CL 103A/EN 203A Masterpieces of Greek Literature in English Translation

fall 2009

Prof. Rosivach

A survey of major works of ancient Greek literature. Emphasis will be on the content of this literature as a key to understanding classical Greek civilization, and as meaningful in a contemporary context.

This semester CL 103/EN203 will read the following:


Homer, Iliad (excerpts)
Homer, Odyssey (excerpts)
Homeric Hymn To Demeter
Hesiod, Works and Days


Sappho (selections)


Aiskhylos, Prometheus Bound
Aiskhylos, Agamemnon
Sophokles, Aias
Sophokles, Oidipous Tyrannos
Sophokles, Antigone
Euripides, Medeia
Euripides, Hippolytos
Euripides, Troades
Euripides, Bakkhai


Aristophanes, Lysistrate
Aristophanes, Frogs
Menandros, Dyskolos

Course Organization:

There will be a reading assignment for most class sessions. Assignments and study questions will be posted on the class website. As part of most class sessions you will be asked to write a short essay on a topic related to the reading assignment for that day. The remainder of the class session will be devoted to discussion of the reading assignment and, when necessary, introduction of the next assignment.

There will also be an additional assignment for which you will read texts of your own interest and approved by me, and write a four-five page paper on those readings. To avoid misunderstanding, you will meet individually with me some time before November 1 to decide on the texts to be used for this assignment. The critical paper is due on the day assigned by the registrar for the final exam in this course; this paper is to be submitted by e-mail in the form of a Word document. You can find additional information about this assignment at this link.


As mentioned above, there will be a written essay on each class reading assignment; missed essays will be graded as failures. In calculating your average I will drop your three lowest grades. The average for these quizzes will account for 70% of the semester grade. The final paper on the additional texts you choose will account for 20% of the semester grade. Participation in class discussion will account for 10% of the semester grade. There will be no other tests or written assignments.

Class web site:

The address for the web site for this class is: My schedule of office hours and other information related to the class will be posted there. You will also find links to all of the class readings at the web site.


If you have any questions at all about the readings or if you need to reach me for any reason, please do not hesitate to e-mail me. My e-mail address is: I will get back to you as soon as I can. If you telephone and leave a voice-mail message plese do not expect me to get back to you.

A note on the essays:

There will be no make-ups for missed essays, but remember that your three lowest grades will be dropped in calculating your final grade.

All electronic devices are to be turned off and out of sight while you are writing your essays; if you do not comply with this rule your essay will be graded F. (back)

A note on the final paper:

You will be asked to append an honesty statement to your final paper. Even the slightest violation of this statement will lead to a failing grade for the paper. If the violation is serious enough you will fail the course. (back)