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Ancient Greek and Latin - Literature and Culture Introduction - Online

Course code: LPXT111P

Subject area: Languages

Study level: Part Time

Course level: U

Course details

Course time:

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Days of week:


Course date:

10th Jan 2024 - 20th Mar 2024

Course location:


Contact details


01235 555 585

This course is to be delivered online using Microsoft Teams

Ancient Greece and Rome have left us with a treasure trove of literary masterpieces. Starting with the epic poems attributed to Homer, which depict the glories and horrors of war and the fascination and terror of travel at sea, and continuing with lyric poetry, Classical Athenian theatre, history, and even novels, Ancient Greek authors have touched and in fact defined all literary genres. In Rome, Latin authors took up and refined this literary material, giving us unique masterpieces of prose and poetry, from Cicero to Catullus, from Virgil to the histories of Tacitus. And then there is the philosophy: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle in Greece, Seneca, the Stoics, and the fascinating philosophical poetry of Lucretius in Rome. All these texts have left their marks in the literature of Western and Eastern Europe, interacting in complex ways with the new worldview brought in by Christianity as the Roman empire started to collapse.

Ancient Greek and Latin are often considered the two ‘Classical’ languages of European thought and culture. This definition is problematic in many ways, not least because it has historically meant that access to the culture and texts of Ancient Greek and Latin thought has been the prerogative of whoever could access higher education. This course offers a completely different perspective on ‘Classical’ literature, one that is accessible to anyone and only requires a fascination with reading and learning!

Voracious readers of all kinds of literature will find this course engaging and thought-provoking; however, this course is also suited to people who have gained a fascination for the ancient world through different means, be it movies, television, or video games, and want to expand their knowledge of these cultures through some fun, entertaining, and often moving reading.

The sections will be organised thematically, and will cover the following topics from the perspective of both Greece and Rome:

Gods and people: epic poetry (Homer, Virgil)

Love and loss: lyric poetry (Sappho and other Greek lyrics, Catullus)

Anger and blood: tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, Seneca)

Laughter and mockery: comedy (Aristophanes, Plautus)

The life of ordinary people (Lysias, Terence, and material from papyri)

How to write history (Herodotus, Thucydides, Livy, Tacitus)

Politics: how to influence people… and not make many friends (Demosthenes, Cicero)

Myths and how to have fun with them (Lucian of Samosata, Ovid)

Each of these sessions will involve a brief introduction by the tutor, then a reading of some short texts or passages from the relevant authors, to be discussed in class. Students will also receive suggestions for further reading.

Please note no session on 14.02.24

Abingdon and Witney College is subject to Ofsted regulation and is required to work with all its students to make sure they understand Government initiatives around Safeguarding, Prevent and Fundamental British Values. Information on these matters will be shared with you during your course.

You will also be asked to complete monitoring paperwork, which helps us to deliver course content to the highest quality.

What next?

Introduction to Greek and Latin Language

Entry criteria

Good English reading level, as the material will be presented in English translations, most of which will have a literary quality to them.

Courses can fill fast, so please enrol early to avoid disappointment. Decisions on whether a course is to run are made two weeks prior to the start date - an email will be sent to you should there be changes to your course or if it is cancelled. Please check your inbox leading up to your course, including the junk folders. For anyone without an email account, our Admissions team will phone you instead.

For the first week of the course you will need to bring a valid form of identification; this includes passport, driving licence, debit/credit card, Birth Certificate or National Insurance card.

Please note - you should be 19 years old or over at 31st August 2023 prior to starting the course.

Fee information

All texts are provided by the tutor

Courses offered by the college are fully or partly funded by the Government and the published fee takes account of this funding. As a result of this if after the first week of this course commencing the number of learners attending is significantly below the expected number of attendees based on the initial enrolment figures the college retains the right to cancel the course and offer a place on a further course of similar nature or a full refund of fees paid.

Before starting a course, the College is required to check you meet conditions relating to that funding, e.g. age, residency status within the UK/EEA, prior qualification level and employment status. In some circumstances (such as with online enrolments), these checks can only be completed after you have enrolled and paid.

If you are unable to pay in full for this course at the time of enrolment, and the course tuition fee is £300 or more, an instalment plan is available. If this is your preference, please do not enrol online but rather call the Admissions Team on 01235 216400 to enrol.

Once enrolled, Admissions will take the first instalment payment from you and pass on your details to the Finance team who will email you to set-up your payment plan. Please return a fully completed instalment plan to Finance as failure to do so could result in being withdrawn from your course.

The rules on fee reduction are complicated, we would encourage you to talk to our Admissions Team on 01235 216400 to discuss these options. You can find more information on our Fees and Bursaries page - search "Fees and Bursaries" at the top of the page.

Courses offered by the college are fully or partly funded by the Government and the published fee takes account of this funding.

Before starting a course, the College is required to check you meet conditions relating to that fun

Course fees

19+ Fee:

Tuition Fee: £50.00

Exam Fee: £0.00

Total Cost: £50.00

19+ Reduced Fee:

Tuition Fee: £0.00

Exam Fee: £0.00

Total Cost: £0.00

Qualifications received

As this is a non-accredited course, there is no formal qualification. However, you will be asked to complete activities that demonstrate how you are progressing on your course.

Learning & method assessment

Assessment will be via in-class discussion. Learners will also have the option to write a short essay (max. 2000 words) on one or a few of the texts we discussed in class, on which the tutor will provide written feedback at the end of the course. You will be required to complete a RARPA form which represents Recognising and Recording your Progress and Achievement.