Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE From Heroic Times to the Age of Alexander: A Survey of Ancient Greek History and Literature

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Classics and Archaeology

DESCRIPTION This study-unit surveys the development of Greek civilization, from the Doric migrations up to the Hellenistic period, as reflected in some of the main texts in the Greek literary oeuvre. Importance is given to the geography of Greece, Magna Graecia and the Eastern Mediterranean and its impact on Greek civilization, the early migrations, colonization and reciprocal influences. Special emphasis is laid on the political development of the Greek city-states with a review of the political set-up in Athens and Sparta in the 5th century. The causes and effects of major confrontations are explored with special emphasis on the Persian invasions and the Peloponnesian War. There will also be an exposition of Athenian and Spartan society in the 5th and 4th century. The rise of Macedon, the conquests of Alexander the Great, the division of the conquests and the effects on the subsequent history of Hellas and the East Mediterranean lands will also be discussed.

This study-unit is meant to expose the student to a wide perspective of Greek literary genres, such as epic, didactic, elegy and lyric, satire, tragedy, comedy, history, oratory, rhetoric, philosophy, pastoral, novel, biography, and scientific writing.

Study-unit Aims:

1. To familiarise students with the major events in the history of ancient Greek civilization;
2. To help students appreciate the connections between ancient Greek civilization and literature;
3. To provide students with a survey of major Greek authors;
4. To help students to mould a deeper understanding of the present age by a study of the past;
5. To encourage discussion on causes and effects of major historical events.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the historical, literary, political and social context of Greek civilization;
2. Recognize the relationship of history, geography, and literature;
3. Distinguish the different genres that comprise ancient Greek literature and highlight the main representative writers and the subject matter of their respective chief works;
4. Identify the causes and effects of major historical events;
5. Apply the legacies of Greek Civilization onto our own present era.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Analyze historical events in relation to geography and literature;
2. Evaluate historical events in relation to causes and effects and as refelcted in literature;
3. Relate on the major Greek authors and their works;
4. Make obervations on the syle of different genres while also comparing one author with another within the same genre;
5. Contribute to the present era as the recipient of previous civilizations and a potential beneficiary to future ones.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Bury, J. B. and Meiggs, R., A history of Greece to the death of Alexander the Great, Macmillan 4th rev. ed. 1975 . [Main Library General DEF214 .B97]
- Rose, H.J. (1996). A handbook of Greek literature, from Homer to the age of Lucian. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. [Faculty of Arts Library General PA3052 .R6 1996]

Supplementary readings:

- (Aristotle), The Athenian Constitution, London, Heinemann (Loeb Classical Series) 1952. [Main Libary PA3612.A75 P6]
- Hornblower, S., The Greek World 479-323 BC, Routledge 1996. [Main Library General DEF227 .H67]
- Green, P., Alexander to Actium : the historical evolution of the Hellenistic age., U. Calif. P. 1990. [Main Library General E86 .G74]


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Workbook No 40%
Assignment Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Jurgen R. Gatt

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.