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Unit information: The Minoans in 2015/16

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Unit name The Minoans
Unit code CLASM0026
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Momigliano
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

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

Description

The historian C.G. Starr once famously remarked that ‘Minoan civilization is the only great civilization created in the twentieth century’ (1984). This unit examines the rediscovery, interpretation, and reception of this ‘civilisation’, which flourished in Crete during the 3rd-2nd millennia BC, and formed the background of many Greek myths and legends (such as Theseus and the Minotaur, and the labyrinth of King Minos). The unit starts with an analysis of the political and intellectual environment of late 19th-early 20th Europe, in which Minoan Crete was rediscovered, and how this affected the still dominant interpretations and representations of this civilisation. The unit will also examine how the ‘Minoans’ have been appropriated and portrayed in other fields, from Freudian psychoanalysis to modern literature, architecture, and painting.

This unit aims:

  • to familiarise students with the rediscovery, interpretation, and reception of the Minoan civilisation
  • to develop skills in understanding of the different ways that Minoan civilisation has been characterized and analysed (particularly in the political and intellectual environment of late 19th-early 20th Europe)
  • to enable students to use the knowledge acquired in seminars and through independent research to construct coherent, relevant and critical arguments concerning the interpretative issues raised by the representation of the Minoan civilisation
  • to develop student skills in oral and written communication, and in independent research.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed:

  1. an expert knowledge of the rediscovery, interpretation, and reception of the Minoan civilisation;
  2. an understanding of the different ways that Minoan civilisation has been characterized and analysed; and
  3. the expert knowledge to construct coherent, relevant and critical arguments concerning the interpretative issues raised by the representation of the Minoan civilisation.

Teaching details

1 x 2-hour seminar per week.

Assessment Details

One summative coursework essay of 5000 words (100%) assessing skills in ILOs (1) (2) (3).

Reading and References

  • Y. Hamilakis and N. Momigliano (eds.) 2006. Archaeology and European Modernity: Producing and Consuming the ‘Minoans’. Special volume of Creta Antica (no. 7). Padua: Ausilio, Bottega d’Erasmo
  • Farnoux, A. 1996. Knossos: unearthing a legend (London : Thames & Hudson)
  • Fitton, J.L. 1995. The Discovery of the Greek Bronze Age (London: British Museum Press)
  • Fitton, J.L. 2002.Minoans (London: British Museum Press)
  • McDonald, W.A. and C.G. Thomas (1990) Progress into the Past: The Rediscovery of Mycenaean Civilisation (2nd edition; Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indiana)

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