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Greek Courses for Linguistics

Semester 03

ΓΦΑ05   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.

ΓΦΑ06    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

ΓΦΑ07 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.

Semester 05

ΓΦΑ09   Euripides

During the past two winter-semesters of the academic years 2010 and 2011, my lecturing on Euripides focused on the instruction (διδασκαλία) of the two Euripidean novelty-age dramas, “Ἑλένη” (2010) and “Ὀρέστης” (2011). The former drama is presumed for the analysis of the latter, as both of them involve the common sophistic topos of εἶναι vs φαίνεσθαι. These excellent dramas have been analysed throughout a number of lectures and are based on philological study, line by line, of the ἕν and the ὅλον towards the κομικωτέραν τὴν καταστροφήν of them: diction, structure, κατὰ ποιόν and κατὰ ποσὸν μέρη, technics of euripidean dramatic novelty. Specific parts of Ὀρέστης are prepared to be analyzed in future classes in the context of a separate seminar on textual criticism and with special instruction on Euripides’ meter and scansion. During the two winter-semesters, a lot of extra material on Euripides and on the ancient attic drama has been given from my side to my students for further study. This bonus material contains a non compulsory ‘dossier of interest’ which helps the student to keep in touch with the current subject of the lecture.

Semester 06

ΓΦΑ11 -  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.


ΓΦΑ13   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.


ΓΦΑ12   Comedy 2

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.

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

ΓΦΑ15   Hellenistic Poetry [Introduction. Interpretation of representative passages]

Introduction to hellenistic poetry. The political, social and intellectual preconditions of the poetic production mainly of the third century B.C. Themes, techniques and aims of the hellenistic poets as deriving from their innovative poetics. Callimachus´ life, his literary output, and its main characteristics. Introduction to the poet´s hymns and to their religious, political and literary background. Detailed analysis of each hymn, either in part or in full.


ΓΦΑ16    Thucydides

General introduction to Thucydides. Biographical information, an overview of the history of Classical Athens in the aftermath of the Persian wars, the rise of Athens, the Peloponnesian war, and their influence on the formation of Thucydides as a historian of Classical Athens. Study of narrative structure and narrative techniques; particular emphasis on the speeches in first person (δημηγορίαι). Thucydides’ approach to history and his assessment as a historian rather than a historiographer. Translation and interpretive commentary on selected section, with special attention being paid to the plague and the Melian episode.