“Ancient Greek for Philosophers” is a series of online and in-person activities designed to help scholars of ancient philosophy better engage with the original Greek texts. Whether you have never studied ancient Greek or simply need to brush up and exercise your skills, our courses and reading groups mix language learning with philosophical discussion of important texts.
Our online Ancient Greek for Philosophers classes will run from Fall 2022 into late Spring 2023.
There will be several levels of classes; Reading Greek for Philosophers focusing on Plato’s Hippias Minor, then Hippias Major; Elementary Greek focusing on translation and analysis of language used in Plato; Pre-Elementary for those who have already done a Beginners Greek course of around 20 hours; and a complete Beginners Greek course for those who have no, or very little, previous knowledge of Ancient Greek.
Classes will run for 75 minutes each week for a total of 10 hours each block (Jan – Mar 2023 and Mar – May 2023). The Winter 2023 session begins the week of January 9th 2023.
For those who join the courses in January 2023, Exedra offers the possibility of reviewing the videos of the first block of classes (Fall 2022). No new levels will be added in January 2023.
Our tutors are Dr. George Gazis, Dr. Chiara Blanco and Dr. Jurgen Gatt who will lead the classes live.
The deadline for application for the first 2023 10-hour block is Monday 9th January 2023.
Courses will be taught live on Zoom and recordings of the lessons will be available after each class to those who register.
Courses will run if there is a sufficient number of participants registered.
BEGINNERS’ ANCIENT GREEK COURSE (Wednesdays 6.30 – 7.45 pm CET) starting Jan 11th.
This course is aimed at those who have done no – or very little – Greek before. Starting from the basics, the course takes students from learning the alphabet, through basic notions of the Greek language (article, declensions, pronouns, verbs etc.) to reading simple texts in Greek.
Using the “Reading Greek Beginners Course”, supplemented by handouts where necessary, our tutor will introduce you to the fascinating complexities of the Greek language.
The course will run through October – December 2022, January to March 2023, with 8 classes (75 mins each class) in total. There will be a block of classes in Spring 2022, running from March to May 2023.
The course will be taught live online on Zoom. Classes will be recorded and course material shared digitally.
With Dr Chiara Blanco, University of Edinburgh.
ELEMENTARY ANCIENT GREEK COURSE (starts Thursday 12th January 2022, 6.00 – 7.15pm Italian time)
This course is aimed at Greek learners who have already reached an elementary level (either with Exedra or elsewhere) and have acquired familiarity with the important elements of the Greek language (approx. 50 hours/2 years of Greek lessons).
Learners will read original Greek texts by Plato (Meno) and work on analysing the grammar and syntax. “Reading Greek Beginners Course” should be used for reference.
The course will run through October – December 2022, January to March 2023, with 8 classes (75 minutes each class) in total. There will be a further 10 hours/8 weeks of classes in Spring 2023, running from March to May 2023.
With Dr George Gazis, University of Durham, UK
The course will be taught live online on Zoom. Classes will be recorded.
GREEK FOR PHILOSOPHERS READING GROUP (starts Wednesday 11th January 2023, 5 – 6pm Italian time)
We will be meeting once a week online to read one of the Platonic dialogues from the original text over the course of the academic year. The texts chosen for the three 10-week sessions starting in October 2022 and running through to May 2023 is the Hippias Minor followed by Hippias Major. Participants can use any hard edition or the Perseus online texts.
The Greek for Philosophers Reading Group is open to all levels of Greek learners, from Beginners to Advanced level, since the focus will be mostly on the content rather than the language. Participants can volunteer to prepare a translation of a short passage in advance and then present their translation in class, after which the discussion of the content will be open to all.
Translating will not be compulsory for participants and in the case of lack of translators, the seminar leader will lead the group through the text.
The aim of the reading group is to provide students and scholars interested in Plato with an informal platform in which they can come in contact with the text in the original Greek and discuss the content in a relaxed and friendly environment.
There will be 8 ( 75 minutes) weekly meetings, starting on the 11th of January 2023, and a further 8 weeks in Spring 2023 (March – May). It is not compulsory to sign up for all the blocks of meetings.
The course will be taught live online on Zoom. Classes will be recorded.
With Dr George Gazis, University of Durham.
July 24 – August 4 2023
The ability to navigate Greek texts enhances our understanding of ancient philosophy and reveals its hidden treasures. Exedra’s “Greek for Philosophers” courses, organised with the Fonte Aretusa association, provide opportunities for scholars of philosophy to cultivate their language skills and engage with the ancient texts, whether they have studied Greek before or not. Courses are held online during the academic year and culminate in a summer school in Siracusa.
The 2023 Siracusa Seminar on Ancient Greek Philosophy with Dr. George Gazis, Dr. Chiara Blanco and Prof. Heather Reid, will be held from 24th July to 4th August and Plato’s Symposium will be the focus. The Symposium is a poetic and dramatic masterpiece that explores the topic of love (Eros) from a variety of perspectives, through speeches presented at a drinking party. Sexual love, educational love, homoeroticism, and the love for wisdom, ideas, and beauty are all discussed in creative and insightful ways, punctuated by Alcibiades’ poignant encomium of Socrates. Guest lecturers will be invited and participants will be encouraged to give short papers on the Symposium.
The Intermediate/Advanced course takes the form of a reading group where excerpts of the Symposium will be read, translated and commented on. Participants will prepare a translation of a short passage in advance and then present their translation in class, after which the discussion of the content will be open to all. The aim is to provide students and scholars interested in Plato with an informal platform in which they can come into contact with the text in the original Greek and discuss the content in a relaxed and friendly environment.
An Elementary Greek course will also be held, aimed at Greek learners who have already done a Beginners Greek course (either with Exedra or elsewhere) and who have basic notions of the Greek language (article, declensions, pronouns, verbs etc.). Learners will read simple original Greek texts, and work on the grammar and syntax as explained in “Reading Greek Beginners Course”, supplemented by handouts where necessary.
A Beginners Greek course may also be arranged.
The groups will come together each day for presentations, lectures, workshops and discussion of Plato’s philosophy as found in the text.
Participants can attend for one or two weeks. Bursaries covering all or part of the seminar fee and assistance finding low-cost housing are available.
March 15 is the early application deadline (necessary if applying for a bursary).
Applications will be accepted as long as space permits.
Siracusa, with its great Greek heritage, is the perfect place to study the works of Plato and Ancient Greek – and to enjoy the Mediterranean setting between classes. The Siracusa Seminar will combine Greek language study with academic lectures and presentations, as well as cultural activities, guided tours and cooking sessions. Participants study in the historic Palazzo Francica Nava on the picturesque island of Ortigia, just steps from the 5th century BCE Temple of Athena, and a short walk from the 6th century Temple of Apollo — or the Cala Rossa beach, in case you are in the mood for a swim. Come prepared for a full immersion into the Mediterranean lifestyle!
Details can be found here.
All courses will be taught in English by Dr George Gazis and Dr Chiara Blanco.
Dr Gazis is Assistant Professor in Greek Literature at the Department of Classics and Ancient History, at Durham University. His research interests lie in Archaic Greek Poetry (mainly Homer), as well as Greek Lyric and Tragedy. He is the author of Homer and the poetics of Hades (OUP, 2018) and the editor of Aspects of Death in Greek Literature (LUP, 2021).
Dr Blanco is a Teaching Fellow in Classics at the University of Edinburgh. Before moving to Edinburgh she was a Research Lecturer in Classics at Trinity College, University of Oxford and Lecturer in Classics at Exeter College, Oxford, and she also taught Classics at Durham University and the University of Cambridge, where she completed her PhD. Her main research interests lie in the intersections between ancient literature (Greek tragedy in particular) and medicine, and she is also interested in the role of the senses and emotions in Greek and Roman culture.