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.