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

Undergraduate Course: Herodotus (GREE10025)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will look at the most important aspects of Herodotus' work in their literary and historical contexts as well as in the context of the Greek intellectual history of the 5th century BC.
Course description The course will analyse in detail a selection of passages of Herodotus, which will be discussed for their historical, historiographical, cultural, intellectual, theological, and literary significance.

A typical teaching schedule may include:

Week 1: Cherchez la femme or: The Hedgehog and the Fox - Hdt. 1.1 - 8,1: From epos to historie; Hdt. 1.8-14: Gyges without a Ring

Week 2: On Human Happiness: Croesus and Solon - Hdt. 1.26-33

Week 3: Learning Through Suffering - Hdt. 1.34-45: Croesus and Adrastus; Hdt. 1.86-91.207: Croesus on Fire

Week 4: Polycrates, Divine phthonos, and Herodotean Theology - Hdt. 3.39-43 & 3.120-125

Week 5: Us and Them: Ethnography and the Origins of Cultural Relativism - 1.131-140 (nomoi of the Persians), 2.3 & 2. 35-98 (nomoi of the Egyptians), 4. 46-82 (nomoi of the Scythians), 3.38

Week 6: Constitutional Debate and the Origins of Political Theory - Hdt. 3. 80-84

Week 7: Xerxes' Dreams or: Falling into the Hands of the Living God - Hdt. 7.5-18

Week 8: On Human Unhappiness: Xerxes and Artabanus - Hdt. 7.44-57

Week 9: The Discovery of Freedom - Hdt. 7. 101-104: Xerxes and Demaratus; Hdt. 7.133-137: Sperthies and Bulis

Week 10: Athenian Propaganda, Herodotean Warnings, and the Limits of Human Wisdom - Hdt. 7. 138-144: Athens and Themistocles; Hdt. 9. 16

Week 11: Herodotus in perspective
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Greek 2A (GREE08007) AND Greek 2B (GREE08008)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements 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 Greek) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses but Elementary ot Intermediate Greek courses will not count. Students beyond Intermediate level but with less Greek then the prerequisite should consider either Greek 2a/2b.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. translate fluently and accurately from the prescribed texts into clear and appropriate English;
  2. produce problem-oriented, well-argued, well-researched, relevant, and coherent coursework essays on specific aspects of Herodotus' work and Greek intellectual history;
  3. demonstrate in written work and in class an informed understanding of the most important historical, historiographical, cultural, intellectual, theological, and literary issues raised by the study of Herodotus, Greek historiography and Greek intellectual history of the 5th century BC as well as of the most important scholarly approaches in the interpretation of Herodotus' work;
  4. demonstrate in written work and in class that they can make judicious use of dictionaries, commentaries, works of reference, critical studies, and modern translations;
  5. gather material independently on a given topic and organise it into a coherent data set.
Reading List
1. Text: C. Hude, T. 1┐2 (Oxford 1927)
2. Translation: R. Waterfield, with intr. and notes by C. Dewald (World┐s Classics, Oxford 1998)
3. Commentary: D. Asheri, A. Lloyd, A. Corcella,
O. Murray, A Commentary on Herodotus, Books 1┐4 (Oxford 2007; paperback ed. 2011)
4. J. Marincola (ed.), Oxford Readings in Greek and Roman Historiography (Oxford 2011)
5. E. J. Bakker/I. J. F. de Jong/ H. van Wees (eds.), Brill's Companion to Herodotus (Leiden 2002), with bibliography
6. C. Dewald/J. Marincola (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Herodotus (Cambridge 2006), with bibliography
7. N. Luraghi (ed.), The Historian's Craft in the Age of Herodotus (Oxford 2001)
8. R. Thomas, Herodotus in Context. Ethnography, Science and the Art of Persuasion (Cambridge 2002)
9. R. Fowler, 'Herodotus and his contemporaries', JHS 116 (1996) 62-87
10. N. Luraghi, 'The Importance of Being 'logios'', CW 102.4 (2009) 439┐456
11. C. Pelling, 'Speech and action: Herodotus' debate on the constitutions', PCPhS 48 (2002) 123┐158
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3580 in order for approval to be obtained.
Course organiserDr Mirko Canevaro
Tel: (0131 6)51 1256
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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