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Level 4

4AACIGL1 Introduction to the study of Greek and Latin

Credit value: 30 credits
Module convenor/tutor 2018/19: Federica Scicolone
Module convenor 2019/20: TBC
Teaching pattern: 40 x 1-hour classes (2 x 1-hour classes per week)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 2 x in-class tests (20% each); 1 x essay of 2,000 words (30%); 2 x grammatical commentaries of 1,000 words (15% each)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

**This module is both compulsory for, and exclusively available to, first-year students of the BA in Classics who are beginning their study of both Greek and Latin at King's, having never studied either language before.**

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

This module will be taught to students alongside, and in concert with, the beginners’ language modules 4AACLA01 and 4AACGK01, with the aim of supporting, mutually reinforcing, and deepening their knowledge and understanding of two ancient languages, as well as exploring their historical relationship, and their similarities and differences. As such, there will be close co-ordination between the teacher of this module, and the teachers of 4AACLA01 and 4AACGK01, so that the material taught in this module will tally and reinforce grammatical material being taught in those modules.

This module will be taught in two separate hours a week. 1 hour a week of specific support will be offered for material covered in 4AACLA01 and 4AACGK01, structured responsively to pursue and resolve difficult or problematic aspects of material covered in those modules through various means, such as further exercises, and comparative explanations of particular grammatical points. The second hour a week will introduce students to a more general understanding of language and its uses, covering initially some elementary Indo-European linguistics and a comparison of Latin and Greek grammar and syntax. We will then explore the (ab)use of language tropes to provoke critical thinking in 5th century Aristophanic comedy. All Aristophanic passages will be explored in translation, but there will be frequent references to key greek terms in the original language. There will also be dedicated sessions throughout the year on particular aspects of study skills, from learning vocabulary and grammar, to using online resources, dictionaries and other instrumenta. There will be opportunities to practise exercises and prose passages as a class, and plenty of time will be allocated in each hour for students to raise specific queries and concerns for the teacher to address.

Suggested introductory reading

There is no need to purchase any of these books, as they will be made available through the library. Articles and text passages will be uploaded weekly on the module’s electronic platform. You will be advised at the beginning of the term as to the most appropriate Aristophanic commentary  for the passages we will study.

  • Andrew L. Sihler, New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (2008) 
  • Benjamin W. Fortson I, Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction (2010, second edition)
  • J. Mallory and D. Adams, Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World (2006)
  • D. Anthony, The Horse, the Wheel and Language (2008) 
  • R. Woodward, ed., Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages (2004)
  • R. Woodward, ed., The Ancient Languages of Europe (2008)
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