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GREEK 3B03 GreekEpic

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: N/A N/A



Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours:

Course Objectives:

This course develops students’ skills in intensive reading, translation and interpretation of original Epic poetry. The class will focus on Homer’s Odyssey Books VI, VII, and IX. Students will read Homer’s work in the original Greek and translate into standard, idiomatic English, as well as participate in class and group discussion. Through translation and analysis of the poetry of Homer, student will exercise Greek epic language skills and familiarize themselves with its literary and cultural context.

While the class will primarily focus on Greek vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, style, conventions of lyric poetry, metre, interpretive issues such historical and cultural context, and reception will also be examined.

Some of the main goals of the course are as follows:

1) to continue to develop skills in reading and translating ancient Greek into fluid and proper English, while also mastering Greek grammar and sentence structure;

2) to acquire a greater knowledge of vocabulary and how to search for words quickly in lexica;

3) to learn to appreciate and understand our readings both as an important surviving work of Greek literature and as valuable evidence of Greek culture and society.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

- Stanford W. B. (ed.), Homer: Odyssey I-XII (Bks.1-12). Bristol Classical Press.

No Greek-English dictionary will be assigned as a required text for this course, however student are expected to posses their own basic Greek-English dictionary. 

Method of Assessment:

Participation                                        20%

Test 1                                                  20%                             26 January 2017

Test 2                                                  20%                             28 February 2017

Sight Test                                            10%                             21 March 2017

Cumulative Final Exam          30%                             as scheduled by the university

Students are evaluated primarily according to two tests, a sight test, and a final examination. The Tests 1 and 2 will ask you to translate a section of text that we have previously read and to answer several questions regarding grammar, vocabulary and style. These tests assess your ability to translate and understand the text and also prepare you for the final, cumulative examination to be scheduled by the Registrar. The Sight Test will ask you to translate a passage of Homer’s Odyssey not read before in class with the help of Greek-English dictionary.

Attendance at lectures is mandatory. Students are expected to remain for the duration of the class meeting time and to have read and translated the assigned text before class in order to be familiar with the topic and be able to participate effectively in discussion and group work. Students are, therefore, also graded according to their participation, which is distinguished by active and consistent contribution to discussion and willingness to answer questions or translate when called upon, rather than mere attendance. Students are expected to translate directly from their texts without the use of notes or any other help. Cellular phones and other communication devices should be turned off at the beginning of lectures.




Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

If a student misses any tests, it is his or her responsibility to contact the instructor either beforehand or within one week of the absence. Reasons for absence include serious illness or personal distress. Students must contact the instructor as well as provide appropriate documentation to secure relief or fill out an MSAF form (See policy below). 

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Homer’s Odyssey Books VIVII, and IX. I have not included a firm reading schedule because our progress depends on you.  Ideally, however, we will read at least 40-45 lines per class.