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Unit information: Greek Language Level B1 in 2016/17

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Unit name Greek Language Level B1
Unit code CLAS22315
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Lampe
Open unit status Not open

Greek Language Level A1 and A2, or equivalent



School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts


In 399 BCE Socrates the man was tried, condemned, and executed for impiety and “corrupting the youth.” In the following decades Socrates the legend was born, as his critics and lovers circulated dozens of portrayals of his odd character and habits. Among his most influential defendants was Xenophon’s Memorabilia, which, though less famous today than Plato’s dialogues, was renowned throughout antiquity for both its content and beautiful Attic prose style. This combination makes Xenophon an excellent author for Greek B1. In this unit we will read selections from Xenophon’s Recollections that focus on Socrates’ famous irony, erotic proclivities, and manner of teaching. In this way we’ll be able to form our own opinions about whether, or in what sense, he “corrupted the youth!”

Unit aims:

  • To expand and confirm students’ knowledge of Attic prose syntax.
  • To expand students’ vocabulary in ancient Greek.
  • To increase students ability and confidence in reading continuous, unaltered ancient Greek texts.
  • To introduce students to the genre and some of the important themes of logoi Sokratikoi
  • To introduce students to the historical contexts and literary output of Xenophon.

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 details

Lectures, seminars and reading classes, grammatical instruction classes

Assessment Details

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

• 1 class test (45 minutes) on grammatical/syntactical knowledge, on two pieces of text amounting to a total of 15 lines in length (50% of test mark each). 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

The following will be used in all Greek units from B1 onwards:

Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott. 1963. Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford. You may choose to purchase the complete Greek-English Lexicon instead, available very cheaply as an app for both iPhone and Android. The app is searchable, more detailed, and is far lighter to carry!

Morwood, J. 2001. Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek, Oxford.

Xenophon, Memorabilia (Selected passages of the Greek text will be distributed to you.)

Xenophon, Conversations of Socrates, trans. by Hugh Tredennick and R. Waterfield (Penguin: London, 1990)