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Unit information: Archaic Greece in 2015/16

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Unit name Archaic Greece
Unit code CLAS12352
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. D'Costa
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit provides an introduction to the developments in Greece and the Mediterranean during the period of c.800-c.490 BC. Students will be asked to explore the dynamics of the archaic age. What were the causes and conditions of these revolutionary changes? What social groups motivated, for example, the introduction of laws, legal procedures, popular participation, market exchange or money? What problems and tensions lay behind these changes? What kind of contacts did the Greeks develop with the surrounding civilisations, and what factors influenced these relationships? What, finally, was the impact of this period on the development of Greek identity in subsequent centuries? Students will have the opportunity to discuss these questions by reading and evaluating archaeological, numismatical and literary evidence.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should:

  1. Have a good knowledge of the varied sources available for studying Archaic Greece, and have further developed their understanding of the best way to make use of these sources.
  2. Have developed a good knowledge of the political and social developments in Archaic Greece, and an advanced understanding of how to analyse these.
  3. Be able to use the knowledge acquired in lectures and through their own researches to construct coherent, relevant and persuasive arguments on different aspects of the subject.
  4. Have had an opportunity to further develop their skills in oral and written communication, in small groups and general discussion, and in an essay and a written exam.

Teaching Information

2x 1 hour lectures a week

Assessment Information

One summative coursework essay of 2,000 words (worth 50%), and a 90 minute examination (worth 50%). Both elements will assess ILOs (1) (2) (3) and (4). The coursework essay in particular will offer students the opportunity to demonstrate ILO (3).

Reading and References

  • P. Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander, A History of the Persian Empire (Winona Lake 2002) 141-156
  • N. Fisher, H. van Wees, Archaic Greece, New Approaches and New Evidence (London 1998)
  • J. Hall, A History of the Archaic Greek World, ca. 1200-479 BCE (Oxford, Malden 2007)
  • R. Osborne, Greece in the Making, 1200-479 BC (London 1996)
  • R. Osborne, Archaic and Classical Greek Art (Oxford 1998)
  • H. A. Shapiro, The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece (Cambridge 2007).