Intensive summer Greek has been taught in a unique and highly successful way in the Department of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin for thirty-five years now. The course is taught by dedicated and experienced professors with the help of advanced graduate assistants.

The course was designed and perfected by the late Professor Gareth Morgan. Dickson Centennial professor of Classics Tom Palaima ( has taught one half of the course for eleven years (since Gareth's death) and now teams with Lesley Dean-Jones who has taught the other half of the course the last three years.


The first half concentrates on mastering Greek grammar, syntax and morphology, using Gareth Morgan's unique approach: his Greek primer Lexis.

In the Lexis method students learn the component parts of Greek words. Vocabulary is organized around bases to which markers are added (conventionally known as case and personal endings, tense markers, augments) so that, e.g., in their first lesson on nouns students learn the different ways to form all nominatives and accusatives rather than case forms for the first declension. Syntactical constructions are explained as they appear in increasingly complex sentences taken from the "target" readings of Herodotus and Lysias.

The exercises are geared towards this increasing complexity rather than specific constructions such as indirect question or genitive absolute. By the end of the first five-week session, students are capable of generating their own Greek vocabulary from single forms encountered and are attentive to grammatical nuances and to the flow of genuine classical Greek. All readings are from real Greek authors (no made-up sentences).

The course meets throughout the summer from early June to early August five days a week for 5 class hours per day. Successful students spend an equal amount of time in preparation for each class.

The intensity of the course forges close bonds between the students, and the camaraderie is increased by extra-curricular gatherings to read ancient plays in the inimitable translations of UT's own Douglass Parker, an enthusiastic participant in the readings.

The late Gareth Morgan, a master at method acting.

In the first half we begin with Herodotus' Ionic Greek (the morphology of which is most transparent) and also read sections of Lysias and smaller selections of the New Testament and Desert Fathers.

In the second half we read Odyssey IX, Euripides' Medea, and Plato's Euthyphro. In the final exam students are able to translate passages from these authors at sight.

For further information regarding the content of the course, please contact Lesley Dean-Jones at

For information regarding registration, please contact Lynn Lakomski at