the course of the semester you will develop your ability to read
continuous Greek prose clearly and cogently, and to understand Demosthenes'
work in the context of the development of the genre of oratory and
the events that shaped his world. The course requirements are designed
to help you sharpen these skills. You will take one midterm (with
the option for a second) and one final exam, which will focus your
attention on grammar, syntax and vocabulary, and coherent prose
translations. You will write one-page essays
either as responses to readings or as creative oratorical exercises,
thus honing your writing skills and your ability to understand
and synthesize scholarly and/or rhetorical arguments. Finally, you
will write and present a final paper which will allow you to demonstrate:
participation includes preparation of readings and assignments,
and participation in readings, translations and discussions in the
classroom. Obviously, if you do not attend class you can not participate.
You may take 2 absences from the classroom during the semester without
penalty. After two absences, each absence will result in a lowering
of the class participation component of 20% by one full grade. Come
Over the course
of the semester you will submit (at least) two 300-500-word essays,
either an analysis of some aspect of the readings, or the
creative construction of a portion of a piece of oratory (in English).
The latter will be a short exercise - no more than one page -
and is to be accompanied by a brief commentary that explicates
the types of rhetorical devices you employ in your essay. Every
essay should includes an exercise in appropriate citations of
primary and secondary sources. These are due electronically
by 8PM Thursday, and should be distributed to the entire class
I'm looking for in the analytical essay is a single, strong, argumentative
point, based on your own attentive, independent analysis of the
readings, and supported with a few well-chosen pieces of evidence.
You should engage with the assigned scholarship, but don't simply
regurgitate it. The role of scholarship is to inform and inspire
your thinking, not to replace it.
1-2 pages are not enough space to develop a major argument. Instead,
think of this essay as your first entry into that week's discussion,
and be ready to develop and defend your point further in class.
But you should also choose a thesis that you can articulate clearly
in a single page. Think small and precise — no sweeping generalizations!
Also, don't waste time on summarizing the entire article or speech
— get in, make your point, defend it, and get out.
this exercise you will choose a form of oratory - intellectual,
epideictic, forensic or bouleutic - and compose a brief (no more
than one page) creative essay that employs various rhetorical devices
and patterns that are appropriate to that genre of oratory. On the
second page you will present a brief commentary on your essay, explicating
the rhetorical choices you made and the reasons for doing so.
the syllabus indicates, we will read a healthy amount of scholarship,
examples of oratory, rhetorical criticism, etc. I expect you to
come to class having done the reading and prepared to interject
questions, take the lead on issues and generally contribute to the
AND FINAL EXAMS
midterm exam (one just after study break, and another only if needed
just before Thanksgiving), will be designed for you to show off
your best work. The exam(s) will include a variety of tasks - translation
of a few passages, attention to grammar and syntax, and an essay
on something drawn from our discussions and readings up to that
point. The final exam will follow a similar format, on Tuesday,
December 15th, 1.30-4.30pm.
final project for this class will be to write a mid-length research
paper (6-8 pp.). Developing an idea, crafting a thesis and supporting
your argument will almost certainly require you to explore the secondary
(and perhaps primary) literature beyond the assigned class reading.
You may address any of a broad variety of issues related to Demosthenes'
work, the genre of oratorical literature, the socio-political context
for a specific speech, etc., but the core of your paper should be
your own close, careful engagement with rhetoric and scholarship.
milestones for the project (dates TBD):
One paragraph declaring which essay you've decided to develop,
and outlining the precise question you intend to focus on, the
approach you plan to take, and any expected conclusions. This
paragraph should be the outcome of some thoughtful preliminary
work. Note: You may choose to write your paper on a question
we haven't covered yet in class. In that case, you should have
done the relevant primary and secondary readings and begun to
think about them by this point. Think of the work it'll save
you later in the semester!
A working version of the project. All matters pertaining to
structure and content should at least be settled, if not fully
developed. Some gaps here and there are acceptable, provided
that there are summaries of what is missing. The topic, approach,
evidence, and supporting materials should all be evident. A
bibliography of all secondary sources should accompany the rough
The last two Fridays of class will be devoted to short presentations
describing your projects and their most interesting results
for the rest of the class.
A polished version of your project.
1st and TBA
30th; Nov. 18th-20th (if needed)
9th: milestone dates TBD
Dec. 15th, 1.30-4.30pm
INTEGRITY AND HONESTY
you hone your skills as a reader of Greek you will develop
your own perspectives, methodologies and solutions to some
of the vexing questions that the study of language, literature
and culture raises. It is absolutely essential that you take
credit for your own work, and give credit to others when you
draw upon their ideas and words.
Accordingly, plagiarism and cheating of all sorts will not
be tolerated in this course and are grounds for an "F".
Be sure to read carefully the Academic
Integrity and Ethics
of Scholarship webpages.
All members of the College community are bound by Skidmore's
Honor Code, included here:
"I hereby accept membership in the Skidmore College Community
and, with full realization of the responsibilities inherent
in membership, do agree to adhere to honesty and integrity
in all relationships, to be considerate of the rights of others,
and to abide by the college regulations."