Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Classics and Ancient History


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module is designed as an interdisciplinary introduction to ancient Greek history, society, and thought, by focussing on how the classical Athenians engaged with their past.
  • It is a companion module to the plenary Monuments and memory in the Age of Augustus (CLAS1301).
  • It introduces all students in the department to the central themes, topics and terminology in the study of Archaic and Classical Greece, and equips them to use the basic intellectual resources available to assist that study.


  • The module consists of the study of ancient Greek society, with a particular focus on Athens and its public discourses, especially those pertaining to civic and military ideals.
  • The subject-matter includes a wide variety of different types of source material and evidence, including selected passages from ancient Greek poets, historians, orators, dramatists and philosophers, together with selected inscriptions, vase-paintings, sculptures, and buildings.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • The student should have a knowledge of the basic topography and chronology of fifth-century Greece, be familiar with the sources for the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, and have an understanding of the fundamental issues in scholarship in the field.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The student should be able to access, discuss, and evaluate critically the different types of source material, and use basic reference tools and bibliography. They should have acquired some understanding of the different scholarly methodologies that have been developed for understanding evidence, and a basic grasp of the problems inherent in handling translated texts.
Key Skills:
  • The student should be able to appreciate the problems associated with evaluating evidence from other cultures, develop the ability to think independently, and acquire the skills needed to analyse, evaluate, and synthesise into a coherent argument a wide range of evidence. They should have acquired an ability to organise their workload and timetable in an efficient manner and to fulfil assignments promptly and efficiently.
  • The student should be able to research topics using the library catalogue and databases and to organise, structure and present academic work in a professional manner.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures will provide an evaluation of the literary, historical and visual evidence, and seminars will allow students to develop skills in interpretation of the evidence.
  • The formative assessments will allow students to develop their academic study skills, and to develop their essay-writing competence.
  • The summative assessment will assess the students' overall knowledge of the topic, and their organizational skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week (Michaelmas Term and Epiphany Term and 1 revision/consolidation lecture in Easter Term) plus 1 introductory lecture 1 hour 22
Tutorials 4 2 per term (Michaelmas Term, Epiphany Term) 1 hour 4
Study Skills Sessions 6 6 in Michaelmas Term 1 hour 6
Preparation and Reading 168
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Take-home written examination 3 hours 100% Examination

Formative Assessment:

Scholarly skills exercises in Michaelmas term; 1 formative assessment; seminar participations throughout the year. No collections.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University