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Historical Grammar of Greek


Admission requirements

The examination and, if indicated, the teaching of the following units of study can only be taken if the examinations of the preceding units of study have been passed of Ancient Greek for Linguists I and Ancient Greek for Linguists II.


This course gives a one-semester intensive introduction to the historical grammar of Ancient Greek. The main phonological and morphological aspects of Ancient Greek and its dialects are reviewed during the first half of the course. We will use a course syllabus on historical grammar that also contains exercises, and we will take a look at a number of inscriptions. During the second half of the course, we will analyze Ancient Greek literary texts from a historical perspective: we will read short sections from Sappho and from Homer’s Iliad. The course will be assessed with a written exam as well as a take home assignment with open questions on a short passage from Homer. All texts and syllabi will be made available through Brightspace.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students will:

  • Remember and understand essential facts about the history of attestation, writing systems, phonology and dialectal diversity of Ancient Greek;

  • Understand the spelling rules of the different writing systems in relation to the language’s phonology, and apply this understanding and knowledge;

  • Remember the phonological developments that took place in the (pre)history of Greek until the end of the Classical period, understand the relation between these developments in time and space, and apply these developments to transform reconstructed forms into attested Greek forms;

  • Analyse and account for phonological and morphological differences between forms from different dialects; make and evaluate reconstructions based on such differences.

  • Be able to translate a short annotated piece of Homeric Greek into correct English with the help of a grammar and dictionary, and to comment on its morphological and phonological peculiarities from a historical linguistic perspective.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture/Seminar

Assessment method


  • Written exam on the historical phonology of Ancient Greek

  • Take-home assignment with open questions on a piece of Homeric Greek


  • The final exam and take home assignment both count for 50% of the final mark.

  • Additional requirement: the grade of both parts must be at least 5.


There is one resit option for both parts of the assessment.

inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

  • Course Syllabus (distributed via Brightspace)

  • Annotated texts from Homer and Sappho (distributed via Brightspace)


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies


All other information.