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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
G. R. Lomer, ed. The Student’s Course in Literature.

A College Curriculum in Literature: Greek Literature

By Gerhard Richard Lomer (1882–1970)

(Read Lectures on the World’s Best Literature: Greek Literature)

7. An Introduction to Greek Masterpieces

This course offers the student an opportunity to become acquainted with the scope and variety of Greek literature. It is intended for beginners or for those who wish only a general idea of the greater writers of Greece, exclusive of the dramatists. For more detailed study the special courses that follow this will be found useful.

Reading:Homer; Plato; Herodotus; Plutarch; Thucydides; Demosthenes; Aristotle.

8. Homer and Homeric Poetry

This course gives the student an opportunity to study systematically the Father of Greek Poetry and introduces him to the Homeric civilization and the Homeric problem. The Trojan War and the wanderings of Ulysses have their own fascination apart from their permanent influence upon the literatures of a later day. This course is a fundamental one for the understanding of world literature.

Reading:Homer; The Homeric Hymns.

9. The Development of the Greek Lyric

The remains of the earliest Greek lyric poets, meager though they are, impress upon the student the intrinsic interest and the permanent value of Greek literature. His attention is here first called to the general outlines of the development of the Greek lyric, and he will then proceed to read representative selections from such poets as Tyrtæus, Mimnermus, Archilochus, Callistratus, Hybrias, Ibycus, Bacchylides, and others.

Reading:Tyrtæus, Archilochus, and their Successors in the Development of the Greek Lyric.

10. Greek Drama

The age of Pericles is remarkable for its dramatic achievement. This course will provide the student with a general knowledge of the masterpieces of Greek drama and with some idea of the conditions and growth of the Greek theatre. The dramatic selections studied will aid in the development of his critical ideas and will form a background against which he can contrast the plays of Shakespeare and of modern European drama.

Reading:Æschylus; Sophocles; Euripides; Aristophanes; Menander.

11. Greek Poetry

In this course the student will reach much of what remains to us of the Greek poets and will in this way supplement his knowledge of Greek drama and Greek prose. Some attention will also be paid to the later Greeks and to fragments from authors otherwise unknown.

Reading:The Homeric Hymns; The Greek Anthology; Argonautic Legend; Homer; Tyrtæus, Archilochus, etc.; Alcman; Solon; Sappho; Alcæus; Theognis; Anacreon; Simonides; Pindar; Philemon, Menander; Cleanthes; Callimachus; Moschus; Theocritus; Bion.

12. Greek History

In the pages of the great historians of Greece the past lives again. A large proportion of Greek prose is historical in subject, and the student’s attention is directed not only to the subject-matter of the accounts but to the development of the technique of historical writing.

Reading:Herodotus; Thucydides; Xenophon; Polybius; Plutarch; Pausanias; Agathias.

13. Greek Oratory

The peculiar social conditions of ancient Greece and the system of public life then in vogue made oratory unusually important and literary in quality. Besides becoming familiar with some of the causes célèbres of ancient Greece, the student will acquire a knowledge of the lives and styles of the greatest of Greek orators.

Reading:Æschines; Demosthenes.

14. The Later Greeks

This course gives the student some idea of the trend of Greek literary history after the age of the greater writers. It serves as a supplement to the previous courses and as a systematic transition to the literature of Rome.

Reading:Babrius; Lucian of Samosata; Diogenes Laertius; Athenæus; Heliodorus.

15. Greek Philosophy and Criticism

Perhaps the greatest literary gift of Greece to the modern world has been its philosophy. This course aims (1) to give the student a general knowledge of the great Greek philosophers and their contribution to the thought of their own day and succeeding centuries; (2) to develop in the student certain fundamental critical ideas and points of view regarding life in general and literature in particular.

Reading:Hesiod; Heraclitus; Empedocles; Socrates; Plato; Aristotle; Epictetus; St. John Chrysostom.