CL2LAN-Literature and Society in Late Antiquity

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module studies the transformation the literature of the Mediterranean over four centuries, from the traditional Graeco-Roman canon in Greek and Latin to a multilingual, avowedly Christian set of texts which draw on previous tradition but also innovate in many ways, including the introduction of new literary genres and the transformation of old ones. This is done against the wider context of late antique Mediterranean history.


The module aims to provide students with a thorough introduction to Late Antique literature and its relation to the social, religious, and political changes that took place around the Meditarranean in the period from the fourth to the seventh century. Students will learn to approach texts both as sources and as literature, and to analyse them from different angles.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Recognise and analyse late antique texts in their cultural, literary, and historical contexts.

  • Describe, analyse and assess key issues pertaining to the history of the period examined.

  • Interpret texts of different natures, assess their respective relevance, identify the connections between them and use them to construct coherent arguments.

  • Understand the terms and arguments of ongoing scholarly debates and take a critical position regarding them.

Additional outcomes:

The module encourages and supports independent student learning, written communication skills, and discussion with other members of a group.

Outline content:

The module will offer an introduction to the main authors, texts, and literary genres of the late antique period (4th to 7th centuries AD). It will insist on a number of key authors, texts, and contexts, and show the importance of the period in the formation of the medieval European and Middle Eastern worlds. In parallel, it will address key methodological issues in the approach of ancient literature, including reseach methods and aspects of textual transmission.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be taught in twenty sessions that will include a mix of lectures and seminar discussion. Sessions will require prior background reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One text commentary due in at the end of Week 6. (30% of the overall mark)

One 2500 word essay due at the end of Week 1 of the term following the one in which the module is taught. (70% of the overall mark.)

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be asked to write an essay project by Week 8 for which feedback will be provided in view of their final assessed essay.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:


    Reassessment arrangements:

    Resubmission by 1 September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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