Ancient Philosophy (CLAM106)

StaffDr Gabriele Galluzzo - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module provides a framework for critical discussion of philosophical themes through the analysis and exegesis of key texts and arguments. It addresses ancient as well as current debates on central philosophical questions such as concepts of the universe, the notion of Self, ethics and the notion of a ‘good life’, metaphysics, epistemology, or the practical philosophy. Overall the course aims to give students the tools to access and think critically about texts that raise complex philosophical questions, and to critically examine the relevance of ancient theories to contemporary debates.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate an in-depth understanding of philosophical views and debates in antiquity.
  • 2. reflect critically on the philosophical views found in the ancient world, and engage with modern scholarly discussions of these views.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. use, analyse and critically evaluate ancient philosophical texts.
  • 4. critically engage with modern scholarly debates.
  • 5. reflect critically on the origins, development and significance of philosophical thoughts and ideas in the ancient and modern world.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. apply key bibliographical skills, the latest forms of information retrieval, as well as word-processing skills.
  • 7. think autonomously and analytically on the basis of ancient philosophical texts and secondary literature.
  • 8. construct and defend a sustained argument (both in written form and orally).
  • 9. work with instructor and peers in an independent, constructive and responsive way.

Syllabus plan

Texts and topics will be chosen from the following:

A) Early and Classical Greek philosophy;

B) Hellenistic philosophy;

C) Roman philosophy;

D) Late Antique philosophy

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 & Teaching activities15Intensive seminar and reading group teaching
Guided independent study135Students working independently & in groups in preparation for seminars and essays

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
Essay804000 words1-9mark; written and oral comment
Oral Presentation2015-20 mins1-9mark; written and oral comment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-9Refer/defer period
PresentationEssay1-9Refer/defer period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

C. Gill, Greek Thought. Greece and Rome New Surveys in the Classics (Oxford University Press, 1995).
T. Irwin, Classical Thought (Oxford University Press, 1989).
Morford, M. The Roman Philosophers (Routledge, 2002)

O’Keefe, Tim, Epicureanism (Acumen 2010)

Sedley, D. (ed), Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Sellars, J., Stoicism (Acumen Press, 2006)

Thornsteinsson, R.M., Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism: a comparative study of ancient morality (OUP 2010).
R. Wardy, Doing Greek Philosophy (Routledge, 2005)


Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Origin date

Feb 2013

Last revision date


Key words search

Philosophy, Rome, Ancient Greece