The Major in Ancient and Modern Greek
Offered by the Classics Department
The major in Ancient and Modern Greek is designed to offer students an opportunity to integrate the study of post-classical Greek language, history, and culture into the departmental program in Ancient Greek and Classical Civilization. The program covers Hellenic civilization from the Bronze Age to the modern day, and traces the development of the language and the culture across traditionally-drawn boundaries. The study of both ancient and modern Greek allows the student to appreciate how familiarity with one enriches understanding of the other, and to chart the development of a language which has one of the oldest continuous written traditions in the world. The literature, history, philosophy, religion, and art of the ancient Greek and Greco-Roman worlds are studied both as an end in themselves and also as a foundation for appreciating later (medieval, Ottoman and modern) developments in these areas. Students are encouraged to develop a sense of the continuity of Greek language and culture, and an understanding of how Byzantine and modern forms relate to their ancient forebears.
Admission to the major. There are no formal pre-requisite courses. Students may start both Ancient and Modern Greek from scratch at Yale. Students who take MGRK 130 must either have completed MGRK 115, or must be able to satisfy the director of the program in Hellenic Studies that they have the required proficiency. All students interested in the major should meet with the program directors of both Classics and Hellenic Studies as soon as possible to discuss a program of study.
The Standard Major. The requirements for the standard major are:
Candidates must complete at least ten term courses as follows:
* No fewer than six term courses at the level of 390 or above in Ancient Greek, of which four are the double-credit Survey for the Major in Ancient Greek. The language courses should include GREK 390.
* One additional course in Ancient Greek history.
* No fewer than two term courses in Modern Greek must be elected, at the intermediate level (MGRK 130) or above
* At least one term course in the history, art history, literature or culture of the Greek-speaking Balkans (or the Hellenic diaspora) in the medieval, Ottoman, or modern period.
For more information please visit www.yale.edu/classics
Hellenic Studies Program Course Descriptions
MGRK 110/L1: Elementary Modern Greek II
An introduction to modern Greek with emphasis on reading, writing, speaking and oral comprehension. The course will cover all major noun and adjective groups and their declension; the basic verb conjugations, all tenses, active and passive voice as well as the basic uses of the subjunctive mood; basic daily vocabulary; the basic syntactical structure of Greek.
MGRK 202: The Poetry of C. P. Cavafy
The course examines the interaction between gender, sexuality, and nationalism in the poetry of C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933). Major focus is given to questions of biography and representation, disclosure and evasion, as well as to Cavafy’s aestheticism. The course explores the multiple ways in which Cavafy appeals to and simultaneously resists prevailing notions of writing, desire, language, the Classical tradition and modernity as well as his contribution to our understanding of the history and politics of Greek and gay identity in the twentieth century. Finally, the course addresses Cavafy’s legacy and formative influence on authors and poets in the English speaking world (E.M. Forster, W.H.Auden, Lawrence Durrell, James Merrill) through a reading of the re-working of his poetry in translation
MGRK 231/HIST249J: History of the Balkans since 1939
The seminar provides an overview of the political, social and economic evolution of the Balkan states since 1939. To do so, it will invoke three main themes that will also facilitate insight into the interaction between the global, regional, and country specific. Firstly, the course will explore the regional and inter-bloc dynamics within the structured Cold War system by looking at the impact the Cold War had on the region and, in turn, at the influence the Balkans, in particular the Greek Civil War and Yugoslavia's conflict with the USSR exercised on the institutionalization and the dynamics of the Cold War during its nascent decade. Secondly, the course will look into the unique role Yugoslavia played in the creation of the alternatives and challenges to the bipolar structure and rigidity of the Cold War world, namely the Non-aligned Movement. Thirdly, the course will offer insight into the dramatic impact the end of the Cold War on the developments in the region, in particular on the collapse of the Yugoslav federation.
HSAR 609: Venice and Byzantium
The history of Venice's artistic interactions with Byzantium. While that history spanned the centuries of the Middle Ages and the Mediterranean east of Venice, the course focuses on Venice itself and the political, religious, and artistic uses it made of Byzantine artifacts during and after the medieval period.