CL1GH-Greek History: war, society, and change in the Archaic Age

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Emma Aston


Summary module description:
This module will introduce students to a period of Greek history too often neglected in first-year study, one which established the foundations of the Classical World and saw the emergence of political and social forms still influential today. Starting in the eighth century BC and ending with the Persian invasions of Greece in the early fifth, the module tracks the upheavals, innovations and conflicts of the age, across Greece and beyond.

This module aims to equip students both with a secure historical framework of benefit to the rest of their studies, and in-depth understanding of major social and cultural themes. Vital experience will be gained of the historian’s craft at its most exciting and challenging, using often fragmentary evidence to reconstruct events and practices which are the subject of ongoing scholarly debate.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, it is expected that students will be able to:
•demonstrate knowledge of the historical framework of the period, with key events and phases;
•analyse and describe the social and cultural developments of Archaic Greece;
•examine critically the ancient evidence relevant to the period, both textual and material;
•show awareness of major scholarly trends and theories;
•locate and assemble material on the subject of study, with guidance;
•organise materials and present effectively written arguments.

Additional outcomes:
Students on this module will develop their IT skills through the production of written work and of seminar presentations. Seminars will enhance team-work and collaborative abilities.

Outline content:
This module combines a framework of narrative history with the systematic consideration of social and cultural themes.

Topics to be covered may include the following:

•Preamble to the Archaic Period: Mycenaean civilisation, and the nature and implications of the Dark Age.
•The rise of the polis as the dominant model of Greek political life.
•Modes of political representation and their evolution.
•The development of sanctuaries on the local, regional and inter-regional level.
•Travel and contact within Greece and beyond.
•Military life and major conflicts from the Lelantine War to the Persian invasions.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures set out the historical framework of the module, while seminars allow for detailed student-led discussion of relevant themes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 6
Guided independent study 174
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Class test administered by School 10

Other information on summative assessment:

Summative coursework will consist of one essay of 1,500-2,000 words, which must be submitted by 12 noon of the last Thursday of the Autumn Term.

In-class tests

In the third and sixth seminars, students will complete two short tests, each contributing 5% to the module mark, on the historical information covered in the course to date.


One paper of 90 minutes’ duration.

Formative assessment methods:
An interim assessment will be set, consisting of a commentary on a passage of ancient text, or on an artefact. The deadline for this exercise 12 noon on the Thursday of week 5. The word count is 1,000 words.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One paper of one and a half hours.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A grade of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August.
    Coursework will be resubmitted in August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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