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Greek Historical Texts - 10 credits (HS3345/6)

Staff: Stephen Lambert, Maria Fragoulaki

In these modules, students  study one or more Greek texts: in most years one module focuses on literary texts, and the other on inscriptions (details for the current year can be found in the Module Catalogue). Texts will be studied for both grammatical structure, and their importance as historical evidence. Classes will involve translation and grammatical comment, as well as discussion of the historical context and significance of the text.

Availability: autumn (HS3345) and spring (HS3346) semesters every year
Optional for: all Ancient History degrees
Teaching: 10–12 classes
Assessment: one 2-hour examination. Passages will be set from the prescribed texts for translation and comment.

Syllabus content

Students will study a selection of Greek texts chosen each year with reference to their Ancient History modules and their general interests. Literary texts might include Herodotus, Thucydides, Euripides, Aristophanes, Xenophon, Arrian or Plutarch. The epigraphic module will involve study of about 20 inscriptions, typically including examples that are also on the syllabus for HS3371 Athens in the Age of Demosthenes and Lykourgos.


To provide students with the opportunity to study Greek texts relevant to their chosen modules; to improve their language skills; and to apply their understanding of the texts to historical modules.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student will demonstrate:

  • the ability to read and understand Greek texts of different types and genres.
  • the ability to comment on the historical relevance of passages read in the original language.

Useful reference books

Abbott and Mansfield, A Primer of Greek Grammar (new edition, 1977)
J.R. Cheadle, Basic Greek Vocabulary (2002)
Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon (concise edition)
J. Morwood, The Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek (2001)
P.J. Rhodes and R. Osborne, Greek Historical Inscriptions 404–323 BC (2003)

Related modules

Prerequisites: HS3423 Reading Greek 1 and HS3324 Reading Greek 2, passed with a grade of at least 60%, or RT3201 Hellenistic Greek 1 and RT3202 Hellenistic Greek 2, passed with a grade of at least 60%; or a good A-level in Ancient Greek, or an equivalent qualification

Necessary for: HS3347 Advanced Greek Historical Texts

Other modules to consider taking in conjunction with this one:

HS3314 Expansion and Conflict in the Greek Poleis

HS3315 Kingdoms, Cities and Hellenization

HS3371 Athens in the Age of Demosthenes and Lykourgos