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Greek Language 2

CX 126-15, 226-15

depending on year of study

Module convenor: Dr Xavier Buxton  (

Module weight: 15 CATS


This module builds upon the Greek Language 1 (CX 120-15 / CX 220-15) module and gives the opportunity to read continuous passages of original authors. Students need to have a sound basis to enrol on the module: students coming from Greek 1 will need to have performed to a satisfactory level (TBC) overall. A placement test may be required at the start of the year.

This is an intensive course. Building upon the morphology and basic grammar of Greek 1, students will cover all the major points of Greek syntax, and will begin to read, unadapted, the prose of Lysias.

The course will begin with the completion of the textbook from Greek I, L. A. Wilding's Greek for Beginners. We will swiftly move on to John Taylor's Greek Beyond GCSE (2nd edn). You must obtain copies of both of these textbooks in order to engage successfully with this course.

Because this is an intensive course, students are required to undertake a significant amount of independent study outside the classroom. There are four hours of teaching each week: three hours of lecture, and one hour of consolidation and revision. Each session should be followed up with at least three hours of personal study afterwards and there needs to be significant consolidation and revision in the Christmas and Easter vacations.

The Department welcomes enquiries from students outside the Classics Department, although in some years numbers may dictate that the module be limited to members of the Classics department. Postgraduates from other Departments who are interested in taking the module should email the module co-ordinator to signify their interest.

This module is also studied by first year undergraduates on the Classical Civilisation or Ancient History courses who have studied Greek at A level but did not achieve the grade necessary for the module Greek Literary Texts. Anyone else who is interested should discuss their position with the module tutor.

Main Points

For 2023-2024, there will be four hours of classes per week. You will need:

  • L. A. Wilding, Greek for Beginners, (£3 on abebooks)
  • John Taylor’s Greek Beyond GCSE (£4.50 on abebooks)
  • A reference grammar. Morwood’s Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek is recommended: it is cheap (£2 abebooks), accurate, and clearly organised.
  • A lexicon. If you are a Q800 student or if you think you are likely to continue to Greek Literary Texts next year, then you should get a copy of Liddell and Scott’s Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon (if you go online you can find cheaper print-on-demand copies rather than hardback). If not, then the Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Classical Greek by Morwood/Taylor (£4 abebooks) should be perfectly satisfactory for this year.

We ask that students ensure that they have access to these books before the start of Term 2. In the latter part of Term 2 and Term 3, we will be reading Lysias I (On the Murder of Eratosthenes). The module tutor will provide you with photocopies of this text.

You should expect to:

  • spend at least 3 hours between each class on independent study
    • I.e. at least 12 hours of independent study per week
  • revise for exams over the Christmas and Easter vacations,
  • set aside time for 300 hours of study over the year in total.


Attendance is required at all classes, unless there is a very good reason you cannot attend. If you have appointment you cannot miss, please discuss this in advance. If you are ill, you should email as soon as possible (on the day) giving a brief explanation of why you could not attend. In the absence of any such email, attendance will be noted as unauthorised in the register.

Our experience is that regular attendance is the single most important factor for success on this module.

In the event that you have to miss classes for more than one week due to illness, university regulations usually require you to submit a medical certificate from your GP or similar healthcare professional to the departmental office. You will be informed if there are different arrangements for 2023-2024.

More importantly, you should be in email contact with the module tutor and your personal tutor since it is easy to fall behind in such a situation and catching up becomes progressively harder.


Drop-in sessions

Drop-in sessions are an important part of the module, offering students the opportunity to sort out areas of uncertainty as the module progresses. Often a quick, well-directed question can sort things out quickly and put your mind at rest. Drop-in sessions are particularly important where you have missed a class. You are expected to do the work which is always set out online, but you should use a drop-in session to check on anything you have not understood.

My current drop in hours are Wednesday 9-10 (online) and Friday, 12.00-13.00 (in person, in my office at FAB 2.11).