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Greek Language & Literature (Intermediate)

CX 126, 226, 326

depending on year of study


This module builds upon the Greek Language CX101 module and gives the opportunity to read continuous passages of original authors. Students need to have a sound basis to enrol on the module. Second-year students will need to have completed the Greek Language module in a satisfactory manner. This module is also studied by first-year undergraduates who have studied Greek at GCSE level, or who have studied Greek at A level but did not achieve the A grade necessary for Greek Literary Texts. Anyone else who is interested should discuss their position with the module tutor. A placement test may be required at the start of the year.

Aims and objectives

The aims of the course are to finish learning the structures of the language and to read some classical Greek texts of a reasonable length. By the end of the module, students should expect to have:

  • complete an introduction to the grammar and syntax of the language,
  • developed a good working Greek vocabulary
  • read unadapted Greek
  • started to develop an awareness of different literary styles; and
  • used their linguistic knowledge to better understand the thematic concerns of the set texts

To continue to the next level, Greek Literary Texts, the Department recommends a minimum of 70% in this module.


Main points

For 2021/2, we have one group with three hours of tuition a week: on campus on Wednesdays (11-1) and online on Friday (12-1) You will need your own copy of the course book Greek Beyond GCSE by John Taylor, which we will use from the start of the first term. We will read Lysias 1 on Fridays in Term 1, and Homer Odyssey VI on Wednesdays in Term 2. I will provide copies of these texts.

The course is reasonably intensive and the classes are an integral part of the course (see Note on Attendance at end of handbook). These need to be backed up by a significant amount of independent study. You should expect to:

  • spend 2-3 hours between each class on independent study
  • revise for exams over the Christmas and Easter vacations,
  • set aside time for 300 hours of study over the year in total


For this course, you will need to acquire the following:

  • 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 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 will also be reading Lysias I and Odyssey VI. Texts and supporting material will be uploaded to the course Moodle in due course.


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.

I will hold drop-in sessions on Wednesdays, in room H 228, from 9.30-10.30; I will also be available online at this time.