MODULE DESCRIPTION 2017-2018


SPRING SEMESTER 20 CREDITS



AAP110 THE CLASSICAL WORLD AND ITS LEGACY



CO-ORDINATOR: MAUREEN CARROLL

OTHER TUTORS: UMBERTO ALBARELLA, PAUL HALSTEAD, JOHN MORELAND, JANE REMPEL, HUGH WILLMOTT


MODULE OUTLINE

Greco-Roman classical civilisation (particularly the ‘high culture’ of art, architecture, literature and political institutions) has long been seen as the inspiration for, and yardstick against which to judge, modern European culture. The rich and varied evidence of modern archaeology is used to explore how this high culture was supported and experienced by ordinary people. The course will consider the nature of Early Iron Age Greece and its Bronze Age background, the nature of its colonies in the Mediterranean, and the development of the Athenian Empire. The exploration of Italy will begin with the Iron Age peoples of the Italian peninsula, following on to trace the rise of Rome and her empire in the East and the West. The late Roman Empire will be examined with reference to the rise of Christianity and other eastern religions, and this will be traced through to the Early Medieval Period in Europe. The role of Islam in the formation of Europe, and the dissemination of Islamic culture, will be considered. The course will conclude by exploring the place of the Classical world in both modern Europe and the New World.


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

This unit aims to explore and understand the cultural achievements of Greco-Roman classical civilisation and its influence on the development and self-image of modern Europe. The traditional and romantic focus on ‘classical’ civilisation will be broadened by adopting a broad temporal and geographical frame of reference (the Early Iron Age to Late Antique Mediterranean), by examining classical civilisation from a comparative perspective of other civilisations (especially that of Islam), and by exploring archaeological evidence for the conditions of existence of the bulk of the population of the ancient World which supported rather than enjoyed the high culture so much admired today.


MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate:
• the main cultural achievements of Greco-Roman classical civilisation;
• the contribution of archaeology to defining and interpreting these achievements;
• the interaction between Greco-Roman culture and its contemporaries in the E Mediterranean, N Africa and temperate Europe;
• the role of classical civilisation in shaping both the development and self-image of modern Europe and the New World.


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS ACQUIRED

Ability to critically evaluate archaeological and historical evidence and theoretical interpretations; ability to critically synthesise published information; participating in group discussion.


STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type Hours
Lectures/Seminars 20
Tutorials 4
Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 176


ASSESSMENT

Method % of marks Length / words
Three Essays 50% 1000 each
Multiple Choice Exam 50% 1.5 hrs


EXAMPLE LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES

  • Greeks and Others in the Mediterranean
  • The ‘Polis’: A peculiarly Greek phenomenon?
  • Local responses to Greeks and Others: Etruria and Scythia
  • Animal sacrifice in and before the Greek polis
  • Constructing the Orient: The Persian empire and Greek city-states in conflict
  • Fifth-century Athens – a cultural phenomenon?
  • Light from the North: Philip, Alexander and the transformation of Greece
  • From Pella to Persepolis: The Greek world in the wake of Alexander
  • Rome - from Italian village to world city
  • Constructing a history - the Trojan war and the origin myths of Rome
  • Materialising the Empire - Augustus & the city of Rome
  • Mobility and migration in the Roman empire: The skeletal evidence
  • The Romans and their animals: husbandry, identity and symbolism
  • The survival of Romanitas in early medieval Britain
  • The 12th-century renaissance
  • The Classical Legacy and the later Medieval Renaissance
  • Looking Backwards: Byzantium, Islam and the Ottoman Empire
  • Looking Forwards: Western Europe and the modern Greek Nation State
  • Officers & Gentlemen' - Rome as a model for the British Empire?
  • Perceptions of ancient Rome in Fascist Italy