A Little Greek Reader

by James Morwood and Stephen Anderson, Oxford and New York:  Oxford University Press 2014, Pp 293 pages,  ISBN 9780199311729 ($19.95).  

This useful book for intermediate Greek learners illustrates a number of grammatical features with short texts from the canon of Greek writers.  It is not an introductory course, but assumes an acquaintance with all the basic features of grammar and syntax.  The authors say they do not intend it to be read entirely from cover to cover, but rather as a revision aid, or a teaching tool to reinforce particular points with the aid of well-chosen examples.  These range from a single word ?????? to illustrate the perfect indicative to longer passages from Euripides and Herodotus to illustrate unreal conditionals.  The passages have their own intrinsic interest and students may well be diverted from the grammatical example to looking at the content of the text for its own sake.  Passages from the New Testament are included, but the rest is strictly classical including Homer, the tragic poets and the best-known prose writers.  Grammatical features are traditionally arranged and cover everything from basic cases and tenses to complex sentences and syntactical features.  Each passage has notes and explanations and there is a complete vocabulary to make the book an independent unit to work from without significant extra aids.  There are appendices to provide a short biographical note for each author, notes on metre and dialect, maps and literary terms.  Additional prose and verse passages are also included for unseen practice.  There is also a companion Little Latin Reader (978-0199846221).  This is a US publication and English spelling conventions follow the American model.  It would be very useful to have a class stock of this volume to use as an extra resource in revision classes, or when a class has a particular need to consolidate a certain language feature.  It is not designed to be read as whole treating each passage in depth, but teachers with an intermediate or advanced class of Greek students will find in this invaluable volume plenty of useful material.

John Bulwer