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)

An introduction to the sources and methods for studying Ancient History. The course will examine literary sources, inscriptions, coins and material culture. Students will learn how to combine different types of sources to answer questions about the past. They will also be trained to adopt a critical approach toward each type of source.

75103 Ancient Greek Literature: an overview (8 ECTS)

This course aims to introduce students into the riches of the Greek literary tradition by offering a chronologically laid out survey of periods, genres, and best known authors of Greek literature. Early Greek epic and lyric poetry, fifth-century Athenian drama, classical historiography and oratory, Plato and Aristotle, Hellenistic poetry, and imperial Greek literature will be the major thematic stops of this course. Selected passages of the texts, all translated in English, will be woven into lectures in order to familiarize students with the rich literary production of Greek Antiquity.

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

This course aims to introduce students to the ancient Greek language (Attic dialect), including the study of grammar, syntax, and the reading of selected texts. Students will be provided with the knowledge of Classical Greek language and the principles of sentence construction sufficient to translate simple passages of Greek prose into English.

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. Emphasis is placed upon the topography of the major archaeological sites, architecture, burial customs, pottery, frescoes and other arts and crafts, such as metallurgy, seal engraving and ivory work, which are discussed within the social and cultural context of the Eastern Mediterranean civilizations.

75202 Ancient Greek Art: an overview (8 ECTS)

From the Trojan War and its aftermath in the 12th c. 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 will begin with the study of the origins and basic features of the Greek polis in the Archaic period. It will then examine the development of political institutions in the Classical period. The students will concentrate on Homer and Hesiod and the developments of the 7th and the 6th centuries BCE. Law, early institutions as well as the fear of tyranny and the methods of the tyrants will be analyzed. The phenomenon of Greek colonization, as well as the formation of Greek identity through contacts with others overseas will also be covered. The years between the end of the Lydian kingdom and the battle of Chaeronea will be studied by combining literary, epigraphic and numismatic evidence.

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

This course is an introduction to the ancient Greek language and follows on from Greek I (Greek for Beginners I). It includes study of grammar and syntax and reading of selected texts. Students will be provided with the knowledge of Classical Greek language and principles of sentence construction sufficient to translate simple passages of Greek prose into 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)

This course is devoted to the archaeology of Prehistoric Crete during the time of the palaces, namely the first half of the 2nd millennium BC. It examines the form, function and social significance of the great palatial compounds, as well as of the so-called “villas”. Other topics of this course include the main characteristics of pottery styles, the repertory of the wall-paintings and the vast range of seal engraving, metal, ivory and faience work. Special attention is paid to the organization of society, the exploitation of economic resources and the palatial administration system, the external/commercial contacts and the cult and other ceremonial practices on Crete during the period in question.

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)

This course is an introduction to Thucydides’ Historiography. The course includes reading and interpretation of selected chapters of Thucydides’ Histories, which will familiarize the students with the basic themes and the language of Thucydides’ work, analysis from a historical and narratological perspective, and discussion of the literary aspects of Thucydides’ historical account.

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

This course aims to develop student’s knowledge of the Greek language from the level achieved at the end of the Greek II course to the point where they will have mastered most of the grammar and syntax of Attic Greek. At the end of this course students should be able to translate short prose passages from Greek into 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)

Classical Greece has been described as a “world of images”: every public or private space – from sanctuaries, agoras, and houses to cemeteries – contained artistic renderings of scenes from the mythical past, recent historical events, or the life of the city. Moreover, from the 8th . BC on, narrative scenes graced most Greek artefacts, including clothing, jewellery, coinage, and the ever-present pottery. The present course undertakes a systematic survey of Greek iconography during the 1st millennium BC, including the study of the main mythological or generic themes and their interpretation in a variety of media: from sculpture, painting, and pottery to architecture and the luxury arts (jewels, coins, seals).

75403 Studying Greek History through Inscriptions (8 ECTS)

The course will be an extended introduction to Greek Epigraphy, Greek documents written on stone. The various types of epigraphic documents, which shed light on different aspects of public and private life, will be studied: decrees, edicts, letters of Kings and emperors to the Greek cities, arbitrations, honorary inscriptions, dedications, funerary documents, lists of victors in athletic and musical games. The analysis of the documents will include the historical background. Issues regarding historical topography, prosopography and numismatics will also be examined.

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

This course aims to further develop students’ knowledge of the Greek language from the level achieved at the end of Greek III to the point where they will have consolidated all regular grammar forms and syntactical constructions and be able to read and translate original Greek texts.

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 surveys the great kingdoms and empires that arose in the Eastern Mediterranean from the middle of the 2nd to the middle of the 1st millennium BC. It will study the developments that led to the creation of the first territorial states in the Near East and then focus on the Great Kingdoms of the Hittites, the Mitanni, and the Egyptians during the Late Bronze Age, as well as the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian empires during the first mil. BC. An emphasis is placed on the Hittite, Egyptian, Syrian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian textual evidence about the Aegean.

75502 Alexander to Cleopatra: History of the Hellenistic Period (8 ECTS)

The course will begin with a chronological outline of the period going from the campaigns of Alexander to the sea-battle of Actium and the end of the Macedonian dynasty of Egypt. It will then examine the structure of the Hellenistic monarchies, the relations with the Greek cities, the wars between the different kingdoms, the foundation of federal states, as well as life in the Hellenistic metropoleis, such as Alexandreia, religion and culture, developments in judicial practices such as the use of foreign judges, the foundation of festivals and games, and the introduction of the Egyptian deities.

75503 Greek Drama: Texts and Images (8 ECTS)

This course will give students the chance to study a selection of the plays of the great masters of Greek drama, that is, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander. The course will place their works into their ritual and performative context, will demonstrate their relation to literary and cultural traditions, their interaction with the political and intellectual climate of classical Athens, and will look into the evolution of the tragic and comic genre. Within the frame of the course students will have the chance to study the depiction of theatre scenes in ceramic vases and visit the ancient theatre of Dionysus below the Acropolis.

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

The aim of this course is to further develop students’ ability to read and understand Greek prose texts. Core reading will be a selection of texts of the great Ten Attic Orators (mostly of Lysias, Isocrates, and Demosthenes) in the original language which will be provided by the course teacher. By the end of this course, students should be trained in close reading, analysis of form, content, and context of original Greek prose texts.

6th Semester (30 ECTS)

75601 Hellenistic Art (8 ECTS)

The course covers the Art and Archaeology of the Hellenistic period, that is from the campaign against Persia led by Alexander the Great in the later 4th c. BC to the Battle of Actium in 30 BC. Architecture and city-planning, sculpture and painting, pottery, terracotas and the minor arts, are some of the topics covered, including special reference to the arts of Macedonia and the Greek mainland, Alexandria and Ptolemaic Egypt, Pergamon, Syria and the Hellenistic East, as well as Art under Roman patronage and influence.

75602 History of the Greek Religion (8 ECTS)

The course covers the emergence, establishment, and further development of religious ideas and practices in the Greek world from the 2nd millennium BC until the Late Roman period. Following an introductory survey of prehistoric religion and its impact on the Art and the Archaeology of Greece (including Neolithic, Cycladic, and Minoan cultures), we study the Mycenaean, Early Iron Age, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Imperial periods, focusing primarily on texts and images. Additional emphasis will be placed on archaeological remains related to religious beliefs and practices, including sanctuaries, shrines and various branches of “sacred” art.

75603 Greek Historical Texts: Herodotus (8 ECTS)

This course aims to familiarize students with the language, basic topics, and more significant methodological problems of Herodotus’ work through the study of the first book of the Histories because of its programmatic function for the whole work of Herodotus. Each class will focus on reading a selection of English translated passages from the first book of the Histories. Topics considered, dominant in the current scholarship on Herodotus, will include: Herodotus’ prose predecessors and the poetry of the past, Herodotus as a historian, the so-called ‘compositional question’ regarding his work, his attitude to the divine, causation, and alterity in the Histories.

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

The aim of this course is to further develop students’ ability to read and understand Greek poetic texts. Core reading will be a selection of poetic texts (e.g. passages from Homeric hymns, Euripides’ tragedies, and Menander’s comedies) in the original language which will be provided by the course teacher. By the end of this course, students should be trained in close reading, analysis of form, content, and context of original Greek poetic texts.

7th Semester (34 ECTS)

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

Athletics and sportsmanship were among the most characteristic expressions of Greek culture. Through grand-scale events such as the Olympic Games, the Greeks monumentalized physical excellence, elevated competitive spirit to religious status, and created special buildings (stadiums, gymnasiums etc) in order to serve sport and its mentality. The fact that modern athletics retain ancient sports (such as the pentathlon, discus- and javelin-throwing, boxing, wrestling and running), is an evidence of the strong impact of ancient Greece and a testament to the longevity of the values of competition, victory and accomplishment. The course covers ancient sport in its many facets – from types of games and competitions to literary and archaeological evidence, as well as the rich classical imagery depicting Greek athletics.

75702 Homer and Greek Mythology (8 ECTS)

An introduction to the two great epic poems ascribed to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, which stand at the beginning of Greek literature as models and points of reference that defined the Greek and Roman culture in general. Topics addressed will be mythological background, composition, structure, narrative, characterisation, social values, morality, representation of the divine, political organisation, and placing of the two epic poems within the cultural context of the archaic period.

75703 Reading Greek and Papyri (8 ECTS)

This course aims to help students further develop and apply the knowledge of Ancient Greek they have accumulated during the previous semesters. Participants will be introduced to Greek Papyrology and will be taught to read and interpret Greek literary and documentary papyri. Modern techniques including the application of relevant digital tools and employment of all available electronic resources will be used. Teaching will be based on the study of papyri and ostraca through photographs and photocopies of the originals. Finally, this course will acquaint students with the main forms taken by Greek bookhands and cursive scripts from the Hellenistic period to the eighth century AD.

75704 Undergraduate Seminar* (10 ECTS)

 

8th Semester (34 ECTS)

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

Students will go through 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)

Plato and Aristotle are the greatest and most famous philosophers of ancient Greece. This course will introduce the students to the key elements of their thought. We will discuss Plato’s views on the soul and its immortality, on Eros and its role in human life, on the Forms and the Form of the Good, on the ideal city-state. Our discussion will be mainly based on the Phaedrus and the Republic, two of Plato’s most widely read dialogues. Moreover, we will also consider Aristotle’s views on the soul in the treatise that bears this title (On the soul) and his views on happiness in the Nicomachean Ethics.

75803 Ancient Greeks at War: Xenophon (8 ECTS)

This course is an introduction to Xenophon’s works. The course includes reading and interpretation of selected chapters of Xenophon’s Hellenica, a work which covers the final seven years of the Peloponnesian War, not covered by Thucydides, and the war’s aftermath (until 362 BC). The course will raise students’ awareness on the basic themes and the language of Xenophon’s work, analysis from a historical and narratological perspective, and discussion of the literary aspects of Xenophon’s historical account. By the end of this course, they should know the main events and the context (political, cultural, literary) of the last years of the Peloponnesian War and its ensuing years, and understand how literary knowledge contributes to the knowledge of ancient Greek warfare.

75804 Undergraduate Seminar* (10 ECTS)

 

*At least four seminars available every semester; topics may include:

  1. Funerary Practices and the Archaeology of Ancestors
  2. Household Archaeology: Prehistoric Greece
  3. Household Archaeology: the Classical World
  4. Landscape Archaeology
  5. From Macedonia to Gandhara and beyond: Art and Archaeology of the Hellenistic East
  6. Greek Literature of the Hellenistic and the Imperial Period
  7. Greek Numismatics, Monetary Policies, and the Economy

 

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.