Description and Objectives
Plato stands at the beginning of the Western philosophical tradition like a doric temple against a clear blue sky. Other philosophers came before him, but, as often happens whenever someone has brought an art to a rare culmination, few others are visible to the right or to the left. In this course, we will make a close reading of one of the dialogues of Plato in Greek.
Goals for Student Learning:
- To gain the confidence and technical familiarity with the necessary tools to become a lifelong reader of Greek philosophical prose.
- To master the forms and vocabulary used by Plato.
- To read the entire Apology in Greek.
Required: (to be used in the classroom every day)
- Plato’s Apology. Steadman, Geoffrey.
Recommended: (to be used at home every day)
- A Greek lexicon, preferably Liddell and Scott (either Little Liddell or Middle Liddell).
- A Greek grammar, preferably Smyth.
- Geoffrey Steadman’s ancillary digital resources (linked above).
The course grade will be based on the following grades:
- six (6) tests. These tests are designed to take about 30 minutes. 100 points each.
- the Final Exam will be the same as the tests. It will simply be about three times longer.
- ad hoc quizzes to review morphology, vocabulary, or grammar. 10 points each.
- memorization and recitation of a Greek text. 50 points.
- students will be expected to come to class prepared to translate the day’s reading assignment (about 20 lines per day). Students are urged to remember that their preparation for in-class translation will determine their test grades! 5 points each.
- above all, follow the syllabus. When you go to college, no one will teach you how to follow a syllabus or use the word “homework”: you will be expected to be able to do it already.
- Study Greek at least fifteen solid minutes every day of the week, (that means tunnel vision from 0–15, no distractions, no touching or looking at a phone, not even a bathroom break.
- ask their peers for help!
- seek out the instructor during office hours.
- do not just be on time: get ahead of the syllabus.
- read Greek every day out loud, slowly, and with attention.
Course Syllabus PDF: