CL3AD-Greek Art and Drama

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Amy Smith


Summary module description:
This module considers the interplay between ancient visual arts—especially vase painting—and drama, to investigate how literary sources can be used to flesh out our understanding of ancient art and to understand the role of ancient art as material evidence for lost aspects of ancient Greek tragedy and comedy and as a means of disseminating knowledge of Greek drama throughout the Mediterranean.

To investigate and critique the sources of our knowledge about Greek drama, the stories that it conveyed, and their presentation through literary and visual arts, as well as on stage.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module students will be able to:
• critically appraise primary (literary and visual) sources for Greek drama;
• identify and analyse the main forms of drama in Greek antiquity and their evolution;
• identify the narrative tendencies of ancient Greek and Roman artists;
• recognize the fundamental art forms that depicted dramatic stories in antiquity;
• locate, organize, and synthesize a variety of resources for the comparative study of literature and art;
• effectively articulate arguments orally and in writing.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop oral presentation skills and IT skills while using web resources.

Outline content:
This module comprises a survey of the stories (mostly myths) encountered in Greek drama and the variety of ways in which they have been presented through tragedy, comedy, and visual arts. The presentation of these stories as tragedies is but one stage in the long evolution of ancient myth. In the heydey of Athenian drama (the mid-fifth century B.C.) a number of authors competed with each other in presenting their own individual treatments of the same age-old myths at dramatic festivals. Many of these stories were also popular themes treated in the visual arts, particularly painted pots (in Archaic and Classical Athens and Corinth, as well as South Italy) and mosaics and paintings in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds. The material is surveyed thematically, and will focus on a core group of stories that illustrate a range of Greek ideas. Particular attention will be given to questions concerning how and why visual and literary representations of the same stories differed. How did artists alter the stories in response to the medium in which they worked? To what degree did artists in different media respond to treatments in other media? And how did representations in each medium reflect attitudes and concerns of Classical society? Non-Athenian sources for Athenian dramatic presentations will also be considered, with a view to understanding how artists presented stories differently in a variety of media and for different audiences.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is comprised of two contact hours per week that constitute 18 one-hour meetings (twelve lectures and eight seminars) and 1 two-hour meeting (museum visit). Seminars will revolve around students' presentations of their own work. Students will be expected to study visual treatments using objects in the Ure Museum, internet resources, and images in books.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 8
Tutorials 2
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 40
Portfolio 25
Project output other than dissertation 25
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

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 of coursework in August

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 25 April 2017

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