CL2LA-Introduction to Late Antiquity

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou


Summary module description:
This module will provide a general introduction to the Late Roman and early Post-Roman world (ca 300- 750).

The course aims to provide students with general knowledge of the Later Roman Empire and the arrival and establishment of its successor states, and with the possibility to appreciate the sources and the different historiographical approaches of this very sensitive period.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
- Describe and analyse key issues pertaining to the history of the period examined.
- Locate and assemble material on a given subject in this wider area of study.
- Appraise critically and interpret primary sources of different nature and construct coherent arguments from them.
- Distinguish between modern approaches and be able to discuss them.

Additional outcomes:
The module will develop team-work skills and consciousness of the necessity to question arguments of authority in a constructive way. It will also provide training in the use of bibliographical and research databases, and develop precision in writing and presentation.

Outline content:
The module treats some key topics in the history and historiography of Late Antiquity (ca 300-750), including its definition and status as a historical subject. It will cover the social, economic, political, religious and cultural spheres and will highlight the regional diversity of the Empire. It will study the transformations linked to the move of the capital to Constantinople and to the gradual adoption of Christianity as a state religion, and at the other end those linked to the fall of Rome in the fifth century and of the eastern provinces in the seventh. Attention will be paid to neighbouring peoples and polities, in particular Arabia and the rise of Islam.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught in five two-hour sessions in the first five weeks, consisting of a mixture of lectures and group work. The remaining weeks will consist of individual research for a specific assignment, with a final meeting to discuss the work. All sessions require some preparatory reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 6
Seminars 6
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 3000 word essay due in by 12 noon Friday week 8.

Formative assessment methods:
Short discussions and written reports on a given topic by groups will be analysed with a view to perfecting methodology.

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 in August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 4 January 2017

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