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CLAS 0043 Greek Lyric

The lyric poetry of the Greek city-states of the Archaic period embraces a great variety of styles, with performance ranging from the public realm to the intimate setting of the symposium. The poems address themes from the very personal and intimate to the great questions which face the state.


Semonides, Sappho, Alcaeus, Theognis, Solon and Anacreon from M.L. West, Greek Lyric Poetry

Pindar Olympian 1 and Pythian 1

Sample topics:

  1. Semonides portrayal of women in Fragment 7 in the context of its time
  2. The personal and introspective nature of Sappho’s poetry
  3. Sappho and Alcaeus’ use of Homeric themes
  4. Theognis on men, gods and morality
  5. Solon’s political poetry
  6. Anacreon’s use of style, structure and form to convey experiences
  7. The theme of excellence in Pindar’s victory odes
  8. Pindar’s use of myths

There is no language requirement for this tutorial: all texts are taught in English translation.  However, if you do have the relevant language skills then it can be taught through the original texts: contact the Senior Tutor to discuss this.

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