CL262 - Spring 2018

Homeric Epic

Course Details

Location: PSY B49
Time: TR 9:30am to 10:45am
Instructor: Daniel Libatique
Office Hours: T 11:30am to 1pm, W 12pm to 1:30pm, or by appointment
Office Location: STH B03B (in the basement)


Course Objectives

This course will put into practice the grammatical knowledge that you have acquired through the first three semesters of the Ancient Greek language sequence in reading the first major work of Greek literature, Homer’s Iliad. By reading selected passages, we will build your Greek vocabulary, fortify your knowledge of Greek forms and syntax, and develop your translation skills. By reading about 50-80 lines of Greek per class and the rest of the poem in translation, we will also learn about poetic meter and Homeric style.



  1. Benner, Allen Rogers. Selections from Homer’s Iliad. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0806133638
  2. Steadman, Geoffrey. Homer’s Iliad 6 and 22: Greek Text with Facing Vocabulary and Commentary. Geoffrey Steadman, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0984306596
  3. Lattimore, Richmond, trans. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0226470498

Reference and Electronic Resources

Note that the text of the Iliad hosted on Perseus (the links below) will differ at points from the text of Benner (the pdf above). We will use Benner’s text to translate in class (and that is the text for which you are responsible on quizzes and exams). There are plain text versions of Benner’s text in the detailed schedule below.

  1. Perseus Project: Iliad text
  2. Perseus Project: Benner’s Notes
  3. Cunliffe, Richard John. A Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect: Expanded Edition. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0806143088
  4. Owen, William Bishop and Edgar Johnson Goodspeed. Homeric Vocabularies: Greek and English Word-Lists for the Study of Homer, 2nd Edition. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969.
  5. Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott Jones. A Greek-English Lexicon, 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925-1940.
  6. Smyth, Herbert Weir. A Greek Grammar for Colleges. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1920.
  7. Paradigm list and verb quiz - Sphinx Classical Grammar Drill
  8. Conditional Clauses chart (courtesy of Prof. Esposito)
  9. Dependent Clauses chart (courtesy of Prof. Esposito)
Nuts & Bolts

Academic Conduct

You are expected to abide by Boston University’s Academic Conduct Code, which can be found here. Cheating on homework, quizzes, or the exams (defined here as but not limited to reproducing answers from an answer key, referring to forbidden notes to help answer questions, or copying another student’s answers) may result in penalties ranging from a failure on the specific assignment, quiz, or exam to failure for the entire course.


You must attend each meeting of the course to attain a good grade. I will help guide you through translations with examples and alternative ideas (mnemonic devices, helpful tips, etc.), so it will be to your benefit to attend class so as to make your homework and studying less daunting. If you must miss a class meeting for any reason, please inform me as soon as you know of the absence via e-mail, and we will correspond accordingly. More than two unexcused absences, defined as a failure to appear in class without notifying me via e-mail that you won’t be there before the class period begins, will result in a full grade drop for the semester (e.g., an A- will be dropped to a B-). It bears repeating: if you will miss class for any reason, you must e-mail me before that class period begins to let me know!

Extra Help

If you feel overwhelmed or need extra help, please do not hesitate to visit me in office hours or e-mail me. Additionally, BU’s Educational Resource Center offers services that can provide an additional support system, including peer tutoring with Classics majors. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

Assessment & Grades

Attendance and Participation: 35%
You must attend each class and actively engage with the material being discussed (i.e., no distractions via cell phones or Facebook, no disruption of the class by having personal conversations, etc.).

Recitation: 5%
You will be asked to memorize and recite ten (10) lines of your choice from Homer’s Iliad with proper pronunciation and meter. You may complete this assignment at any point in the semester, though I recommend later in the semester to ensure you have a good grasp on dactylic hexameter.

Quizzes: 30%
There will be ten (10) quizzes throughout the semester, each weighted at 3%, designed to test your mastery of vocabulary, grammar, and translation. The quiz schedule is included in the detailed schedule below.

Three (3) exams: 30%
There will be three exams (each worth 10%) designed to test your understanding of grammatical concepts and ability to translate Homer, both the passages that we have read in class or in homework and passages translated at sight with appropriate vocabulary and grammatical help. The two midterm exams will be on February 15 and March 29. The final exam date is TBD.

NOTE: If you cannot attend class and must miss a quiz or exam, you must let me know before the class meeting in order to be eligible for a make-up by e-mailing me. If you do not clear your absence with me beforehand and miss a quiz or exam, you will receive a 0% for that quiz or exam.

The final grade will be calculated as a percentage out of 100; then, it will be converted to a letter grade according to the following scheme:

A = 95-100%; A- = 90-94%
B+ = 87-89%; B = 84-86%; B- = 80-83%
C+ = 77-79%; C = 74-76%; C- = 70-73%
D+ = 67-69%; D = 65-66%
F = 0-64%

Grades ending in .45 or greater will be rounded up to the nearest whole number; grades ending in .44 or less will be rounded down to the nearest whole number.

By the way, to test whether you’ve read the syllabus all the way through, please e-mail me a photo of your favorite uppercase Greek alphabet letter by 1/23 with the subject line “Iota Be Readin’ More Homer!”


Detailed Schedule

Please note that the assignment listed for each day is what you will have been expected to translate or read for the class meeting that day. So, for example, you should come to class on Tuesday, January 23, having read Benner’s introduction, paragraphs 1-6 and 10-11, and Steadman’s introduction, pages xv-xx, and having translated the first 42 lines of Book 1 of the Iliad.

Each reading assignment below is hyperlinked to a plain text file that you can use to create your own sheets to take notes on grammar and vocabulary, but please remember that I don’t want you reading off a pre-written translation in class! Each assignment is also accompanied by a vocabulary list, courtesy of The Bridge, and Benner’s notes on the lines in the assignment, courtesy of Perseus.


1/18 R: First class meeting. Housekeeping and general notes: course website, electronic resources. Translation strategies. Dactylic hexameter.
1/23 T: Read the whole syllabus! Benner’s introduction, paragraphs 1-6 and 10-11; Steadman’s introduction, pp. xv-xx; translate Iliad 1.1-42. // Vocab list. // Notes.
1/25 R: 1.43-100. // Vocab list. // Notes.
1/30 T: 1.101-162. // Vocab list. // Notes. Quiz #1.


2/1 R: 1.163-222. // Vocab list. // Notes.
2/6 T: 1.223-284. // Vocab list. // Notes. Quiz #2.
2/8 R: 1.285-348. // Vocab list. // Notes.
2/13 T: 1.348-412. // Vocab list. // Notes.
2/15 R: EXAM #1
2/20 T: NO MEETING (Monday Schedule)
2/22 R: 1.413-476. // Vocab list. // Notes.
2/27 T: 1.477-543. // Vocab list. // Notes. Quiz #3.


3/1 R: 1.544-611. // Vocab list. // Notes.
3/6 T and 3/8 R: NO MEETINGS (Spring Recess)
3/13 T: 6.237-304. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman. Quiz #4.
3/15 R: 6.305-368. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman.
3/20 T: 6.369-439. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman. Quiz #5.
3/22 R: 6.440-502. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman.
3/27 T: 6.503-529; 22.1-45.. // Vocab list (6.503-529). // Vocab list (22.1-45). // Notes. // Steadman.
3/29 R: EXAM #2


4/3 T: 22.46-106. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman. Quiz #6.
4/5 R: 22.107-167. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman.
4/10 T: 22.168-237. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman. Quiz #7.
4/12 R: 22.238-305. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman.
4/17 T: 22.306-366. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman. Quiz #8.
4/19 R: 22.367-436. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman.
4/24 T: 22.437-515. // Vocab list. // Notes. // Steadman. Quiz #9.
4/26 R: 18.1-64. // Vocab list. // Notes.


5/1 T: 18.65-126. // Vocab list. // Notes. Quiz #10.