From Grand Tour to Gladiator: Modern Encounters with the Ancient World (CLA3034)

Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesThe successful completion of at least 90 credits at Level 2, 30 credits of which must be in Classics & Ancient History
Co-requisitesNone. Cannot be taken with HIH3171
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The classical world has long been central to Western Culture. Modern Western concepts such as culture, civilisation and concerns about, for example, national identity, political ideology, race and sexuality have been constituted and reconstituted with constant reference to ideas about and images of the Classical past. Every representation of and reference to the ancient world serves a contemporary purpose and the aim of this course is to understand and explore these agenda and the ways in which studying the uses of classical material illuminates our understanding of the modern world and its concerns. Diverse representations of ancient Greece and Rome - from Byron's poetry to Asterix cartoons, from the display of the Elgin marbles in the British museum to Hollywood film, from Oscar Wilde's trial to Enoch Powell's river of blood speech, from Fascist architecture to the Olympic games - will be studied, and their complex relationship with modern Western history explored.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. knowledge of a wide selection of relevant primary material from 18th century to the present day
  • 2. development of critical skills for analysis and discussion of such material
  • 3. ability to describe and analyse the way that any treatment of antiquity, including scholarship, reflects the concerns of its age, and awareness of how ancient material can be used to articulate and negotiate modern issues

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. demonstrate sophisticated critical and analytical skills which can be applied to the analysis of material from any culture

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. demonstrate independent research skills, skills in the construction, organisation and presentation of arguments and verbal skills
  • 6. demonstrate confidence and clarity in oral communication, and the ability to work in groups
  • 7. show a broader awareness of issues involved in thinking about representing and discussing the past

Syllabus plan

We will focus on a selection of themes and moments in modern history, such as: Philhellenism, the Greek wars of independence, the rise of fascism, the birth of archaeology, the politics of museums, the invention of pornography, the grand tour and the development of the tourist industry, European nationalism, the formation of the USA, the emergence of sexuality, changing ideologies of sport and developments in formal education.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities44Seminars (22x2hr)
Guided independent study256Private study

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation2020 mins1-7Verbal
3000 words403000 words1-7Verbal and written
3000 words403000 words1-7Verbal and written

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