CL2DR-Ancient Drama

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Barbara Goff


Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module examines the ancient genre of drama, with respect to its content, themes and style, and the context of performance culture which surrounded it.

- To offer a broad discussion of the context and significance of drama in ancient societies.
- To provide detailed interpretations of selected dramas, and relate those interpretations to the wider literary tradition, and to the social and cultural context in which the plays were first performed.
- To gain an understanding of key trends in past scholarship on the subject.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, students are expected to:
- relate the interpretation of specific plays to the original context of composition and performance;
- complement the evidence and arguments presented in the lectures and seminars with additional information assembled by their own research;
- analyse in detail selected passages in written commentaries;
- articulate their arguments effectively and illustrate them with relevant evidence.
- recognise and criticise key arguments made in recent scholarship.

Additional outcomes:

The module develops students’ skills in oral communication and team-work, through discussions and presentations in seminars. It also encourages critical thinking in the assessment of ancient and modern texts, and the logical and persuasive construction of arguments. It provides training in key research skills such as using web databases to locate ancient evidence and modern scholarly works. Students will also develop skills related to examinations.

Outline content:
Topics covered in this module may include the ritual and political context of ancient drama, the relationship between drama and the epic and lyric tradition, and the use of Greek models by writers of Latin tragedy. Ancient dramas to be discussed may be drawn from the works of such authors as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Seneca, Plautus and Terence.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught by lectures and seminars with at least two contact hours per week.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 6
Guided independent study: 174
Total hours by term 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One two hour paper

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework Students are required to produce TWO pieces of assessed coursework for this module: 1) one commentary of 1000-1500 words, comprising a thorough discussion of a short, relevant passage from a written ancient source studied for this module (25%).  This is due by 12 noon on Friday of week 5.  2) an annotated bibliography of at least five items (1000 words), describing the main lines of argument of this item and discussing any relevant strengths or limitations.. This is due by 12 noon on the last day of the term in which the module is taught.

Examinations (50%) One two-hour paper requiring: (1) One commentary on a text discussed in the course of the lectures. (2) One essay.


Formative assessment methods:

Group discussions in seminars, and individual discussion of coursework, will provide formative assessment.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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:
40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination in August.
Coursework will be resubmitted 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: 20 July 2020


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