Ancient Greek: Attic Poetry

Major Discipline(s):
Classical Languages
Spring Semester
The course is intended to introduce the student to the work of the great tragedians of the fifth century BC (Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles) or the comedies of the most important poet of the Old Attic Comedy, Aristophanes. C306 consists of the reading of one tragedy or comedy. At the same time we focus on expanding the students’ knowledge of the grammar and syntax of the language. Exams in writing, exercises on the board, sight-reading and meter exercises 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 taken under consideration: 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 and its people, what values are those, what are the author’s views with regard to contemporary politics, and so on. At the end of the semester each student is assigned a role, and the play taught in class is presented in front of the entire CYA community. In this way, the students are presented with the opportunity not only to improve their language skills but also to “feel” the spirit of the play, the ethics of its characters, and its role in the history of Greece and the poetry produced there.

Prerequisite: three semesters of Greek