Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Rachel Mairs


Type of module:

Summary module description:

To explore the life and later representation of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, the last Queen of the Ptolemaic Dynasty, though ancient sources, literary traditions and modern cinema.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
By the end of this module students will be able to:
•understand the political context of Cleopatra’s rule in the late first century BC
•critically appraise Roman sources on Cleopatra and discuss bias and partiality in these
•identify reasons for the lasting appeal of Cleopatra in western art and literature, with particular reference to Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra
•discuss evolving depictions of Cleopatra in modern cinema

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

Outline content:
Cleopatra VII of Egypt is a controversial figure, from her depiction in Roman sources as a threat to Rome and its generals (notably Julius Caesar and Mark Antony), to the stereotyped exotic femme fatale of modern popular culture. This module explores the history of Cleopatra’s representation in art and literature, including such works as Plutarch’s Life of Antony, Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, the TV series Rome, and epic Hollywood Cleopatras starring actress such as Claudette Colbert, Elizabeth Taylor and (in a doomed production) Angelina Jolie. Although the ‘real’ historical figure may remain elusive, Cleopatra becomes a lens through which we can view major political movements of the 20th and 21st centuries, including feminism and Black Power.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is comprised of one contact hour per week that constitute 8 lectures and 2 seminars. Seminars will revolve around discussion of individual works of literature or films. Students will be expected to study primary as well as secondary sources.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 8
Seminars 2
Guided independent study: 90
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
This module will be assessed by an essay of 2000 words, due on the last Friday of term.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will have the opportunity to submit an essay plan of no more than two pages on Friday of Week 8, for formative feedback.

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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-submission 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: 8 April 2019


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