CL2AGS-Ancient Greek Sculpture

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Prof Amy Smith


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module traces the evolution and development of the architecture & sculpture of the ancient Greek world from its beginnings to the end of the Hellenistic period (around 1000-31 BC), considering religious, political, economic & other intercultural forces that shaped these arts and the use and reception of the resulting artefacts thereafter.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be expected to:

  • Recognize, describe and date a range of Greek architecture & sculpture

  • Analyse the social and historical context of objects

  • Distinguish particular problems encountered with fragmentary, lost, or unprovenanced works, and understand and evaluate the methods used to overcome them

  • Analyse the social and historical context of monuments and buildings

    Critically interpret and analyse primary and secondary sources

  • Develop art historical interpretive skills of observation and analysis

  • Express their own perspectives and opinions based upon a solid understanding of any problems and arguments

Additional outcomes:

This module also encourages the development of oral communication skills and students’ effectiveness working in groups, through presentations, and participation in class meetings. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources including bibliographies.

Outline content:

This module will treat a range of architectural & sculpted monuments, in relief and in the round, and related material in the Greek world from the Dark Ages to the end of the Hellenistic period. It will follow a chronological format, beginning with the earliest architectural & sculptural remains and their precedents and trace the development of the orders and different stylistic and functional elements. Primary attention will be given to the variety of buildings and monuments in ancient cities, with emphasis on the public monuments that are best evidenced. These monuments will be examined from the viewpoints of the ancient craftsmen as well as patrons and consumers. It will also examine materials, methods and techniques. How do their forms, material and iconography reflect their function? How did ancient viewers regard these works, and what was its importance in their daily lives? Where and when did certain images have prominence and why? Attention is given to the "development" of style through distinct historical periods, and the ways in which modern scholars and connoisseurs have established stylistic criteria. We will consider ancient literary sources and their value for interpreting these images, as well as the legacy of Greek architecture and sculpture, as it has been interpreted and reinterpreted by Roman, Renaissance, Neoclassical and modern artists and consumers.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 13
Seminars 5
External visits 2
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 10
    Exam revision/preparation 30
    Advance preparation for classes 40
    Preparation for presentations 20
    Preparation for seminars 20
    Preparation of practical report 20
    Essay preparation 40
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 30
Written assignment including essay 35
Report 25
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 90-minute exam.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  1. A brief oral report on a museum object, to be given on the day of the visit to the museum (10%).

  2. A written report (no more than 1,000 words) on the same object as for the oral report, due in at 12 noon on Friday week 7 of term (25%).

  3. One essay of about 2,000 words on a topic approved by the convenor, due in by 12 noon on the first Tuesday of the term after that in which the module is taught (35%)

Formative assessment methods:

Feedback given on the oral report will help students revise ideas for the written report.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener 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:


    Reassessment arrangements:

    Resubmission in August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Ca. £20 (RT journey to British Museum)

    Last updated: 26 April 2019


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