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Greek Courses for Modern Greek Studies

Semester 03

MΦΑ05   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.

MΦΑ06    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

MΦΑ07 Homer

Introduction to the Homeric Poems. Generic characteristics of Homeric epic; the forging of the epic genre. Epic language and meter. The Homeric Question. Contemporary scholarly research: traditional vs. original areas of research.
Close reading and interpretation of Iliad 18 (Achilles’ Shield)

Semester 05

MΦΑ09   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

MΦΑ12   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.

Semester 07

MΦΑ15    Hellenistic Poetry [Introduction. Interpretation of Representative Texts]

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.


MΦΑ16    Thucydides [Introduction. Interpretation of Select Texts]

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.

Semester 08

MΦΑ08 - 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.



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.


ΜΦΑ19   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.