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Level 6

6AACGT10 Greek Texts X (Prose): 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 for relevant year
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.)
Prerequisites: A pass in 4AACGK03 Greek Language 3 or a level 5 Greek text module, 5AACGT01-GT04

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 is a Level 6 Greek text module, focusing on prose. 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:


2019-20, Longus, Daphnis and Chloe (selections)

Module convenor/tutor: Dr Pavlos Avlamis

 For this module we will explore one of the most exciting and important genres of classical literature, albeit a late arrival: the ancient novel. We will read selections from all four books of Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe (late 2nd or early 3rd c CE?). The plot in its trajectory follows the core conventions of the genre: a young girl and a young boy fall in love, fortune and adventures keep them apart before they are reunited in the end. But Longus also complicates both the plot and his theme through a fusion of the prose novel and the poetic genre of pastoral, with its preoccupations with the opposition of peaceful landscapes and erotic turmoil, innocence and danger, apparent simplicity and multi-layered sophistication. The rich and complex experiment of Daphnis and Chloe provides the opportunity to read a beautiful work of literature with an important afterlife from Byzantium and the Renaissance to modernity. It also offers a fascinating introduction to the ancient novel but also more broadly to the world of Greek literature and culture under the Roman Empire, one of the most vibrant areas of classical scholarship today.

Set Text

Students should purchase their own copy of:

 ·         J. R. Morgan (2004) Longus: Daphnis and Chloe. Aris & Phillips Classical Texts.

Suggested Introductory Reading

The following are suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

Commentaries (linguistic help)

S. N. Byrne and E. P. Cueva (2005) Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe: An Annotated Edition. Bolchazy-Carducci

Selected preparatory reading

·         ‘Introduction’ in: J. R. Morgan (2004) Longus: Daphnis and Chloe. Aris & Phillips Classical Texts

·         Holzberg, N. (1995) The ancient Novel: An introduction. Routledge.

·         Whitmarsh, T. (2008) The Cambridge Companion to the Greek and Roman Novel. Cambridge UP


2015-16, Thucydides, selections

Module convenor/tutor: TBC

Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War, in which he was a participant, is arguably the most important work of history ever written. In it Thucydides set the standard for what writing history should be about that has been followed ever since. But his history is no dry account of manoeuvres and battles. It includes Pericles’ Funeral Speech, one of the greatest presentations of the democratic ideal ever made, and the Melian Dialogue, a brutal discussion about the nature of power, which is still relevant to understandings of international relations today.

Thucydides was a contemporary of Sophocles and Euripides, and some scholars have identified him as writing history with a strong element of tragedy. The Melian Dialogue, with its alternating very short speeches comes across as stichomythia, and Pericles’ speech is like that of a tragic protagonist.

Passages for study will be:

Book 1.1-12. 20-22 (introduction and method)
Book 2.34-46 (Pericles Funeral Speech)
Book 5.84-115 (Melian Dialogue)

Set Text

It is worth reading the whole work in English before the start of the module. (Penguin Classics translation by Rex Warner; Oxford World’s Classics translation by Martin Hammond.)

Critical edition of the Greek text used for the course: Thucydidis Historiae, edd. H. S. Jones and J. E. Powell, 2 volumes, Oxford 1942 (reprinted several times).

See also Thucydidis Historiae, rec. J. B. Alberti, Rome 1972-2000 (3 volumes, but we’ll deal only with the content of the first two volumes).

Useful commentaries on single books:

  • Book 1: H. D. Cameron, Thucydides. Book 1. A Students’ Grammatical Commentary, Ann Arbor 2003. (A commentary by C. D. Morris on Book 1 is available on-line via the Perseus website)
  • Book 2: J. S. Rusten, Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. Book II, Cambridge University Press 1989. (A commentary by E. C. Marchant on Book 2 is available on-line via the Perseus website)
  • Book 5: a commentary by H. N. Fowler is available on-line via the Perseus website.

General commentary:

  • S. Hornblower, A Commentary on Thucydides, Oxford University Press, 1991-2008 (3 volumes).

Suggested introductory reading

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

  • C. W. Connor, Thucydides, Princeton University Press, 1984
  • J. S. Rusten (ed.), Thucydides, Oxford Readings in Classical Studies, Oxford University Press, 2009

2013-14, Plato, Phaedrus

Module convenor/tutor: Dr Shaul Tor

In this module, we will read Plato’s Phaedrus. One of Plato’s richest, strangest and most fascinating dialogues, the Phaedrus raises and explores a striking array of questions concerning the nature of erotic love, inspiration, madness, rhetoric, dialectic, sophistry, philosophy, writing, mythology, the human soul, the gods, knowledge and reality. We will pay close attention to the linguistic comprehension of the set text, but, throughout, we will also raise and engage with questions of philosophical and literary interpretation.

Preparatory reading

By the time of the first class, you must have read, and be ready to translate from, Phaedrus 227a-230e.

Set Texts

Prescribed Texts

  • passages for assessment will be set from the old Oxford Classical Text (J. Burnet, 1905 and repr.)
Recommended editions and commentaries
  • H. Yunis, Plato. Phaedrus, Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics, 2011

Suggested introductory reading

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

  • G.R.F. Ferrari, Listening to the Cicadas: A Study of Plato’s Phaedrus, Cambridge 1987
  • A. Ford, The Origins of criticism: literary culture and poetic theory in Classical Greece, Princeton 2002
  • W. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. IV: Plato, the man and his dialogues, earlier period, Cambridge UP 1975
  • C. Kahn, Plato and the Socratic Dialogue, Cambridge UP 1997
  • R. Kraut, The Cambridge Companion to Plato, Cambridge UP 1992
  • R. Rutherford, The Art of Plato, Duckworth 1995
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