09073 - Greek Grammar

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is expected to know the historical grammar of Greek language; to be able to explain its major phenomena within the Indoeuropean linguistic system; to appreciate stylistic features and peculiarities of the texts read during the course; to know the guidelines of formal philology and history of tradition, in order to analyze and place the literary documents under exam in their historical and communicative contexts, paying attention to their transmission channels. She/he is also expected to know the main lines of the history of ancient Greek linguistics and literary criticism, on the basis of the reading of ancient texts belonging to these domains, and to be able to compare their assumptions to modern and contemporary scholarship.

Course contents

Special focus

a) Greek grammar between a diachronic and a synchronic approach: a reading of the fragments by Archilochus and Hipponax (C. Neri)

Core course

b) Elements of historical grammar of ancient Greek (V. Garulli).


Course timetable: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 1-3 pm, Aula Seminari (from 20.9.2021 till 25.10.2021), Aula Mansarda (from 8.11.2021 till 13.12.2021), Via Zamboni 32, 1st floor. The teaching activity will be blended.

Time of the course: 20 September 2021-13 December 2021 (1st semester).



a) Lecture notes. M.L. West, Iambi et elegi Graeci ante Alexandrum cantati, I, Oxford 1989 (2nd ed.), 1-171; H. Degani, Hipponax, Stuttgart-Leipzig 1991 (2nd ed.); or another edition with the Greek text (and, possibly, with critical apparatus). Further readings will be recommended during the course.

b) Lecture notes. The reading of one of the following handbooks is required: L. Heilmann, Grammatica storica della lingua greca, Torino, Sei, 1963; P. Chantraine, Morphologie historique du grec, Paris, Klincksieck, 1947; D. Pieraccioni, Morfologia storica della lingua greca, Messina-Firenze, D'Anna, 1975. See also C. Neri (et all.), Μέθοδος. Corso di lingua e cultura greca. Grammatica, Firenze, D’Anna, 2018. We recommend also: O. Szemerényi, Introduzione alla linguistica indoeuropea, Milano, Unicopli, 1985; E. Campanile-B. Comrie-C. Watkins, Introduzione alla lingua e alla cultura degli Indoeuropei, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010; F. Fanciullo, Introduzione alla linguistica storica, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2011; A.C. Cassio (ed.), Storia delle lingue letterarie greche, Milano 2016 (second edition).

Students who cannot attend the course are invited to talk with the teachers in order to define an alternative bibliography.

Teaching methods

a) The reading of Archilochus’ and Hipponax’s fragments (after some introductory lectures and the analysis of some verses made by the teacher) will be possibly carried out by the students as presentations.

b) Lectures given by the teacher, which will outline a concise historical morphology of the Greek language.

Assessment methods

A first assessment will be carried out to begin with in the individual presentations on language of Archilochus and Hipponax, where the students will be able auto-assess their learning.

The oral examination will be an interview in which the teachers, through a series of questions, will test the theoretical knowledge and the theoretical-practical methodologies as explained during the lectures. In particular, the student will be invited to read one of the texts analyzed in class, to give a translation and to highlight and comment the grammatical phenomena found in that passage.

As a result, the student may be asked to analyze from a grammatical point of view any Greek word found in the text read. The candidate will pass the exam by proving to understand very well the Greek text, to have a firm knowledge of the grammatical structures of ancient Greek, and to be able to place them into a historical perspective. In this case, the evaluation ranges from 18 to 30 cum laude depending on how sure, well-founded, precise and rigorous will be the answers of the candidate.

Exam registration must be made through AlmaEsami at the following website: https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm

Teaching tools

PC, projector, photocopies.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Valentina Garulli

See the website of Camillo Neri