Undergraduate Course: Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course is an introduction to the study of ancient historiography, itself a crucial element of the study of history, past and present. I.e. the course encourages students to analyse a good number of ancient historians and histories, especially the key figures and key texts in the development of the practice we call history, including Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, Livy, Cassius Dio, Tacitus, Ammianus Marcellinus, and others. The selection of authors to be studied in any one year depends on the research expertise of staff teaching the course so as to allow maximum scope for cutting-edge teaching based on new research undertaken by staff at Edinburgh.
The course offers focussed study of key ancient historians in lectures and tutorials, covering both Greek and Roman historians, and a period that stretches roughly one millennium.
A typical class schedule may look like this:
W4 Alexander historians
W6 Diodorus Siculus
W8 Tacitus and Suetonius
W10 Cassius Dio
Students should thus gain a sound understanding of the creation and evolution of the writing of history, and in particular a clear understanding of the beginnings of the practice of history writing - and thus of the foundations of the modern practice.
In studying important historical writings and their authors, students will explore the concept of 'history' in comparing different ancient and modern approaches to this concept. Students will thus be challenged to consider and reconsider their own and others' assumptions of what history is and how history is (to be) written.
In sum: whilst the past remains unchanged, history is always changing, and this course is concerned to examine how the past and present have been continuously interpreted and reinterpreted in antiquity through the exercise that we call history. It explores the sources and methods by which history is constructed in antiquity, looking at the roles different types of evidence can play, as well as how different historians aim to change the history of a particular geography, period or topic.
This course builds upon the first year survey courses in Classics with the intention to deepen students' understanding of ancient history as well as their understanding of how history is written.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The assessment is split in the following way:
60% degree examination (2-hour)
40% coursework (2,500 words)
You must attempt all elements of assessment to pass the course. If you have achieved a Pass mark overall, but have failed to submit an essay, you will be given a Force Fail result.
||Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the tutor/Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World||2:00|
|Resit Exam Diet (August)||Ancient History 2a||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate in written examination, coursework and class discussion understanding and knowledge of a variety of key ancient histories and historians
- demonstrate in written examination, coursework and class discussion understanding and knowledge of the different forms in which history was written and the different themes and topics chosen by ancient historians
- demonstrate in written examination, coursework and class discussion understanding and knowledge of the different historical contexts in which the chosen histories have been written
- demonstrate in written examination, coursework and class discussion understanding and knowledge of the ways in which different ancient cultures viewed the past
- demonstrate in written examination, coursework and class discussion understanding and knowledge of the relationship/s between the historian and his subject matter, theme, and aim
|Cameron A., History as Text: The Writing of Ancient History (1989)|
Chaplin J.D., Livy's Exemplary History (2000)
Finley, M.I. The Greek Historians: the Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon and Polybius (1959)
Fornara, C. W., The Nature of History in Ancient Greece and Rome (1983)
Hornblower, S. (ed.), Greek Historiography (1994)
Kraus C.S., Latin Historians (1997)
Levick, B. (ed.), The Ancient Historian and his Materials (1975)
Luce, T.J., The Greek Historians (1997)
Marincola, J. (ed), A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography (2007)
Marincola, J., Greek Historians (2001)
Morley N., Writing Ancient History (1999)
Potter D.S., Literary Texts and the Roman Historian (1999)
Sacks K., Polybius on the Writing of History (1981)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||Anc Hist 2A
|Course organiser||Dr Sandra Bingham
Tel: (0131 6)50 6689
|Course secretary||Miss Lorna Berridge