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Ancient History Options 2012/13

The MA Ancient History is part of the London Intercollegiate MA and students may take options from UCL's Greek and Latin department and KCL and RHUL. 

ALL COURSES ARE AVAILABLE AS A 30 (OR 15 FOR 20 CREDIT OPTIONS) CREDITS TO NON-INTERCOLLEGIATE STUDENTS

  • HISTGA01 SOURCES AND METHODS IN ANCIENT HISTORY

CORE COURSE FOR ANCIENT HISTORY STUDENTS

40 credits

Meets: Fridays 11-1, room TBA (KCL)

Teaching will consist of a weekly seminar on problems of theory and method of current importance to the study of ancient history; the seminar involves all teachers of ancient history in UCL and some from the rest of the University of London. There is also a very wide range of options available in fields such as: social anthropology, historiography, archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, papyrology, and textual criticism that students will be encouraged to choose so as to help them in working on sources for their dissertations.

Assessment will be by coursework.

  • HISTGA03 LATIN EPIGRAPHY

Benet Salway

40 credits

Meets: Tuesdays 2-4, room 246 Senate House (South Block)

This is a dedicated MA course, designed to introduce students to both the practical study and the interpretation of Latin inscriptions of all types. The classes will survey the expanding resources available for the study of Latin inscriptions, including electronic resources as well as traditional printed corpora; the production of epigraphic material from the point of view of those commissioning it and the individual craftsman; the development and the decline of ‘epigraphic habit’; and the analysis and interpretation of the texts in the broader context of the artefacts, monuments or buildings to which they were attached. Students will learn how to measure and record inscriptions; how to read and interpret epigraphic texts; and how to edit and prepare epigraphic texts for publication. They will study and interpret a wide variety of examples different types of inscriptions: official, public, private and graffiti, from Rome, Italy and the provinces. It is intended to make use as much as possible of photographs and of epigraphic material in the collections of the British Museum, University College London, and the Museum of London.

  • HISTGAO5B THE ECONOMY OF CLASSICAL ATHENS

Hans van Wees

15/20 credits, Term 2

Meets: Thursdays 2-4, room TBA

In the long-running debate about the nature of the ancient economy, classical Athens occupies a special place as a relatively complex society with an economy that may have been more ‘modern’ than anything found in other Greek city-states. After an introduction to the theoretical problems and scholarship, the course investigates a series of key aspects of the Athenian economy in the period 450-300 BC, with particular reference to the most important bodies of source material, which each receive a class to themselves. On the basis of a close analysis of these sources and further study of specialist scholarship, the basic patterns of consumption, production, exchange and public finance will be assessed in terms of their scale, complexity and ‘modernity’, before we ultimately turn to the question of how exceptional the classical Athenian economy really was in its time.

  • HISTGA18 THE CITY IN THE ROMAN WORLD

Benet Salway

40 credits

Meets: Thursdays 11-1, room G09, 26 Gordon Square

This is not a course about the City of Rome. Rather it aims to provide students with a thorough grounding in the sources and scholarly debates relating to the role and nature of the civic communities right across the Roman World from the late republic to late antiquity. This encompasses consideration of the changing social nature and political function of communities identified as ‘cities’ (poleis, civitates) throughout the geographical diversity of the empire of Rome from c. 100 BC to AD 500. The course takes as its subject not just the model of the city propagated by imperial Rome in previously unurbanised areas but also the development of the post-classical Greek city-state in that part of the Hellenistic world that came under Roman sway.

At the beginning of the period covered the city was still unquestionably considered the locus of ‘civilisation’ and civilised virtues; by the end of this period this assumption was no longer the unchallenged consensus. Amongst questions to be examined will be: What social ideals are embodied in civic structure? How do these vary between ‘Greek’ East and 'Latin' West? What are the differences between ‘organic’ and planned/planted cities? What was the relation of the cities to local and longer distance economies? Was the Roman city purely a ‘consumer’ city? What made Rome a super-city and how did it differ from ‘normal’ cities? To what extent was the city seen as a religious community? What problems were posed by groups such as Jews and, later, Christians? How did the Christianisation of society affect the topography, function, and social structure of the Roman city? To what extent does the eclipse of the ancient city mark the end of the ancient world?

Students that successfully complete the course will have gained a familiarity with the political, social, and economic dynamics of this specific aspect of the Graeco-Roman world, of the nature of the evidence for analysing and understanding that phenomenon, and will have developed their historical skills by undertaking critical analysis of relevant modern scholarly theories.

  • HISTGA03 CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST IN THE FIRST MILLENNIUM BC

Karen Radner and Amelie Kurht

40 credits

Meets: Tuesdays 2-4, room 209, 25 Gordon Sq.

Can also be taken in the following 20 credit options (HISTGA04A):

  • THE ASSYRIAN AND BABYLONIAN EMPIRES (term 1)
  • THE ACHAEMENID AND SELEUCID EMPIRES (term 2)

The module focuses on the period c. 800-128 BC, covering the Neo-Assyrian, Babylonian, Achaemenid, and Seleucid empires. The aim is to analyse structural shifts and continuities, by examining the states in their Near Eastern setting. Throughout the emphasis is on critical evaluation of a diverse corpus of evidence and assessment of relevant scholarly literature.

Assessment is by two pieces of written work, totalling c. 10,000 words. Relevant languages: ancient - Greek, Akkadian, Old Persian, Aramaic, Egyptian, Hebrew; modern - French, German.

  • CLASGL01 MA BEGINNERS LATIN

*PLEASE CHECK THE FULL INTERCOLLEGIATE MODULE LIST FOR OTHER GREEK AND LATIN LANGUAGE MODULES

Dr Vassiliki Zali and Dr John Sabapathy

40 credits (available as a 30 credit option for non-Ancient history students)

Meets: Mondays 1-2 (Medieval students only), room G09, 26 Gordon Sq., Mondays 5-6.30, room 123, Foster Court, Thursdays 5-6.30, Southwing B3A

An introduction to the Latin language for complete beginners, designed to bring them to a point where they can read simple texts in Latin. The set texts: P.V. Jones and K.C. Sidwell Reading Latin (Cambridge University Press). The module comprises two volumes, one subtitled Text, the other Grammar, Vocabulary and Exercises.
Assessment will be by two in-class one-hour tests in December and March (making up 25% of the grade) and one three-hour written examination (75%).

  • CLASGG12 ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE

Dr Jenny Bryan
20 credits 

Meets: Fridays 2-4

Description: This course offers students the opportunity to explore two aspects of the interaction between philosophy and literature in the Classical World. The first is what philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle have to say about the nature of literature. The second, not unrelated aspect is the way that the form and content of ancient philosophy can be seen to significantly related. Students will look at a range of texts from across the ancient canon, including the Presocratics, Plato’s dialogues, Seneca’s letters and Lucretius’ didactic verse.

Assessment: One essay of 4-5000 words.

  • CLASGG13 READING ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY

Dr Jenny Bryan
20 credits 

Meets: Fridays 2-4 Description: This course offers students the opportunity to read and discuss one substantial work of ancient philosophy with a focus on the way that its author combines formal and philosophical considerations to produce a work of philosophical literature/literary philosophy. Attention will also be given to the ways in which the work presents a reception of and reflection on its literary predecessors and rivals for authority. In the first year, this text will be Plato’s Phaedrus.

Assessment: One essay of 4-5000 words.

  • CLASGR12 Approaches to Reception

Professors Miriam Leonard and Chris Carey 40 credits 

Meets Thurs 2-4

Description: This course will be taught by a combination of lectures, seminars and research visits to relevant institutions, such as the British Museum, Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, and the Petrie Museum. The core course is intended to provide training in research techniques and resources for postgraduate study in the reception of antiquity, and to introduce students to relevant ideas and methods involved in studying the reception of the classical world across a range of periods, societies, and media. It provides key illustrations of different responses to classical cultures in action, and demonstrates how later cultures have viewed and made use of the classical world from their own particular standpoint.

Assessment: Two coursework essays of 4,000 words each.

COURSES TAUGHT USING THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE:

  • CLASGG10A GREEK DRAMA 1: COMEDY, GENRE AND INTERTEXTUALITY

Professor Chris Carey

20 credits (Term 1)

Meets: Mondays 11-1

Description: This dedicated MA course will be devoted to Athenian comedy of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE in its theatrical and literary context. It will be based on close reading of two classic comedies in the original Greek. Set texts will be Aristophanes’ Frogs and Menander’s Arbitration. Topics considered will include genre boundaries and their exploration and manipulation, style, interpretation, textual transmission, dramaturgy, staging, metre, and social, political and religious context.

Assessment: One essay of 4-5,000 words.

Place: TBA (Mondays 11-1, term 1)

  • CLASGG10B GREEK DRAMA 2: HOUSE OF ATREUS

Professor Miriam Leonard

20 credits (Term 2)

Meets: Mondays 11-1 Description: This dedicated MA course will be devoted to Athenian tragedy of the fifth century BCE. It will be based on close reading of two tragedies in the original Greek. Set texts will be Aeschylus’ Agamemnon and Euripides’ Orestes. Topics considered will include, style, interpretation, textual transmission, dramaturgy, intertextuality, staging, metre, and social, political and religious context.

Assessment: One essay of 4-5,000 words.

Place: TBA (Mondays 11-1, term 2)

  • CLASGG03 GREEK PAPYROLOGY

Dr Nick Gonis 40 credits 

Meets: Tuesdays 2-4

Description: This module aims to introduce participants to the study of Greek papyri, documentary as well as literary, and to offer training in editing them. Each class will focus on a small number of texts, one or two of which will be studied in detail on a photograph. The texts are chosen to illustrate the development of Greek cursive scripts and bookhands; to examine formal aspects of the transmission of Greek literature on papyrus; and to give an idea of the range of documentary types available as sources for the history of Egypt from the age of the Ptolemies to late antiquity.  A good knowledge of Greek is essential.
Assessment: Two written assignments.

  • CLASGG11 HERODOTUS

Professor Chris Carey and Dr Rosie Harman 40 credits

Meets: Thursdays 11-1

Description: This dedicated MA module will explore one of the key texts of ancient Greek historiography and literature. It will be based on close reading (linguistic, literary, narratological, historical) of two of the nine books of Herodotus' Histories in Greek. The first term will be devoted to book 7 and will be led by Chris Carey; the second term will be devoted to book 8 and will be led by Rosie Harman.

Assessment: Two pieces of coursework, each of 4-5,000 words, equally weighted.

  • CLASGG07 MYCENAEAN GREEK

Dr Stephen Colvin

40 credits

Meets: Thursdays 2-4 (Term 1), 5-7 (Term 2)

An introduction to Mycenaean Greek, including a basic review of Greek historical phonology and morphology. This module introduces the language, script and history of the Linear B tablets from Bronze Age Greece: in order to do this effectively it also serves as a basic introduction to Greek historical phonology and morphology. By extension, this will include an introduction to Indo-European studies.  A selection of Linear B texts will be studied, with attention to social, historical and archaeological context: core topics will include the history of writing in the ancient Aegean and the graphic representation of Greek; the dialectal affiliations of Mycenaean and Homeric Greek; and the evidence of the tablets for the history of the Greek language. Students will need J.T. Hooker Linear B: an Introduction (Bristol 1980)
Assessment will be by completed weekly assignments, and a project (essay) of 4000 words, and a detailed commentary on a text (each carrying one third of the
marks).

  • CLASGL10 EARLY MODERN LATIN LITERATURE

Professor Gesine Manuwald (UCL) and Dr Victoria Moul (KCL)

40 credits

Meets: one two-hour class per week (term 1: Tue, 11-1 at KCL:

term 2: Fri, 9–11 at UCL TBC)

This course offers students the opportunity to explore some of the key authors and genres of the Latin poetry written in Europe during the Renaissance, from the beginnings of neo-classical poetry in 14th and 15th century Italy, to around 1700. In this period, a vast amount of original Latin poetry, much of it of high literary quality, was produced across Europe in a range of genres, including those familiar from classical Latin literature (epic, elegy, drama, epigram) as well as several genres not typical of classical Latin verse (such as Latin Pindaric odes, various kinds of drama, and Christian religious verse).

This understudied material offers many points of interest, especially for students interested in any of the following topics: the reception of classical Latin poetry in early modern literature; the links between Latin and vernacular literature in early modern Europe; the political possibilities of classical imitation; or the linguistic features of neo-classical Latin in the Renaissance. Due to the understudied nature of much of this material, a good deal of which remains unedited and untranslated, this topic is also an excellent opportunity for any graduate students who are interested in the challenges of editing and translating a text for themselves.

Students should have a decent level of Latin and preferably a solid knowledge of classical Latin literature.

Students will be expected to read about 200 lines of Latin per week, together with one article or book chapter.

Assessment: two pieces of coursework of 5,000 words max. each

Page last modified on 07 nov 12 17:14 by Joanna Fryer