Greek Literature


Course Objective

The aims of this module are 1) to increase the students' knowledge of
important Greek texts, 2) to get students acquainted with research on
those texts; 3) to learn students to contribute to those academic
discussions themselves; 4) to reflect upon the relevance of ancient
themes for modern times.

Course Content

The myth of Prometheus is told in various classical literary texts, the
most important being Hesiod's Works and days and Theogony, Aeschylus'
Prometheus, Plato Protagoras, Ovid Metamorphoses 1, and Lucian
Prometheus. In this module we will read and interpret these (and other)
texts and discuss the following research questions: 1) how is the story
told, 2) what accents are placed or which elements are left out, 3) why
does the author tell the story; 4) can we discern intertextual
connections with earlier versions. We will also discuss some examples of
the reception of the myth in Byzantine times (Aeschylus' play was part
of the school curriculum) and in modern times (e.g. Shelley, Byron and
Goethe). What does Prometheus stand for in all these texts and how does
this figure develop in the course of time.

Teaching Methods

This module is taught in the form of a werkcollege (2 x 2 hours each
week), i.e. students prepare primary texts and secondary literature.
Part of the primary texts are translated in class, and the content of
the entire text is analysed and interpreted with the help of
commentaries and secondary literature.

Method of Assessment

Students give an oral presentation (50%) and make a written exam (50%).

Entry Requirements

Open to students with a BA Classics ,with Greek. Research master
students are also most welcome and will be given extra assignments.


A syllabus with primary texts; secondary literature as scans in Canvas
or digitally. Students are required to buy the commentary of M. Griffith
on Aeschylus Prometheus Bound (Green-Yellow, Cambridge, circa 45 Euro)

Additional Information

This module is taught at the UvA by mw. prof. dr. I.J.F. de Jong and dr.
E.M. van Opstall (UvA subject code xxxx).
Registration at UvA is required. Please note that course registration
periods at the UvA and VU differ. For a ‘step-by-step guide to course
and exam registration’ and the ‘dates for course and exam registration’
please consult the ‘course and exam registration’-page via the ‘A-Z
list’ of your MA programme on

General Information

Course Code L_AAMAOHS049
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. I.J.F. de Jong
Examiner prof. dr. I.J.F. de Jong
Teaching Staff dr. E.M. van Opstall
prof. dr. I.J.F. de Jong

Practical Information

You cannot register for this course yourself; your faculty's education office carries out registration

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: