Introduction to Classical Greek literature
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: RT507
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
Have you ever wondered who Homer was, or what the Iliad and Odyssey were about? Are you intrigued to discover what modern soaps take from Greek tragedies? Do you want to learn more about the myths of Greece? What about Plato’s cave? This course looks at some of the most influential works of Classical Greek literature, focusing on the period 700-323 BCE. No knowledge of Latin, Classical Greek, or ancient literature and history is required.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We will cover the epics of Homer and Hesiod; the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; the comedies of Aristophanes; the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle; the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides; the poetry of Sappho; and much more besides. We will look at the tradition of oral poetry, how to deconstruct and analyse a tragic play, ancient ideas of politics and ethics, as well as the legacy and tradition of Classical Greek literature in modern society. The course will also immerse you in the time and place of these authors with richly illustrated examples of the landscapes, archaeology, and material culture of Classical Greece, alongside images of the papyri and manuscripts that preserve some of these texts.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
have learned about the key authors, works, genres, and ideas of Classical Greek Literature, preparing you for further study or appreciation in your own reading.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for beginners, and requires no prior skills or knowledge of the topics being covered.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This course will be taught live online. We will use materials provided by the course tutor and shared on the course’s Google Classroom page. There will be no work outside the class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no other costs. You might like to bring pen and paper for notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses on ancient civilisations or why not start studying Classical Greek from scratch? See website for details.
James is interested in the languages, cultures, society, and archaeology of ancient Mediterrean. As a child, he was fascinated by the displays and exhibitions at the Birmignham Musuem and Art Gallery, and enjoyed reading about all things ancient. After school, he went to the University of Exeter for his BA and MA, and was introduced to the sites of Greece on the British School at Athens undergraduate school. His PhD was funded by the Arts and Humanities Reseach Council and looked at the role fo music in ancient Sparta. As well as teaching at City Lit, he also lecturers at the University of Reading, and in 2022 he will start a Marie Curie fellowship at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, continuing his research into ancient Greek music. In his spare time, he enjoys amateur gardening, and listening to new and unfamiliar music.
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.