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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Ancient History

Undergraduate Course: Crowns and Concubines: Court Society in the Ancient World (ANHI10032)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaAncient History Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course traces the common trends in court cultures across several successive ancient civilisations: the Near Eastern and Hellenistic worlds. The course aims to demonstrate the centrality of palace institutions in the cultural and political milieu of these ancient empires, and will re-establish the importance of studying court and society in contemporary historical studies. Cross cultural comparisons with the court cultures of Qing China, Moghul India, the Ottoman Empire, and C17th France will also form a backdrop to students' understanding of ancient court life.
Themes for exploration will include:
Palace architecture (public & private space, the inner court, architecture and ceremony, temporary spaces - tents and pavilions);
Images of power (portraits, coinage, art);
Courtiers (viziers, king's relatives, foreign dignitaries & ambassadors, princes, eunuchs and the 'inner court');
Ceremony and ritual (audiences, gift-giving, birth-death-marriage rituals, executions, tribute);
Protection (warfare, the military elite, bodyguards, tasters, poison, death);
Religion (monarchic cult, court cults, ancestor worship, sacrifice, burial rites and rituals);
Spectacle, pastimes and entertainment (hunting, boating, feasting, theatricals, dancing);
Harem (polygamy, queen mothers, royal wives, concubines, courtesans, female power at court);
Bureaucracy (scribes, administrators, rations, workers, servants, slaves, edicts);
Succession (designated heirs, rivalries at court, coups).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed ( Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08007) OR Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014)) AND Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Passes in Ancient History 2A (ANHI08007 or ANHI08014) and Ancient History 2B (ANHI08013) are compulsory, unless at the discretion of the course organiser.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter(at least 2 of which should be in Ancient History) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, the student will be able, through written examination, coursework and seminar participation (demonstrated through the keeping of a course logbook), to show:

- an understanding of the varied complexity of the large body of evidence for ancient court life
- an understanding of the history of court society and its importance for the political, social and cultural historian
-an understanding of political and social structures of the court and their interrelatedness with the source materials under investigation
- an ability to use critically a variety of different methodologies and approaches to this body of material
-a familiarity with real artefacts in a museum context
- bibliographical research skills to enable students to find independently additional information relating to the study of court society in the ancient world

Students will also demonstrate the following transferable skills:

- written skills and oral communication skills
- presentation skills
- analytical skills
- ability to recognise and focus on important aspects of a wide-ranging subject and to select specific examples
- ability to produce a concise summary
Assessment Information
Essay - 25%;
Logbook/Seminar Work - 25%;
One (2-hour) Degree Exam - 50%.

Part-Year Visiting Student (VV1) Variant Assessment
Essay - 25%.
Logbook/Seminar Work - 25%.
Subject-Area administered Exam/Exercise in lieu of Degree Examination to take place in Week 12 (see the current course handbook for further details) - 50%.
Special Arrangements
In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled, contact must be made with a Classics Secretary on 50 3580 for approval to be obtained.
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones
Tel: (0131 6)50 3585
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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