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GREEK 463 A: Hellenistic Greek Literature

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Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 4:20pm
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James J. Clauss

Syllabus Description:

Greek 463 Lucian’s A True Story (Spoiler: it ain’t!)

Spring 2021

MW 2:30-4:20


Instructor: James J. Clauss, Department of Classics

Office: Denny Hall M262F (difficult to find even apart from plague); tel. 543-2266 (department office phone)


Office Hours: zoom by appointment

Holidays: Monday, May 31


Required Texts:


Hayes and S. Nimis (edd.), Lucian’s A True Story. An Intermediate Greek Reader. Faenum Publishing 2011; revised 2014.




Herbert Weir Smyth, Greek Grammar Harvard University Press 1920 (on-line at Hathi Trust Digital Library:


A True Story, with grammatical assistance, can be found at the Perseus Project:


H.G. Liddell and R. Scott, Greek-English Lexicon is available on line at:


The Perseus Project:


The Loeb Classical Library is available through the UW Library:


Oxford Classical Dictionary, Oxford: OUP 4th ed. 2012 (3rd ed. revised 2003), also at the UW Library:


Goals of the Course:


In addition to reading Lucian’s A True Story, a fantastic account of space travel in written in the 2nd century CE, we’ll have a look from time to time at other post Classical texts, especially poems from the 3rd century BCE Alexandria. The text presents much grammatical review, so we will also review morphology (forms), grammar and syntax along the way.


We will also have a look at Lucian’s remarkable output. I’ll ask students to read (in English) and report on some of his other works so that we can get an idea of the issues addressed by a 2nd century CE author of Syrian descent writing in Classical Athenian Greek, a fad of the century favored by writers associated with the so-called Second Sophistic. We will be learning about this together. I hope you are ready to have fun!




Midterm (May 3): 25%

Final (Tuesday, June 8, completed by 4:20): 25%

Final Paper: (due Friday of the last week of class): 25%

Participation: 25%


The topics of the final paper will emerge during the quarter.


Schedule of Readings:


                        Monday          Wednesday   


Week 1            Intro                1.1-3


Week 2            1.4-8                1.9-13


Week 3            1.14-18            1.19-23


Week 4            1.24-28            1.29-33


Week 5            1.34-38            1.38-42


Week 6            Midterm          2.1-6


Week 7            2.7-12              2.13-18


Week 8            2.19-24            2.25-30


Week 9            2.31-36            2.37-42


Week 10          Holiday           2.43-47


Important UW policy-related things to know:

  • The UW's Religious Accommodations Policy:“Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy (Links to an external site.). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (Links to an external site.).”
  • The UW's Student Conduct Code: "The University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-121) defines prohibited academic and behavioral conduct and describes how the University holds students accountable as they pursue their academic goals. Allegations of misconduct by students may be referred to the appropriate campus office for investigation and resolution. More information can be found online at"(Links to an external site.)
  • Access and Accommodation: Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or  (Links to an external site.)DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.


Academic Integrity: University of Washington students are expected to practice high standards of academic and professional honesty and integrity as outlined here: (Links to an external site.)


Catalog Description: 
Readings and discussion of selected authors of the Hellenistic Age.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
3.0 - 5.0
Last updated: 
February 17, 2021 - 9:16am