Grk 204 S14

Intermediate Greek: Drama



Joshua D. Sosin


MWF 1200-1250; Languages 208


Classical Studies, 229A Allen Bldg / 2nd Floor Bostock.
OH: Th 0900-0950 ; F 0800-0930 (and any time I am in my offices)
Phone: don't | e:

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 Euripides' Medea 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. Euripides: Medea; ed. by M. Kwintner; (ISBN: 0929524926) 1999; roughly $16

  2. Menander's Dyskolos; ed. D. Konstan; (ISBN: 0929524209); roughly $12

  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

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 Medea. 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 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 Euripides, Medea. When we finish the play we shall take a take-home translation exam. This should fall in the vicinity of Spring Break, depending on our pace. After that we shall read Menander's Dyskolos.

Euripides, Medea
Week For Mon. For Wed. For Fri.

01/08 - Intro
Athens / Acropolis, Theater of Dionysos / Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides / Colchis / Iolkos / Corinth /

READ Brief article on the play
Aim for 1-35.


01/13 -
Aim for 73 [60]

Aim for 95 [95]

Aim for 137 [142 !!!]


01/20 - MLK no class

Aim for 183 [186]

01/24 - Quiz 1 -

No reading assignment; we shall devote the time remaining after the quiz to a review of lines 1-186.

Sight through 198!


Aim for 237 [234]

snow day

Aim for 281 [283]


Aim for 333 [326]

Aim for 377 [370]

02/07 - Quiz 2 - covering lines 187-370

Some light sight...for the soul: through 394!


Aim for 445 [450]

Aim for 500 [498]

snow day


Aim for 560 [541]

Aim for 599 [587]

02/21 - Quiz 3 - covering lines 371-587

Sight through 599


Aim for 660s [662]

Aim for 720s [715]

Aim for 780ish [766]


03/03 -
Aim for 832 [823]

03/05 -
Aim for 880s [898]

03/07 -
Aim for 960s


03/10 - Spring Break

03/12 - Spring Break
03/14 - Spring Break



03/21 - Quiz 4 - covering lines ###-###
get through
12 03/24

03/26 -

03/28 -


04/04 - Quiz 5


15 04/14
16 04/21

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. Medea Exam: 75 points; translation exam; 50 minutes, take-home, no dictionary.
  4. Final: 100 points; no dictionary. Mon. 28 Apr 0900-1200.

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.