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Course tutors: William M. Barton (University of Innsbruck), Lucy Nicholas (Warburg Institute), Raf Van Rooy (KU Leuven)

This course introduces students to the early modern phenomenon of New Ancient Greek literature in eight sessions. This literary tradition comprises texts written from the Renaissance onwards which use the language of ancient Greece as their mode of communication. The course provides an overview, on the basis of selected examples, of how this body of literature emerged, how it developed and in which cultural-historical contexts it gained particular influence. Prescribed readings will begin with texts produced in Renaissance Italy, where Byzantine and Italian scholars collaborated to create literature that comprised prose and especially poetry. The course then follows the various forms New Ancient Greek literary production could take within the context of Transalpine humanism, in both Catholic and Protestant Europe, without neglecting the Orthodox world. The later sessions of the course will cover New Ancient Greek material produced during the Enlightenment and modern period, when this European-wide phenomenon first came to a low ebb before re-emerging in academic centres. Within the contemporary philhellenic movement New Ancient Greek could now take on, once again, stronger political associations. 

The course offers researchers at any career stage the chance to engage first-hand with the rich tradition of New Ancient Greek literature. It will be particularly instructive for those working on humanist scholarship, where Greek appears frequently alongside Latin as a privileged language of the academy.

A proficiency in Ancient Greek will be assumed and necessary for the course. Materials will be pre-circulated before each class.


Eight sessions, Tuesdays 23 April to 11 June 2024: 12.00 - 1.30pm UK time: online via Zoom.

1. Introductory Seminar
2. Italian Humanism 
3. Transalpine Humanism I
4. Transalpine Humanism II
5. Hellenism and the Baroque 
6. Ancient Greek in the Long 18th-Century
7. Greek and Neo-Classical Europe 
8. Concluding Seminar


  • Standard: £170
  • Warburg Staff & Fellows/external students/unwaged: £155 
  • SAS & LAHP-funded students: £100
  • Warburg Students: £85


image: detail from Anthonis Mor van Dashorst, self-portrait (1558) with a Greek poem by Dominicus Lampsonius. Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi, inv. 1637