that Socrates used to defend himself during his trial, that Odysseus used when he outwitted the Cyclops, and that Lucian used in crafting the first science fiction novel, the Greek Workshop will give you the skills that you need to do so.

Replacing more than two semesters of regular language work, this immersive ten-week program requires a significant commitment of time and intellectual energy. In the first six weeks, students master the essentials of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary by working through Hansen and Quinn's Greek: An Intensive Course; in the last four weeks, they put their new knowledge to work reading extensively in selected texts, one of prose (e.g. Lysias, Plato, Lucian) and one of poetry (e.g. Homer, Euripides, Menander). Students are expected to spend several hours daily in study and homework preparation in addition to the in class work. Classes are small, though, and students can count on having plenty of individualized support throughout their journey. Beyond the classroom, guest lectures from distinguished Classics faculty members offer context and insight into cutting-edge research, and regular social events provide a venue for further discussion and camaraderie.