GREK 014. Greek Prose Survey

The goals of this course are to sharpen your knowledge of Greek grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and forms; to allow you to appreciate the beauty of Greek prose; and to read classical Greek works in their historical and cultural context. This semester we will start with a master of the most limpid manifestation of Attic oratory, Lysias, who also happened to be an extraordinarily sympathetic historical figure, a marginal (as a metic, or 'resident alien' in Athens), well-known to Socrates, Plato, and their friends, a democrat, persecuted with his privileged family by the Athenian oligarchic regime, then finally re-integrated in the democracy he helped to restore, first granted and then denied full citizenship, but in the end successful as a speech-writer and lawyer. In other words, this is a story with a happy ending. I plan to begin each class with a very brief survey on the historical and political context, the features of fifth-century rhetoric, or other issues. But we will also do grammar review.

After reading Lysias' most political and autobiographical court speech (Lysias 12), we can decide whether to continue with another oration by Lysias, read more from authors who more or less belonged to his world (Plato, Xenophon, Thucydides, fragments of the Sophists), or transition to some other text from a different time and place.
1 credit.
Fall 2022. Munson.
Fall 2024. Munson.
Catalog chapter: Classics  
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