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Plato and Aristotle

GREEK 581 (Not currently offered)

Plato and Aristotle
(Not currently offered)

  • Course ID:GREEK 581
  • Semesters:1
  • Department:Classics
  • Course Rank:Honors
  • Teachers:Tom Cox

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, and to translate it in class.



Required: (to be used in the classroom every day)

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).


Course Requirements

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.


Successful Students

  • 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.


Additional Resources

Course Syllabus PDF:

2021-2022 Heights Greek Plato Syllabus

Greek Verb Synopsis sheet for extra credit:

Greek Verb Synopsis 2022

Jowett’s translation:

Plato Apology Jowett