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Unit information: Greek Language Level B2 in 2017/18

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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 Greek language through the reading of classical Greek prose
  • 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 Plato’s philosophy
  • 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 Information

Lectures, seminars and reading classes, grammatical instruction classes

Assessment Information

  • 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