Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek was the language of the poets Homer and Sappho, the symposium and the festival, the lawcourts and the theatre. It was the language in which new ideas were imagined: from the philosophy of Plato to the new tenets of Christianity, scientific literature from the Hippocratic corpus to Archimedes, political innovations like democracy and new narrative forms like the novel. You will explore the different dialects and genres of Ancient Greek written and spoken across the Mediterranean and beyond, their evolution over time, and their material context. From moving funerary inscriptions to diaries and letters on papyri, Ancient Greek introduces us to the emotions and experiences of the past. It was spoken from Spain to Central Asia, the Black Sea to the Nile, and remained the language of education for thousands of years.

You will begin your Ancient Greek study with the principles of language (grammar, vocabulary, and syntax) while developing your reading skills so that you can engage closely with original Ancient Greek texts. You will explore the literary, historical, and cultural contexts of Greek writers from the Archaic to the Byzantine periods. No prior knowledge of Ancient Greek is required, but if you have studied Greek previously, please contact the convenor to discuss the best entry level.

A major in Ancient Greek complements study in Latin, Classical Studies English, Modern European Languages, History, Philosophy, Art and Design, Law, Politics and International Relations, Archaeology, Arab and Islamic Studies, Asian Studies, and numerous other areas.

Career options

Classical Studies graduates have the ability to analyse, critique, and research history, literature, and culture. ANU Classics alumni have pursued successful national and international careers as: parliamentary advisors and researchers; senior officers at NGOs and think-tanks; strategists in the philanthropy sector; historians, curators, and conservators in libraries and museums; authors, editors, and translators in the publishing sector; teachers of Ancient and Modern History and Latin; university academics, administrators, and researchers in the fields of Classics, Music, Political Science, and Linguistics.

Updated:  18 January 2024/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications