CL2AGW-Ancient Greek Warfare

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 Emma Aston


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module equips students with a broad understanding of the military methods, strategies, customs and ideologies of the Classical Greeks. 


War was an inescapable part of ancient life, from the famous conflicts between major powers to the near-constant bickering over contested border-lands. This module looks at how Greeks made war, and how military methods related to social forms and values.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

•Identify and discuss the main styles of warfare practised by the Greeks in the fifth and fourth centuries BC.

•Demonstrate knowledge of key events and themes of the time.

•Think critically about modern scholarly reactions to ancient warfare.

•Examine the ancient evidence available and evaluate its limitations.

•Marshall relevant materials and articulate arguments effectively in writing.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student's effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources including bibliographies. 

Outline content:

In each week in the first half of term we shall study, first, a style of warfare, and second, a battle from the period which exemplifies its use.  In the seminars (week 7), students will deliver presentations on battles of their own choice, applying their knowledge from the foregoing sessions to analyse tactics, as well as the state of the ancient sources.

Styles of warfare to be covered are:

  • Hoplite warfare

  • Cavalry

  • Siege warfare

  • Naval warfare

  • Guerrilla warfare

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

In weeks 1-5 we shall meet two hours a week, for lectures; in week 7 each student will also attend a two-hour seminar, in which group presentations will be held.   

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 2
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 15
    Wider reading (directed) 25
    Preparation for seminars 8
    Essay preparation 40
Total hours by term 0 100 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This module is assessed as follows:

  • Contribution to a group oral presentation in the week 7 seminar: 10%

  • Coursework essay of ca. 2,500 words, to be submitted by 12 noon on the last Friday of the Spring term: 90%

Formative assessment methods:

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 of coursework in August. Resubmission of coursework in August.  Where resits involve the oral presentation, this will be delivered by the individual student to the module convenor.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 15 April 2019


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