Undergraduate Program

The SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies offers a wide selection of courses on Greek History, Language, and Culture from a variety of different discplinary perspectives. Building on our strengths in Byzantine and Modern Greek history and seeking to expand into the post-Byzantine and early-Modern Greek worlds, we collaborate with specialists in Ottoman and Modern Near Eastern studies at the SFU History Department to engage students at all levels with the fascinating Hellenistic worlds over the centuries.

At the same time, recognizing that the roots of Medieval and Modern Hellenism cannot but be sought in the achievements of Ancient Greece, we therefore partner with the Department of the Humanities in order to offer courses that provide the intellectual and historical grounding for our many course offerings.

Students interested in Hellenic Studies at the undergraduate level can therefore study all aspects of Hellenism, from Mythology and the History of Philosophy, to its presence in the social, political, religious, and economic spheres in Byzantine times, and on into the era of the Modern Greek state, from the 19th century to the present. Significantly we try to weave discussions on Hellenism with modern debates, placing our subject matter in both regional and global contexts.

Hellenic Studies Course Catalogue

First Year Courses (100 Level)

GRK 110 – Modern Greek for Beginners I (online)

An introduction to the Greek language that helps beginners to help develop survival skills in the most frequently encountered communicative situations.

GRK 160 – Modern Greek for Beginners II (online)

The aim of the course is to give those who have acquired the basic language skills a better understanding of the basic grammar of the Greek, and to develop their speaking and comprehension skills so that they are able to carry out small conversations. Reading comprehension, and the ability to write small paragraphs will also be emphasized.

HS/HIST 100 – The Greek World

An interdisciplinary introduction to the Greek culture in different periods. Using various sources and materials the course explores continuities and ruptures, evolutions and revolutions, and the impact such issues have on the imagination of people today. 

HUM 102w – Classical Mythology (online)

An introduction to the central myths of the Greeks and Romans. The course will investigate the nature, function, and meaning of myths in the classical world and their considerable influence on western civilization.

HUM 151 – Ancient Greek I (online)

An introduction to the classical Greek language.

HUM 152 – Ancient Greek II (online)

The continuation of Ancient Greek I.

Second Year Courses (200 Level)

GRK 210 – Modern Greek Intermediate I (online)

The aim of the course is to continue developing students' Greek language skills so that they communicate in situations that extend beyond the basic level. The mediopassive voice for verbs, irregular classes of nouns, and the structure of subordinate sentences are some of the grammatical topics covered. Students will also receive extensive training in speaking, reading and writing at the level of a simple newspaper article. 

GRK 260 – Modern Greek Intermediate II (online)

Continues the work developed in GRK 210 including further training in speaking, reading and writing at an intermediate level. 

HS/HIST 275 - From Alexander to the Caesars: The Hellenic and Roman Worlds to the End of Antiquity

This is an overview of Near Eastern and Mediterranean history from Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire to early Byzantium and the side of Islam that covers the Hellenistic, Roman, and early Byzantine Worlds with emphasis on the place of Hellenism in social, political, religious, and cultural life at the time. Students with credit for HIST 308, HS 308, or HIST 275 may not take this course for further credit.

HS/HIST 276 – History of the Mediterranean: Social, Economic, and Political History of the Mediterranean

Examines the history of the Mediterranean region that for millennia has been a focal point of human exchange as well as conflict. Considers the entire period from antiquity to the modern world.

HS/HIST 277 – History of the Greek Civilization (online)

Surveys the history of Greek civilization from Mycenaean Greece to the twentieth century.

HS/HIST 278 – The Greeks in the Ottoman Empire (online)

Explores the lives of Greeks under Ottoman rule and how the Ottoman systems of administration and taxation, as well as culture and religion, affected and influenced them. Examines how they maintained a Hellenic identity and how this identity contributed to their struggle for independence.

HS/HIST 279 – Greece in the 20th Century

Examines the political and socio-economic evolution of 20th century Greece in tandem with the cultural transformation of the country from an agrarian based society to the urban dominated structure that characterizes Greece today.

HS/HIST/IS 280 – War in the Balkans and the Making of the 21st Century

Provides an overview of the Second World War as a backdrop to the dramatic changes in Greece and South Eastern Europe.

WL 203 – Selected Genres in World Literature

Explores the cross-cultural trajectory of a genre or genres of world literature.

Third Year Courses (300 Level)

HS/HIST 303 – Selected Topics in Hellenic Studies

The study of issues related to Hellenic Studies not offered in regular courses.

HS/HIST 304 – Alexander the Great and the Quest for World Empire (online)

This course examines Alexander in the context of ancient history as well as his legacy, which provides unique insight into why there have been and continue to be illusive and deadly quests for world domination.

HS/HIST 307 – Selected Topics in Hellenic Studies

The study of issues related to Hellenic Studies not offered in regular courses.

HS/HIST 349 - Rome after Rome: The Byzantine Middle Ages from the end of Antiquity to the Crusades

This is a history of Byzantium, Rome's direct heir, that familiarizes students with the social, political, economic, and cultural history of Byzantium from the rise of the Caliphate in the seventh century to the Carolingians, the Crusades, the emergence of the Italian maritime republics and the ascent of the Seljuk Turks. Students with credit for HIST/HS 308, HIST/HS 317 or HIST 349 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: 45 units, including 6 units of lower division history.

HS/HIST 359 – Construction the Nation State in Greece, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean

Investigates the construction of nation states in Greece, the Balkans and the Mediterranean with a focus on the ideas of the Nation and the Nation State. Examines specific cases such as Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and the development of Israel.

HS/HIST 364 – Traveller, Diplomatic, and Media Narratives in Greece, the Balkans and the Mediterranean

Considers the accounts of foreign travellers and correspondents of the region in question from the early Grand Tour to the present and contrasts these accounts with historical facts and developments. Examines how perceptions regarding the Balkans (or the Mediterranean) were formed as well as their persistence in modern times.

HUM 302w – The Golden Age of Greece: An Integrated Society

The study of Athenian society in the 5th century BC, a period unique in the record of human achievement during which virtually all the major humanistic fields were either initiated or received significant new impetus.

HUM 309 – Literatures and the Arts Across Cultures

An interdisciplinary study of literary texts in translation and/or art forms across cultures and periods.

HUM 332 – Mythology in Context

A detailed interdisciplinary study of the role of mythology within a particular culture or tradition.

HUM 360 – Special Topics: Great Themes in the Humanistic Tradition

An interdisciplinary study of a selected theme that has made a lasting contribution to the humanistic tradition in more than one field of endeavor (e.g. philosophy, politics, literature, economics, religion).

HUM 385 – Special Topics in European Studies

An interdisciplinary approach to a topic focusing on European thought and culture.

WL 303 – Global Culture and Its Others

Explores cultural expressions of sameness and difference in an age of globalization and its discontents. May focus on transnational expressions of secularism and faith or of the metropolis and suburbia, or on forms of cross-pollination in world literature, cinema and music.

Fourth Year Courses (400 Level)

HS/HIST 403 – Selected Topics in Hellenic Studies

The study of issues related to Hellenic Studies not offered in regular courses.

HS/HIST 422 – Greece, 1935 – 1944: Occupation and Resistance

Examines the cycle of violence that followed the Axis occupation of Greece and created a political schism that lasted until the 1980s. The course will focus on Greek resistance, foreign relations and relations with the British intelligence services.

HS/HIST 437 – Fighting for God: Religion, Conflict, and the State from Antiquity to the Crusades

Examines different case studies from the ancient to the early modem world and looks at the various modes in which the divine affected people's perceptions of conflict and inter-communal relations. Explores the iconic place of Crusading and Jihad in modern thinking about war.

HS/HIST 441 – Women, Property, and the Law in the Mediterranean

Examines the relationship between women and law through a focus on the question of property from the ancient world to the modem period and through a comprehensive examination of the Roman, Judaic, Christian, Islamic as well as modem legal traditions.

HS/HIST 460 – Themes in Byzantine History

Familiarizes the student with the main problems in the study of Byzantine social, political, economic and intellectual history. Students will be exposed to the main primary sources available to the Byzantinist and will read articles and books by the most influential scholars in the field of Byzantine studies.

HS/HIST 476 - History of Modern Greece

Introduces students to the social and political history of modern Greece, with a focus on current developments through the examination of political, social, and economic transformations over the past two centuries, and help students situate modern Greek history within European context. The course will examine the various crises the mdoern Greek state has endured from its founding in 1830 to the present, political, social and economic using primary and secondary sources to understand the historical development of Greece. This course does replication material from HS/HIST 307 when offered with the course topic "From Glory to Debt". This course is also cross-listed with HIST 476. Students with credit from HS/HIST 307 under the topic "Glory to Debt" of HIST 476 may not take this course for further credit. Prerequisite: 45 units, including 6 units of lower division history or by permission of instructor.

IS 409 – Special Topics I

The study of issues related to International Studies not offered in regular courses.

IS 419 – Special Topics II

The study of issues related to International Studies not offered in regular courses.

Online Courses (Using the Odysseas Online Intellegent Tutor)

GRK 110 – Modern Greek for Beginners I (online)

An introduction to the Greek language that helps beginners to help develop survival skills in the most frequently encountered communicative situations.

GRK 160 – Modern Greek for Beginners II (online)

The aim of the course is to give those who have acquired the basic language skills a better understanding of the basic grammar of the Greek, and to develop their speaking and comprehension skills so that they are able to carry out small conversations. Reading comprehension, and the ability to write small paragraphs will also be emphasized.

GRK 210 – Modern Greek Intermediate I (online)

The aim of the course is to continue developing students' Greek language skills so that they communicate in situations that extend beyond the basic level. The mediopassive voice for verbs, irregular classes of nouns, and the structure of subordinate sentences are some of the grammatical topics covered. Students will also receive extensive training in speaking, reading and writing at the level of a simple newspaper article. 

GRK 260 – Modern Greek Intermediate II (online)

Continues the work developed in GRK 210 including further training in speaking, reading and writing at an intermediate level. 

HS/HIST 277 – History of the Greek Civilization (online)

Surveys the history of Greek civilization from Mycenaean Greece to the twentieth century.

HS/HIST 278 – The Greeks in the Ottoman Empire (online)

Explores the lives of Greeks under Ottoman rule and how the Ottoman systems of administration and taxation, as well as culture and religion, affected and influenced them. Examines how they maintained a Hellenic identity and how this identity contributed to their struggle for independence.

HS/HIST 304 – Alexander the Great and the Quest for World Empire (online)

This course examines Alexander in the context of ancient history as well as his legacy, which provides unique insight into why there have been and continue to be illusive and deadly quests for world domination.

HUM 102w – Classical Mythology (online)

An introduction to the central myths of the Greeks and Romans. The course will investigate the nature, function, and meaning of myths in the classical world and their considerable influence on western civilization.

HUM 151 – Ancient Greek I (online)

An introduction to the classical Greek language.

HUM 152 – Ancient Greek II (online)

The continuation of Ancient Greek I.