Department of Greek & Latin


Summer School in Homer 2020

Please see details of individual course availability below. 

The Summer School offers five days of intensive teaching of Homeric language and literature. There will be four language classes each day as well as lectures, between 10.30 and 16.30. The course is not residential.

Teaching will be generally in groups of 15-20 people which, as far as possible, comprise students of roughly the same level of experience (beginners, intermediate or advanced). The style of teaching is friendly, but demanding: a lot of work is expected from students during the School, but they should find the whole experience both stimulating and valuable. Some classes concentrate chiefly on reading texts, while others offer a mixture of grammar and translation practice. Our tutors include some of the most experienced and talented teachers of Classics in the London area and beyond.

Programme for classes of the Summer School in Homer 2020

Beginners Greek*

Book: "A Reading Course in Homeric Greek, Book 1 - by Raymond V. Schoder, S. J and Vincent C. Horrigan, S.J. - revised, with additional materials by Leslie Collins Edwards".

Pages 1-45, 52-54, 59-62, 66-68, 76-82 and 103-107 (i.e. Lessons 1-17, 20, 22, 24, 27-28, 32-33)

These pages cover:

- the alphabet and punctuation

- 1st, 2nd and 3rd declensions

- Present and Imperfect Active and Middle/Passive

- Present Imperative, Infinitive, Participles Active and Middle/Passive

- Intensive and Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives

- 1st and 2nd personal pronouns

Intermediate Greek*

Book: A reading course in Homeric Greek, Book 1, 3rd edition (revised), by Raymond V. Schoder, S. J. and Vincent C. Horrigan, S.J. [https://solggreek.weebly.com/uploads/4/6/0/3/46039539/a_reading_course_in_homeric_greek_book_1_-_raymond_schoder.pdf]

 Lessons: 18-19, 21, 23, 25-26, 29-31, 34-45, 49-50, 57 (i.e. pages: 46-51, 55-58, 63-65, 69-75, 83-102, 108-148, 158-164, 183-185)

 These lessons cover:

  • The Present Subjunctive and Optative, Active/Middle
  • The Future System
  • Participles
  • First, Second and Third Aorist: Indicative, Subjunctive, Optative, Imperative, Infinitive, and Participle Active/Middle
  • Perfect and Pluperfect Indicative Active
  • Relative Pronoun and Relative clauses
  • Interrogative and Indefinite pronouns/adjectives
  • 3rd personal pronoun
  • Comparison of Adjectives and Adverbs
Advanced Greek 1*

The class will cover Odyssey 19. Based on previous experience, the advanced group should be able to get through nearly just over 600 lines. Around 120 lines a day is about right for reading, translation and discussion.

Advanced Greek 2* = No longer running

The class will cover Iliad (Book TBC). Based on previous experience, the advanced group should be able to get through nearly just over 600 lines. Around 120 lines a day is about right for reading, translation and discussion.

Comparative Literature and Homer

In the beginning was the eposThe Iliadand The Odyssey lie at the root of Western literature, philosophy, ethics, and cultural identity. Since their mysterious beginnings they have never ceased to captivate our imagination, interrogate our thought, and influence our culture. Indeed, Homer’s poems are also a mythos, a ‘story’ and a ‘word’ that is constantly retold, reinvented, expanded and weaved into other stories. This endless storytelling is like a fishing net dragged along history. Each time it is cast into the sea, it picks up the values, beliefs, hopes, and ideas of a specific author or community, trapping them in the tangles of its narrative. The purpose of this course is to explore and discuss some of these moments, disclosing how and why Homer’s words resonate through the centuries. To do this the course will adopt a comparative approach: we will discuss ten broad themes, devoting two hours to each of them. In the first hour we will look at how each of these questions originates in The Iliador in The Odyssey, examining them in the context of Homer’s work. In the second hour we will analyse how each of those questions is addressed and revisited by later writers, philosophers, poets, and historians. This comparative exercise will allow us to reveal both the similarities and differences between Homer’s poems and later works, and to explore how the same questions are articulated through different times and places. The Iliadand The Odysseyare indeed the quintessential classics, and each classic is first and foremost a survivor, a work that lives on because it has never exhausted all it has to say to its readers.

Homer from Translation - Reception of Homer†

Themes: the gods and goddesses, women, heroism, aristeia, kleos, the Homeric question, Penelope, Helen, and Achilles and Hector. There will also be classes on reception of Homer in Renaissance and in all the above themes in other modes of representation such as novelisations, cinema, modern poetry etc..

Homer and the Romans - No longer running

Course description: 


These sessions will elucidate key moments in the reception of Homer’s epics in the Roman world (700+ years after Homer’s writing) from the dawn of the Roman Empire in the Augustan period (first century BCE) to the height of Imperial stability and affluence in the late second century CE. Topics to be discussed in connection with the focal readings will include: Roman emulations of Homeric style in the epic genre; parody of the Homeric hero’s journey in the Roman novel; the influence of politics on Homer’s legacy; and the Latin voices of Homeric women. The material will provide you with a good breadth of textual and contextual material to consider when exploring the evolving role of the Homeric tradition in Roman literature and culture.


Focal authors and their dates / reigning emperor at the time of their writing:


Vergil (70-19 BCE) / Augustus

Ovid (43 BCE – 17/18 CE) / Augustus

Lucan (39-65 CE) / Nero

Apuleius (c. 125-170s CE) / Marcus Aurelius (likely)

Homer and Ancient Philosophy

Is Homer a philosopher? What can he teach us about the world we live in? Why is the power of Homer’s poetry so irresistible? Why were ancient philosophers so interested in Homeric poetry and its influence on the Greek world?


This course seeks to find an answer to these and other questions by investigating the relationship between Homer and ancient philosophy. We will approach the issue from two different perspectives. First, we will examine selected passages of Homer that are of philosophical significance, in particular on issues such as ethics, human knowledge, the relationship between gods and mortals, and conceptions of the soul and the afterlife. Then, we will focus on the reception, analysis and even appropriation of Homeric poetry on the part of ancient philosophers, ranging from early Greek to Hellenistic philosophy. 


The course is in translation and open to anyone interested in Homeric poetry and ancient philosophy. No prior knowledge of ancient philosophy is required. Returning students who already attended the course in the past years will find new and exciting opportunities to enquire into the interactions between Homer and philosophy.

 language course / † literature course / ⁂ practical course

Programme, Cost and Application form

  • The provisional programme for the Summer School in Homer is now available. Please note: this programme is still subject to change.
  • The cost of the Summer School is £130. This includes all tuition.

The Summer School in Homer caters for school and university students, and for anyone else who wishes to learn Homeric Greek, or to revive their knowledge of it. Potential participants will include: students with no prior knowledge of the language; pre-GCSE/GCSE and A-Level students; university students; mature applicants who wish to expand their knowledge of the Homeric epics. Our principal concern is to provide a thorough programme of language learning in a lively university environment.

Enquiries: please email the Summer School.

All completed application forms should be returned no later than Monday 27th July 2020, to Dr Antony Makrinos, Director of the Summer School in Homer, homersummerschool@ucl.ac.uk.

  • Watch an interview with Dr Antony Makrinos on the Summer School in Homer.

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