Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module CLAS3371: Myth, Memory & History

Department: Classics and Ancient History

CLAS3371: Myth, Memory & History

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • CLAS1301 or CLAS1601


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Is designed as an advanced third-year module, presupposing some of the generic critical and interpretive skills that will have been acquired in the first and second years.
  • It will focus on further developing students' critical faculties, especially their ability to use and compare different types of evidence and their ability to understand and criticise complex texts, arguments, and visual images.
  • This module is in the context not only of a (partly) distant culture, but of several different types of source material and author.


  • An interdisciplinary study, involving literary, artistic and philosophical discourses, of ancient and pertinent modern models for recovering and interpreting the past in ancient Greece and Rome. Authors studied in this course may include Home, Hesiod, selected Athenian dramas, Herodotus, ancient mythography, Plato, Cicero, Augustus, Virgil and Ovid.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be aware of the most important literary and artefactual evidence for ancient approaches to the nature and function of memory, and of the role of medium in the making of memory. Students should be not only acquainted with but competent in the comparative evaluation and critique of different types of source material for ancient intellectual history. Students should also have an understanding of the ancient terminology used by poets, philosophers, mythographers and historians involved in defining cognition, literacy and memory.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be competent in interdisciplinary thinking, i.e. have developed an ability to draw connections between the different types of subject-matter found in the contexts of ancient Greek and Roman private, civic and social life. They should be able to demonstrate a sophisticated ability to handle translated texts, and an ability to select and apply appropriate methodologies to divergent types of evidence.
Key Skills:
  • Students will be able to think independently and 'outside the box' of conventional wisdom. They will have acquired the capacity to sustain at a sophisticated level a clear, well-structured and well-defended argument in written form, and to understand the possibilities and limitations of expression in different intellectual contexts and different languages.

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

  • Teaching will be by means of lectures and seminars, the seminars allowing a large element of group discussion, under the aegis of the tutor.
  • Tutorials will be designed to provide individual feedback on the students' formative and summative essays and prepare them for the final examination.
  • The formative and summative essays ensure that students engage with the issues discussed in the course.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 1 per week 1 hour/2 terms 21
Tutorials 2 2
Seminars 4 2 per term 1 hour/2 terms 4
Preparation and Reading 173
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 3000 words 100% Yes
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
examination 2 hours 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

One formative exercise.

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