C201

Ancient Greek: Attic Prose

Major Discipline(s):
Classical Languages
Semester(s):
Fall Semester
Syllabus(s):
In this course students are introduced to the work of prose writers of the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. C201 consists of the reading of one or more Socratic dialogues in Plato, portions of Herodotus’ The Histories, or the most representative speeches and works of the greatest orators and prose writers, such as Lysias, Isocrates, Antiphon, Demosthenes, and Lucian.

Having learned the basics of Ancient Greek at their home institutions, in C201 students improve their reading skills by translating as much Greek as possible. At the same time we focus on expanding their knowledge of the grammar and syntax of the language. Exams in writing, exercises on the board and sight-reading are important components of the course.

We also examine the author’s language and style in comparison to that of contemporary authors. Aspects pertaining to the place of the text in its historical context are also discussed: how does the work relate to the events of the period during which it was written, what was its purpose, does it reflect the values of the society, what values are those, what are the author’s political views, and so on. It is the overall purpose of the course not only to improve the reading skills of the students but also to make clear the role of the text in the history of Greece and the literature produced there.

Prerequisite: two semesters of Ancient Greek