Ancient Sources (Material Evidence): Barbarian Societies (CLA1359)
|Staff||Professor Martin Pitts - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks;|
This module takes an anthropological approach to the various barbarian societies of western Europe encountered by the expanding Roman empire. Students will engage in in-depth thinking into issues surrounding the role of material culture in the lives and deaths of individuals in pre-Roman Britain, Gaul and Germany. The module considers central themes in the study of the period social organisation, warfare, feasting and food-ways, funerary ritual, domestic space, dress and identity, trade and economic processes, the impact of Rome, the development of urbanism and literacy, and the continuity of indigenous culture in the aftermath of Roman conquest. Of principal interest will be to investigate the ethnographic accounts of Roman authors such as Caesar, Tacitus and Strabo, in addition to deconstructing the aura of 19th century nationalism surrounding individuals such as Vercingetorix, Arminius/Hermann and Boudica.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. be able to understand more complex themes connected to the organisation, economic basis and cultural practices of pre-Roman societies, and will be able to describe the fundamental differences between so-called 'Barbarian societies' and Greco-Roman civilisation
- 2. have assimilated an understanding of how to use a range of classes of material evidence, including settlements, architecture, small finds, coinage, and pottery (in addition to the relevant historical sources) to address wider issues of historical and social interest
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. be able to use, analyse and evaluate material evidence as a major source for understanding the ancient world
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 4. develop basic academic and library skills as well as a critical ability in assessing published literature
- 5. demonstrate independent and group study skills in guided research and presentation of findings
- 6. demonstrate an ability to select and organise relevant material and to present this in oral and written form
- 7. be able to discuss issues in a peer group
Introduction: the Barbarian, European nationalism and popular culture
Ancient ethnographies and historical frameworks
Settlement, household and social organisation
Iron Age economics
Death and burial
Food, drink and feasting
Ritual and rubbish
Ethnicity and identity
Roman contact before conquest
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||22||Lectures (11 x 2 hours)|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||5||Seminars (5 x 1 hour)|
|Guided independent study||123||Private study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Oral presentation||5 minutes||1-7||Verbal|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Two essays (The better mark of the two essays will be used)||40||1500 words||1-6||Written and verbal|
|Exam||60||2 hours||1-6||Written and verbal|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Creighton, J. 2000. Coins and power in late Iron Age Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cunliffe, B. 1988. Greeks, Romans and barbarians. Spheres of interaction. London: Guild Publishing.
Haselgrove, C.C, and T Moore, eds. 2007. The later Iron Age in Britain and beyond. Oxford: Oxbow.
Roymans, N. 2004. Ethnic identity and imperial power. The Batavians in the early Roman empire. Amsterdam:
Amsterdam University Press.
Wells, P.S. 1999. The barbarians speak. How the conquered peoples shaped Roman Europe. Princeton University Press.
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Available as distance learning?
Last revision date