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Homeric Greek: The Iliad

GREEK 588 (Not currently offered)

Homeric Greek: The Iliad
(Not currently offered)

  • Course ID:GREEK 588
  • Semesters:1
  • Department:Classics
  • Course Rank:Honors
  • Teachers:Tom Cox

Description and Objectives

If an epic is an encapsulation of a civilization’s values at a particular high point in its flourishing, then a course on The Iliad must be a high point in a student’s study of Greek.

In this course, we will read at least one Book of The Iliad in Greek. We will also read and discuss the text in translation.



  • Iliad 6 and 22 by Geoffrey Steadman: One copy provided to each student.


These two recommended but not required reference works will be useful for the life-long reader of any Greek texts spanning the thousands of years from Homer through the New Testament and beyond.

Course Requirements

  • Daily preparation of at least 10 lines of Greek to translate in class. 10 points each.
  • Monthly preparation for four (4) translation exams. 100 points each.
  • Two recitation projects. One each quarter
    • The first recitation will be given towards the middle and end of the first quarter, with quizzes every Monday to check in on the progress. 50 points
    • The second quarter recitation will be from a passage selected by the student. It must be at least 20 lines and not more than 30. 50 points.

Every Monday will be a quiz on the memorization we’re working on. These will mostly involve Initialism (i.e. using the first letter of each word to represent the whole word, and thus write out the entire passage more quickly).

Every Tuesday is a Floater, and this class will not meet.

Every Wednesday will have a grammar or morphology quiz, based on either the theme for that week, or a weakness I’ve noticed in what the students are struggling to remember from previous years.

Every Thursday will include a scansion quiz of 3-5 lines. In the earlier part of the year, these will be from excerpts we’ve seen in class. Eventually, they will be sight scansions testing the boys ability to scan any hexameter lines from The Iliad. These will sometimes be given orally as well.

Every Friday will begin with a vocabulary quiz built from the frequency list given in the Steadman book and supplemented with the lists in the Transitional Reader.

Successful Students

Successful students in the course will:

  • Read Greek out loud, metrically, every day.
  • Re-translate or re-read what we have done in class, as soon as possible, on the same day.
  • Stay up-to-date with the daily translation assignments.
  • Keep up with the syllabus.
  • Ask for help!

Additional Resources