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Study information

Classical Language and Texts: Greek IV

Module titleClassical Language and Texts: Greek IV
Module codeCLA2205
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor Karen Ni Mheallaigh (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Module description

This module offers you the opportunity to really get to grips with Greek literature in the original language. By reading a themed selection of texts within their historical, intellectual and literary-cultural contexts, as well as engaging with modern interpretations of these works, you will broaden your knowledge of Greek literature, develop sophisticated skills of literary analysis and enhance your understanding of the Greek language. At the end of the year, you will have gained an appreciation for the subtleties of literary texts and will be able to regard yourself as ‘reading’, rather than ‘translating’ classical literature. The module will therefore be an excellent way to round off your study of Greek literature if you are finishing at this point, as well as providing vital preparation for those who will be going on to take Greek V.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Building on CLA1204/3204, this module aims to develop a deeper understanding of Greek literature and language. In each term one or more main set texts and a number of supplementary texts are studied, while you will also engage in language work to improve your translation skills. Detailed study of the themed set texts, including the discussion of relevant modern scholarship and the writing of critical commentaries and a summative essay, is designed to enhance knowledge of Greek literature and to develop skills of close reading and literary interpretation that can only be acquired through close analysis of the nuances of the original language of texts. Translation of unseen passages from Greek into English aims to develop further your mastery of grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Set texts, literary analysis and language/unseen translation are taught together by one lecturer as a single integrated module that encourages you to see the connection between language-learning and sophisticated reading of literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of Greek through translation from Greek and through the close study of a number of classical texts.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 2. Comprehend a wide range of linguistic forms and structures and render Classical Greek into English.
  • 3. Interpret and analyse works from an earlier culture and produce written arguments about them informed by critical scholarship.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Methodically investigate the meaning of complex texts in an ancient language by applying a specific set of skills and knowledge to the material.
  • 5. Demonstrate an ability for independent study through preparation for classes and essays, as well as the ability to work in groups in literary discussion and in working on translation and grammar.
  • 6. Enhance the ability to develop and communicate persuasive arguments about literary and scholarly material in both oral and written form.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

Terms 1 and 2: Three classes per week: as a general guide, two might be mostly devoted to the study of that term’s main set text(s) (α texts) and a number of supplementary or supporting texts (β texts), with one class per week devoted to further literary appreciation of the set texts, unseen translation and linguistic skills.

You will be required to read the set texts independently outside the class; the sessions devoted to the set texts will involve interpretation, literary commentary and analysis guided by the module tutor. This will also be supported with occasional discussions of modern scholarship on the set texts. Language skills will be developed both through the reading of set texts and explanations by the module tutor of unusual linguistic features when they are encountered in the texts. In addition, some classes will involve the translation of unseen passages (both as a group and under exam conditions), with the module tutor providing guidance on how to comprehend and interpret more difficult Greek authors.

The module will be examined in three parts:

  • Two critical commentaries as take-home exams, completed from a choice of passages from the set texts provided by the module tutor
  • One 3,000-word coursework essay, requiring you to explore the set texts synoptically
  • A three-hour examination, in which you will translate passages from the alpha texts and unseen pieces of Greek literature

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching663 x 1 hour seminars per week
Guided independent study234Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practice unseen translations50 minutes1-2, 4Mark and written comments
Two critical commentariesTwo weeks to complete each exercise1-6Mark and written comments

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination403 hours1-2, 4Mark and written comments
One essay303000 words1-6Mark and written comments
Two critical commentaries30Two weeks to complete each exercise1-6Mark and written comments

Re-assessment notes


Re-assessment will normally be by examination.


Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.


Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Set texts to be confirmed by the module tutor.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Classics, Greek, Language

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

CLA1204/3204 Classical Language and Texts: Greek III

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date