BA Program in the Archaeology, History, and Literature of Ancient Greece

CURRICULUM

1st Semester (30 ECTS)

75101 Introduction to the Discipline of Archaeology (8 ECTS)

This course provides an introduction to the basics of Archaeology. It starts with a short history of the discipline, from the emergence of curiosity about the past in the Renaissance to the constitution of Archaeology in the 19th century and the important milestones regarding its theory, methods and techniques in the 20th century. In addition, the course examines a series of key-concepts, such as the “archaeological site”, the “archaeological record” and the “archaeological context”. It also reviews the main types and methods of fieldwork and laboratory analysis and discusses the different types of research questions that guide the study and interpretation of the material remains of past people with the aim of understanding their social life.

75102 Introduction to Historical Studies (8 ECTS)

The aim of this course is to familiarize the students with the basic concepts of historical studies (time, space, historical event, structures, institutions). The course also focuses on the various kinds of sources on Ancient History and on the methodology regarding their use. Finally, the course provides an overview of the main perspectives of studying Ancient History (interstate relations, politics and institutions, society and economy, culture and ethnicity).

75103 Ancient Greek Literature: an overview (8 ECTS)

The main objective of this introductory course to ancient Greek literature is for students to become exposed to, and familiar with, key genres of ancient Greek literature through a selection of the most representative works and authors from every genre (such as Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Sophocles, Plato, Callimachus). In this introductory course students also engage in close reading of particular texts (in translation) and engaging with previous scholarship, in order to further develop their critical thought when reading Greek literature.

75104 Greek I (Greek for Beginners I) (6 ECTS)

A course of ancient Greek for beginners! Students will learn the alphabet, basic vocabulary and grammar and syntax rules before practicing reading simple texts in classical Attic Greek.

Suggested course text is Balme, M. & Lawall, G., Morwood, J., 2016. Athenaze: An introduction to Ancient Greek Book 1. Third edition (chapters 1-10 indicatively). Oxford.

 

2nd Semester (30 ECTS)

75201 Aegean Civilizations: a survey (8 ECTS)

This course comprises a comprehensive introduction to the prehistoric archaeology of the Aegean from the beginning of the 7th to the end of the 2nd millennium BC. It reviews the social and cultural evolution in Mainland Greece, Crete and the Cycladic islands from the first farming communities of the Neolithic period to the complex societies of the Minoan and Mycenaean palaces of the Middle and Late Bronze Age.

75202 Ancient Greek Art: an overview (8 ECTS)

From the Trojan War and its aftermath in the 12th century BC, to the onset of Alexander’s campaign in the late 4th, this course explores Ancient Greece through its art and archaeology: sculpture, pottery and vase-painting, architecture and city-planning are systematically assessed through carefully chosen examples and case studies in order to provide an informative survey of Greek Art and its development during its most crucial phase. The course also offers a discussion of sources and methodology, matters of chronology, informative accounts on techniques, styles, and subject matter, and terminology.

75203 The History of the Greek Polis (8 ECTS)

The course examines the significance of the polis for the Greeks, its origins (linguistic background, the literary and epigraphic evidence, the Archaeological remains), the city as a result of Synoecism, what was a polis, the lifespan of the Greek city, process of urbanization versus process of state formation, the rule of law and the Greek city, exceptional cases; Athens and Sparta, the denial of political development: tyranny and tyrants in the Archaic period, as well as the spread of the Greek model of polis through Colonization. It sketches also developments from the Archaic to the end of the Classical period and goes through the most significant historical events: the formation of the Peloponnesian League, Cleisthenes and his reforms, 5th and 4th century BC wars with the Persian Empire, the 1st and the 2nd Athenian Leagues, the role of Sparta and Thebes, the efforts for Peace and the rise of the kingdom of Macedonia under Philip II.

75204 Greek II (Greek for Beginners II) (6 ECTS)

The course builds on GREEK I and continues with the instruction of the ancient Greek language and, more specifically, of the Attic dialect. The main goal of the course is to teach students grammatical phenomena, syntactic structures and the basic vocabulary of the Attic dialect. Additionally, first-year students are instructed on the methodology of approaching a text written in ancient Greek. In this sense, the course offers the students of Classical antiquity knowledge and skills necessary to approach the primary sources. By the end of the term, the students will be able to read simple, slightly adapted texts. In addition, through the selection of specific texts, the course aims to acquaint students with institutions, ideas, mentalities and historical events of classical Athens. Finally, the aim of the course is to explain the etymology of English words from ancient Greek through special exercises, in order to offer a deeper understanding and more correct use of these words in English.

Suggested course text is Balme, M., Lawall, G., Morwood, J., 2016. Athenaze: An introduction to Ancient Greek Book 1 (chapters 11-16 indicatively), and Balme, M., Lawall, G., Morwood, J., 2015. Athenaze: An introduction to Ancient Greek Book 2 (chapters 17-19). Third edition. Oxford.

 

3rd Semester (30 ECTS)

75301 Prehistoric Crete: Minoan Palatial Society (8 ECTS)

The course examines all periods of the development of Minoan culture. Special emphasis is placed upon the development of architecture (palaces, settlements, tombs, shrines) and arts and crafts (pottery, stonework, ivory, faience, frescoes etc.) from the Stone Age to the end of the Bronze Age.

75302 Ancient Greek Topography and Architecture (8 ECTS)

From Athens and Sparta to the Hellenistic Kingdoms of Macedonia, Ptolemaic Egypt, and Seleucid Syria, Greek architects created ambitious structures in order to house religious, political, and social activities: temples and palaces, gymnasia, stadiums, and theatres, as well as houses and tombs, offer to the modern scholar a valuable glimpse into the society they once served. The course undertakes a systematic survey of Greek sites and monuments, from the 8th to the 1st c. BC, in order to establish the main developments in architecture and city planning, as well as their impact on Greek culture.

75303 Greek Historical Texts: Thucydides (8 ECTS)

The leading learning outcome of the course is the students’ introduction to the genre of Greek historiography through the study of the work of the leading representative of the genre, the Athenian historian Thucydides, both in the original and in English translation. Secondly, through the study of the text, the students will receive a thorough introduction to the history of Classical Athens, the rise of Athens to Panhellenic leadership in the decades after the Persian wars, and, subsequently, the catalytic contribution of the Peloponnesian war to the decline and the fall of the city. The students will learn to translate the original Greek with the assistance of their dictionary and discuss various aspects of Thucydides’ prose (grammar and syntax, structure, language and style, society and politics, interaction with other literary genres, such as tragedy, etc.).

75304 Greek III (Intermediate Greek I) (6 ECTS)

The course is the third part in a six-part course series which offers systematic instruction of the ancient Greek language, specifically of the Attic dialect. It is the natural follow-up to the Greek II course, which is taught in the spring semester of the first year. The main goal of the course is to introduce grammatical phenomena, syntactic structures and basic vocabulary of the Attic dialect, and enable the students to understand a simple text in the Greek original. The students, further, will receive instruction on the methodology of translating and analyzing a text written in ancient Greek, and the knowledge and skills to assess properly the primary Greek sources. In addition, through the selection of specific texts, the course will acquaint students with institutions, ideas, mentalities and historical events of classical Athens. Finally, the aim of the course is to explain the etymology of English words from ancient Greek through special exercises, in order to offer a deeper understanding and more correct use of these words in English.

Suggested course text is Balme, M., Lawall, G., Morwood, J., 2015. Athenaze: An introduction to Ancient Greek Book 2 (chapters 20-26). Third edition. Oxford.

 

4th Semester (30 ECTS)

75401 Archaeology of the Mycenaean World (8 ECTS)

This course is a detailed introduction to the emergence, growth and collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, which appeared in Mainland Greece and the Aegean during the Late Bronze Age, or the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. It focuses on the topography of major sites and their material culture, including the citadels and palaces, the basic tomb types and the various arts and crafts, such as pottery, frescoes and metal work, ivory, seals and jewelry. Such a review of Mycenaean material culture aims to illuminate the structure and function of Late Bronze Age society in mainland Greece and the Aegean, including its economic and cultural connections with the east and central Mediterranean.

75402 Greek Art: Images and Meanings (8 ECTS)

This course explores the methods for approaching, analyzing and contextualizing Greek art especially during the Archaic and Classical era (7th – 4th century BC). Through carefully chosen examples and case studies it demonstrates how to ‘read’ and interpret the subject matter and narrative of ancient Greek artifacts and how to reconstruct the context for which they were made, distributed, used and/or re-used, and even destroyed or discarded - in some cases. The course explores a variety of media, including sculpture, pottery, painting, terracotta, and metalwork. It also provides important background study of Greek myths based on their visual representations and their literary narrations, particularly in epic and tragedy. Moreover, it addresses broader cultural questions by touching upon topics such as identity, gender, and relationships to surrounding cultures.

75403 Studying Greek History through Inscriptions (8 ECTS)

The course will be an extended introduction to Greek inscriptions engraved on stone or metal and their importance for Ancient Greek history. These are documents of various types, which shed light on different aspects of public and private life: decrees of cities, leagues or associations, edicts and letters of kings and emperors, treaties, arbitrations, land-leases, donations, manumissions, honorary and funerary inscriptions, dedications, defixiones etc. They will be examined as pieces of evidence not only for Ancient Greek political, social and economic history but also for the history of institutions, religion and beliefs. The analysis of these texts will also examine issues related to historical topography and prosopography.

75404 Greek IV (Intermediate Greek II) (6 ECTS)

The course follows upon the course entitled ‘Greek III’, which is taught in the winter semester of the second year. The main objective of the present course is to proceed with the systematic teaching of the ancient Greek language. The participants of the course will study a select passage in every class, and they will become familiar with further grammatical phenomena, syntactic structures and a wider vocabulary of the Attic dialect.

Suggested course text is Balme, M., Lawall, G., Morwood, J., 2015. Athenaze: An introduction to Ancient Greek Book 2 (chapters 27-31). Third edition. Oxford.

 

5th Semester (30 ECTS)

75501 Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean (8 ECTS)

This course offers an overview of the history and archaeology of the Near East from the late 3rd to the early 1st mil. B.C. An emphasis is given to Anatolia (Hittite empire, Phrygia, Lydia), the Levant (Canaanite archaeology, Late Hittite, Aramaic, Philistine, Phoenician and Israelite kingdoms, the Assyrian expansion) and Egypt (Middle and New Kingdom). A special discussion will follow about the Egyptian and Hittite texts which refer to the Aegean (Ahhiyawa, Keftiu, Tanaja).

75502 History of the Greek Religion (8 ECTS)

This course is an introduction to ancient Greek religion and cult from the Dark Ages to the Hellenistic times by investigating relevant literary and epigraphical accounts, as well as many archaeological correlates, i.e., sacred places, cult implements and visual/artistic imagery. Special attention will be given to Athens and to the PanHellenic sanctuaries which will be used as main case studies. Other examples will demonstrate different religious contexts and discuss the similarities and differences between individual, polis, regional and PanHellenic aspects of religion.

75503 Greek Drama: Texts and Images (8 ECTS)

The main objective of this course is for students to become familiar with Ancient Greek Drama through the study of works by the three great tragic poets (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides), and by representative authors of Greek Comedy. The students will focus on set-texts, parts of which will be read in the original. Through this close study, they will be able to understand the social, religious, and cultural context that encouraged the development of drama in classical Athens. A significant part of the course will be dedicated to the history of dramatic performances from antiquity, according to extant evidence and images on vases from the wider Greek-speaking world. The course will be supplemented with audio-visual evidence from performances of Ancient Drama in the 20th and the 21st centuries, and with educational visits to relevant archaeological sites and contemporary performances.

75504 Greek V (Advanced Greek I) (6 ECTS)

The main objective of the present course is to complete the systematic teaching of new points of grammar and syntax in ancient Greek, and for the students to become familiar with the study and understanding of original passages of Greek prose. The course follows upon the course entitled ‘Greek IV, which is taught in the spring semester of the third year.

 

6th Semester (30 ECTS)

75601 Hellenistic Art (8 ECTS)

The course examines all periods of the development of Minoan culture. Special emphasis is placed upon the development of architecture (palaces, settlements, tombs, shrines) and arts and crafts (pottery, stonework, ivory, faience, frescoes etc.) from the Stone Age to the end of the Bronze Age.

75602 Alexander to Cleopatra: History of the Hellenistic Period (8 ECTS)

This course is designed as an overview of the Ancient Greek world during the Hellenistic period. It begins with the death of Alexander the Great and ends with the battle of Actium and the death of Cleopatra VII (323-30 BCE). In between, we will examine the wars of succession and follow the political, social and cultural developments among the major Hellenistic Kingdoms and the Hellenistic cities. A major aim of this course is the connection of the various primary sources (literary, inscriptions, papyri and coins) with history, as well as the familiarization of students with the extraction of information from these sources and with their evaluation.

75603 Greek Historical Texts: Herodotus (8 ECTS)

The course is the main introductory course to the field of ancient Greek historiography. The main goal of the course is to acquaint students with the language of Herodotus, the main topics of his historiographical prose, and the most important research issues in the field of Herodotean studies. The course will cover the first book of the Histories; the particular book is selected on account of its programmatic function for the entire Herodotean work. A second important aim of the course is the in-depth study of the methodology and the basic principles of literary analysis and interpretation of ancient historiographical texts. In this sense, the course aspires to offer foundational knowledge that is required for developing further the methodology of approaching and understanding a demanding text.

75604 Greek VI (Advanced Greek II) (6 ECTS)

The main objective of this course is for students to become familiar with the study and understanding of Greek verse. It follows upon the course titled ‘Greek V’, which is taught in the winter semester of the fourth year.

 

7th Semester (34 ECTS)

75701 Greek Athletics and the History of Sport (8 ECTS)

Recreational sports and important athletic competitions were as popular and significant in the ancient Greek world as they are today, therefore they offer a good introduction to many aspects of Greek culture over the centuries. This course examines a variety of sports practiced by the ancient Greeks, focusing on the archaeological, artistic, and literary evidence. Topics to be explored are the development of Greek athletics, the sites where competitions were held, the nature of individual and group events, as well as the social and religious implications such as athletic professionalism, women and athletics, the role of sport in Greek education etc., and the comparison of these with the modern appreciation of sports.

75702 Homer and Greek Mythology (8 ECTS)

The course sets out to study in detail the function of myth in the context of human experience in Greek antiquity. Lectures build on information extracted from primary sources (the literary texts themselves); selected works from a variety of literary genres will be explored in translation, while particular emphasis will be paid to the poems of Hesiod and the Homeric Odyssey, the latter of which will be studied in its entirety.

75703 Reading Greek and Papyri (8 ECTS)

The course aims to offer an introduction to the study of Greek texts written on papyrus and other writing materials, such as ostraca, fabrics, wooden tablets from the Hellenistic to the early Arabic period, and to teach the methodology of reading and editing papyri with the help of new technologies and digital tools. In addition, the course aims to familiarize the students with the basic styles of Greek writing, regarding both book hands and cursive, during the aforementioned period. By the end of the semester, the students will be acquainted with various aspects of the Eastern Mediterranean world of this period as they emerge from the study of papyri: literature, language, institutions, history, economics, religion, science, law, everyday life of people etc. Additional goals of the course include the introduction to the scholarship of the discipline of Greek Papyrology and the acquisition of substantial knowledge required for a better understanding of the papyrus texts within their historical and literary contexts.

75704 Undergraduate Seminar* (10 ECTS)

 

8th Semester (34 ECTS)

75801 Greece and Rome: a historical survey (8 ECTS)

This course examines the early confrontation between Greek cities of Southern Italy and Rome, Rome’s involvement in the Illyrian wars, Rome’s alliances with Greek cities and confederacies, the three Macedonian wars, the declaration of the freedom of the Greeks by Flamininus, the Antiochic war and the peace of Apamea. The establishment of Rome in mainland Greece from the 2nd century B.C., the relations of cities of Asia Minor and Rome, as well as Rome and the Attalid kingdom will be studied using literary sources such as Polybius and Appian, a selection of Greek inscriptions, namely treaties between Rome and a number of cities, and the numismatic output of Greek cities produced to finance the Roman army. The impact of the Mithridatic wars and the Roman civil wars ending at the very end of this period, on the Greek world will be presented with newly published epigraphic evidence.

75802 Greek Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle (8 ECTS)

The leading learning objective of the course is to offer an in-depth approach of Ancient Greek Philosophy through the study of the work of the two leading Classical Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, whose work has forged western philosophy. Following an introduction to ancient Greek philosophical thought, the class, focusing on the theories of the two great philosophers, will examine selective passages from both authors. These passages will be studied in the original Greek language, and they will be drawn from Plato’s Phaedrus and Republic, and from Aristotle’s On the Soul and Nicomachean Ethics. By the end of the course the students will be able to comfortably translate the Greek original and identify principal meanings of the core philosophical vocabulary. They will be able, further, to analyze the philosophical ideas in each passage, and set them in a wider philosophical and cultural context.

75803 Ancient Greeks at War: Xenophon (8 ECTS)

The leading learning outcome of the course is the students’ introduction to the study of the work of the leading representative of 4th century historiography, the Athenian historian Xenophon, both in the original and in English translation. Secondly, the course will focus on those works of Xenophon that discuss in particular the most important political and military events at the turn of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th century, that led to the decline of the polis-state, and the fall of the Athenian hegemony (Hellenica, Anabasis). The students will learn to translate the original Greek with the assistance of their dictionary and discuss various aspects of Xenophon’s prose (grammar and syntax, structure, language and style, society and politics, the influence of Thucydides etc.).

75804 Undergraduate Seminar* (10 ECTS)

 

 

A number of seminars are available every semester; topics may include:

1. Funerary Practices and the Archaeology of Ancestors

2. Topography of ancient Macedonia

3. Household and social structure in Prehistory

4. Household Archaeology: the Classical World

5. Greek Colonization (Case study: Greeks in the Black Sea)

6. The Greek polis under Roman rule

7. Private associations and gymnasial associations in the ancient Greek cities

8. Greek Numismatics, Monetary Policies, and the Economy

9. Greek Literature of the Hellenistic and the Imperial Period

10. The Reception of Homeric Epic in the Roman Epic Tradition

11. The Age of Augustus

 

Tutorials and masterclasses

In addition to the above courses, extra tutorials and masterclasses are offered to students of the Program during the first academic years. For instance, tutorials in Archaeology, English language and terminology, lectures on Modern Greek culture, as well as on current scientific issues of a wide interest are also included.