CLS 317 CDA: Spring 2004

Bust of Euripides
Dr. Ann R. Raia , Associate Professor of Classics
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School of Arts and Sciences
The College of New Rochelle
Office Hours: Tuesday 3:30-4, Wednesday 10:30-12, Thursday 9-10, and by appointment
Office: Castle 325 Telephone: (914) 654-5398 E-mail:



This course focuses on translation and analysis of Euripides' Medea, with additional readings in Alkestis and Bakkai. It includes study of the origins and development of Greek tragedy and the theater during the 5th Century BCE in Athens. Euripides' debt to Aeschylus and Sophocles and his contribution to Western dramatic art will be explored.


at the end of this course students will demonstrate:

Methods of Instruction:

Class time will be used for:

Materials of Instruction:

Class Texts:

Other Materials:


Students are expected to--


Students will be graded on the quality of their completion of the requirements as follows:

65% for class attendance, preparation, completion of assignments, participation*
35% for final project

*Students who exceed the maximum number of un-excused absences (2) will find their grade negatively affected in this category.

Schedule of Meetings:

There will be 15 class meetings on each Wednesday of the semester from 2-4 pm, in Chapel Basement G 17. As a result, there is an expectation of greater student responsibility for reading and translating Greek and independent video viewing. Assignments, given on a daily basis, will respond to increasing student ability to handle in-class sight translation
Translation of Euripides' Medea from Greek is the principal organizing structure of the course. The student will translate the entire dialogue portion from the Greek, paying close attention to forms and grammar in the construction of meaning. The choral sections of Medea will be sight-translated with the professor; translations of the choral odes will be viewed on video and read in English for comparison to the Greek.
In addition the commentary to Alkestis will be read in full and the dialogue portions of the play up to the death of Alkestis will be translated from the Greek.

Video performances will be viewed in segments in several English and Greek versions to compare conception, performance, costume, dramatic success.

Topics, treated as students encounter them in the text, include: the function of myth in Greek tragedy; Aristotle's criticism of tragedy and the Greek tragedians in his Poetics; the portrayal of women in ancient drama; textual criticism; literary criticism; the design and conventions of the ancient theater; religion and the religious festivals in ancient drama; Euripides' relation to the work and dramatic art of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Aristophanes.


January 28:
Introduction to the course, syllabus, texts, and expectations.
Viewing and discussion of the opening scene of Medea in Greek and English versions. Reading and translation of the Prosopa and the first 15 lines in the prologue of the play, the monologue of the Trophos. Consult the notes at the bottom of the page, the apparatus criticus, and the Commentary on p. 72.

February 4:
Discussion of plot and characters of Medea. Prepared (lines 16-75) and sight translation of the Prologue. Viewing and review of the Greek of the chorus' entrance hymn (Parodos) in the Greek video production.

February 11:
Discussion of the text essays on pp. 102-105, 112-117. Discussion of plot and characters of Medea. Prepared (lines 215-315) and sight translation of Epeisondion I. Viewing of Medea's encounter with Kreon in the Greek video production and comparison with the English versions viewed for homework.

February 18:
Prepared (lines 446-550: Jason) and sight translation of text. Discussion of the deuteragonist as antagonist. Viewing and discussion of Medea's first encounter with Jason in the Greek and English video productions.

Sunday, February 22: Attendance at and discussion of the Aquila Theater Company's performance of Aeschylus' Agamemnon

February 25:
Prepared (lines 550-626: Jason and 663-707: Aegeus) and sight translation of text. Further discussion of the deuteragonist's role. Discussion of the various uses of the dramatic discourse termed stichomythia and a review of its occurrences in the play: l. 58 between the Tutor and Nurse; l. 324 between Kreon and Medea; l. 588 between Jason and Medea; l. 663 between Aegeus and Medea.

March 3:
Prepared (lines 866-975: Jason and Medea) and sight translation of text. A viewing and thematic focus on the Chorus and an assessment of its role and contributions to the drama: line 410 after Kreon's departure, l. 627 after Jason's departure, l. 824 after Aegeus' departure, l. 975 after Jason's second departure, l. 1251 after the messenger speech.


March 17:
Prepared (lines 1236-1250; 1293-1419: Jason and Medea) and sight (1251-1293: chorus) translation of texts. Discussion of the Alkestis, read in English, and of possible themes for the Honors thesis research.

March 24:
Reading and discussion of Aristotle's Poetics in English: discussion of his points on structure, origin, production, assessment, and division of Greek tragedy and their application to Medea

March 31:
Introduction to the Greek text of Alkestis; reading, translation, and discussion of the Prologue and the text commentary

April 7:
Reading, translation, and discussion of the first Epeisondion and commentary. Focus on words used about Alkestis and how these contribute to a fuller understanding of the similarities and differences between Medea and Alkestis, the student's selected topic for the Honors thesis.

April 14:
Reading, prepared translation (l. 238-325) , and discussion of the second Epeisondion and commentary, particularly with reference to words used about and by Alkestis. Discussion of her role in the play as deuteragonist and the part she plays in myth and as a critique of women's life in 5th century Athens

April 21:
Reading, prepared translation (l. 326-434) , and discussion of the second Epeisondion and commentary; discussion of Alkestis' relationship to Medea as dramatic creations of Euripides. Collection of words referenced by Alkestis, her child, her husband, her slaves, her in-laws, the chorus to describe her as woman, wife, mother.

April 28:
Consultation on Honors Thesis:: Review of Medea and collection of words about her and words used by her about her role as wife and mother and as foreigner

May 5:
Consultation on Honors Thesis: Thesis statement and outline critique

May 12: Consultation on Honors Thesis: First draft critique

May 18: Honors Thesis due: consultation and critique of second and final drafts