Grk 222 S09




Joshua D. Sosin

Coordinates: MW 0830-0945, 229A Allen

Classical Studies
229A Allen Bldg.
Office Hours: TBA
(and any time I am in my office)

Spiel: This course is a survey of Classical Greek historical prose. It is designed to help you, first and foremost, (a) to improve the ease, facility, and speed with which you read historical prose, but also (b) to develop strategies for reading Greek historians with an eye for political, social, economic, and cultural history, (c) and to build a sense of shape, scope, and convention of programmatic books.

Screed: Translate from a clean text. You learn to read Greek by reading Greek. On Vocab Lists: The act of producing such lists may assist in acquisition of vocabulary, but in class, you should put the list away and try to remember or infer meaning. It is my view, moreover, that such lists might help you get through a day’s portion, but that if you really want to learn words, you should rely on repeated exposure and repeated consultation of the dictionary (reading a good dictionary is a good thing). Lists don't help much. On Heavily Annotated Xeroxes: To read Latin and Greek successfully you must learn mentally to cache meaning and syntax from the moment you start to read a sentence through to its end. A heavily annotated text invites you to get by without flexing that mental muscle. If it is your practice to bring such to class, please wean yourself from the habit by the end of week three, beyond which such are not allowed. On Heavily Annotated Books: OUCH! See above. But also, a book is a ktêma eis aiei. Store in its margins and interlinear spaces only the sort of information that you want to retain over a career. Anyway, data important enough to warrant long-term preservation and access should be stored digitally. Take a note; don’t mar a book. If it is your practice to bring such to class, please wean yourself from the habit by the end of week three, beyond which such are not allowed. On Written Translations: The act of composing a written translation is, in my opinion, the single best way to show yourself and others what you think something means. So, by all means, write out translations if it helps you grow as a reader; but do not bring such to class.

Spend (you can probably find all of these used):

  1. Herodotus; OCT vol. 1, 3rd ed., edited by K. Hude; (ISBN10: 0-19-814526-8); roughly $60, $40 used [amz | bn | abe | oup ].

  2. Thucydides; OCT vol. 1, 2nd ed., edited by H. Stuart Jones and J. E. Powell; (ISBN10: 0-19-814550-0); roughly $50, $30 used [amz | bn | abe | oup ]

  3. Polybius; Loeb vol.1 (bookstore could not obtain copies of Teubner); (ISBN13: 978-0-674-99142-2); $24 [amz | bn | Loeb ]

  4. Optional: If you do not own a copy of Smyth's Greek Grammar you should; (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.

  5. Optional: If you are still using the 'middle Liddell' stop! Use LSJ, either Perseus' on-line version (hopper version), or one of the dept copies; or buy your own (to save money, I bought a used penultimate edition for dirt cheap and then a used Revised Supplement, also cheap and used)

See (a few basic helps)


  • Greek: For syntax and style see intros to various separatim school editions, e.g. Sheets' Bryn Mawr Commentary (1993), green-and-yellows for VIII (Bowie) and IX (Flower and Marincola), A. L. Barbour, Selections from Herodotus (Norman 1929) 7-46, which can still be useful; for a fascinating view of the Herodotean universe: H. Dik, Word Order in Ancient Greek: A Pragmatic Account of Word Order Variation in Herodotus (Amsterdam 1995)
  • Stuff: D. Asheri et. al. A Commentary on Herodotus I-IV, edited by O. Murray and A. Moreno (Oxford 2007); W. W. How and J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus (Oxford 1913; repr with corr 1923)


  • Greek: H. D. Cameron, Thucydides Book I: A Students' Grammatical Commentary (Ann Arbor 2003)
  • Stuff: A. W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides; S. Hornblower, A Commentary on Thucydides (Oxford 1991)


  • Greek: J.-A. de Foucault, Recherches sur la langue et le style de Polybe (Paris 1972); A. Mauersberger, Polybios Lexicon (2nd ed. Berlin 2000)
  • Stuff: F. W. Walbank, , A Historical Commentary on Polybius (Oxford 1957-1979)

Slog: The pace will be brisk and the volume of coverage considerable. We shall not be able to translate all of a given day's assigned reading in class. Exams will cover all material.

Week For Mon. For Wed.

READ at sight in class: Pr -3.2 (through παρ’ ἄλλων δίκας γίνεσθαι)
HAVE: some dialect/syntax helps


READ 1°: Hdt. 1.1-31 (ca. 17 OCT pp)

READ 1°: Hdt. 1.32-65 (ca. 17 OCT pp)
READ 2°: Bakker, "The Making of History..."


01/19 - MLK Day - No Class

READ 1°: Hdt. 1.91-118 (ca. 17 OCT pp)
READ 1°: Hdt. 1.66-90 (ca. 17 OCT pp)
READ 2°: Kurke, Coins, Bodies...ch4


READ 1°: Hdt. 1.119-153 (ca. 17 OCT pp)

READ 1°: Hdt. 1.154-186 (ca. 17 OCT pp)


READ 1°: Hdt. 1.187-216 (ca. 17 OCT pp)



READ 1°: Thuc. 1.1-22 (ca. 13 OCT pp)

READ 1°: Thuc. 1.23-41 (ca. 9 OCT pp)


READ 1°: Thuc. 1.42-60 (ca. 9 OCT pp)

READ 1°: Thuc. 1.61-73 (ca. 9 OCT pp)


READ 1°: Thuc. 1.74-89 (ca. 13 OCT pp)

READ 1°: Thuc. 1.90-105 (ca. 9 OCT pp)


READ 1°: Thuc. 1.106-121 (ca. 9 OCT pp)

TAKE: Thuc. Test


03/09 Spring Break

03/11 Spring Break


READ 1°: Thuc. 122-134 (ca. 9 OCT pp)

READ 1°: Thuc. 1.135-144 (ca. 9 OCT pp)


READ 1°: Plb. 1.1-14 (ca. 17 Loeb pp)

READ 1°: Plb. 1.15-25 (ca. 17 Loeb pp)


READ 1°: Plb. 1.26-37 (ca. 17 Loeb pp)

READ 1°: Plb. 1.38-49 (ca. 17 Loeb pp)

14 04/06
READ 1°: Plb. 1.50-63 (ca. 17 Loeb pp)
READ 1°: Plb. 1.64-76 (ca. 17 Loeb pp)
15 04/13
READ 1°: Plb. 1.77-88 (ca. 17 Loeb pp)
TAKE: Plb. Test
16 04/20 - SNOW MAKE-UP
READ 1°: Thuc. 2.35-46 (ca. 7 OCT pp)


  1. Daily Translation: 50% of grade; this is the most critical feature of the course. We shall devote the bulk of each day in class to translating aloud, quickly, fluently, confidently.

  2. Author tests: 30% of grade; you will have the opportunity to take three translation exams.

  3. Final Exam: 20% of grade; translation exam, closed book.

Duke | Classical Studies | Sosin | Grk 222