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Unit information: Greek Language Level B1 in 2015/16

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Unit name Greek Language Level B1
Unit code CLASM0028
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Sandwell
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

Unit Description for Unit Catalogue: The aim of this unit is to develop and reinforce students’ skills in the reading of Greek, and to introduce them to the practical criticism of classical texts. The text under study in this unit, Euripides’ Alcestis, is in some ways an untypical ‘tragedy’. Although it deals with an extraordinarily powerful emotional situation, it also includes humour and an ending which, if not exactly ‘happy’, is at least less bleak than seemed likely halfway through the play. The plot turns on the idea that a man is allowed by the gods to avoid death if he can find someone else to die for him. The man is Admetos, and the person who agrees to die for him is his wife Alcestis. But then, enter Herakles, who wrestles with Death and …


To develop students knowledge of the Greek language through the reading of classical Greek prose; to introduce students to techniques of independent reading of Greek, such as use of dictionaries and commentaries; to introduce students to issues of translation and interpretation of Greek literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will have developed and consolidated their knowledge of the Greek language and will have developed their skills of advanced independent reading of Greek texts. They will have acquired knowledge in the use of dictionaries and commentaries, and will be able to relate this knowledge to their understanding and interpretation of a Greek text. In addition, second year students will be expected to have developed more sophisticated analytical skills, as demonstrated in their formal assessments and in their participation in seminar discussions.

Teaching Information

Lectures, seminars and reading classes, grammatical instruction classes; 30 contact hours; 170 hours independent learning

Assessment Information

  • 2 practical criticism exercises on a designated passage of 35-40 lines of set text, with guidance questions; weighted equally to count for 50%.
  • 2 class tests of 45 minutes each:
  • 1 on sight translation and grammatical analysis, undertaken with use of a dictionary;
  • 1 on set text translation and literary comments, undertaken without reference books;
  • weighted equally to count for 50%.

Reading and References

  • Dover K. J ed. Plato s Symposium
  • Liddell and Scott Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford.
  • Cheadle, J. R. Basic Greek Vocabulary. Nelson.
  • Morwood, J. Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek. Oxford.