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Greek Courses

Semester 03

ΚΦΑ05   Archaic Epic Poetry (excluding Homer)

Introduction to archaic Greek epic: the Homeric poems and the epic cycle, the Homeric Hymns, the Battle of Frogs and Mice and the Margites, Hesiod and the archaic epic after Hesiod (form and content; their relation to Homer and their influence on posterity). The archaic epic poetry of Cyprus. Study and interpretation of select texts (Euclus, the Cypria, Hegesinus, Homeric Hymns Τo Aphrodite).

Passages for study: (AΚυΓ1) 2 F1 / 3 T1, T4, T6, T7, F1, F4-5, F6, F7, F11, F13, F14, F16, F19, F24, F25 / 4 / T1, T2, F1 / 5 Y1 vv. 1-6, 45-106, 191-255, 281-293 (the rest is to be studied as unseen text), Υ2, Υ3.

ΚΦΑ06    Archaic Lyric Poetry

Introduction to the Ancient Greek Lyric Poetry:  origins, history, poetics, ideology, metre. Study and interpretation of selected passages from Archaic Greek Lyric (elegiac, iambic and melic poetry)

Semester 04

ΚΦΑ07 Homer [Introduction to Homeric Poetry – Interpretation of selected verses from the Iliad]:

Main characteristics of Homeric Poetry – Orality and written texts – Homeric language, formulae, dactylic hexameter – The structure of Iliad

The cycle of Troy and Iliad’s place – Achilles’ menis and the heroic kleos. Analysis of extensive parts of rhapsodies 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 16, 19, 22, 24.

ΚΦΑ08 - Plato

The purpose of the course is to introduce the students to the study of the Platonic dialogues, as well as to familiarize them with basic notions of Plato’s philosophy. We read and discuss the Phaedrus, a dialogue of great literary merit and considerable philosophical importance (many subjects are taken up: soul, Eros, theory of  Forms, dialectic, rhetoric, etc.). We focus especially on the dialogue’s two basic themes: Eros and rhetoric.

Semester 05

ΚΦΑ09   Euripides

Introduction to Euripides´ Cyclops and to satyrplay. Origins, historical development, and typical features of the genre (dramatis personae, motives, techniques). The main functions of satyrplay and its position between tragedy and comedy. Euripides´ life, his works and his place in the development of the satyric genre. Linguistic, stylistic and literary analysis of the Cyclops.

ΚΦΑ10    Paleography-Papyrology and Textual Criticism

Introduction to the subject, the principles, the foundations and the scientific methods of Greek and Latin Papyrology. The Object of Pypyrology is the study of the thousands of Greek and Latin literary papyri and papyrological non-literary documents that have survived to this day in various areas around the Mediterranean (mainly in Egypt but also elsewhere, specifically, the Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Greece, Asia Minor, Italy etc.) and date from the 4th c. BC to the late 8th c. AD. The students will come into contact with papyri and ostraca for the first time, and they will practice reading basic types of writing. Additionally, the course shall emphasize on the interpretation of the papyrological texts in their literary and historical contexts. The second part of the course will be devoted to a brief introduction of Greek paleography and the reading of manuscripts from the Byzantine period, and simultaneously they will receive instruction to the foundations of textual criticism.

Semester 06

ΚΦΑ11 -  Seminar           

  • Theocritus

  1. Introduction: the Hellenistic era, generic characteristics of Hellenistic poetry, Theocritus and his work, pastoral poetry.
  2. Identification and detailed study of the theme of nature (especially the fondness for the natural element) in Theocritus’ texts
  • Oratory of the Latin Antiquity, rhetorical education in the Second Sophistic and the Speeches of Dio Chrysostom.

  • Structure and narrative technics of the Iliad.

Composition by theme, the role of the Muses, primary narrator and secondary narrators, primary and secondary narratees, focalization, prolepses and analepses, similes, style (emphasis by word position, ring-composition, hapax legomena, rhetorical figures of speech etc.).

  •  The Toll of Hybris

Identification, collection and detailed analysis of all instances across the ancient Greek literature (poetry and prose), that are related to the topic of hybris.

  •  Mythological Comedies in Greek literature

The Greeks are natural born humorists and mockers, and even their myths could not escape their derisive attitude. Our remote ancestors unhesitatingly laughed at the gods and heroes of their tradition, and their laughter was not a sign of irreverence or sacrilege but an expression of a living popular religiosity. Similar ludicrous renderings of mythical material are also found in other ancient peoples (Egyptians, Hittites, and cf. the Old Norse tradition). In the theatre of classical Athens Aristophanes parodies entire scenes from tragic plays, degrading the tragic heroes to the level of everyday human beings and involving them in hilarious situations. Other dramatists, like Kratinos, inaugurate the genre of mythological comedy, which consists in full-length burlesque of a traditional mythical story. This genre will flourish on the Athenian stage from the late 5th century until about 340, entertaining audiences for over six decades. Although no complete plays have survived, a large number of textual fragments and vase-paintings (especially on South Italian vases) testify to the popularity, inventiveness and comic verve of mythological comedy and allow us to form a fair picture of the genre. The study of all these entertaining materials forms the object of this seminar.

  • “Transformations of Myth and History in Archaic Greek Lyric Poetry”:

Selected poems or extensive fragments of Alcman, Stesichorus, Sappho, Alcaeus, Anacreon, Ibycus and Simonides are seen as examples of how the poets use or handle myth and fabulae. Another question that could one pose is if the poems give us the possibility to reconstruct life, social relations, political situation. Subjects such as Imagery – Language – Presentation and Performance are to be examined as well.

  •  Greek and Latin Papyri

After a brief overview of the field and the various scientific methods currently employed in order to produce editions and commentaries of the Greek and Latin papyri, the students will be instructed to the methods and scholarly practices available in order to read, interpret, edit and annotate papyri properly. We shall pay particular emphasis on the study of paleography, so that the students may be able to read the papyri texts from the original material. The students will come to contact with the contemporary means of scientific research in the field of the study of philological and non-philological papyri, such as, e.g., the electronic databases Leuven Database of Ancient Books, Heidelberger Gesamtverzeichnis der griechischen Papyrusurkunden Ägyptens, Mertens-Pack3 (and CEDOPAL), Duke Databank of Documentary Papyri (ed. 1996 = Packard Humanities Institute CD-ROM No. 7), Leuven Database of Ancient Books, Wörterlisten και Bibliographie papyrologique. The students will be asked among other things to prepare a commentary and a critical edition of a Greek or a Latin papyrus.

  • Generic Boundaries in Theocritus’ Idylls. The co-existence of different genres in the same Idyll and its function.

  • Satyrplay

Overview of the history, the distinctive features and the multifaceted role of satyrplay in ancient Athens. Particular attention will be paid to fragmentary satyrplays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and to questions of reconstruction of their plot. Furthermore, the seminar aims to familiarize students with the method of philological research and the conventions of academic writing. Each member of the seminar will undertake a project, whose results will be presented in class and submitted in written form by the end of the semester.

ΚΦΑ12   Attic Comedy 

Introduction to Attic Comedy. Origins of the genre: phallic rituals, animal choruses, Doric popular farces. The poets of Old Comedy: precursors, contemporaries and epigones of Aristophanes. Conditions of production and performance: dramatic festivals, actors and chorus, scenic space, theatrical machinery, costumes and masks. The world of the theatre in 5th-century Athens: collaborations and quarrels of the dramatists, tradition and innovations. Life and work of Aristophanes: from enfant terrible to embittered middle age. The new fashions of the 4th century (mythological burlesque, love plots) and the old-fashioned poet’s accession to them. The subject-matter of Old Comedy: political ridicule and fantasy, war and peace, philosophy and intellectual activity, tragedy and parody, everyday life and its problems. Introduction to Aristophanes’ Acharnians. Historical context of the play: the Peloponnesian war and the divided public opinion of Athens. Aristophanes’ opposition to Kleon and the supporters of the war. The political message of the Acharnians and the poet’s precautions. Interpretation and commentary on the text of the Acharnians.

OR 

ΚΦΑ13   Literature of the Late Antiquity

Introduction to the ancient Greek novel. Presentation of the literary genre, genealogy and the various theories surrounding its origins; social and literary backdrop, reception of the novel in later literature and art.

Following the introduction to the genre, the class will study in detail the novel “Daphnis and Chloe” by Longus, with emphasis on the language of the text, the style, the ideology projected, the narrative structure, the identification of the various motifs and their function.

 OR

ΚΦΑ14 - Introduction to Ancient Greek Religion and Mythology

This course investigates the roots of Greek religion and mythology, starting from the beliefs of the Archaic Age and going forwards to the Late Classical cultural traditions. The core part of the course will focus on the Greek religious world and its main features (gods, myths, festivals, religious places and cults) as they were presented in historical and literary sources. For the Archaic period, Homer, Hesiod and the lyrical poets will be studied in order to define the cultural background for the rise of Greek mythology. For the Classical period, changes in spirituality and the critical revision of traditional mythology will be stressed through analysis of the Greek tragic and comic theater plays, and Plato’s dialogues.

Semester 07

ΚΦΑ15    Hellenistic Poetry [Introduction. Interpretation of Representative Texts]

Theocritus’ Id. II, XV. Introduction to Hellenistic Poetry and the Mime. Interpretation of Idylls II and XV 

ΚΦΑ16    Thucydides [Introduction. Interpretation of Select Texts]

Introduction to Historiography. The historiographic tradition and Thucydides’ contribution to the evolution of the genre.

Text: Histories, Books 1 and 2. Study of select passages, with emphasis on the Archaeology section and the Speeches of Book 1. Special attention will be paid on the importance of eye-witness testimony and personal familiarity with the places and events to be reported.

Semester 08

ΚΦΑ17-Aeschylus

Introduction to Aeschylus’ works, especially to the sole surviving trilogy, the Oresteia, with an emphasis on the Eumenides. The course will discuss many problems related to the interpretation of the text, as well as several aspects of the play’s dramaturgy. The text will be approached as a commentary, allegorical and often pointed, on the state and foreign politics of Athens. The conflict between the ancient divinities and the younger generation of gods (Olympians). The conciliatory policy of Athena, especially how this is implemented in order to transform the Furies into the Eumenides. The tragic roles of Orestes and the Furies. The final vote and the condemnation of matricide; how the Furies change their minds. Orestes’ defense by Athena, who cast the tie vote, and as a result of this tie, Orestes is acquitted.

ΚΦΑ19    Aristotle

My lectures focus on Aristotle’s Περὶ ποιητικῆς, ch. 1-15, and Ῥητορική, book Α, ch. 1-5. Regarding the first work, I shall pay particular attention to the core of the text, while the analysis of the second work will revolved around the first five chapters of Book 1. Further, the course will examine in detail two excellent pieces, respectively of ancient literature and modern philological scholarship: Gorgias’ Ἑλένης ἐγκώμιον constitutes representative sample of the beginnings of philological criticism and literary criticism, while the article by C. P. Segal, ‘Gorgias and the Psychology of the Logos’, HSCPh 1962, translated into modern Greek, exemplifies modern philological interpretation. During the semester, moreover, the students are offered the opportunity to work on substantial material related to the study of Aristotle’s Poetics and Rhetoric, but also to other works of the philosopher, by undertaking optionally the composition of a ‘dossier of interest’ in order to demonstrate their constant keeping in touch with the current subject of lecturing. 

ΚΦΑ20   Homer Odyssey

Introduction to the Homeric Epic Poetry: origins, history, religion, ideology, language, formulaic elements, metre, transmission of the text, the Homeric Question, Homer and writing. Introduction to the Odyssey: plot, structure, narratological issues. Study and interpretation of the text (1st and 5th book).