Text and Context: Early Greek Poetry (CLA2401)

15 credits

In this module we examine some of the earliest poetry ever written, including the remains of poets as diverse as Hesiod, Sappho, Anacreon, Ibycus, Simonides, Pindar, Bacchylides, Lasus, Solon, Tyrtaeus and many others. Most of these poems survive only as fragments, which means that the module grapples with (inter alia) approaches and methodologies for dealing with fragmentary material. The module also covers many other topic and questions, including: what is early Greek poetry about? How do early Greek poets deal with subjects such as politics, religion, love, war, death, myth and so on? What do we really know about the ancient poets and their audiences? How does poetry relate to the society that produced it? Can reading early Greek poetry change the way that we approach other types of poetry? These questions are addressed through close study of the surviving poems and fragments, studied in English translation.