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Ἀττικίζω: A Greek Apprenticeship Program

Ἀττικίζω (Attikizo) is a three-year language apprenticeship program designed to help parents, teachers, and students build the skills required to engage with classical texts in the original Greek. Approaching ancient Greek as a living language, apprentices will build skills in communicating, reading, and thinking in ancient Greek.

The name of this apprenticeship Ἀττικίζω recalls the act of foreigners speaking the dialect of the Athenians. This verb is appropriately applied to us as we endeavor to acquire this ancient language as a second or third mother tongue, in order that we also may enter the walkways of ancient Greece to encounter directly her poets and teachers.

Apprentices will find this spoken approach delightful and the least intimidating path to beginning studies of ancient Greek. Prior exposure to ancient Greek will be helpful, but not necessary.



Retreat Dates: Soon to be decided between July 17-22 or July 24- 29

Registration for the 2023-2024 is now open!

How does the course work?

Led by Monique Neal, Ἀττικίζω is a three-year program that teaches spoken Attic (or Classical) Greek, the language spoken in 6th to 4th centuries BC Athens. This is the language of Aeschylus, Thucydides, Sophocles, Plato, and Aristotle, among others. Though Attic Greek will be the primary language taught in this program, apprentices will have exposure to Koine Greek through New Testament readings and selections from the Church Fathers.

The primary pronunciation used in the program will be Erasmian, though all pronunciations are welcome. For readings in Koine Greek, the modern Greek pronunciation will be introduced, which is the pronunciation used today in Greece and in the liturgies of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Each year apprentices will meet on site in Richmond, Virginia (or its surrounding areas) for a week-long retreat in July and February. The rest of the program will consist of weekly webinars that will involve guided reading and discussions on the text, grammar, and vocabulary.

Ἀττικίζω will launch at the in-person, summer retreat held in Richmond, VA from July 17 – 22, 2023 or July 24 – 29, 2023. The conversations will continue over a weekly webinar held on Wednesdays from 7-8pm EST. The winter retreat will be held in Richmond, VA from February 12 – 16, 2024.

All aspects of the retreats and the weekly webinars will be conducted predominantly in ancient Greek.

The primary textbook is the Italian edition of the first volume of Athenaze and the companion exercise book, which will be provided at the first retreat and included in the cost of the program. In addition to the textbook, poems and excerpts of scripture and prose text of various authors will be included as part of the syllabus.

Attendance and participation at all retreats is required. For the most fruitful results, apprentices should plan to attend all webinars with videos turned on. Teaching ancient Greek while in the apprenticeship program is strongly encouraged.

Meet your Mentor: Monique Neal

Monique Neal lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and homeschools their four children. She graduated from the CiRCE Teaching Apprenticeship Program in 2021. She is fluent in modern Greek and modern Greek Cypriot and has pursued studies in ancient Greek as a living language under various mentors including completing the course of study in ancient Greek at Accademia Vivarium Novum in Italy.
Monique Neal

Though Koine Greek became the lingua franca of the Mediterranean World after the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BC, the sophisticated older form of the language continued to be used by the Church Fathers and other authors well into the Roman era. Attic Greek will offer the largest toolkit to the student who wishes to eventually read widely in dialects from Homeric to Biblical Greek.

While Erasmian will be the primary pronunciation used in the apprenticeship, ideally, students should have familiarity with both Erasmian and modern pronunciations. Erasmian pronunciation is a less complex entry point for the beginning student and is an appropriate pronunciation for capturing the rhythm and musicality of ancient poetry. It is fitting, however, to read Koine text in modern pronunciation which is believed to be very close to Byzantine pronunciation. This also connects us to modern Greece, the heir of the ancient language and culture.

The Greek Apprenticeship costs $3050/year in tuition, plus a $400 administration fee upon acceptance. Due to the difficult nature to acquire the text books for this course, we will post the cost for the books once it is known. There is a non-refundable $75 application fee to apply for the Greek Apprenticeship. In addition to the tuition and deposit, apprentices should expect to pay for travel, lodging, and food for the two retreats. A general estimated cost for each retreat is $500 plus airfare if applicable. Including all fees and expenses, the estimated cost for one year in the Greek Apprenticeship is $4450.

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