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Greek Set Book


There are no classes currently available for registration.


Our Greek Set Book short course is distinct in that it gives you the chance to study Classical Greek texts in depth under specialist tutors with active research interests in that area. You will learn to tackle complex Greek literary writing and to appreciate its artistry and ideas. Your tutors will also help you to place the set texts in their wider intellectual, social and political context. The texts we study each year change in response to student needs and preferences.

This year’s course will focus on Plato’s Phaedrus, using the edition of H. Yunis (Cambridge 2011). It will give you the chance to engage in depth with Plato’s language, style, ideas and context. We will read and analyse Plato’s explorations of the many different themes of the dialogue, including its supposed central topic of love, but also the complex workings of rhetoric, language, writing and persuasion. These themes of the dialogue will be placed in dialogue with wider debates in the Athenian democracy about love, friendship, beauty, power and deception, including the relationship between the spoken and written word.

The classes and coursework involve close analysis of the text from a linguistic, literary, historical and cultural point of view. You will be expected to prepare portions of the text in advance and then discuss the major issues emerging in class. The course will enable you to:

  • become experienced in reading Plato’s Greek and analysing his style and use of dialogue
  • understand and debate Plato’s arguments in the Phaedrus, about love, rhetoric and many other topics
  • place the reflections in the Phaedrus in the context of contemporary events, politics and culture in Athens, especially the complexities and contradictions of democratic society
  • reflect in new ways about the workings of love, rhetoric, speech and writing in other societies, including our own.

Teaching on the Greek Set Book course is stimulating, with plenty of student participation and interpretation. We will translate portions of the text together, as well as discussing language, context and argument.

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • translate and appreciate complex Classical Greek literature in the original
  • place your reading in the context of wider debates on Classical literature, ancient history and ancient philosophy
  • study how the text has survived to the modern world, for example, with the aid of the apparatus criticus, and reflect on the implications for understanding it
  • engage directly with surviving ancient evidence - and so transform your understanding of the ancient world.

The course will be taught jointly by Dr Benjamin Gray and Dr Dimitra Kokkini.

This course is non-credit bearing, so carries no credit points.

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    This course is suitable for anyone interested in studying Greek, but not seeking formal qualifications in the language. It involves close study of a Classical Greek text in the original, so it requires substantial prior experience in Greek, but we are flexible with precise qualifications and experience: please contact Dr Benjamin Gray.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.