CL2REP-Roman Epic

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: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Gillian Knight


Summary module description:


The aim of this module is to offer the students a broad discussion of Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Lucan’s Civil War, to explore their literary and historical contexts, and to consider them in the light of modern critical approaches.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module it is expected that students will be able to:
• relate the interpretation of Roman epics to the contexts in which they were composed, to the
history of the genre and to the wider literary tradition
• distinguish between, and evaluate the merits of, different methodological approaches, and
apply different styles of literary criticism
• complement the evidence and arguments introduced in lectures and seminars with additional
information assembled by their own research
• articulate their arguments effectively and illustrate them with relevant evidence

Additional outcomes:
This module aims to encourage the development of oral communication and presentation skills, and of students’ effectiveness in group situations. It will aim to enhance IT skills through the use of online bibliographies and databases.

Outline content:
The course will introduce students to two important works of ancient literature: the Metamorphoses of Ovid, and the post-Augustan Civil War of Lucan, and through these will examine the development of epic in the Roman period. Some introductory attention will also be given to Virgil’s Aeneid. It will look at the relationship between these works and the political and cultural climates within which they were produced. In particular, it will focus on the interplay between fact and fiction, on narrative strategies and on the potential for subversion provided by the presence of intertextual allusion.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will be taught by lectures and seminars over weeks 6-10 of Spring term. In week 9 there will be a workshop-style event at which all students will deliver an oral presentation, which will form one component of the module's assessment.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5
Seminars 5
Guided independent study 90
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
(1) Students are required to contribute a formal oral paper to a mock conference on the theme of Roman Epic, and to answer questions from their peers in response. (10%)

(2) They will write an essay of around 2,000 - 2,500 words in length, due in by 12 noon on Tuesday week 1 of Summer term (90%)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener 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.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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