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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classical Art/Classical Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: Inscribed Objects: Roman Coins and Latin Inscriptions (CACA10021)

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 areaClassical Art/Classical Archaeology Other subject areaAncient History
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionRoman coins and Latin inscriptions are amongst the most important sources for Roman imperial history and archaeology. No other imperial propaganda tool circulated as widely as coins, no other inscribed objects were produced in similar quantities and (apart from pottery) no other category of artefact is as important for dating Roman sites and archaeological contexts. Unlike mass-produced coins and other portable objects, inscriptions on stone tend to relate to local events (e.g. personal life stories of, or religious dedications by, members of the local community, building projects, etc.). For crucial aspects of Roman political, religious, economic and social history inscriptions are an important, if not the only, source.
Despite their significance, coins and inscriptions, unless cited by a secondary author, are often ignored by a high proportion of archaeologists as well as some historians. This course aims to provide students with the skills to understand and interpret coin legends and images and the text of basic Latin inscriptions. Identifying individual coins will form as much part of the course as gaining the ability to correctly interpret larger assemblages, be they votive deposits from temples or sacred springs, or personal savings hidden in times of crisis. Placing coins and inscriptions in their proper archaeological and historical context is the ultimate goal.
The ability to make the most of the two principal categories of inscribed objects from Roman Antiquity will provide students with a richer and more varied understanding of life in the Roman world.
No prior knowledge of Latin is required. Neither, however, will it be possible to avoid dealing with basic Latin. Inscriptions and coin legends include a limited number of recurring and frequently abbreviated Latin terms. While a willingness to deal with and memorise such key terms is essential, deciphering inscriptions and coin legends is much easier than commonly thought.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students MUST have passed 2 of the following courses: The Roman World 1B: The Roman Empire (CLGE08004), Classical Archaeology 2b: Materials and Methods (CACA08010), Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013), Latin 2A (LATI08011), Latin 2B (LATI08012)
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 Roman Imperial Archaeology/Ancient History and/or Latin courses) 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
On successful completion of this course students should be
able to demonstrate, partially in written examinations and partially in coursework:
- the ability to identify some Roman coins;
- the ability to interpret a significant proportion of coin legends;
- some knowledge of the economic significance of coinage;
- some knowledge on the importance of coinage as a source for Roman history and the ability to provide specific examples;
- the ability to interpret the significance of larger coin assemblages, their date and the reasons for their concealment, loss or deposition;
- the ability to know and explain some key terms featuring on inscriptions or in coin legends;
- the ability to date a significant proportion of coins and inscriptions;
- the ability to assess the significance of different categories of inscriptions and give concrete examples
- the ability to explain some aspects of political, religious, social and economic history illuminated by inscriptions.
Assessment Information
One essay on either coins or inscriptions (50%);
one (2-hour) degree examination with questions on both coins and inscriptions (50%).

Part-Year Visiting Student (VV1) Variant Assessment:
One essay on either coins or inscriptions - 50%.
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 organiserProf Eberhard Sauer
Tel: (0131 6)50 3587
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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