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 Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To extend the student's knowledge of the structures of the Greek and Roman societies.
  • To develop the student's appreciation of the relationship between different social structures in a diachronic manner.
  • To enable the student to understand both the elementary social structures and their exact place in a society.
  • To illustrate the importance of a sound understanding of Greek and Roman social history and to introduce students to the central themes in the field in a systematic manner.


  • The module consists of the study of topics pertaining to everyday life in Greece and Rome with emphasis on the social elements and structures. There is a particular focus on the role of an individual in these societies, and by following the natural development of an individual, the focus shifts to the social structures (s)he encounters. The topics range from the birth and growing up of an individual in Greece and Rome, to topics concerning adult life, as well as economic and leisure activities, and to matters of old age and death.
  • The subject-matter includes a variety of different types of source material and evidence, including literary, epigraphic and visual evidence.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • The student should have a knowledge of the basic elements of Greek and Roman society and be familiar with the elementary social organizations, and the roles men and women assumed in public life in Greece and Rome. By following an individual from the cradle to the grave and his/her contacts with structures imposed from above, the students will gain an insight into the most important topics in Greek and Roman social history.
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 acquire an 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 pertaining to social history and coming from other cultures.
  • The students should be able to develop the ability to think independently, and articulate their views.
  • The students should be able to acquire the skills needed to analyse, evaluate, and synthesise into a coherent argument a wide range of evidence in a written form.

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 assessment will help students to monitor their progress.
  • The examination will assess the students' familiarity with the evidence and the sophistication of their analyses.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Seminars 4 2 in michaelmas, 2 in epiphany 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 174
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 3 hours 100% Examinatio

Formative Assessment:

One formative essay (2,000 words)

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