GRE4302 – Greek Epic Poetry

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Epic poetry is one of the most important and fascinating literary genres in ancient Greek literature, and has had a profound effect on later reception of Greek and the Greeks. During this course we read archaic, epic poetry (Homer, Hesiod and/or Homeric hymns) and some later hexameter poetry. In addition you will be expected to read supplementary literature for orientation and/or in-depth-study of literary, historical, linguistic and/or cultural aspects of the texts. It is also possible to make arrangements to read more later epic poetry.

Learning outcome

  •  translate, understand, interpret and discuss texts from Greek epic poetry of all periods
  •  know, understand and analyze the formal characteristics of Greek epic poetry, such as poetic/formulaic language/vocabulay and metrics, in depth
  • have a profound insight into the history and development of Greek epic poetry
  • understand and discuss critical reading on Greek epic poetry, and use commentaries
  • critically review secondary literature written in any academic Language (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish)


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

A minimum of 60ECTS in Classical Greek Language is required to be admitted to this course.


14 double sessions of seminars common with GRE2401 – Greek epic poetry.

We expect you to participate actively in the seminars through:

  • weekly preparations of Greek text passages (translations)
  • occasional critical reading (secondary literature)
  • regular oral contribution; participation in class discussions, reading out loud

In order for you to be allowed to submit the final essay, the following compulsory tuition activities must be approved by the teacher:

  • draft of the essay (approx. 1 page, 2300 characters pr page). You submit your draft in Canvas.
  • regular attendance. You must attend minimum 10 of the 14 seminars.


Essay on a passage to be chosen autonomously from Greek epic poetry, incl. your own translation (with small commentary), close reading and interpretation.

The paper should be 8-10 pages, 2300 characters pr page, excl. bibliography and appendixes (Greek text, translation, commentary). You submit your essay in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Facts about this course






Spring 2018


Spring 2018

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)