CL2GRE-Greek Religions

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Emma Aston


Summary module description:

This module explores the religious practices and beliefs of the ancient Greeks, with particular focus on modes of ritual behaviour.


The gods were considered all-powerful in the lives of ancient Greeks, and their favour had endlessly to be won in order to ensure good harvests, successful childbirth, profitable business ventures, relief from sickness and so on.  This module aims to equip students with an understanding of the methods by which the Greeks tried to manage their relationship with the divine by examining a number of key types of cult and ritual.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•show knowledge and understanding of important cult sites and types
•examine the ancient evidence available and evaluate its limitations
•think critically about modern theories concerning Greek religion
•marshal relevant materials and articulate arguments effectively in writing

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

The module is organised thematically according to types of ritual. Topics covered may include:

  • animal sacrifice

  • festivals and processions

  • oracular sanctuaries

  • healing sanctuaries

  • Mystery cults

  • hero cults

  • agricultural rites

  • kourotrophic rituals (those associated with child-birth and -rearing)

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and seminars

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 8
Seminars 4
Guided independent study 88
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

One essay of 3,000 words to be submitted by 12 noon on the Friday of week 11

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be encouraged to submit an essay plan in week 5, and to discuss it with the convenor in week 6, to help marshal their ideas in good time and obtain advice and guidance.

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:

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission by 22nd August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 2 May 2017

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