CLA2205 - Classical Language and Texts: Greek IV

2022/3 Module description

StaffDr Mathura Umachandran -
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Pre-requisitesCLA1204 Classical Language and Texts: Greek III
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

This module offers you the opportunity to really get to grips with Greek literature in the original language. By reading a themed selection of texts within their historical, intellectual and literary-cultural contexts, as well as engaging with modern interpretations of these works, you will broaden your knowledge of Greek literature, develop sophisticated skills of literary analysis and enhance your understanding of the Greek language. At the end of the year, you will have gained an appreciation for the subtleties of literary texts and will be able to regard yourself as ‘reading’, rather than ‘translating’ classical literature. The module will therefore be an excellent way to round off your study of Greek literature if you are finishing at this point, as well as providing vital preparation for those who will be going on to take Greek V.

Module aims

Building on CLA1204, this module aims to develop a deeper understanding of Greek literature and language. In each term one or more main set texts and a number of supplementary texts are studied, while you will also engage in language work to improve your translation skills. Detailed study of the themed set texts, including the discussion of relevant modern scholarship and the writing of critical commentaries and a summative essay, is designed to enhance knowledge of Greek literature and to develop skills of close reading and literary interpretation that can only be acquired through close analysis of the nuances of the original language of texts. Translation of passages from Greek into English aims to develop further your mastery of grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Set texts, literary analysis and language/translation are taught together by one lecturer as a single integrated module that encourages you to see the connection between language-learning and sophisticated reading of literature.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of Greek through translation from Greek and through the close study of a number of classical texts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 2. Comprehend a wide range of linguistic forms and structures and render Classical Greek into English
  • 3. Interpret and analyse works from an earlier culture and produce written arguments about them informed by critical scholarship

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 4. Methodically investigate the meaning of complex texts in an ancient language by applying a specific set of skills and knowledge to the material
  • 5. Demonstrate skills in independent study through preparation for classes and essays, as well as the ability to work in groups in literary discussion and in working on translation and grammar
  • 6. Demonstrate an ability to develop and communicate persuasive arguments about literary and scholarly material in both oral and written form

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Terms 1 and 2: Classes and/or activities devoted to the study of that term’s main set text(s) (α texts) and a number of supplementary or supporting texts (β texts), translation and linguistic skills.
  • You will be required to read the set texts independently; the sessions devoted to the set texts will involve interpretation, literary commentary and analysis guided by the module tutor. This will also be supported with occasional discussions of modern scholarship on the set texts. Language skills will be developed both through the reading of set texts and explanations by the module tutor of unusual linguistic features when they are encountered in the texts. In addition, some classes will involve the translation of unseen passages (both as a group and individually), with the module tutor providing guidance on how to comprehend and interpret more difficult Greek authors.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching663 x 1 hour seminars per week
Guided Independent Study234Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practice translation exercise1 hour1-2, 4Mark and written comments
Two critical commentaries1500 words each1-6Mark and written comments
Participation in discussionWeekly1-6Oral feedback from lecturer and peers

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Exam402 hours1-2, 4Mark and written comments
Essay302000 words1-6Mark and written comments
Two critical commentaries30Two weeks to complete each (maximum 1500 words each)1-6Mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExamExam1-2,4Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay1-6Referral/deferral period
Critical commentaryCritical commentary1-6Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Set texts to be confirmed by the module tutor.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Classics, Greek, Language

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