CL106/EN106 Masterpieces of Greek Literature in English Translation

fall 2017

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 course will help you develop:


- a deepened appreciate of literature

- an enhanced confidence in engaging with complex literary texts

- an increased awareness that works of literature are embedded in specific historic and cultural contexts

- an improved ability closely to read literary texts



This semester CL106/EN106 will read the following:



Homer, Iliad (excerpts)

Homer, Odyssey (excerpts)

Homeric Hymn To Demeter

Hesiod, Works and Days



Sappho (selections)



Aechylus, Prometheus Bound

Aechylus, Agamemnon

sophocles, Aias

Sophocles, Oidipous Tyrannos

Sophocles, Antigone

Euripides, Medea

Euripides, Hippolytus

Euripides, Trojan Women

Euripides, Bacchant Women



Aristophanes, Lysistrata

Aristophanes, Frogs

Menander, Dyskolos


The Work of the Course:

I. 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.

II. There will also be a three- to four-page written assignment involving the close reading of a selected text.

III. There will also be a final paper for which you will read additional texts and write a four-five page paper on those readings. 

The close-reading assignment and final essay will be explained in greater detail in early October, and further information will be posted on the class website at that time.



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 two lowest grades. The average for these essays will account for 65% of the semester grade. The close-reading assignment will account for 10% of the semester grade. The final paper on the additional texts you choose will account for 25% of the semester grade. There will be no other tests or written assignments.



There is no textbook for this course. There are links to translations of all of the readings on the class website, but you may use other translations if you so choose.



According to the University's Catalogue, "All students are expected to attend every class session. The impact of attendance on grading is specified in the syllabus." You must attend class to write the required weekly essay (remember, though, that your two lowest essay grades will be dropped in calculating your final grade). You are expected to attend the entire class; since the essay serves as a proxy for your attendance your essay grade for that week will be lowered if you leave early without a legitimate reason.


Meeting once a week:

Don't forget that this course meets only once a week. Missing a single class session is the equivalent of missing an entire week in another course. This is a particular problem in a course like this, which does not have a textbook that you can read on your own. Further, with so few class meetings, missing even one day's essay can have a serious impact on your overall course grade. Please keep this in mind when choosing whether or not to attend class.


The work load for this class is not exceptionally heavy but if can appear so if you leave all the reading to the last minute. Break the weekly readings down into smaller units and spread the work out over two or more days during the week.


Electronic devices:

You are expected to bring with you to class a laptop, tablet or other similar device for accessing the internet. You will need such a device to consult the on-line reading assignments during class, and it will also be useful for tracking down background information and the like. On the other hand, the use of such devices in any way unconnected with class (checking Facebook, reading for another course, etc.) is unacceptable since it prevents you from making your full contribution to the class, it distracts other students, and it is just plain rude. For the same reasons the use of a cell-phone, texting device or similar personal communications gear during class is also unacceptable. Please turn all such devices off before class begins.



The website for this course is:

Professor Rosivach

DMH 126

office hours: will be posted on the class home page during the second week of classes.


E-mail: If you have any questions on any topic related to class, e-mail me and I will answer your question as soon as I am able. My e-mail address is: If you have to communicate with me for any reason, I would prefer that you use e-mail, not voice mail. If you do use voice mail, I will answer by e-mail to your campus Stagweb account if an answer is required.


A note on the essays:

Essays are graded on a 1-10 scale (9=A; 5=F).

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

All electronic devices are to be turned off and out of sight during essays; if you do not comply with this rule your essay will be graded 4. (back)


A note on the close-reading assignment and 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)