Ancient Greek poetry reading group (in translation)

Course Dates: 22/07/20 - 12/08/20
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
Location: Online

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are still well-loved, but other archaic Greek poets’ surviving works are equally fascinating. Explore the world and works of Hesiod, Archilochus, Sappho, Pindar and others.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘How will I be taught’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are still well-loved, and began life as orally performed epic poems, but the surviving works of other poets’ from the archaic era of ancient Greek history are equally fascinating. This introductory reading group course will explore the world and works of Hesiod, Archilochus, Sappho, Pindar and others.

What will we cover?

Each week we will read and discuss passages from archaic Greek poets including Sappho, Archilochus, Hesiod and the unknown authors of the Homeric Hymns. We will relate these works to key themes from ancient Greek life: these may, for example, include archaic Greek perceptions of other people’s and cultures, the nature of ‘heroic’ elite ancient Greek society, religion and archaic Greek society and the role of women.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Locate the poetry we have discussed in the context of the archaic Greek world, with a basic knowledge of key developments.
- Contribute to a discussion on the main themes from the poetry we have discussed.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory reading group – designed to be accessible and enjoyable for everyone – which will set the poetry we discuss in the context of the archaic Greek world, so little prior knowledge of ancient Greek history is needed. However, it will involve reading sections of archaic Greek poetry in English translation and discussing them, so a GCSE-level grasp of reading and speaking English is recommended.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This course will combine discussions, tutor presentations, set ‘homework’ reading of relevant poems (this will be minimal, and it will be possible to enjoy the classes if you are unable to complete homework for any reason), quizzes and work with related texts and images.

This course will be delivered online, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Only a pen, if you wish to take any notes.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Why not try "RA397: Art, sculpture and architecture of the classical world: an introduction", which will start in the autumn, also taught by Deborah Hyde.


Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Opens up interesting perspectives on the Ancient World
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 31/07/2019)
A really interesting and enjoyable way to learn more about Greek poetry.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 31/07/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Deborah Hyde

Deborah Hyde has loved history since her earliest schooldays. She now holds an MA in Classical Civilisation from Birkbeck, University of London and was joint winner of the 2011 Catherine Jane Booth prize for the study of Classics. Having first discovered the ancient world as a mature student, widening participation in its study is her passion -- she creates and teaches courses for which are designed to be accessible and enjoyable for people of all levels of knowledge. Deborah also leads reading groups exploring classical texts in translation, and is a WEA approved tutor. Her interests range from the origins of archaic Greek poetry to early Christian saints. “The ancient world is really good to think with. In Greek, Roman and other ancient societies, we can find roots, contrasts, parallels and thus understandings of our own identities and the ways our communities are organised. As Bob Marley so rightly said: ‘If you know your history, then you will know where you’re coming from’.”

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: RG001

Wed, eve, 22 Jul - 12 Aug '20

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Full fee: £79.00
Senior fee: £79.00
Concession: £48.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2644

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.