Tools ~ Classical Greek

Download (Build 34, 14 January 2022, 4.4Mb)

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Download latest Sources.txt (3336 entries, 7 January 2022)
(Note: The base version of this file (3336 entries, 7 January 2022) is included in the download above. It is only necessary to download Sources.txt separately if you lose the original file, or if you wish to obtain the latest version.)

Classical Greek is a Q&A program designed to help people learn Classical Greek vocabulary, including examples of commonly used expressions, phrases and short sentences. Although the program comes with a modest collection of vocabulary and other items, the expectation is that users will add to these items from their own experiences and according to their own requirements. To this end, the content is fully customisable.

Program installation

Follow these steps to install the program and prepare it for use:

  1. Download the compressed (zipped) file
  2. Create a suitable folder for the program, e.g. Greek.
  3. Unzip the contents of the zipfile (ClassicalGreek_3.0.exe, SPIonic_Windows.ttf, SPIonic_Keyboard_Map.pdf and Sources.txt) into the folder which you created.
  4. IMPORTANT: Install the SPIonic font on your computer by right-clicking on the font file SPIonic_Windows.ttf and then selecting Install.
  5. To run the program, double-click on the executable file ClassicalGreek_3.0.exe. You can also create a shortcut to this file by using standard Windows methods. This will allow you to run the program from an icon on the desktop.
  6. You are encouraged to register the program (at no cost). See below.

How does the program work?

The basic idea is quite simple. Upon startup, the program loads the contents of the text file Sources.txt into memory. This file contains the different topics under which the English/Greek items (i.e. question/answer sets) are arranged. These items are then displayed in the two large white boxes at the left side of the main program window (see above) – English in the top box and Greek in the bottom box. The user then interacts with this material in various ways.

Format of Sources.txt

The format of the text file Sources.txt must be strictly maintained to ensure correct program operation.

Each topic (e.g. Colours, Human Body) must be prefixed with an asterisk (*), and must be on a line by itself. All the English/Greek items under that topic must also appear on separate lines, this time with an asterisk between the English item and the Greek item. The English comes before the asterisk, and the Greek after the asterisk. There must be no blank lines.

In the example below, you will see that there are TWO sources (Colours, and Human Body), each containing THREE items.





*Human Body




Do not be alarmed at the strange characters (the ‘Greek’) after each asterisk above (red text). This simply reflects the characters of the SPIonic font set when copied into a text editor. The Greek Editor shown below is the place where you type in the Greek word/phrase that corresponds with the English word/phrase, when editing Sources.txt. (The two buttons at the right are used to adjust the font size.)

The SPIonic key mapping can be displayed by right-clicking in this editor or by pressing Ctrl+G. You would then manually copy the Greek word/phrase in this editor, to the relevant position after the asterisk in Sources.txt.

How to use the program

The program is intuitive and largely self-explanatory, and not much further explanation is needed. Tool tips help to identify various functions and shortcuts. The best way to LEARN is by DOING, so . . .

*** Please experiment ***


Click on this drop-down to select the topic you wish to work with. The ALL SOURCES topic contains the items in all topics.


This brings up a window listing the entire contents of the current topic. It can be displayed either vertically or horizontally. Click on Show/Hide (or right-click in the relevant pane) to hide all but the currently selected item. This can be useful for self-testing purposes.


This opens the text file Sources.txt for editing, in the default text editor (commonly Notepad, but the free Notepad++ is recommended for its wealth of features). You have complete control over the content of the file, and all the features of the text editor (such as searching for specific text) can be brought to bear. Do not forget to SAVE the file before clicking on the Reload button (see below).

NB: Do NOT use a word processor such as Microsoft Word to edit Sources.txt.


Click Reload to update the program after an editing operation. The active source will automatically revert to ALL SOURCES, with the display of the first item of the first topic in Sources.txt.

Important: You must SAVE Sources.txt before clicking Reload!


Go to the next or previous item in the current topic. Note that you can also click on the English/Greek boxes to go to the next item – in all modes except Test mode.

Modes: Regular, Automatic, Practice, Test

Regular mode is the default. You can see both the English and the Greek for all items in the current topic. Both sequential and random sequences allowed.

Automatic mode is similar to Regular mode, except that items are presented according to a specified time interval. A dialog box allows you to specify the interval (from 1 second to 5 seconds). Both sequential and random sequences allowed.

Practice mode initially hides the Greek (the ‘answer’) behind a panel with a question mark (?). Click on this panel to display the Greek (the ‘answer’). A simple line graph and correct / incorrect boxes keep progressive track of your score. The default sequence is random, but this can be changed. The repetition continues indefinitely. (In random sequence, each item is presented only once, before the whole random sequence is repeated.)

Test mode is similar to Practice mode, with some important exceptions: random sequence is mandatory, and the each item is presented only once (i.e. no further repetitions.) You are also required to click on the question mark (?) panel to confirm your answer (whereas, in Practice mode, you can bypass this panel by clicking on the top ‘question’ box – in which case the program assumes that you know the correct answer.) At the end of the test you are presented with your final score.

The Test Questions box (below) lets you specify the number of questions you wish to be presented. If the total number of items in the topic is more than 10, the number of test questions defaults to 10 (just click in the box without typing in anything, and press Enter), but you can change this. You cannot specify less than 2, or more than the total number of questions in the topic.

Greek on top / Randomise

These check boxes allow you to swap the English and the Greek boxes (i.e. Greek now appears in the top box, and English in the bottom), and to choose whether to have the items presented in sequential sequence (just as they were entered in Sources.txt), or randomly.

Principal Parts

The principal parts of 123 verbs are included. A Random button has been included to facilitate learning. You can also choose to ‘hide content’, in which case resting the mouse over a Principal Part box will reveal its content. The small colourful icon at the top right allows you to set the background colour.


Click on this button (shortcut Ctrl+Q) to display a random quotation or saying / proverb from the Classical or Hellenistic periods. You can customise the program to display the quote window at startup – see the bottom line of the screenshot under ‘Customise the program’.

Click on the image / text “Greek is a door that opens straight to Paradise” at the left, to access a selection of (longer) passages taken from a variety of authors, from Homer to Babrius. To read a prose translation of a passage, click on the source of the passage at the bottom of the window. The translation window is resizable. A search facility is also included (‘tick’ the Check Box to include the translations in your search).

The numbers of quotes and passages will be increased in future versions. (Consult this web page for the latest program version.)


Click on this button to specify a file on your computer that you wish to open. The default storage location is the subfolder Resources, which is created under the main program folder the first time the program is run. The selected file will open in the default app / program associated with that file type.


You can search for a word or string in the English by typing the word/string in the text box and clicking on the Search button. A check box lets you specify whether whole words should be included in the search. Any items found within ALL SOURCES, that contain the word/string, will be returned (with the search string in red). The search is performed over ALL topics – you cannot specify a topic.

Customise the program

Click on the image of a Greek temple (or press F1) to open the Settings dialog:

The Settings dialog allows you to change the colours of various objects, the font type of the English box, and the font sizes of the English / Greek text. Experiment with the different options and settings to see how they work.

Allows you to set the top/bottom behaviour of the program window, in relation to other open windows. The default setting is ‘On top = OFF’. Click on the icon (shortcut Ctrl+T) to change the setting to ‘On top = ON’. (This is a toggle function.)

The check box Display source (for ALL SOURCES) controls the display of the source of an item, when ALL SOURCES is selected. (The particular source is shown directly under the Greek box, at the left side of the program.)

Opens the About box, which shows the program version and build, and registration details.

Register the program

Program registration is free. Send an email to the developer Grant Robinson (address in the About box), containing the name of the person / school / college / organisation in whose name the program must be registered (e.g. John Watts, Mary Lou, UNISA Classics Department).

Registration benefit: the About box will not display at program startup.

You will be sent a registered copy of the program, per return email.

Tips / Good to know

The Esc key can be used to close a dialog box, to cancel a search operation, and to cancel the Automatic, Practice and Test modes (i.e. return to Regular mode).

Press PgUp or PgDn to move quickly through items in Regular mode.

Press Ctrl+Q to open the Quotations and sayings window.

If at program startup the file Sources.txt is not found in the same folder as the program, a (short) sample text file will be created automatically. You can also download the latest version of Sources.Txt here.

When the program closes, a configuration file called Settings.ini is created in the program folder. This file contains all the program customisations (colours, font types and sizes, etc.) If you wish to return the program to all its default settings, just delete Settings.ini: this file will be re-created at the next program run.

The program does not make any changes to the Windows Registry. To remove the program from your computer, just delete the program files.

The program is malware-free: you can run it with confidence.

The program can handle up to 50,000 items, so you should not run out of space adding new topics and items ;-)

The program was written in Delphi and contains about 7,800 lines of code.

Please let me know if you discover any bugs, or if you have any suggestions to improve the program. Updates will be posted to this site.

Enjoy Classical Greek!