GRC10200 Classical Greece

Academic Year 2019/2020

This module introduces students to the political, social, and economic history of ancient Greece. Most sessions will focus on the Classical period, c. 480-323 BC, which spans from the invasion of the Persian king Xerxes to the death of Alexander the Great. Together we will explore sources and methods that modern historians use to study ancient Greek culture, including literary texts that will be read in translation and artefacts from the ancient world that students can explore in the UCD Classical Museum, (Newman Building K216).

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module students should:

Module-specific skills:
1. possess a detailed knowledge of the history of the Classical Greek world, c. 480-323BC.
2. be able to critically analyse ancient and modern sources pertaining to the study of this period.

Discipline-specific skills
3. acquire knowledge of historiographical methods and apply these to solve simple historical problems.
4. be able to critically analyse, evaluate, synthesise and compare literary and material evidence.

Personal and key skills
5. communicate ideas orally in seminars and in writing for coursework and exams, thereby demonstrating a capacity to review, assemble, and evaluate ancient and modern evidence.
6. be able to construct and defend arguments (both in written form and orally)
7. manage their time and work to deadlines.

Indicative Module Content:

In the 2019/2020 academic year the module will explore key sources and themes for the study of Ancient Greek history.

These include topics such as:

The formation of ancient Greek identities, e.g. mythical origins, travel and mobility, religion, language, gender and sexuality, daily life, and death.

Ancient empires, conquests, and conflicts, e.g. the Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian Wars, the Sacred Wars, and the emergence of Athens, Carthage, Macedonia, Persia, Syracuse, Sparta, and Thebes as hegemonic powers in the Mediterranean World.

Muted groups, e.g. women, children, slaves, freedmen, and other non-elite males.

Performance culture, e.g. Athenian drama (tragedy and comedy), epic and lyric poetry, athletic contests, religious festivals, etc.

Ancient political thought, e.g. discussions of monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and ideas about freedom, etc.

Ancient philosophy, e.g. the sophists, Socrates and his pupils, e.g. Plato and Xenophon, Aristotle, etc.

The invention of historical writing and ancient biographies, e.g. the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Diodorus Siculus, Plutarch, Arrian, etc.

The role of material culture and archaeological excavation in the study of ancient Greece, e.g. buildings, clay tablets, coins, graves, inscriptions, jewellery, papyri, and pottery.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Lectures provide an overview of, and context for, the ancient evidence and modern scholarship that students will read in their own time.

In tutorials students will gather together for discussions in smaller groups. In this setting you will apply the knowledge that you gain from your own reading of set ancient texts, attending lectures, and engaging with modern scholarship in order to reflect on particular case studies and different types of evidence. The aim of these sessions is to help you transition to university study and to begin to work to use different types of evidence and source material more independently.

This course encourages students to develop as writers, readers, and thinkers. You are encouraged to think critically and to come to your own conclusions about the problems and sources for the study of ancient Greek history, with particular emphasis on the classical period. You will also practice communicating your ideas to others and how you can back up your ideas with direct reference to the texts and the scholarship about these texts. To this end you will receive informal feedback in group discussions in tutorials/lectures and formal feedback on your written work. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.  
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 1,200 word written assignment Week 8 n/a Graded No


Examination: A take home exam that requires you to complete two short essay questions that you will select from a list of topics covered. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive feedback within 20 working days from the date that work is submitted.

Name Role
Dr Joanna Day Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Christopher Farrell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Niall Ford Tutor
Dr Emma Griffiths Subject Extern Examiner
Ms Eleanor Kellett Tutor
Dr Amy Russell Subject Extern Examiner
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.  
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 Mon 09:00 - 09:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30 Wed 09:00 - 09:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Mon 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 3 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 5 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Tues 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 9 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Wed 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 10 Week(s) - 22, 24, 26, 30, 32 Wed 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 11 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Thurs 15:00 - 15:50
Tutorial Offering 13 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Fri 11:00 - 11:50