Rapid Reading of Greek Literature (Preliminary Syllabus)

Course Goals and Objectives: The purpose of this course is to provide students with an extensive survey of select prose and poetry authors from Greek literature, with emphasis on reading, translation, and analysis. Students will read selections from the texts of major authors in poetry and prose, and will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the traditional scholarly questions as well as consideration of issues involving the emergence of genres and literary styles within a social and cultural context.

Format: Students will need to prepare a relatively extensive section of Greek text each week. In class only a small amount of this text will be thoroughly discussed, with detailed commentary on literary and historical matters that this text touches.

Assessment: Weekly vocabulary and translation tests (25 words in each test, from the author and work under discussion plus a short translation) at 5% each = 60%. (Test weeks are marked with an asterisk.) Two assignments at 20% each.  

Assignment 1: Choose an author from the first six weeks of the course and (if prose, at least 1 page long and if poetry at least 100 lines) and write an essay (c. 2500 words) on matters of rhetorical and stylistic technique, syntax, and narrative structure.  (Due Date: February 23)

Assignment 2: You will be assigned an author from the second half of the semester on which to make an oral presentation and to lead the class in translation. You will be evaluated on your command of the text and how well you present matters of meter (if applicable), rhetorical and stylistic technique, syntax, and narrative structure.

N.B. In addition to participating in this course, students are expected to be working independently on their reading skills in Greek and continuing to enroll in departmental seminars since this course does not offer a substitute for individual work on the PhD reading list, nor does it replace the seminars on critical Greek authors offered by the department.

Students are responsible for acquiring the Greek texts needed for the course. Students will also need access to a good history of Greek literature.  I will be placing two comprehensive works (A. Lesky’s book and the Cambridge series, vol. 1) on 2-hour reserve in the library. In addition, selected readings and/or commentaries will be placed on reserve for each week's topic as needed.

Week #1 (January 12)
Hesiod Erga

Week #2 (January 19)
Homeric Hymns 2 (in Dem.), 3 (in Ap.) *

Week #3 (January 26)
 Lyric Selections from Campbell (TBA) *

Week #4 (February 2)
Herodotus 1, 6 *

Week#5 (February 9)
Thucydides 1-2 *

Week#6 (February 16)
Lysias On the Murder of Eratosthenes *

Week#7 (February 23)
Demosthenes Philippic1 *
Assignment #1 Due

Week #8 (March 2)
Aristotle Nichomachean Ethics 1*

Week #9 (March 9)
Xenophon Anabasis 1, Hellenica 1-2 *

Week #10 (No class)
Spring Break

Week#11 (March 23)
Menander Dyscolus *

Week#12 (March 30)
Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica 3 *

Week#12 (April 6)
Longus Daphnis & Chloe  

Week #13 (April 13)
Plutarch Pericles *

Week #14 (April 20)
Lucian True Story 1