Early Indo-European Online
Introduction to the Language Lessons
Jonathan Slocum and Winfred P. Lehmann
Recent advances in determining the origin of western civilization and the settlement of Europe are based especially on findings in genetics, archeology and linguistics. The papers on the topic given at a conference that brought together eminent specialists in these fields under organization of the Banco Popolare di Milano have been published in Italian under the title Le radici prime dell'Europa. Gli intrecci genetici, linguistici, storici, edited by Gianluca Bocchi and Mauro Ceruti (Milan: Bruno Mondadori, 2001). While these three sciences all provide information on the settlement, only through linguistics can the people involved be identified. Yet linguistics dealing with the early period is least advanced of the three. Moreover, grammars published as introductions to the early languages are produced on the pattern of those designed for instruction of secondary school students of years past, who were expected to take eight years of Latin, six of Greek, and then proceed to the study of Sanskrit and other less widely studied languages like Old Slavic, Armenian, and Avestan. Under curricula of today, few scholars find such a course of study acceptable.
Moreover, the important ability with respect to these languages is that of reading texts, with or without the help of translations. The online introductions in Early Indo-European Online are designed to provide such ability. In this series, texts that in themselves are valuable for literary and historical as well as linguistic purposes are briefly introduced, glossed word-by-word, followed by grammatical descriptions, and accompanied by a complete glossary, a base-form dictionary, and an English meaning index. For example, the third through fifth units of the introduction to Latin contain Julius Caesar's descriptions of the early Germanic people, which we assume from our reading of Herodotus and other early historians might also apply to the Indo-European peoples several millennia earlier. Other texts are important selections of literature, such as the opening lines of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Still others are important theological texts.
Most of this work has been carried out under grants from the Salus Mundi Foundation, for which we owe thanks to Dr. A. Richard Diebold, Jr. We hope that these lessons have wide usage, but would also appreciate users giving credit to him and to Salus Mundi for the grant that made possible the introductions to Latin and Greek and, through follow-on grants, subsequent works, all part of the Linguistics Research Center collection. We welcome comments, which may be sent to the Linguistics Research Center via the e-mail "comments" link at the bottom of each page.
About the Series Authors
Each lesson series represents the collaborative work of two or more individuals, as described below in the order of series completion.
- All Latin and Greek texts were annotated by Dr. Winfred P. Lehmann for their meaning and grammar; sections at the end of each lesson provide basic descriptions of the language that help one understand the texts. The glosses for Latin and Greek were then edited by Marie-Claire Beaulieu, a Classics student.
- The Old Church Slavonic lessons, with glosses and translations, etc., were written by Todd B. Krause, who at that time was a Physics student with serious ancient language interests.
- The Classical Armenian texts were originally glossed, and most of them translated, by Prof. John A.C. Greppin; these were then edited by Dr. Jonathan Slocum. Todd Krause made final corrections and wrote the rest of the lesson content (grammar points).
- The Old Iranian (Avestan & Old Persian) lessons were initiated by Scott L. Harvey, an Asian Studies student, and completed by Drs. Lehmann and Slocum.
- The Old Norse (Old Icelandic) lessons, with glosses and translations etc., were written by Dr. Todd B. Krause.
- The Lithuanian lessons in the Baltic series, with glosses and translations etc., were written by Prof. Virginija Vasiliauskiene; the Latvian lessons, by Lilita Zalkalns and Prof. Peteris Vanags.
- The Hittite texts were glossed and grammar points were written by Prof. Sara E. Kimball, who also wrote several of the lesson introductions. Dr. Lehmann supplied the remaining lesson introductions and wrote the Series introduction; Dr. Slocum revised the glosses and translations to enhance their consistency.
- The Ancient Sanskrit (Rigvedic) lessons, with glosses and translations etc., were written by Karen Thomson.
- The Gothic texts were originally glossed by Christopher Pennock, a Classics student; they were substantially revised by Dr. Krause, who wrote the introductions and grammar points and compiled the bibliography.
- The Old French lessons, with glosses and translations etc., were written by Prof. Brigitte L.M. Bauer.
- The Old Irish lessons, with glosses and translations etc., were written by Prof. Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel and Caren Esser.
- The Old English lessons were initiated by Dr. Winfred P. Lehmann, who selected ten texts and wrote two lesson introductions & ten grammar points. Dr. Jonathan Slocum completed the series, glossing & translating all ten texts, editing & redistributing Dr. Lehmann's grammar points, and writing eight more introductions & forty additional grammar points.
- The Tocharian lessons, with glosses and translations etc., were written by Dr. Todd B. Krause.
- The Albanian lessons, with glosses and translations etc., were written by Prof. Brian Joseph and Dr. Angelo Costanzo.
- The Old Russian lessons, with glosses and translations etc., were written by Dr. Todd B. Krause.
All lesson materials through 2013 were edited, formatted, and rendered into HTML by Dr. Jonathan Slocum. The tables of contents, master glossaries, base form dictionaries, and English meaning indices are generated entirely by software written by Dr. Slocum. From time to time, these web pages may be revised to correct errors and/or to add new features.
About the Series Lessons
The texts in these lessons were selected for the historical and cultural information they provide; they have not been simplified, but sections may be omitted. Each lesson series comprises a number of glossed texts (usually ten), each with a brief introduction identifying its author and the document from which it was taken, an English translation, and five Grammar points; other resources in each series include a Table of Contents and a Series Introduction, a Master Glossary of words covering all lesson texts, a Base Form Dictionary also spanning the texts, and an English Meaning Index to the glosses. Listed in order of [first] online publication:
Latin Online  is designed to teach you to read Latin, or to improve your reading knowledge. After completing the course, you should be able to read any Latin texts. You may find it easier to use texts with translations, such as the Loeb Classics.
Classical Greek Online , likewise, is designed to teach you to read classical Greek texts or to improve your reading knowledge. New Testament Greek Online  includes some of the central N.T. passages; it is designed like Greek Online.
Old Church Slavonic Online  is written in the same format with the same goals in mind. Seven OCS texts are taken from the New Testament; two of these (lessons 6, 7) parallel texts in our New Testament Greek series. Three non-Biblical texts, from other sources, are included for literary variety. An annotated bibliography, rather than being included as lesson points 46-50 in lesson 10 as in the Latin/Greek series, is listed separately; see the link at the bottom of the OCS Series Introduction page.
Classical Armenian Online  is a collection of 5 lessons, with texts dated from the 5th to 7th centuries A.D. Again, the annotated bibliography is separate; see the link at the bottom of the Armenian Series Introduction page.
Old Iranian Online  is a 10-lesson series in which two related languages are covered: Avestan (lessons 1-6), with texts from the 10th - 6th centuries B.C., and Old Persian (7-10), with texts from the 6th - 5th centuries B.C. Each language has its own brief annotated bibliography. For Avestan, two dialects are covered: "old" (lessons 1-4) and "young[er]" (5-6). A short list of works for Further Reading also appears at the end of the Series Introduction.
Old Norse Online  is a 10-lesson series, with texts from the 9th - 14th centuries A.D. A separate annotated bibliography is included (see link at bottom of Series Introduction page).
Baltic Online is a collection of 7 Lithuanian lessons  covering texts from the 16th - 20th centuries A.D., plus an additional set of 3 Latvian lessons  covering texts from the 16th - 19th centuries A.D.
Hittite Online  is a 10-lesson series with texts from the 17th - 12th centuries B.C. A short bibliography appears at the end of the Series Introduction.
Ancient Sanskrit Online  is a 10-lesson series with texts from the Rigveda, dating perhaps from the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. A separate tabular index to Rigvedic passages covered in the series is included (see link at bottom of Series Introduction page). After this series was completed, an online version of the full metrically restored Rigveda text was prepared; it is transcribed in Unicode.
Gothic Online  is a 10-lesson series with texts from the Gothic New Testament and from Skeireins, together dated in the 4th - 5th centuries A.D. Half of these texts (lessons 1, 4, 6, 7, 10) parallel texts in our New Testament Greek series.
Old French Online  is a 10-lesson series with texts from the 9th - 13th centuries A.D. Grammar points 46-50, in lesson 10, comprise a short bibliography.
Old Irish Online [2006-07] is a 10-lesson series with texts from the 6th - 10th centuries A.D.
Old English Online  is a 10-lesson series with texts from the 7th - 10th centuries A.D.
Tocharian Online [2007-10] is a 10-lesson series with a separate annotated bibliography; Tocharian texts are dated in the 6th - 8th centuries A.D. We believe this to be the first introductory Tocharian grammar published in English.
Albanian Online  is a collection of 3 Standard Albanian lessons covering texts from the 20th - 21st centuries A.D., plus an additional pair of Geg lessons covering texts from the 16th & 19th centuries A.D.
Old Russian Online  is a 10-lesson series with texts from the 10th - 15th centuries A.D.
The Lesson Texts
- Latin Online
- Classical Greek Online
- New Testament Greek Online
- Old Church Slavonic Online
- Classical Armenian Online
- Classical Armenian Online - Romanized
- Old Iranian Online
- Old Norse Online
- Baltic Online
- Hittite Online
- Ancient Sanskrit Online
- Gothic Online
- Old French Online
- Old Irish Online
- Old English Online
- Tocharian Online
- Albanian Online
- Old Russian Online
Related Language Courses at UT
Most but not all language courses taught at The University of Texas concern modern languages; sometimes courses are offered in ancient languages, though more often at the graduate level. Interested students are referred to the relevant departmental websites for details; links to them below open in a new browser window, leaving this one intact.
- Courses in Latin and ancient Greek are taught in the Department of Classics;
- Slavic language courses are taught in the Department of Slavic & Eurasian Studies;
- Iranian language courses are taught in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies;
- Germanic language courses are taught in the
Department of Germanic Studies,
with the exception of English which is taught in the Department of English;
- Indic language courses, including Sanskrit, are taught in the Department of Asian Studies;
- Romance (post-Latin) language courses are taught in the
Department of French & Italian
and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.
Online language courses for college credit are offered through the University Extension (link opens in new window).