Ancient Sources (Material Evidence): Greek Temples (CLA2351)

StaffDr Christopher Siwicki - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

In this module, students will develop knowledge and skills in using and analysing visual and material evidence as a historical source. Students will engage in in-depth thinking into Greek temples and their sanctuaries on the mainland and abroad, with a special focus on architecture, architectural sculpture, cult images and votive offerings. The module considers key issues relating to the organisation of sacred space, the technicalities and decorative features of temples, the representation of gods in image form and the use of mythic narrative in temple decoration.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Describe and evaluate the architectural style, decorative ornament and archaeological context of key Greek temples.
  • 2. Demonstrate understanding of ancient religious culture and the role of material objects such as cult images and votive offerings in ritual activity, and relate these to understanding the history of the ancient society.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Use, analyse and evaluate visual and material evidence as a major source for understanding the ancient world.
  • 4. Demonstrate academic and library skills as well as an advanced critical ability in assessing published literature

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Demonstrate independent and group study skills in guided research and presentation of findings
  • 6. Demonstrate that you can select and organise relevant material, to present this in connected oral and written form, and to discuss issues in a peer group
  • 7. Manage your own time and meet deadlines

Syllabus plan

Topics may include the development of temple architecture; the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders; the sanctuary of Olympia; ancient theories of architecture; the Parthenon and the Athenian Acropolis; Greek influence on Roman Architecture; the sanctuary at Delphi; and the practical side of building a temple.

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 activities11Lectures (11 x 1 hours)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities6Seminars (4 x 1.5 hour)
Guided independent study133Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Participation in seminar discussionsWithin 1 hour seminars5-6Verbal feedback
Oral presentation5-10 minutes5-6Verbal feedback

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
Essay402000 words1-4, 7Mark and written comments
Exam602 hours1-4Mark and written comments

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-4, 7August ref/def period
ExamExam1-4August ref/def period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Alcock, S. and Osborne, R.: Placing the Gods, 1994.

Dinsmoor, W.B.: The architecture of Ancient Greece, 1950.

Hurwit, J.M.: The Athenian Acropolis: History, mythology and archaeology from the Neolithic era to the present, 1999.

Lawrence, A.W.: Greek architecture, 1983/1996.

Spawforth, A.: The Complete Greek Temples, 2006.

Stewart, A. Greek Sculpture, 1990.

Tomlinson, R.A.: Greek sanctuaries, 1976.

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Key words search

Classics, Greek, Temples, Sources