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Homeric Greek: The Iliad

GK 588

Homeric Greek: The Iliad

  • Course ID:GK 588
  • Semesters:1
  • Department:
  • Course Rank:Honors
  • Teachers:Lionel Yaceczko

Description and Objectives

Could it be possible that that same Nature who so sparingly distributed her rarest and most precious production—genius—should suddenly take the notion of lavishing her gifts in one sole direction?

—Friedrich Nietzsche, “Homer and Classical Philology” (1869)

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.
  • One recitation project. Select a passage to recite in Greek. 50 points.
  • Reading and participating in five (5) seminar days. 20 points each.

Successful Students

Successful students in the course will:

  • Read Greek out loud, metrically, every day.
  • Re-translate 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

Week 18 (1/3–1/7) 55 lines

    • M: 421–430
    • T: 431–439
    • W: 440–449
    • R: 450–460
    • F: 464–475

Week 19 (1/10–1/14) 45 lines

    • M: 476–487
    • T: 488–499
    • W: 500–511
    • R: 512–520
    • F: NO CLASS

Week 20 (1/17–1/21) 9 lines

    • M: NO CLASS
    • T: 521–529
    • W: κίνδυνος
    • R: T4 vv. 421–529
    • F: NO CLASS

Summer Assignment

The Summer Assignment for GK 588 is to practice the most common vocabulary words in the texts we will be reading.

To do this, you should make flashcards of all the words that occur at least five times in the Iliad books 6 and 22. You can also simply download ready-made flashcards. Your task is to practice using these flash cards. You will find that your mastery of this vocabulary will make your life much easier in the Fall, and translate into higher grades on quizzes and tests.

You can find a list of all the words that occur ≥5 times in Iliad 6 and 22 here.

You can find ready-made flashcards here: