Major in Ancient Greek

About the major and the minor

For detailed information on pathways through the major, and for information on the Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Advanced Studies, see the Department's undergraduate guide.

An Ancient Greek major allows you to read, in the original, works of immense cultural and literary significance by the great writers of the ancient Mediterranean world. The study of philosophy, history, drama, lyric, epic, the novel, and oratory begins in Greece, and Greek contributions to world literature are undisputed models of perfection in every later age. Reading the actual words of Homer, Euripides, Plato or the New Testament is an extraordinary and unforgettable experience.
A major in Ancient Greek gives you an advanced ability to read and critically analyse Greek literature. Greek majors study a wide variety of important texts from key periods and genres in the development of this hugely influential literature, gaining an understanding of its themes, preoccupations and complex reflection of Greek (particularly Classical Athenian) culture. Linguistic ability is developed as you progress through a series of units that introduce, practise and then analyse in context Greek morphology and syntax. You may begin either at introductory level, if you have no prior knowledge of Greek, or at intermediate level if you have studied Greek previously to HSC-level (or equivalent). The culmination of the major for all students is in-depth study and nuanced appreciation of works of celebrated Greek authors.

The minor in Ancient Greek is also a valuable and important way of studying with us. It progresses from 1000 level foundation units in your first year to 2000 and 3000 level units in your second and third years. Our aim is that on attaining your minor you will enhance your proficiency in Ancient Greek.

Pathways through the major and the minor

There are two pathways through an Ancient Greek: one if you have not studied Greek to HSC-level (or equivalent), and one if you have. These pathways merge at the intermediate level (GRKA2600).

  • For the major in Ancient Greek, the requirement is 48 credit points from the Ancient Greek unit of study table, with at least 24 credit points being at 3000 level, including a compulsory interdisciplinary project unit FASS3999.
  • The minor in Ancient Greek requires completion of 36 credit points, with a minimum 12 credit points at 3000-level.

The non-HSC stream

Over the course of first year, you acquire the fundamental syntactic and morphological rules of Attic Greek. You will study one unit per semester, and reach a comparable standard of linguistic knowledge at the end of the year to that of students who have studied Greek in secondary school to HSC-level. This means that you will be equipped with most of the basic knowledge and skills that enable you to comprehend texts written in Greek.
You can enter this stream either as a first year student (and complete the units coded GRKA1600 and GRKA1601) or as a second or third year student (and complete units coded GRKA2620 and GRKA2621). The latter option allows students who have decided to major in ancient history, classical archaeology, philosophy and other fields to gain the competence in Greek that they need to complete or complement their own studies. During your second year, you will be in a class with students who have studied Greek to HSC-level. You will complete GRKA2600 (Intermediate Greek 1) and GRKA2601 (Intermediate Greek 2).
In the second semester you also have the option of studying a 3000-level unit (GRKA3601 The Language of the Greek Bible, or GRKA3602 Greek Epic). You will meet some more complex syntactical and grammatical concepts, but the main focus of the year will be training you to read and analyse Greek literary texts. You will begin to explore in depth the literary output of classical Greece.
In third year, you will hone your skills in reading and translation, as well as grammatical and stylistic analysis. Regular exercises in composition will further develop mastery and appreciation of literary Greek. You can choose from other 3000-level units on offer, which might include Greek Literature and History (GRKA3603), or Greek Literature and Philosophy (GRKA3604), Greek Epic (GRKA 3602), Language of the Greek Bible (GRKA 3601), Greek Tragedy (GRKA3605), Greek Comedy (GRKA3606) and Later Greek Poetry (GRKA3007). Fro the major you will also complete an interdisciplinary project unit, FASS3999, a requirement for all majors in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Year

Semester

Units of study

GREEK (ANCIENT) NON - HSC PATHWAY

1

1

Ancient Greek major GRKA1600 Introduction to Ancient Greek 1

Elective

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

2

Ancient Greek major GRKA1601 Introduction to Ancient Greek 2

Elective

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

2

1

Ancient Greek major
GRKA2600 Intermediate Greek 1

Open Learning Environment units

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

2

Ancient Greek major
GRKA2601 Intermediate Greek 2

Open Learning Environment units

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

3

1

Anient Greek major
3000-level unit

Ancient Greek  major
3000-level unit

Table S major 2 / elective

minor / Table S major 2

2

Ancient Greek major 300-level unit

Ancient Greek Major FASS3999 project unit

Table S major 2 / elective

minor / Table S major 2

The ex-HSC stream

If you have studied Greek to HSC-level, you enter straight into the Intermediate level of Greek study at the University of Sydney. You complete the core units, GRKA2600 (Intermediate Greek 1) and GRKA2601 (Intermediate Greek 2). You also have the option of studying a 3000-level unit on Greek in your second semester (GRKA3601 The Language of the Greek Bible or GRKA3602 Greek Epic). You will spend some time studying complex syntactical and grammatical concepts, but the main focus of the year will be training you to read and analyse Greek literary texts. You will be introduced to critical terminology and theory, and will begin to explore in depth the literary output of classical Greece.

In your second and third year you choose from 3000-level units on offer to hone your skills in reading and translation, as well as stylistic analysis. Units might include GRKA3601The Language of the Greek Bible, GRKA3602 Greek Epic, or GRKA3605 Greek Tragedy.

Year

Semester

Units of study

GREEK (ANCIENT) HSC PATHWAY 

1

1

Ancient Greek major GRKA2600 Intermediate Ancient Greek 1

Elective

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

 

2

Ancient Greek major GRKA2601 Intermediate Ancient Greek 2

Elective

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

2

1

Ancient Greek major
GRKA3600 Advanced Greek

Open Learning Environment units

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

 

2

Ancient Greek major

3000-level unit

Open Learning Environment units

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

3

1

Ancient Greek major

3000-level unit

Ancient Greek major

3000-level unit

Table S major 2 / elective

minor / Table S major 2

 

2

Ancient Greek major

3000-level unit

Ancient Greek major

3000-level unit

Table S major 2 / elective

minor / Table S major 2