GK 180K • Greek Meter
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
This course is intended primarily as a practical introduction to reading Greek verse. The focus will be on recognizing the different meters and getting a feel for how they work. We will discuss some of the basic theoretical issues, and students will need to learn some of the more common terminology, but your primary goal will be not theoretical sophistication but the practical ability to be able to recognize the meter of a passage and read it in a way that conveys that understanding. Reading out loud will be an essential part of the learning process. No previous knowledge is necessary, though it would be good if everyone were familiar with (and could read) standard dactylic hexameter and iambic trimeter. If you are not, you should see me before the course begins so we can have a brief session on these. During the semester we will progress systematically through epic, elegiac and iambic verse, lyric meters, and the meters of tragedy and comedy, with a brief look at the end at some Hellenistic developments. There will be regular quizzes, primarily testing your ability to recognize meters and scan passages. Oral recital will be requested from time to time. Everyone should take the course Pass/Fail. A Pass will be given to anyone who shows reasonable progress during the semester.
The Meters of Greek and Latin Poetry, by James W. Halporn, Martin Ostwald, Thomas G. Rosenmeyer