Learning Greek with Plato

This course teaches the Ancient Greek language by studying the Attic dialect used by Plato in his dialogues the Meno

Taught by Martin Black in collaboration with the Independent School of Philosophy 

Prerequisites: No prior formal study of the ancient Greek language is required, however some exposure is helpful. This is why we recommend first taking Ancient Greek Language and the First Philosophers.

Cost: $120/$60 for each block of 6 classes (less if you become a member of the Platonic Academy)


BOOKINGS NOW OPEN for Part I in Spring 2022
from Monday, 5 September in Carlton (+online)



Learning Greek with Plato: A Beginner’s Course in Classical Greek by Frank Beetham.

This required textbook remains in print and available (try fishpond, or second-hand at Biblio or Abe).  Delivery of print copies may be slow, and so the relevant sections will be copied and provided for the first classes.

Course Outline

Part I: The elements of Plato’s Greek

Six weekly classes introducing the language of Plato

The course textbook slowly guides towards reading a short but important dialogue of Plato, the Meno. In order to make progress, students need find time between classes to memorise some of the vocabulary and word patterns. The long-term goal over a series of courses is to complete the textbook and then read the whole dialogue in its original language. This first course does not come close to that, and yet it brings you much closer to Plato’s writings than you could ever achieve in reading only translations. 

“Plato is the greatest prose writer of our tradition. His dialogues are widely recognised as infinitely subtle works of art conveying profound reflections on human existence. Plato seems to have fulfilled his own criterion for writing by composing texts in which every word is in its necessary place with the result that each reader takes away an interpretation that does justice to his or her own nature. But one can only gain full access to Plato’s art and thought by delving into the language in which he wrote.”

Martin Black (tutor)