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CL1237 Greek Epic

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey lie at the roots of the Western literary tradition: they formed the basis of Greek education and were central models for all later authors. In this module, you will study selections from both epics in Greek and master the Homeric ‘dialect.’ You also study both epics in translation, reading them as sophisticated oral-derived narratives, and analyse their (fictional) worlds and values; relationships between men, women and gods; narrative modes, voice and style; and features such as similes and formulas.
  • Module Organiser:
    • Dr Martine Cuypers
  • Duration:
    • One term (Sep - Dec)
  • Contact Hours:
    • 60 (JF Latin A, SF Latin B) or 49 (16 lectures, 22 reading classes and 22 or 11 language labs)
  • Weighting:
    • 10 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • 50% continuous assessment (two written assignments), 50% final examination

Learning Outcomes

On successful conclusion of this module, students should be able to:

  • translate and analyse Homeric Greek
  • appreciate the nature and characteristics of the Homeric idiom and oral/aural poetry
  • scan dactylic hexameter verse
  • discuss the content, style and major themes of the Iliad and Odyssey
  • recognise the central values of the ‘Homeric society’ and the problems involved in relating epic fiction to historical reality
  • analyse the epics’ key narrative techniques and devices and apply the central concepts and terms of structuralist narratology
  • appreciate the influence of the Homeric epics on later Greek and Western literature and culture

Recommended Reading List

  • Allan, William, Homer: The Iliad (London 2012)
  • Burgess, Jonathan S., Homer (London 2014)
  • Finkelberg, Margalit (ed.), The Homer Encyclopedia (Malden 2011).
  • Foley, J.M. (ed.), A Companion to Ancient Epic (Malden 2005)
  • Fowler, Robert (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Homer (Cambridge 2004)
  • Griffin, Jasper, Homer: The Odyssey (2nd ed. Cambridge 2003)
  • Silk, Michael, Homer: The Iliad (2nd ed. Cambridge 2004)