• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Classics and Ancient History, European Languages, Ancient Greek
  • Major code AGRK-MAJ

Ancient Greek was the language of the poets Homer and Sappho, the symposium and the festival, the lawcourts and the theatre. It was the language in which new ideas were imagined: from the philosophy of Plato to the new tenets of Christianity, scientific literature from the Hippocratic corpus to Archimedes, political innovations like democracy and new narrative forms like the novel. You will explore the different dialects and genres of Ancient Greek written and spoken across the Mediterranean and beyond, their evolution over time, and their material context. From moving funerary inscriptions to diaries and letters on papyri, Ancient Greek introduces us to the emotions and experiences of the past. It was spoken from Spain to Central Asia, the Black Sea to the Nile, and remained the language of education for thousands of years.

You will begin your Ancient Greek study with the principles of language (grammar, vocabulary, and syntax) while developing your reading skills so that you can engage closely with original Ancient Greek texts. You will explore the literary, historical, and cultural contexts of Greek writers from the Archaic to the Byzantine periods. No prior knowledge of Ancient Greek is required, but if you have studied Greek previously, please contact the convenor to discuss the best entry level.

Proficiency in Ancient Greek is highly recommended if you wish to specialise in the study of Greece, Rome, and Byzantium, medieval and early modern history, law, rhetoric, philosophy, and archaeology. Studying Ancient Greek will enrich your understanding of the English language and other European languages.

Learning Outcomes

  1. acquire and extend a knowledge of Ancient Greek vocabulary, grammar, and syntax with the aid of textbooks, dictionaries, grammars, and commentaries;
  2. develop skills in reading Ancient Greek at sight and with the aid of resources, beginning with the study of simplified texts and moving on to a detailed examination of original literature from the Graeco-Roman world;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of different Ancient Greek literary genres (e.g. poetry, histories, letters), the conventions of different media (e.g. graffiti, inscriptions), the nuances of translation and interpretation; and
  4. think critically about Ancient Greek texts and genres in their historical, cultural, and literary contexts;

Other Information

Students who have not previously studied Ancient Greek, or have only undertaken very limited study (e.g. one-week summer course) should begin with Introductory Ancient Greek. Students have completed Year 12 Ancient Greek or equivalent should go directly into GREK3125: Advanced Ancient Greek. If your Ancient Greek experience falls somewhere between these recommendations, please consult with the major convenor.

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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

A maximum of 12 units of courses at 1000 level

A minimum of 18 units of courses at 3000 level

This requirement is met by:

Completion of the following course list:

GREK1001 - Introductory Ancient Greek (6 units)

GREK2119 - Continuing Ancient Greek (6 units)

GREK2121 - Intermediate Ancient Greek I (6 units)

A minimum of 18 units from the completion of the following list:

GREK3125 - Advanced Ancient Greek (6 units) [may be completed multiple times, with a different topic in each instance]

A minimum of 6 units and a maximum of 12 units from the completion of the following list:

CLAS1003 - Classical Mythology (6 units)

CLAS1006 - Ancient Greece: History, Culture and Society

CLAS2013 - The Muse and the Machine: The Arts, Technology, and Society in Graeco-Roman Antiquity (6 units)

CLAS2014 - Democrats, Tyrants, and Emperors: The Art of Government in the Ancient Mediterranean (6 units)

CLAS2015- Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World: An Age of Transformation and Discovery (6 units)

HIST2070 - Emperors, Pilgrims, and Crusaders: The World of Byzantium (6 units)

CLAS3002 - Life, Love, and Loss in Ancient Greece and Rome (6 units)

CLAS3003 - Faith and Belief in Ancient Greece and Rome (6 units)

CLAS3100 - Memory, Culture, and Identity in Imperial Greece and Rome (6 units)

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