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Level 6

6AACGT07 Greek Texts VII (Poetry): Various Texts

Module convenor and assigned text change from year-to-year, please see below for annual information

Credit value: 15
Module convenor/tutor: Various, changes from year-to-year, see below
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour seminars (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list
Assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%) (For Study Abroad students attending for Semester 1 only, 1 x 2-hour test paper in December. Students should check the Study Abroad module catalogue for the relevant year for availability.)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.
Prerequisites: A pass in 4AACGK03 Greek Language 3 or a level 5 Greek text module, 5AACGT01-GT04.

This is a Level 6 Greek text module, focusing on poetry. The text prescription will vary from time to time, and will be announced before module choices have to be made for the next academic session. Specimen prescriptions, from previous years, can be found below. The examination will test knowledge of the context, content and themes of the set text(s), as well as translation ability.

For the specific text assigned for a particular year, please see below:

 

2018-19 Theocritus (selections)

Module convenor/tutor: Professor Gonda Van Steen

Theocritus of Syracuse, alongside his near contemporaries Callimachus and Apollonius of Rhodes, belongs to a generation of poets, active in the first half of the 3rd c BCE, who left their mark on the renovation of the Greek poetic tradition during the Hellenistic period. Like Callimachus and Apollonius, Theocritus became associated for part of his career with the cosmopolitan world of Alexandria and the Ptolemaic court and his poetry bears the hallmarks of the Hellenistic taste for innovation, experimentation with genre and literary form, learned depth, and an intent focus on characters, scenes, and subject matter hitherto deemed marginal. His Idylls are a varied corpus including short hexameter poems on shepherds engaged in song competition, urban scenes with female characters, mythical narratives in a humorous or sombre mood, as well as miniature epic.

In this module we will place Theocritus in his Hellenistic context, explore aspects of Theocritus’ experimentation with genre, analyse the aesthetics and politics of multi-layered sophistication in Hellenistic poetry, appreciate the nature of Theocritus’ self-conscious poetic agenda within its cultural moment, and trace the influence of Ptolemaic ideology and the Egyptian context on the Idylls.

 The prescription for this class includes: Idylls 1, 2, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17.

Core Reading

You will need to acquire your own copy of:

  • R. Hunter (1999) Theocritus: A Selection: Idylls 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 13. Cambridge

Suggested introductory reading:

It will be useful for you to orientate yourself around this period of Greek literature and Theocritus’ literary and cultural context. The following books are available in the library and purchase of these titles is not mandatory.

  • T. Whitmarsh (2004) Ancient Greek Literature. Cambridge: esp. ch 8 ‘Building the Archive: Hellenistic Alexandria’.
  • K. Gutzwiller (2007) A Guide to Hellenistic Literature. Malden, Mass. & Oxford

2016-17, Odyssey 11 and 24.1-204

Module convenor/tutor: Dr Shaul Tor

In this module, we will follow Homer and Odysseus into the underworld. Odysseus’ descent into Hades in Book 11, and the second and extended underworld scene in Book 24.1-204, are two of the most iconic episodes in one of the most iconic poems in Western literature. Why does Odysseus journey into Hades and what does his journey tell us about life and death? What questions does it raise about the nature of heroism and poetry? In what ways do Odysseus’ dialogues with Achilles and Agamemnon in Hades constitute also a dialogue between the Iliad and the Odyssey themselves? In this module, we will explore these and such questions by studying and discussing these episodes of the Odyssey in the original Greek.

In the seminars, you will be encouraged to voice your own responses to the poem and your own interpretation of it. The examination will test knowledge of the context, content and themes of the set text, as well as your ability to translate it.

By the time of the first class, you must have read, and be ready to translate from, Odyssey 11.1-83.

Set Texts

  • Odyssey 11 and 24.1-204
  • For the module, you will need to acquire volumes 1 and 2 of: W.B. Stanford, The Odyssey of Homer: With General and Grammatical Introductions, Commentary, and Indexes.  

Suggested Introductory Reading

This is suggested reading and the purchase of these books is not mandatory.

You should read both the Iliad and the Odyssey in English translation before the module begins.

  • Michael Silk, Homer, The Iliad (2nd edn 2004) and J. Griffin, Homer the Odyssey (2nd edn 2004)
  • Alternatively you can use the English translations on Perseus or on the Digital Loeb Library.

2014-15, Homer, Illiad

Module convenor/tutor: Dr Lucy Jackson

This is a Level 6 Greek text module, exploring Homer’s Iliad through the study (in the original) of the most moving and profound moments in ancient epic. The set text prescription is Iliad 6, 22 and 24.692-804 which includes battlefields, bedrooms and bad sportsmanship (alongside love, loss and lamentation). In the seminars, you will be encouraged to voice your own responses to the poem and your own interpretation of its meanings. The examination will test knowledge of the context, content and themes of the set text, as well as your ability to translate it.

Set text

Prescribed texts: 

  • Iliad 6, 22 and 24.692-804

You will need to buy the following commentaries for the module:

  • Iliad VI: B. Graziosi & J. Haubold, Homer. Iliad. Book VI, Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics, 2010 
  • Iliad XXII. Edited by I. J. F. DE JONG. Cambridge University Press, 2012.

The text and commentary for the section of book 24 will be provided. 

Suggested Introductory Reading
This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

Before the module begins you will need to read through the Iliad in English (I recommend Richmond Lattimore’s translation with its introduction). 

2012-13, Homer, Illiad and Odyssey

Module convenor/tutor: Dr Rosie Wyles

A literary study of the Iliad and Odyssey with special reference to the books specified below, which are studied in Greek.

Preparatory reading

By the time of the first class, you must have read, and be ready to translate from, Iliad  6.1-118.

Set Text

Prescribed texts:

  • Iliad VI and Odyssey XVII

  • Iliad VI: B. Graziosi & J. Haubold, Homer. Iliad. Book VI, Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics, 2010;
  • Odyssey XVII: D. Steiner, Homer. Odyssey. Books XVII and XVIII, Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics, 2010

Suggested Introductory Reading
This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

The two poems should be read in English translation before the module begins.

  • Michael Silk, Homer, The Iliad (2nd edn 2004) and  J. Griffin, Homer the Odyssey (2nd edn 2004)
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