Edition: 2023
Pages: 172
Series: EL
ISBN: 9788858131503

The Brilliant Language. 9 reasons to love ancient Greek

Andrea Marcolongo



“It is to the Greeks that we turn when we are sick of the vagueness, of the confusion [...] of our own age”

Virginia Wolf

Every language captures the world in a unique way: the stranger the vision, the more interesting the language. This is the idea behind Andrea Marcolongo’s captivating book on the mysteries of ancient Greek. 

Far from being a grammar primer, Andrea Marcolongo’s book is a declaration of love for a language and its ability to alter the senses. Ancient Greek, whether you are familiar with it or not, is a wine you have never tasted before, a unique vintage not unlike the one Ulysses used to outwit the Cyclops: each sip will leave you craving more. 

This book will convince you that ancient Greek is as alive and important as ever: its power lies in the ability to express complex issues through simple, true, honest words. 

A few reasons to love ancient Greek: 

It is a peculiar language, which classifies verbs based on the nature of the action rather than their tense

In addition to singular and plural, it has a third grammatical number, the dual, used to indicate a couple (lovers, for instance)

We don’t know how words were pronounced, so it is a mute language 

As a language, it is extremely succinct and precise

It has a specific mood, the optative, to express desire

It classifies colours based on their luminosity rather than their hue

It acts as a gateway to a lost world 

The author

Andrea Marcolongo

Andrea Marcolongo is a writer and journalist with a degree in Classical Studies from the University of Milan. She debuted with The Ingenious Language: Nine Epic Reasons to Love Greek (Laterza 2016) which soon became a literary success story, selling 150,000. Among her other publications: La misura eroica (Mondadori 2018), on the myth of the Argonauts, and Alla fonte delle parole (Mondadori 2020). She lives in Paris. Translated in 28 countries, she now counts 500,000 readers around the world.

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