CL3ANX-Xenophon’s Anabasis

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: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Emma Aston


Summary module description:
In his Anabasis, the Classical author Xenophon describes the tortuous journey of a group of Greek mercenaries, periodically unemployed and often at risk of extermination, from Asia Minor to Babylonia and back again via Armenia and the Black Sea. This module will examine the literary and historical significance of this work, and its contribution to our understanding of a neglected aspect of ancient life: that of travel beyond the traditional confines of the city-state.

This module aims to give participants a really detailed knowledge of a single ancient text, the Anabasis of Xenophon. The work will be studied both as a piece of literature and as evidence for a range of ancient events, customs and attitudes: it will therefore allow students to explore the interface between history and historiography.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•Demonstrate knowledge of the content and structure of the Anabasis
•Reflect on the purpose and the genre of the work
•Discuss and evaluate its presentation of characters and events
•Demonstrate knowledge of the main historical events and developments of the period covered
•Discuss and evaluate the historical themes expressed in the Anabasis, and its contribution to our understanding of Classical Greek life and culture

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills, through student participation in and presentation of seminars. It also aims to encourage critical thinking, through the assessment of ancient and modern texts, and to develop skills in presenting ideas and arguments logically and persuasively.

Outline content:
Topics to be covered in this module may include:
•Xenophon’s career and work
•Ancient autobiography and authorial self-presentation
•Characterisation in the Anabasis
•Mercenary soldiers and travel in the Classical world
•The Anabasis’ depiction of different regional Greek identities and of non-Greek communities

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Two hours a week, consisting of either lectures or seminars. For every session specific sections of the Anabasis will be set as essential preparatory reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Seminars 4
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

Other information on summative assessment:
The module will be assessed by coursework only, consisting of two assignments:
1.A commentary on a selected passage of the Anabasis, contributing 30% of the module mark and due in by 12 noon on Friday of week 6 of term (c. 2,000 words)
2.An essay (list of titles to be supplied), contributing 70% of the module mark and due in by 12 noon on the first Tuesday of the following term (c. 3,000 words)

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:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

    Things to do now