Skip to main content Skip to navigation

CX113-15 Encounters with Greek Texts

Department
Classics & Ancient History
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
David Fearn
Credit value
15
Module duration
11 weeks
Assessment
60% coursework, 40% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module, taught in translation, introduces students to many different kinds of Greek texts written in a variety of genres and forms, including historiographical, epigraphic and rhetorical texts, and literary texts in poetry and prose, from the canonical to the marginal and ‘sub-literary’ (e.g. epigraphic/epigrammatic texts), categories whose definitions may have changed over time. As well as expanding awareness of the Greek texts classicists study across different sub-fields (for instance, philology, archaeology, ancient history), the module will explore critically the range of methodologies and approaches used in the interpretation of ancient texts in their cultural and political contexts, and allow students to test out these skills in their own responses to texts. What is it to read a Greek poem, for example, as a historian? What kinds of intellectual-emotional encounters might we have with ancient texts? What can they do for us, as classicists? But also, what might they do to us, in terms of exposing us to different experiences and different ways of viewing the world that matter to us now? What do we know, and what can we never quite know, about ancient experiences of reading, listening to, or coming across a text, which might be studied in a library, performed in a theatre or recitation hall, or spotted on a wall or monument? The module presumes no previous knowledge and is designed to fire students’ minds and imaginations so that they might be better informed in choosing an individual path of study at honours level. Each weekly 2-hr lecture will introduce a series of texts, themes and approaches, and two seminars will investigate two case studies in greater depth.

Module aims

Introduce students from diverse backgrounds to the range of themes, genres, and styles in Classical Greek literature, the interpretative challenges it presents, and the diverse methodologies used to investigate and attempt to understand it.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Term 1 Week 10: Encounters with ancient texts: introduction (for both parallel modules in Greek/Latin texts)
Term 2:
Week 1: Greek Epic 1: Encounters with Groups and Individuals (Homer, Iliad)
Week 2: Greek Epic 2: Journeys and Encounters (Homer, Odyssey; Apollonius, Argonautica) D
Week 3: Historical Narratives: historiography and historical consciousness in texts (focus on Herodotus and Thucydides)
Week 4: Didactic, the divine, and causation: Hesiod; Homeric Hymns; Callimachus Aetia
Week 5: Lyric subjectivity (inc. seminar on Sappho)
Week 6: reading week : no lectures/seminars
Week 7: Fame and commemoration, monumentality, epigrams, ecphrasis
Week 8: Greek Tragedy (inc. Seminar on Sophocles, Antigone)
Week 9: Greek Laughter: Athenian Comedy in context
Week 10: Rhetoric: persuasion and communication across time and space
Term 3:
Week 1: Exam Gobbets revision

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • have gained knowledge and understanding of the range of ancient Greek texts that classicists can study, including knowledge of important authors and literary genres;
  • have gained knowledge and understanding of the range of methodologies and approaches used in the interpretation of ancient written texts of all kinds, in their artistic, cultural and political contexts;
  • have developed an ability to engage critically with classical scholarship on ancient texts across different sub-fields in Classics (e.g. philology, archaeology, ancient history);
  • put their knowledge about interpretative approaches and strategies into practice in their own responses to classical texts;
  • select and present material clearly, with coherent argumentation and appropriate referencing, both orally and in writing;
Indicative reading list
  • R. Fowler (ed.) 2004. The Cambridge Companion to Homer (Cambridge 2004)
  • T. Whitmarsh (ed.) 2004. Ancient Greek Literature. Cambridge.
  • J. Marincola (ed.) A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography. Blackwell, London.
  • P. E. Easterling (ed.) 1997. The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy. Cambridge.
  • S. Goldhill, 1986. Reading Greek Tragedy. Cambridge.
  • D. Wiles, 2000. Theatre Performance: An Introduction. Cambridge.
  • E. Gunderson (ed.) 2009. The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Rhetoric.
Subject specific skills

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • have gained knowledge and understanding of the range of ancient Greek texts that classicists can study, including knowledge of important authors and literary genres;
  • have gained knowledge and understanding of the range of methodologies and approaches used in the interpretation of ancient written texts of all kinds, in their artistic, cultural and political contexts;
  • have developed an ability to engage critically with classical scholarship on ancient texts across different sub-fields in Classics (e.g. philology, archaeology, ancient history);
  • put their knowledge about interpretative approaches and strategies into practice in their own responses to classical texts;
  • select and present material clearly, with coherent argumentation and appropriate referencing, both orally and in writing.
Transferable skills

Critical thinking
Problem solving
Active lifelong learning
Communication
Information Literacy
ICT skills
Professionalism

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 11 sessions of 2 hours (15%)
Seminars 2 sessions of 1 hour (1%)
Private study 66 hours (44%)
Assessment 60 hours (40%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Reading and independent research required for the module, in preparation for seminars, assessed coursework and exams.

Costs

Category Description Funded by Cost to student
Books and learning materials

c. £20 for translations: Homer, Iliad (Lattimore, Chicago); Sophocles, Theban Plays (Fagles, Penguin)

Student $20.00

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group D1
Weighting Study time
Essay 50% 30 hours

A 2,500 word essay

Attendance log 10% 10 hours

% of recorded attendance, across both lectures & seminars

Summer Examination 40% 20 hours

A 1-hour examination (2 gobbets).


  • Answerbook Green (8 page)
Feedback on assessment

Feedback on the coursework will be provided by written feedback published on Tabula as well as one-to-one personal feedback session offered to the students. Exam feedback will be available to students via their personal tutors, according to departmental policy.

Past exam papers for CX113

Courses

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-VV17 Undergraduate Ancient History and Classical Archaeology (Part-Time)
  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q82P Undergraduate Classical Civilisation
  • Year 1 of UPHA-VQ52 Undergraduate Philosophy, Literature and Classics

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-VV16 Undergraduate Ancient History and Classical Archaeology
  • Year 1 of UCXA-VV18 Undergraduate Ancient History and Classical Archaeology with Study in Europe
  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q820 Undergraduate Classical Civilisation
  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q821 Undergraduate Classical Civilisation with Study in Europe
  • Year 1 of UPHA-VQ52 Undergraduate Philosophy, Literature and Classics

This module is Core option list A for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q800 BA in Classics
  • Year 1 of UCXA-Q802 Undergraduate Classics (Latin) with Study in Europe

This module is Core option list B for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-QQ37 Undergraduate Classics and English
  • Year 1 of UCXA-QQ39 Undergraduate English and Classical Civilisation

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 1 of UITA-RQ38 Undergraduate Italian and Classics

This module is Option list C for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-QQ39 Undergraduate English and Classical Civilisation