Ancient Greek

About the major

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 begin 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.

You will 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. Your linguistic ability will develop 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 to HSC-level (or equivalent).

The culmination of this major is in-depth study and nuanced appreciation of works of celebrated Greek authors. It will also help you to develop key skills including the ability to carefully analyse language and to construct clear and persuasive arguments both orally and with the written word.

The Ancient Greek major opens pathways to careers in journalism, law, publishing, teaching, government and research, among others.

Requirements for completion

The Ancient Greek major and minor requirements are listed in the Ancient Greek unit of study table.

There are two pathways through a major or minor in Ancient Greek: one if you have not studied Greek to HSC-level, or equivalent (the non-HSC stream); and one if you have studied Ancient Greek to HSC level (the ex-HSC stream). Non-HSC students begin at 1000-level in their first year; ex-HSC students at 2000-level.

First year

At this level students will develop an understanding of the fundamentals of Ancient Greek morphology, grammar and syntax, and a foundational knowledge of grammatical concepts and terminology commonly used to discuss the Ancient Greek language. You will gain expertise in a range of knowledge-based problem-solving tasks, and an ability to effectively communicate your growing understanding of the Ancient Greek language. On completing this level, you will be able to demonstrate a foundational Ancient Greek vocabulary, an ability to read passages of Ancient Greek independently and with confidence, and a basic proficiency in reading original passages from works of Ancient Greek literature.

Second year

Building on the foundations of your 1000-level units or HSC studies, students will develop a mastery of advanced grammatical and syntactical concepts, and skills in reading, translation and grammatical analysis of extended extracts from original Ancient Greek texts in a range of genres. You will gain a broad general vocabulary along with an understanding of the contexts in which words are used. You will learn the scholarly approaches to Ancient Greek literature, and the critical terminology and theory used in its academic study. You will be able to examine complex passages of literary Ancient Greek and work independently to research and analyse them in an innovative way. On completing this level, you will be able to communicate your developing understanding of the ways in which the Ancient Greek language is used to create meaning in literary texts thorough the construction of coherent, evidence-based analyses of the texts and extracts studied.

Third year

On the completion of this level, you will have an advanced understanding of Classical Greek literature and critical approaches to it. You will demonstrate knowledge of the genres of Ancient Greek literature, from Homeric epic to Biblical Greek, with a strong emphasis on the masterpieces of Classical poetry, drama and prose. You will understand the different dialects, registers and styles of Ancient Greek used by individual authors or within specific cultural contexts, and the ways in which Ancient Greek literature reflects the cultural and political concerns of Ancient Greek Society.

You will be able to construct and defend coherent and valid evidence-based arguments about Ancient Greek literature and its interpretation; demonstrate high-level skills in inventive and ethical research, critical thinking and the analysis of complex works of Ancient Greek literature; and effectively apply your knowledge of Ancient Greek language and literature, and the approaches to it, to issues encountered in an interdisciplinary context.

Honours

An extra year of Ancient Greek allows students to specialise in a particular field and to write a major piece of research. The honours year can be the culmination of your study of Ancient Greek or a pathway to further research in our postgraduate program (though in this case you should also consider doing at least two years of Latin). Our program consists of two seminars, an unseen translation exam and a thesis of 15,000 words on a topic decided by you in consultation with your supervisor.

Honours admission requirements
If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: Admission to Honours requires a major in Ancient Greek with an average of 70% or above.

If you commenced your degree after 2018:
- Admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Ancient Greek with an average of 70% or above.
- Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major.

If you are considering an honours year in Ancient Greek, it is best to seek early advice on all the pathways open to you and the skills you will need to do your best. The Honours Coordinator can advise you on acceptable equivalents to our standard requirements.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the Ancient Greek honours unit of study page.

Honours in Classics (joint Greek and Latin)

Undertaking Honours in Classics
An extra year of Classics allows students to specialise in a particular field and to write a major piece of research. The honours year can be the culmination of your study of Classics or a pathway to further research. Our program consists of two seminars, and a thesis of 18-20,000 words on a topic decided by you in consultation with your supervisor.

Qualifying for Honours in Classics
If you are considering an Honours year in Classics it is best to seek early advice on all the pathways open to you and the skills you will need to do your best.

  • If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: Admission to Honours in Classics requires:
    (i) a major in Latin with an average of 70 percnt or above plus 18 additional senior credit points of Greek (including GRKA2601 Intermediate Greek 2); or
    (ii) a major in Ancient Greek with an average of 70 percent or above plus 18 additional senior credit points of Latin (including LATN2601 Intermediate Latin 2).
  • If you commenced your degree after 2018: Admission to Honours in Classics is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires:
    (i) a major in Latin with an average of 70 percent or above plus 18 additional senior credit points of Greek (including GRKA2601 Intermediate Greek 2); or
    (ii) a major in Ancient Greek with an average of 70 percent or above plus 18 additional senior credit points of Latin (including LATN2601 Intermediate Latin 2); and
    (iii) completion of all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing Honours.

The Honours Coordinator can advise you on acceptable equivalents to our standard requirements.

Full details of the program, its prerequisites and its relationship to other majors taught by the department can be found on the Department of Classics and Ancient History website.

Advanced coursework

A fourth year of Advanced Coursework is not offered in Ancient Greek, but a major in Ancient Greek, and the completion of a second major, will permit students to undertake Advanced Coursework in Ancient History.

Contact and further information

More information and current contact details for Academic Coordinators may be found on the Department of Classics and Ancient Hhistory website.

The Department of Classics and Ancient History is administered by the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).

Example pathway

Sample Pathway - Ancient Greek major (non-HSC stream)

You can enter this stream either as a first-year student (and complete the junior units coded GRKA1600 Introduction to Ancient Greek 1 and GRKA1601 Introduction to Ancient Green 2) or as a second- or third-year student (and complete units coded GRKA2620 Learn to Read Ancient Greek 1 and GRKA2621 Learn to Read Ancient Greek 2). 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.

Non-HSC pathway
Year Semester Units of study
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
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
Open Learning
Environment units
Elective Minor / Table S major 2
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
GRKA3999 project unit
Table S major 2 / elective Minor / Table S major 2

Sample Pathway - Ancient Greek major (ex-HSC stream)

HSC pathway
Year Semester Units of study
1 Ancient Greek major
GRKA2600
Intermediate Greek 1
Elective Elective Minor / Table S major 2
2 Ancient Greek major
GRKA2601 Intermediate Greek
Elective Elective Minor / Table S major 2
1 Ancient Greek major
3000 level unit
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
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
GRKA3999 project unit
Table S major 2 / elective Minor / Table S major 2

Sample Pathway - Majors in Ancient Greek and Latin, Honours in Classics

Honours - Classics: 2nd major Latin
Year Semester Units of study
1 Ancient Greek major Elective Elective Latin major
2 Ancient Greek major Elective Elective Latin major
1 Ancient Greek major Open Learning
Environment units
Elective Latin major
2 Ancient Greek major Open Learning Environment units Elective Latin major
3 1 Ancient Greek major Ancient Greek major Latin major Latin major

2 Ancient Greek major Ancient Greek major Latin major Latin major
4
 
1 Classics Honours 4000-level seminar unit Classics Honours 4000-level thesis unit
2 Classics Honours 4000-level seminar unit Classics Honours 4000-level thesis unit