CLMAT-Approaches to Ancient Trade and Navigation

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof Annalisa Marzano

Email: A.Marzano@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module introduces students to the main literary, documentary, epigraphic and archaeological sources for ancient (Classical to late Roman) and Medieval Mediterranean trade and navigation and to the techniques and theoretical approaches relevant to study this material and ancient economic history in general. The module also aims to give practice in the use of different types of evidence through thematic and interdisciplinary seminars.

Aims:
This module introduces students to the main literary, documentary, epigraphic and archaeological sources for ancient (Classical to late Roman) and Medieval Mediterranean trade and navigation and to the techniques and theoretical approaches relevant to study this material and ancient economic history in general. The module also aims to give practice in the use of different types of evidence through thematic and interdisciplinary seminars.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module, students should be able:

-to demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the different types of evidence and resources available for the study of the ancient trade and navigation;

-to identify and apply an appropriate combination of literary, epigraphic, documentary and other archaeological evidence critically and accurately to the elucidation of problems relating to ancient trade and navigation?

-to use these primary data for the evaluation of both traditional and current theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the ancient economy, and to appraise critically their respective contribution to understanding ancient economies and dynamics in economic transactions.
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-to locate, extract, and assemble data and information from varied sources with minimal guidance
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-to take a creative approach to key issues and to develop independent interpretations of material through self-directed research
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-to organise wide-ranging material and to articulate complex arguments effectively both written work and, orally, in seminar discussions and presentations

Additional outcomes:
The module also promotes the development of high-level problem-solving skills applied to diverse, complex and incomplete data. Seminar presentations and written work encourage independent learning and the exercise of initiative. Opportunity is also provided for students to practice language skills through reading foreign language publications

Outline content:
This module introduces students of varied backgrounds to the techniques and theoretical approaches relevant to ancient economic history and ancient maritime trade in particular. Weekly seminars, for which students prepare through guided reading, introduce a broad range of approaches to the history, literature and culture of the ancient world, and to key issues in contemporary academic debate.

After an introduction to the main resources for the study of ancient navigation and trade, and to the key themes in the study of the ancient economy, a series of lectures and seminars covers the main categories of evidence and the problems associated with them. These are then put into practice through the study of four key areas: key differences in maritime trade between the Classical and Medieval periods; routes; commodities; ports & harbours infrastructure. The second half of the module is devoted to thematic and interdisciplinary case studies examining different approaches to and perspectives on ancient seafaring and maritime trade. Topics covered include: changes in ship tonnage; the issue of the sailing season; customs dues and taxation; legislation regulating maritime loans; long distance trade and its commodities; medium-distance trade and its commodities; primary and secondary ports.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Illustrated lectures, seminars, and structured group discussion requiring preparatory reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 10 10
Guided independent study 140 140
       
Total hours by term 150.00 150.00
       
Total hours for module 300.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Project output other than dissertation 20
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
One book review (20%), one oral or web presentation (10%) with both of these due in the Autumn Term and one essay of 4,000 words (70%) due in the Spring Term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Standard University Penalties apply.

Length of examination:
None

Requirements for a pass:
50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Reassessment of coursework in the following September.

Last updated: 12 August 2014

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