GRK20110 Greek Texts: Plato

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module focuses on Plato's Apology of Socrates, to be studied in the original Greek. This is Plato's version of the speech which Socrates gave when on trial for his life in 399 BC, and is a key text both for Socrates' view of his philosophical mission and for the nature of Athenian democracy. Classes will be devoted to reading the text and discussing points of interest. Students will be expected to prepare a section of the text for each class, and to be able to translate and discuss it.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:

* translate the text with confidence and accuracy;
* evaluate modern interpretations of the text;
* answer questions on specific points in the text;
* construct a relevant and analytical essay on the text.

Indicative Module Content:

Students will be expected to prepare a section of the text for each class, and to be able to translate and discuss it. Detailed understanding of the text will be assessed by two 50-minute class tests, and an end-of-semester essay will provide an opportunity to discuss broader issues of content and context.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module is taught in small classes, typically 2-3 students, and focuses on reading the text in Greek and discussing points of interest. There will be 18 classes in total.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students taking this module should have completed GRK20140 Intermediate Greek or equivalent.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Exam (In-person): 50-minute class test (translation and comment) Week 6 Graded No


Exam (In-person): 50-minute class test (translation and comment) Week 12 Graded No


Assignment(Including Essay): 1,500-word essay Week 14 Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive detailed individual feedback on all their assignments.

Prescribed text

N. Denyer (ed.), Plato and Xenophon: Apologies of Socrates (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019)

Recommended Secondary Literature

Brickhouse, T.C. & N.D. Smith, Socrates on Trial (Oxford, 1989)
Morrison, D.R. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Socrates (Cambridge, 2011)
Parker, R., Athenian Religion: A History (Oxford, 1996), ch. 10
Reeve, C.D.C., Socrates in the Apology (Indianapolis, 1989)
Jones, R.E., R. Sharma, & N.D. Smith (eds), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Socrates (London, 2023)
Stone, I.F., The Trial of Socrates (London, 1988)
Waterfield, R., Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths (London, 2009)