CL3APT-Athenian Political Thought

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Katherine Harloe

Email: k.c.harloe@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module provides for in-depth study of a number of key ancient texts in the history of political thought. It also involves discussion of modern critical scholarship on and popular perceptions of Athenian democracy.

Aims:
Students who complete this module successfully will:
• show understanding of the arguments in several Athenian political texts;
• be able to criticize these ideas and arguments, making reference to modern discussions;
• show some understanding of Athenian political culture;
• show awareness of the ways in which ideas about Athens have informed ideas about Western politics and society since 1800, and vice versa.
In addition, they will have opportunities to develop their independent research skills in the formulation and investigation of an individually chosen essay question and topic, and practised their oral and written communication skills in seminar discussions and assessed written work.

Assessable learning outcomes:
• knowledge of a number of key texts of Athenian political thought, of their context and of major debates over their interpretation;
• ability to criticise the standpoints of both ancient and modern commentators on political systems;
• understanding of important methodological debates and approaches to the study of ancient political thought;
• use of appropriate resources to select, develop and investigate an independent research question;
• appropriate presentation of research findings in assessed written work

Additional outcomes:
Students will foster skills in oral discussion and use of IT.

Outline content:
Athens was not the only democracy to exist in the ancient world, but it was one of the most powerful and influential. Athenian authors have left us an unparalleled body of literary texts investigating and criticising their political system. In this module you will read and discuss a number of important authors who interrogated Athenian politics and society. Authors studied may include Solon, Herodotus, Thucydides, the Attic orators and dramatists, Xenophon, Plato, and Aristotle.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will be taught by seminars, with two contact hours a week. Preparatory reading will be mandatory for every session. In the final week of term, the sessions will focus upon preparation for the assessed essay.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
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:
This module will be assessed by:
(1) One critical commentary of approximately 2000 words on a work of modern scholarship chosen by the student, due in by 12 noon on the last day of spring term (40%);
(2) One essay of about 3000 words on a topic chosen by the student, due in by 12 noon on the first day of Week 2 of summer term (60%).

Formative assessment methods:
Regular seminars will provide an opportunity for students to test out and receive feedback upon their ideas and interpretations. All students will be given an opportunity for one-to-one discussion of their chosen research topic for the final coursework assessment.

All students are encouraged (though not required) to submit a one- to two-page proposal or plan for their final essay by 12 noon on Friday of week 9 of spring term. Individual feedback meetings for proposals submitted by this deadline will be offered before the end of the spring term.

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:http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
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.

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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    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:
    n/a

    Requirements for a pass:
    40%

    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: 21 December 2016

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