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GREEK 1Z03 Beg Intn Anc Grk 1

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Kathryn Mattison


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 705

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24577

Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 2:30-3:30

Course Objectives:

This course is for students with no prior knowledge of Ancient Greek.  We begin with the basics of the language and build from there.  The goal is to complete 19 chapters of the textbook, which will be continued in Greek 1ZZ3 and completed in second year. By the end of this semester, students will have covered the most primary and fundamental aspects of Greek grammar and syntax and will have acquired sufficient vocabulary to read and compose simple sentences and short paragraphs.   

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Anne H. Groton, From Alpha to Omega; A Beginning Course in Classical Greek, revised 4th edition (Focus).

Jon Bruss, From Alpha to Omega; Ancillary Exercises (Focus).


Method of Assessment:

Participation    (in class and tutorials)                                                 10%

Quizzes           (Every tutorial, beginning week of Sept. 18)               25%

Homework      (Collected in class every Friday)                                 15%

Mid-term test   (Friday, October 6)                                                     20%

Final Exam      (Date TBD)                                                                 30%


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

A missed test or assignment will result in a mark of zero unless you provide me with appropriate documentation of serious illness or severe personal distress.  You must contact me within one week of the scheduled test or quiz; otherwise, a mark of zero will be assigned. There are no make-up tests or quizzes.  Students who miss a test or quiz due to illness or personal distress and provide appropriate documentation and will have the weight of the missed test or quiz transferred to the next element of the course requirements.  Only illness and grievous personal distress are considered valid reasons for missing a test or quiz.  Similarly, late homework assignments will not be accepted for grading.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

For the first two weeks of class, we will be working through one chapter of the textbook per class.  Starting in the third week, we will be altering our schedule slightly to include one period of reading per week.  Starting the week of September 18th, our schedule will be as follows:

Monday and Wednesday: grammar work from the textbook. 

This will include lessons on the new grammar and practice from the textbook or ancillary exercises book.  I have built in review days in case we fall behind on the lessons or just to stop and review before moving on. I cannot stress enough the importance of you raising any problems you are having with any item of grammar or syntax so that we can all move forward together.

Friday: reading from extra material I will provide.  Sometimes I will ask you to prepare the readings in advance and sometimes I will give them to you in class so that we can work through them “at sight”.  These reading sessions are designed to increase your ease and familiarity with Greek as something more than just pieces of grammar and syntax and to practice your reading skills.  It may seem like these reading sessions are frivolous or unimportant, but they are vital to your reading skills and will expose you to different writing styles and genres.  

I reserve the right to change this schedule in the event that we fall behind and need more time with the textbook, but will make every effort to stick to it.

Besides the weekly quiz, the format of the tutorials will be flexible and will depend on what the majority of students need.  Sometimes the tutorials will review grammar or syntax from the week; sometimes they will provide an opportunity for extra reading or extra practice with parsing forms or vocabulary drills.

Your first homework assignment will be due in class on Friday, September 15th and the last is due on Friday, November 24th.     

Your first quiz will be in tutorial in the week of September 18th and the last is the week of November 20th.

Other Course Information:

This course requires a tremendous amount of work outside of class.  You will be responsible for reading the day’s lesson before coming to class and will benefit from re-reading it after class.  You will be assigned drills or exercises every day that will provide you with valuable practice to help solidify what we have done in class.  In addition to this, a great deal of memorization will be required.  There is no way around this.  If you hope to learn this (or any) language, you must be prepared to memorize grammatical forms and vocabulary.  It will be essential for you to keep up with the pace of the class; weekly quizzes and regular homework assignments are designed to encourage you to do so.  This is not the sort of material that can be learned at the last minute, nor is there one universal ‘key’ to making it easy; it requires steady work and finding the tricks that work best for your learning style.


Your participation will be evaluated on your preparation in lecture and tutorial, as well as your willingness to answer questions or translate when called upon.  This does not mean that you must always be correct; mistakes are expected and frequent when learning a language.  You must simply be willing to try.


Please contact me in person, by phone, or by email with any questions you have about this course (material, policy, format).  I do my best to reply to student email within 24 hours, but you should never expect or demand a reply within 24 hours of a test, quiz, or exam.  It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from the student's own McMaster University email account.