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Unit information: Greek Language Level B2 in 2014/15

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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

Description including Unit Aims

Plato's Symposium is a literary masterpiece set at a high-society dinner in 5th-century Athens. As the wine flows, each member of the party gives a speech on the nature of eros. We are treated to an intimate glimpse of Athenian super-stars at leisure: the comedian Aristophanes, tragedian Agathon, physician Eryximachus, and-of course!-philosopher Socrates each present their vision of eros. Socrates' speech seems to cap a crescendo of interpretations, but just as he finishes, the enfant terrible Alcibiades bursts in and gives his own speech. Dressed like the god of wine himself, he narrates how he could not conform to Socrates' theory...and Socrates could not accept his passions... This conflict is all the more poignant in that Plato sets the dialogue near the time of Alcibiades' violent death. Socrates himself would be executed not long after. Who was right about erotic love?


To develop students’ knowledge of the Greek language through the reading of classical Greek poetry; 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

Assessment Information

• 1 assessment exercise in practical criticism on a chosen piece of text 35-40 lines in length, with guidance questions from unit director. 1,500-2,000 words. Weighted at 50%.

• 1 class test (45 minutes) on sight translation (80% of test mark) and grammatical/syntactical knowledge (20% of test mark), on two pieces of text amounting to a total of 15 lines in length. Use of a dictionary will be allowed in this test. Weighted at 25%.

. 1 class test (45 minutes) on prepared text translation (10-12 lines, 40% of test mark) and context/interpretation knowledge (60% of test mark), with guidance questions from unit director, on one piece of text 20 lines in length. No reference texts will be allowed in this test. Weighted at 25%.

Reading and References

J.R. Cheadle, 2002. Basic Greek Vocabulary, Nelson

Dover K.J.ed.1980 Plato’s Symposium, Cambridge

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