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Masterlanguage: Greek Epigraphy on Location in Athens



Classics students can attend courses that are offered by Masterlanguage - a curriculum of courses offered annually to MA students for several languages (among others, classical Greek and Latin). More information

Course objectives

This is an in-depth intensive introduction into Greek Epigraphy with most of the teaching and training in the immediate vicinity of the major archaeological monuments and museums in Athens. The intensive course is preceded by three preliminary sessions in the Netherlands, in which basic heuristic instruction is given and Greek epigraphy is studied within its linguistic, literary, and social-historical context.

The student who has successfully completed this course;

is able to read and understand Greek inscriptions at a level that fits with their preceding education (VWO with ancient Greek; a completed introductory course ancient Greek; BA Classics or sim.);
is able to distinguish the various main genres of inscriptions (dedications, decrees, funerary inscriptions, honorific inscriptions) and has a basic knowledge of their historical development;
has a good knowledge of the handbooks, corpora and databases for epigraphic research and has the ability to effectively use them for their own research;
is able to edit an epigraphic text and set up a critical apparatus;
is able to write a systematic epigraphic commentary and to assess which elements of the text are common and which unusual;
has knowledge of literary and (basic) linguistic aspects of Greek epigraphic texts.
is able to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the interpretation of epigraphic texts by including the original archaeological/monumental context.
Course content

Students need to have at least a basic working knowledge of Greek (a completed Elementary Course, a high school exam/A-level ancient Greek). The level of attainment of the participants will be taken into account when assignments are set.

The course is primarily intended for MA, RMA and PhD students in Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Religious Studies, but it is also open to others. The course is part of the curriculum for Research MA and PhD students of the National Research School OIKOS. Prior knowledge of Epigraphy is not necessary, but you need to have a basic level of Greek. Individual assignments will be set at the appropriate level of Greek.This course is an ideal preparation for using inscriptions in your own research for your (MA or PhD) thesis or for using inscriptions in the classroom.

The entire course will be taught in English.

The program in Athens consists of site and museum visits combined with epigraphical ambulations. Students prepare flash-presentations (both individually and in groups) to be delivered during these visits. Each student prepares an individual assignment, which consists of a critical edition, an epigraphical lemma and a commentary in relation to one or two specific epigraphical monuments. The assignments are orally presented on the final day of the excursion and followed up by a written paper upon return to the Netherlands.

The course is hosted by the Netherlands Institute in Athens, which will serve as starting point for most excursions and ambulations. Some excursions to sites outside Athens are part of the course.


Participating students sign up for Masterlanguage courses through the Masterlanguage website, while being enrolled in the Leiden Master programme specialisation Classics.

More information