Study Ancient Greek in Siracusa

Palazzo Francica Nava
Open to All
Team Taught
Summer 2020

“KNOW THYSELF” is among the most famous sayings from ancient Greece. Have you ever wondered how it sounds in the original Greek? If you would like to familiarize yourself with the language of Homer, Plato, Pindar and Pythagoras, join us at the Exedra-Fonte Aretusa Greek Summer School on the idyllic island of Ortigia in Siracusa, city of Archimedes, for one, two, or three weeks between July 27 and August 14, 2020.

We offer two weeks of intensive instruction in Ancient Greek (at beginning or intermediate/advanced levels) plus an extra week focused on the philosophical Greek of Plato. The program includes cultural and extra-curricular activities, offering students the opportunity to experience the art, architecture and environment of one of the most important cities of the ancient Greek world.

Study in the historic Palazzo Francica Nava, 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. The course is suitable for adult learners at any level, from absolute beginners to advanced readers. Join us for a magical journey through Greek language and culture in Sicily designed to help us know ourselves—and ancient Greek—a bit better! “ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ”

  • Dates
  • Week 1 - Sunday 26 July - Saturday 1 August 2020
  • Week 2 - Sunday 2 August - Saturday 8 August 2020
  • Week 3 - Sunday 9 August - Saturday 15 August 2020

All courses will be taught in English by George Gazis and 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, forthcoming).

Dr Blanco completed a PhD in Classics at the University of Cambridge, Christ’s College, where she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant since 2015. After moving to Exeter College, University of Oxford, to take up a fixed-term lectureship in Classics, she moved back to Cambridge, where she is now a Teaching Assistant in Classics. Her research interests lie in the intersections between Greek literature (tragedies, in particular) and ancient medicine and philosophy. 

The course is divided into two weeks of language-based instruction.

During the first week, we will focus on Greek grammar, syntax and basic (beginners) or advanced (intermediate/advanced) constructions. 

In the second week, we will begin reading selected passages from Greek sophists and philosophers, such as Gorgias, Plato, and Aristotle.

The third week will be focused on reading Plato’s Apology, one of the best-known works of ancient Greek literature, in which the voice of Socrates can be clearly heard. We will examine not only the language, but also the philosophical argument and Socrates’ novel rhetorical approach to the Athenian court, which condemned him to death but made his ideas famous.

Entry requirements

Adults (18+) with an interest in Ancient Greek.
Non-EU students are welcome but may need to obtain a valid student visa.
Teaching groups will be small – 6-12 people per class

Text Books

1. Beginners:
i. Reading Greek, Cambridge.
ii. Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek, Oxford (optional).
iii. Oxford Greek Dictionary, Oxford (optional).
iv. Additional material provided by the instructors.

2. Intermediate/Advanced:
i. Introduction to Attic Greek, University of California Press.
ii. Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek, Oxford (optional).
iii. Oxford Greek Dictionary, Oxford (optional).
iv. Additional material provided by the instructors.

3. Philosophy Week:
i. Plato Apology, ed. Helm J., Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers.
ii. Oxford Grammar of Classical Greek, Oxford (optional).
iii. Oxford Greek Dictionary, Oxford (optional).

How you study

Courses have three teaching hours per week day and will be complemented by extracurricular activities. Students are expected to do about three hours of private study each day.
All teaching will take place in small, friendly groups with experienced teachers.
You can attend for one, two or three weeks, but please contact us if you are interested in only the second or third weeks.
If you have no prior knowledge of Ancient Greek it is a good idea to attend the first week.
You will receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the course.

Extracurricular activities

A variety of extra-curricular activities will be offered by Exedra, such as

Cooking classes

Guided visits to historic sites

Overnight excursion

Talks and/or film nights

Extra-curricular activities will be led by Susi Kimbell and the Exedra Mediterranean Center staff.

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