Cancelled: The Classical and Byzantine Greek Summer School

Arts Building, University of Birmingham
Sunday 12 July (09:00) - Saturday 8 August 2020 (17:00)

Dr Theofili Kampianaki: 


Unfortunately the summer school for 2020 has been cancelled.

The Birmingham Classical and Byzantine Greek Summer School, hosted by the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology and the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies offers participants the opportunity to study either Classical or Byzantine/Medieval Greek at all levels (beginners, intermediate, advanced).

This summer school will take place on the beautiful Edgbaston Campus, and affordable accommodation is available within walking distance. The course is aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and at teachers who wish to learn Ancient Greek or improve existing skills. As well as intensive tuition over up to four weeks, the summer school offers a range of workshops and evening lectures, and opportunities to work with the outstanding collections of ancient artefacts and coins housed in the Archaeology Museum, and at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

The courses

The Level 1 course (Weeks 1 and 2) is intended for absolute beginners. No previous knowledge of Greek is required. The course will start with the Greek alphabet and then focus on basic rules of grammar and syntax as well as basic vocabulary. By the end of the course, participants will be able to translate simple Greek texts independently. Applicants with some basic background knowledge of Greek may be able to apply for the second week of the course only. If so, please state this clearly in your application. You may see the content for each week of the beginners’ course here.

The Level 2 course (Weeks 3 and 4) aims to develop command of Greek at an intermediate level. Participants with some prior knowledge of Greek may decide to take the Level 2 course only. The Level 2 course will acquaint participants with the full range of the Greek grammar and syntax and also with texts of various genres. Provided that there is a sufficient number of participants in Level 2, the course will be taught in two groups: one group dedicated to Classical Greek and one to Byzantine Greek. By the end of this course, participants will have good working knowledge of Greek and will be able to translate a relatively complex texts, roughly equivalent to GCSE level.

The Level 3 course (Weeks 3 and 4) is the advanced-level course and is addressed to those with substantial background knowledge of Classical or Byzantine Greek. It will be taught in two groups, one dedicated to Classical Greek and one to Byzantine Greek. The course will consist mainly of reading classes, during which the instructors will revise Greek grammar and syntax. In each group, participants will study Classical and Byzantine texts which fall into a wide range of genres and linguistic registers (such as epic texts, historiography, rhetoric, lyric poetry, tragedies and comedies in the Classical Greek group, histories and chronicles, poetic texts and hymns, saints’ lives and texts in the vernacular in the Byzantine group). By the end of this course participants will be familiar with a range of genres and confident in translating a variety of texts.  Participants will be asked to suggest specific texts or extracts in which they are interested; these texts will be studied during the course.

For advice on appropriate levels applicants are encouraged to contact the organiser,  Dr Theofili Kampianaki at .


The courses will be very intensive, with 6 hours of teaching, from Monday to Friday (09.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00 every day, with two coffee breaks and a lunch break).


Workshops dedicated to palaeography, numismatics and online resources available to Classicists and Byzantinists will be included as part of the Summer School programme.

Teachers of Greek-related subjects will be offered two special workshops: one on the use of material culture for teaching purposes and one on the new OCR Classics specifications. 


Dr Theofili Kampianaki specialises in the Byzantine Greek Language and Literature, having completed her Master’s and DPhil at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. She studied Classical Greek and Byzantine Greek as an undergraduate student at the University of Athens. Her doctoral thesis dedicated to the twelfth-century chronicle of John Zonaras, one of the best-sellers of the Greek-speaking world during the Middle Ages, will be published by Oxford University Press. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Birmingham Research Institute of History and Cultures, in charge of coordinating outreach activities connecting Classical Studies at the University of Birmingham to secondary schools in the UK. She has taught Byzantine Greek and Byzantine Literature at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham, and has run a series of educational programmes at the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.  

Dr Daniel Reynolds is a Lecturer in Byzantine History at the University of Birmingham, with research interests in the material and visual culture of the early Byzantine Empire. He holds an MA and a PhD in Byzantine Studies from the University of Birmingham. Prior to his appointment as a Lecturer, he was a Teaching Fellow in the School of History and Cultures and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. He has taught a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses on Late Antique and Byzantine Studies. In the Summer School, he will teach particularly Late Antique and early Byzantine texts. 

Dr Angeliki Roumpou completed a PhD in Classics at the University of Nottingham. She graduated from the University of Athens with a BA in Classics, Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature, and with an MPhil in Classics. She has been working as a Teaching Associate in the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham for several undergraduate and postgraduate modules on Greek and Latin language at different levels. She is also actively engaged in outreach activities by giving lectures in high schools around the UK on Greek and Roman culture and civilisation, and by working as museum facilitator in the University of Nottingham’s Museum of Archaeology designing and teaching activities for pupils to engage with language, literature and material culture.

Dr Foteini Spingou holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and specialises in the cultural and intellectual history of Byzantium (ca 800–1350). Her monograph, to be published in 2022 by Oxford University Press, includes the first edition of two major poetic collections that shed new light on the political and cultural history of the Mediterranean world during the twelfth century. Dr Spingou has edited a comprehensive sourcebook on Byzantine art and aesthetics, which makes readily available editions and translations of more than a hundred and forty texts in eight medieval languages (Readings in the Visual Culture of Later Byzantium [1081-1330s], CUP 2020). She has taught Greek and Medieval Latin courses at Oxford University, as well as courses on ancient, late Antique and Byzantine history and culture at Edinburgh University, Oxford University, the Hellenic Open University and the Open University of Cyprus.

Resources available to participants

All participants to the IBGSS will have access to the University of Birmingham Library and its online resources, including e.g. the TLG (the electronic database of Ancient and Byzantine Greek texts). The Library has already acquired all latest bibliography essential to the participants of the Summer School, most notably The Cambridge Grammar of Medieval and Early Modern Greek, published in early 2019.

Tuition fees

The course fee for two weeks (Level 1 or Level 2 or Level 3) is £400. 
The course fee for all four weeks (Level 1 + Level 2) is £800.


A number of bursaries will be provided to teachers of state schools thanks to the generous support of the Classics For All charity. For more information on the application process for a bursary, please contact Dr Polly Stoker at:


The organising committee has reserved a number of rooms for the participants to the Summer School at the University Campus (Aitken block, Vale village). The accommodation is self-catered. The cost is £25.00 per room per night. Accommodation will be provided at first come first-serve basis.

Application process

Candidates interested in applying to the Summer School can download and complete the application form below. Once completed, the application form should be sent by email to Dr Theofili Kampianaki at .

The deadline for applications is 29 May 2020.
Candidates who apply prior to this deadline will receive a response to their application sooner, no more than two weeks after the submission of their application.

Important notice: Applicants who will require a visa to attend the Summer School are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Further information

For general enquiries on the application process, the content of the courses or practical matters (accommodation, funding, visa applications, transport etc.), please contact Dr Theofili Kampianaki