Grk 076 S12

Intermediate Greek: Drama



Joshua D. Sosin


MWF 1505-1555;
Place TBA


Classical Studies, 229A Allen Bldg.
Office Hours: TBA
(and any time I am in my office)
Phone: 681-2992 |

Spiel: This course is designed to help you improve the ease and facility with which you read Ancient Greek. To that end we shall read aloud, translate, and discuss Sophocles' Antigone and Menander's Dyskolos.

I hope that we as a class will keep two goals in mind:

  • As we improve we will aim to move beyond "translating" so that we may begin to "read;" translate literally but sensibly; get the feel for a word's full semantic range such that you do not always translate a given word in precisely the same way; get comfortable with the way that Greek works and sounds.

  • While each of you is responsible for your own translation and progress, I hope that we will work together, building on our different strengths; in practice this means paying attention to each other when we translate and politely pitching in whenever appropriate.

Sources: books to purchase (you can probably find all of these used);

  1. Sophocles: Antigone; ed. by M. Griffith; (ISBN: 0521337011); roughly $26 [am | bn | abe]

  2. Optional: If you don't own this already you may consider purchasing: Liddell and Scott, An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon; 7th ed.; (ISBN: 0199102066); roughly $45 [am | bn | abe]

  3. Optional: If you plan to go on with ancient Greek you should consider purchasing a copy of Smyth's Greek Grammar; (ISBN 0674362500); roughly $40 [am | bn | abe]; if you are short on cash you can download for free (from Textkit) a copy of the 1920 edition, which is not that much different from the revised edition.

Support: TLG offers all sorts of handy supports, which you should feel free to explore and exploit. For example, you can find there the Greek text of the Antigone. This is not the same text that we are using, but it is pretty similar. Words in the texts are linked to a program that identifies the form of individual words and also to an on-line version of LSJ, a dictionary much fatter than the intermediate Liddell-Scott. If you absolutely cannot identify the form of a word, consult TLG. If you are stranded somewhere without a dictionary but happen to have an internet connection, consult TLG. Use of TLG is not mandatory, but I think that you will find it very handy. Don't let it bcome a crutch.

Schedule: NOTE: for now, the syllabus does includes scant individual reading assignments. I shall post reading targets at end of each class (e.g. "get though line 123"); if on any given day you are uncertain how far to read, consult this syllabus. We may need to adjust our pace, but the dates of quizzes are fixed.

We shall read all of Sophocles, Antigone, except for most of the choral passages; these we shall read in translation. When we finishthe play we shall take a take-home translation exam. This should fall slightly after Spring Break, depending on the pace that we are able to maintain. After that we shall read Menander's Dyskolos in full (I shall provide text and commentary when the time comes).

Sophocles, Antigone
Week For Mon. For Wed. For Fri.


unseen 1-18?

READ Introduction
Aim for 1-38.
[got through 42]


01/16 - No Class - - MLK jr Holiday

Aim for 77 (ca.40 ll.)
[got through 87!!]

Aim to get through 99; then SKIP the chorus (read it in English); then aim for 181 (ca.30 ll.)
[got through 190]


Aim for 240 (ca.50 ll.)
[got through 240]

Aim for 292 (ca.50 ll.)

[got through 279]

01/27 - Quiz 1 - covering lines 1-292 (minus choral passage 100-161)

No reading assignment; we shall devote the time remaining after the quiz to a review of lines 1-279.


Aim for 341 (ca.50 ll.);
note we are reading this choral passage
[got through 322]

Aim for 383, i.e. through end of chorus (ca.60 ll.); note we are reading this choral passage

[got through 383]

Aim for 440 (ca.55 ll.)

[got through 435]


[got through 483] (ca.50 ll.)

Get through 530 (ca. 50 ll.)

02/10 - Quiz 2 - covering lines 293-530

Aim for 555 (ca.25 ll.)
[got through 557]


Get through 581 (24 ll.); then SKIP chorus (read in English); then get through 667 (tanantia); beware line numbering in Grifith ed! (ca. 40 lin)

[got through 667

Get through 723 (ca. 55 ll.)

Get through 780 (ca.55 ll.)


Skip chorus (read in English); get through 883-928 (ca.45 ll.); skip chorus (read in English); read 987-1011 (ca.25 lin)

Aim for 1063 (ca.55 ll.)

02/24 - Quiz 3

Aim for 1090 (ca.25 ll.)


Read 1090-1116 (ca.25 ll.); skip chorus (read in English); read 1155-1195 (ca.40 ll)








03/12 -
Aim for 1210-1276

Aim for 1277-1353
03/16 - take home test

last few lines of Ant. if necessary
Aim for Men. Dysk. 1-68

NOTE: for Menander's TEXT use this edition. For the COMMENTARY use the edition that I handed out in class.


03/23 - Quiz 4
got through
12 03/26

03/28 -

03/30 -


04/06 - Quiz 5


15 04/16
16 04/23

Sweat: You can earn a total of 500 points in this class; they break down as follows:

  1. Daily Translation: 225 points; this is the most critical feature of the course. We shall devote the bulk of each day in class to translating aloud.
  2. Quizzes: 100 points; we will take 5 brief (17 min.) quizzes, worth a total of 100 points (20 pts each). These are designed to let you show that you are making steady progress through the plays.
  3. Antigone Exam: 75 points; translation exam; 50 minutes, take-home, no dictionary.
  4. Final: 100 points; no dictionary. Wed, 2 May, 7-10PM

How I grade / calculate grades:

  • Grading Written Translations:
    • I assign a total number of points per passage, based on the number of lines (e.g. 4 points per line).
    • I underline words / parts of words (if, say, tense or number or case are wrong or incorrectly construed but the word’s dictionary meaning is right) in the Greek that have been translated incorrectly.
    • I squiggly-underline words that have been translated sub-optimally but are basically right.
    • I subtract points based roughly on presence of underlined passages; this is not a strictly mathematical process; one translation may have fewer underlined words and nevertheless fall far short of coherent English, while another may have slightly more underlined words, but indicate clearer control of meaning. That figure, a percentage, provides the starting point for further calculation based on fluency of English, command of Greek and English idiom, control of finer points of grammar vel sim.
    • I shall review all of this in class.
  • Grading In-Class Translations
    • Immediately after every class I enter into a spreadsheet (1) a grade for the day and (2) brief notes on your performance. If you are absent I'll record a 50%; don't miss class.
    • At the end of the semester I calculate an average daily reading grade. That figure, a percentage, provides the starting point for calculation of the daily translation grade--scope left for adjustment for progress.
    • If at any point you want to see your daily grades, ask.

Policies: for links to policies etc. see my teaching page.

Duke | Classical Studies | Sosin