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This subject will introduce students to ancient Greek and Roman culture. Through a study of ancient literary texts, art, and society, students will explore the mythic origins, heroic archetypes, gods and goddesses, monuments and societies of the Greeks and Romans. The subject will focus on the apex of classical Greek civilisation in the fifth century BC, and the end of the Roman Republic and beginning of the early Imperial period in the first centuries BCE and CE. The subject will cover topics such as the Homeric poems, Greek and Roman mythology, ancient theatre, literary and artistic culture, sexuality and gender roles, militarism and imperialism, and the fate of marginalised groups, such as women, slaves, freedmen, prostitutes, gladiators and stage performers. The subject will also consider the ways in which modern Western culture has inherited and appropriated aspects of ancient civilisation, claiming it as a model in fields ranging from epic film and architectural design to political structure and imperial aspiration.The subject is taught through a series of lectorials, workshops, and object or media-based seminars. In addition to these classes, there is approximately one hour per week of online lectures and discussion materials for students to work through in their own time.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject should:
- demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of ancient Greek and Roman culture and the primary sources available for study of those cultures;
- identify and critically analyse the social structures and institutions of the Greek communities in the archaic and classical periods and Rome in the late republican and early imperial periods;
- identify and articulate the relationships between Greek and Roman cultural expressions (mythology, literature, drama and art) and the social, religious, and political contexts of their production;
- identify and critically engage with scholarship on classical mythology;
- demonstrate in their own academic practice an understanding of the the expectations of scholarship in the discipline of Ancient World Studies;
- communicate interpretations of Greek and Roman culture and cultural products effectively, both orally and in writing;
- approach all evidence about Greek and Roman culture and society with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values;
- work effectively, in groups and independently, to identify, discuss and critically analyse key issues in the interpretation of ancient Greek and Roman culture and society.
Last updated: 30 July 2023