Undergraduate Program

The Hellenic Studies Program 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 in the 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. Similarly, we have recently expanded into the material culture of Greek Civilization and now also offered courses in colloboration with the Department of Archaeology.

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 (3) 

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

GRK 160 – Modern Greek for Beginners II (3)

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. Online.

HS 100 - The Greek World (4)

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. Breadth-Humanities.

HS 150 - Warfare in the Hellenic World: From Plato to NATO (3)

From the days of Achilles to the Second World War, warfare has changed the Greek experience. Examines the evolution of warfare, from Ancient Greece to modem Europe, considering the interplay of violence, technology, ideology, and society.

Second Year Courses (200 Level)

GRK 210 – Modern Greek Intermediate I (3)

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. Online.

GRK 260 – Modern Greek Intermediate II (3)

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

HS 231 - Daily Life in Ancient Greece and Rome (3)

Examines the social history of ancient Greece and Rome, particularly through the study of relevant artifacts, art, architecture, and ancient texts (in translation). Considers topics such as the lives of men, women, children and slaves; the home; dining; government; the economy; the army; death and burial; and entertainment.

HS 232 - The Religions of Ancient Greece and Rome (3)

Introduces the religions of ancient Greece and Rome. Archaeological materials, ancient texts (in translation) and art are used to examine Graeco-Roman religions within their historical framework and understand how ancient peoples experienced religion. Examines the extent to which specific social, political and cultural developments impacted the religious landscape.

HS 275 - From Alexander to the Caesars: The Hellenic and Roman Worlds to the end of Antiquity (4)

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 276 - Social, Economic, and Political History of the Mediterranean (3)

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. Students with credit for HIST 276 may not take HS 276 for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.

HS 277 - History of Greek Civilization (3)

Surveys the history of Greek civilization from Mycenaean Greece to the twentieth century. Students who have taken HIST 307 under this topic or HIST 277 may not take this course for further credit. Online; Breadth-Humanities.

HS 278 - The Greeks in the Ottoman Empire (3)

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. Students with credit for HIST 278 may not take HS 278 for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.

HS 279 - Greece in the 20th Century (3)

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. Students with credit for HIST 279 may not take HS 279 for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.

HS 280 - War in the Balkans and the Making of the 21st Century (3)

Provides an overview of the second World War as a backdrop to the dramatic changes in Greece and South Eastern Europe. Students with credit for HS 280 may not take IS 280 for further credit.

Third Year Courses (300 Level)

HS 303 - Selected Topics in Hellenic Studies (4)

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

HS 304 - Alexander the Great and the Quest for World Empire (4)

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. Prerequisite: 45 units, including 9 units of lower division history credit or permission of instructor. Students with credit for HIST 304 may not repeat this course for further credit.

HS 307 - Selected Topics in Hellenic Studies (4)

Selected Topics. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HS 307 may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught. Prerequisite: 45 units. Students with credit for HIST 307 may take HS 307 for credit only when a different topic is taught.

HS 312 - Greek Art and Archaeology (4)

Introduces the major Greek archaeological sites from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period through a chronological and historical survey of Greek art and architecture. Examines the ways in which ancient Greeks used and interacted with their material remains and how they relate to their social, cultural, religious, and political practices and institutions. Prerequisite: 45 units, including 9 hours of lower division Hellenic Studies or Archaeology units or by permission of instructor. Students with credit for ARCH 312 cannot take this course for further credit. Students with credit for ARCH 321 under the title "Select Regions in World Archaeology I: Greece" may not take this course for further credit.

HS 313 - Roman Art and Archaeology (4)

Introduces the art and archaeology of ancient Rome from 8th c. BCE to 4th c. CE through an overview of the material remains in their original historical, political and cultural contexts. Addresses several issues: stylistic changes and innovations, art as a vehicle of propaganda and art as projection of Roman imperial power. Prerequisite: 45 units, including 9 hours of lower division Hellenic Studies or Archaeology units or by permission of instructor. Students with credit for ARCH 313 cannot take this course for further credit. Students with credit for ARCH 322 under the title "Special Topics in Archaeology I: Roman Art and Archaeology" may not take this course for further credit.

HS 349 - Rome after Rome: The Byzantine Middle Ages from the end of Antiquity to the Crusades (4)

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. Prerequisite: 45 units, including 6 units of lower division history. Students with credit for HIST/HS 308, HIST/HS 317 or HIST 349 may not take this course for further credit.

HS 359 - Constructing the Nation State in Greece, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean (4)

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. Prerequisite: 45 units. Students with credit for HIST 359 may not take HS 359 for further credit.

HS 364 - Traveller, Diplomatic, and Media Narratives in Greece, the Balkans and the Mediterranean (4)

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. Prerequisite: 45 units. Students with credit for HIST 364 may not take HS 364 for further credit.

Fourth Year Courses (400 Level)

HS 403 - Selected Topics in Hellenic Studies (4)

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

HS 422 - Greece, 1935-1944: Occupation and Resistance (4)

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. Prerequisite: 45 units including nine units of lower division history. Students with credit for HIST 422 may not take this course for further credit.

HS 441 - Women, Property, and the Law in the Mediterranean (4)

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 modern legal traditions. Prerequisite: 45 units. Students with credit for HIST 441 may not take HS 441 for further credit.

HS 460 - Themes in Byzantine History (4)

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. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HS 460 may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught. Prerequisite: 45 units. Students with credit for HIST 460 may take HS 460 for credit only when a different topic is taught.

HS 476 - History of Modern Greece (4)

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. Prerequisite: 45 units, including 6 units of lower division history or by permission of instructor. 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.

HS 477 - War in the Shadows: Espionage, Insurgency, & Violence in the Eastern Mediterranean (4)

Espionage was a major aspect of the Second World War. Spies accomplished incredible feats and acts of sabotage. This course will address the challenges that intelligence organizations confronted in dealing with the occupation of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean from the Second World War through to the early Cold War. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 45 credit hours or permission of the instructor. Offered Online and in person.

Courses Offered Online

GRK 110 – Modern Greek for Beginners I (3)

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 (3)

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 (3)

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 (3)

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

HS 277 – History of the Greek Civilization (3)

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

HS 304 – Alexander the Great and the Quest for World Empire (4)

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 477 - War in the Shadows: Espionage, Insurgency, & Violence in the Eastern Mediterranean (4)

Espionage was a major aspect of the Second World War. Spies accomplished incredible feats and acts of sabotage. This course will address the challenges that intelligence organizations confronted in dealing with the occupation of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean from the Second World War through to the early Cold War. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 45 credit hours or permission of the instructor. Offered Online and in person.