Samstag, 28. März 2009

Audio resources for ancient Greek

Please note that inclusion of a link on the list does not imply any judgment about quality or accuracy, except in the case of the tutorials. I have, however, tried to limit the list to resources for the reconstructed classical pronunciation rather than NT or Koine. Recordings which are blatantly non-classical are marked as such. The focus here is on connected speech, not isolated units; hence, recordings featuring only pronunciation of the alphabet or individual words (such as Mastronarde's otherwise excellent tutorials) have generally been omitted.

I do my best to keep this list updated; however, if you notice that any of the links are broken (or if you know of other resources that I've missed), please, please, please drop me a line, either via e-mail or as a comment here in the blog.

Articles and tutorials
The key texts on this subject are W. S. Allen's Vox Graeca and Devine & Stephens' The Prosody of Greek Speech. The former requires at a basic knowledge of phonetics; the latter is considerably more technical.

For those who read German, Danek and Hagel's article "Homer-Singen" is a helpful discussion of the behavior of the pitch-accent across phrases. There is an additional article from Danek in the Wiener Zeitung which discusses more general problems of  how to pronounce ancient Greek.

The late Professor William Harris has a number of articles on the pronunciation and performance of ancient Greek:
The Musical Pitch Accents in Greek ("A basic statement about our misuse use of pitch and duration in ancient Greek!")
On Reading Homer: Acoustic or Optical? ("Will it be optical from a text, or acoustic from your oral performance? A detailed study of this and related problems about text and sound")
Sound of the Homeric Bard ("A study of the problems which face reconstruction of the sound of Homer's epic language, with notes for new performance-reading style")
Reading the Homeric Dactylic Line ("A practical approach to Homeric verse in an acoustically satisfying, realtime reading mode")

William Annis ( has a number of useful articles on Greek meter and pronunciation, including a tutorial on Reciting the Homeric Hexameter (with audio clips).

Allan Shaw ( has an article on ancient Greek poetry and music and on reciting ancient Greek along with some notes for classicists.
Recordings from:
Homer, Odyssey 1.1-21
Aeschylus, Agamemnon 40-45, 160-183, and 958-1000

Homeric Recitation by Avery Andrews has audio samples and a discussion of various techniques for reciting Homeric poetry. Includes recordings of Iliad 1.1-7 and Odyssey 11.150-203, 12.154-200 and 19.509-535 (WAV and RealAudio files)

The eccentrically-named used to include a useful discussion of Greek pronunciation along with some readings from the Iliad. The site is now apparently defunct, however.

Stephen Daitz has an audio Guide to the Pronunciation and Reading of Ancient Greek and a short accompanying booklet with the Greek text (for his other recording of ancient Greek texts, see below)

Audio based Greek courses/audio supplements to Greek textbooks
JACT's Reading Greek textbook series has an accompanying Speaking Greek audio CD. It includes an introduction to the pronunciation of ancient Greek as well as readings adapted from classical authors. Audio uses the reconstructed pronunciation but does not attempt pitch accents.

Assimil's Le Grec ancien sans Peine follows their model for modern languages. The audio files are entirely in Greek; the companion textbook includes explanations in French. Stefan Hagel (see above) was involved in the production of the recordings. Information (in French) and sample pages here.

Catherine Fries' has a Language lab with audio drills for the introductory lessons of Ancient Greek Alive on her website. (For the sake of comparision, Paula Saffire, the other co-author of the book, also has some audio samples from the book)

Learning Greek Podcasts
There have been several attempts to create audio courses in podcast form for ancient Greek. Unfortunately, none of them have produced more than a few recordings before being abandoned.

Lingua Latina et Graeca by Seumas Macdonald includes audio recordings from from W.H.D. Rouse, "A Greek Boy at Home" and "Greek via Kendrick". (The podcast no longer exists as of Sept 2010, but some of the files have been archived at the website linked above).

David Clark has recordings of the first two lessons from Kendrick's "Greek Ollendorf".

Recitations of Classical Texts
The Living Voice of Greek and Latin series by Stephen Daitz is unquestionably the largest collection of audio recordings of Greek texts, including:
  • Ancient Greek Poetry (selections from Homer, Sappho, Pindar, Euripides, Aristophanes, Timotheos, and others)
  • Aristophanes, Birds
  • Euripides, Hecuba
  • Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • Plato, Apology and Crito, selections from Phaedo
  • Selections from Greek Orators (from the speeches of Gorgia, Perikles, Lysias, Isokrates, and Demosthenes)
The recordings are available in DVD and MP3 formats at Bolchazy Carducci Publishers

Exerpts from these recordings, along with a few texts by other readers, are available at the Society for the Oral Reading of Greek and Latin Literature (SORGLL)
The site also includes a short audio guide to Greek pronunciation.

Andrew Reinhard has also posted extensive sections from Daitz' recordings (Aristophanes' Birds and Euripides' Hecuba).

An audio recording of Aeschylus' Agamemnon was produced to accompany a new commentary of the play by David Raeburn and Oliver Thomas. Instructions for ordering the CDs are available on the publisher's website.

Stefan Hagel's The Sound of Ancient Greek has audio files from:
  • Aeschylus, Agamemnon 503-537
  • Homer, Iliad 18.39-96 and Odyssey 8.267-366
  • Plato, Symposium 172f
Also includes a bibliography on Homeric performance.

James Diggle and Anthony Bowen recorded large sections from Medea for a performance in Greek by the Cambridge Greek Play Committee in 2007. The website no longer seems to be available, but the recordings can be found at

Classics professor John Kirby has recordings from Book 3 of the Iliad and Stesichorus Fragment 192 on his website (edit: link broken as of June 2010. old page at

Andrew Wilson's Classics Pages include recitations of fragments of Sappho and the opening lines of the Iliad

The Association for Latin Teaching has put up a couple of audio recordings from Ion. More stress than pitch accent, but otherwise the readers seem to be aiming for a classical pronunciation. (edit: link proken as of September 2012. old page at

Griechische Verse - Griechische Prosa (audio CD, ISBN 978-3-487-11807-9)
Selections from Homer, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Xenophon, Thucydides, Plato. Read by Konrat Ziegler. The publisher, Olms Verlag, includes an audio sample on their website; the Homer recitation is reminiscent of liturgical chants.

"Poems Found in Translation" by A.Z. Foreman includes recitations from several Greek texts in reconstructed pronunciations from various periods. The opening of Homer's Odyssey, a discussion of the problems of most audio recordings, and two post-classical texts by Mesomedes and Lucilius.

The Platonic Players have recorded several excerpts from Plato's Republic as part of a larger project to bring Plato's dialogues to life through performance.

Agamemnon, as performed by the Oxford University Classical Drama Society (YouTube series)

YouTube video of Ladislaus Dolidon reciting Homer, Odyssey 5.270-277

Musical interpretations
Music of Ancient Greeks
(Very short) samples from a CD by Ioannidis Nikolaos. Website includes the Greek text and an English translation for all selections.

Homeric Singing.
Excerpt from the Odyssey. By Georg Danek and Stefan Hagel.

Excerpt from the Odyssey sung by Philippe Brunet (youtube)

Songs of Sappho
Performance by Paula Saffire of the poem "Phainetai moi" (fragment 21) in Greek and in English translation. The website implies that there may be a videorecording of her lectures available somewhere.

Opening of the Odyssey sung by Christian Pecaut (

Fragments of Ancient Greek Songs from the Early Empire sung by Christopher Brunelle

Katherina Glau. Rezitation griechischer Chorlyrik: die Parodoi aus Aischylos' Agamemnon und Euripides' Bakchen (audio-CD with accompanying booklet in German, ISBN 3-8253-0753-0). This is not precisely a musical rendering, but seems to fit here because of the focus on recreating the rhythm. Reviews in English and German.

For those interested in ancient Greek music, there may be more goodies here, although I suspect the focus of these recordings is on the music rather than the lyrics as such.

Other (recordings may or may not attempt to use reconstructed pronunciation and pitch accents)

Cornell University's resources for the Athenaze textbook include audio files for several of the chapters.

And another site with sound files for chapters 1-10 of Athenaze (vocabulary and readings).

Consalvus' blog Ta Mathemata includes audio recordings from the Italian Athenaze and assorted other sources.

Audio for other textbooks
Audio files for all the vocabulary and exercises in Anne Groton's Alpha to Omega (courtesy of David Nye).

Christian Vosloh has recorded audio files for all lessons of German textbook Kantharos following the traditional German pronunciation.

A new direct-method Greek course, Polis Koine, includes audio files to accompany the text. They use an intermediate pronunciation with the aspirate consonants pronounced as fricatives. Samples can be found on their website here.

Neoclassical Greek
Recordings of modern texts that have been translated into classical Greek.

Der Kleine Prinz in 100 Sprachen includes an audio excerpt from an ancient Greek translation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's fable.

Professor Daniel Levine's recording of the first paragraph from the ancient Greek version of Harry Potter 

Pantoia is a collection of translations into Greek and Latin of various well-known literary texts and poems. The site includes a recording of Friedrich Schiller's poem "Nänie" in classical Greek.

Miscellaneous Recordings
Smithsonian Folkways has a number of archival recordings available in CD, cassette or electronic form. Website includes audio samples. Ancient Greek Poetry by John F.C Richards includes selections from Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes and lyric and elegiac poetry; Homer has selections from the Iliad and Odyssey. There is also a recording of a performance of Sophocles' Antigone by Columbia Unviersity in 1957 and a reading of Plato's Apology in Greek and English by Moses Hadas.

Haverford Classics Podcasts
Readings of Latin and ancient Greek texts.
Selections from Herodotus, Histories Book 1. Read by George Reuter. Also available at a slower study speed.

Fragments of Sappho read by Thomas McEvilley (Greek and English)

Tadora Press
Includes video excerpts from a university production of Sophocles Antigone and recitations of three of Pindar's Odes

Gerhard Helzel's page on Greek has a number of resources, including audio clips from Sprechen Sie Attisch and a couple of other texts.

Helma Dik's Greek handouts page includes readings from the opening lines of Lysias, Crito, and Oedipus Tyrannus. (Edit: as of Feb 2010 audio files are no longer available. page at

Wired for Books
Iliad 1.1-611 read by Stanley Lombardo. RealAudio and MP3 format. Does not attempt pitch accents.

Harvard Classics Poetry Recital
Homer, Iliad 1.457-463 and 6.466-475 read by Carolyn Higbie (embedded audio)

Homer in Performance
Iliad 1.1-16, 9.307-429, 18.478-519, and 24.468-516 read by Gregory Nagy (embedded audio)

Classical Language Instruction Project
Iliad 1.1-16 in several different pronunciations (Erasmic, reconstructed, and with choral music)

Dance of the Muses
Recordings and videos of Homer and Greek choral poetry


Steven hat gesagt…

I have the Assimil "Le Grec Ancien" and just wanted to say that Stefan Hagel was extensively involved in the recordings - he was also one of the speakers and played ancient music on authentic-like instruments. They use the restored 5th Century BCE pronunciation with pitch accents.

Brenda hat gesagt…

Hmm, it sounds like I'll have to check out the Assimil course, then. I've been scared off by the price tag, but if the quality is anything like the recordings on Hagel's website, then I guess it's worth it.

Christophe hat gesagt…

I strongly recommend the "Polis" method. It is very easy to follow the grammatical progression, drawings and dialogs are refreshing, and it leads you little by little on the verge of speaking Greek. So far, it is the most efficient method I have found to learn ancient Greek.

Anonym hat gesagt…

Ich besitze beide Lehrwerke und kann dir gern die CDs abtreten.
Das Assimil-Büchlein ist einzeln erhältlich, aber ich würde fast vermuten, dass du bei deinem Kenntnisstand die gedruckten Texte nicht brauchst.
Bevor wir die Mühen des Adresstausches auf uns nehmen, kannst du ja an dieser Stelle Interesse bekunnden, falls vorhanden.

Brenda hat gesagt…

Ja, natürlich hätte ich Interesse. Falls du den JACT audio nicht hast, könnte ich auch eventuell den Gefälligkeit erwidern.

Mein Kontaktinfo (E-mail) ist auf meinem Profil zu finden.

Anonym hat gesagt…

There is a new video on the site
You can see there a teacher speaking koine Greek with the students : it is a real conversation in ancient Greek. I recommend it.


M. hat gesagt…

You can add this new resource to your list:

This is the beginnings of a complete audio course for Attic Greek, using restored classical pronunciation. It will be completed in around 2 years, at the current rate of progress.

Sierra hat gesagt…

Grossartiges Artikel! Vielen Dank.
Grüsse von Chile.

AF hat gesagt…

I've done a recitation of Homer at my blog:

Brenda hat gesagt…

Saw it, thanks! Haven't gotten around to updating the page here yet, but I should sometime over the next few days.

bedwere hat gesagt…

Nifty Greek Handouts:


bedwere hat gesagt…

Useful Ancient Greek phrases

Anonym hat gesagt…

Grazie per questa bellissima iniziativa, una vera summa per gli appassionati di Greco Antico.
Thanks for this marvelous initiative, a real collection for all Ancient Greek's fonds.

A.Z. Foreman hat gesagt…

Try this also

Anonym hat gesagt…

Mike Miner's web site has a lot of Greek and Latin audio you can download for free. He uses the restored Greek pronunciation with musical pitch accents.

You can also contact him on his web page and order the CD he recorded with Oxford University Press, featuring audio recordings of the first ten chapters of Athenaze.

Anonym hat gesagt…

Oops. I meant to say Mark Miner.

Anonym hat gesagt…

This is a pretty good performance of Sappho 31.

Audio recitations hat gesagt…

Informative Blog! Thanks for sharing! Deenwise is the best App to increase your Knowledge about #Islam, #Quran, Duas, Quotes.

Everyone can download it from: Google Play

Anonym hat gesagt…

The problem is the english accent of the lectures. Terrible!

Anonym hat gesagt…

I've posted a recording of the opening of the Odyssey at More examples and explanation may follow.

Prayer Times hat gesagt…

Thanks for sharing. hat gesagt…

Great blog, Thanks.

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Anonym hat gesagt…

This podcast ( is a guy (John Schwant) reading all of the second book of the English Athenaze story, as well as the end of the first book (staring at chapter 11). He also gives a kind of play by play explanation in separate "commentary" recordings. All and all it is about 9.5 hours of high quality greek audio. Very helpful. He runs a site called where he teaches through the first book using a hybrid immersion-grammar/translation approach. The audio quality of the materials is really good. The greek is read using Randal Buth's "Restored Koine" pronunciation, which is basically modern, except eta is long and omicron-iota is pronounced like a french "u" (as in "tu es ma petite lapine"). Full disclosure: I am not that guy and he hasn't paid me to say any of this. I was just thrilled to find it. It is a great second step after Buth's introductory Koine course (which is done with audio and pictures, on the model of the "learnables", and then with audio over the same text as went with the pictures). Buth's course ( in part one has about 3.5 hours of great audio suitable for someone with no greek and interesting for someone who can read, but wants to learn to hear and produce the language in order to speed up her reading. The second part of his course (not as interesting for those who already know Greek) has about 13 hours of high quality audio, which are mostly language exercises. Buth has also done readings of Epictetus and John 1, which are quite good.

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