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Unit information: Greek Language Level B2 in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Greek Language Level B2
Unit code CLAS22316
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Michelakis
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit develops and reinforces students’ skills in the reading of ancient Greek, and introduces them to the practical criticism of classical texts. The text under study in this unit, Euripides’ Medea, is one of Euripides’ most infamous plays. Awarded last place in the 431 BC City Dionysia and renowned for a particularly controversial dénouement, which sees Medea atop the theatre’s crane in the place usually reserved for the gods, the play has since become one of the most commonly staged Greek tragedies in contemporary theatre. In this course we will interrogate the text, and consider what the Greek can tell us about the play’s controversial features. We will consider the type of commentary that the text may contain about the roles of men and women in society, and how the text aligns the audience with various internal perspectives within the tragedy at different points within its narrative.


  • To develop students’ knowledge of Greek language through the reading of classical Greek verse
  • To introduce students to techniques required to read and study Greek texts independently, including the use of dictionaries and commentaries
  • To introduce students to issues of translation and interpretation of Greek literature, particularly in regards to Euripidean tragedy
  • To develop students’ written communication skills and ability to form coherent, critical arguments about translation through the course assessment

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of Greek vocabulary at the standard of level B2
  2. Identify and discuss Greek morphology and syntax as appropriate to level B2.
  3. Demonstrate skills of independent reading and prepared translation, with reference works, of longer or more difficult Greek texts as appropriate to level B2.
  4. Undertake at-sight translation of unseen Greek texts, without reference works as appropriate to level B2
  5. Be able to demonstrate knowledge in the use of dictionaries, commentaries, or scholarship, and be able to relate this knowledge to their understanding and interpretation of a Greek text.

Teaching details

Lectures, seminars and reading classes, grammatical instruction classes

Assessment Details

  • 1 x Practical Criticism Exercise - 2000 words (50%) [ILOs 1-3 & 5]
  • 1 x 90 minute Exam (50%) [ILOs 1-5]

Reading and References

Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott. 1963. Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford

Morwood, J. 2001. Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek, Oxford

Set Texts:

Set Greek passages: 700 lines TBA

Students should also read all of Plato’s Symposium in English