Undergraduate Course: Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course is an introduction to different, important approaches ('Theories' e.g. Comparative History, Economic Modelling, Literary Criticism, etc.) to a range of significant aspects of ancient life ('Themes' e.g. Sexuality, Food, Religion, Childhood, Economy, Slavery, Warfare, etc.). That is, the course focuses on how crucial facets of ancient life can be studied today and how they have been approached in the past. It is a problem-based course, designed to introduce students to key models and theories used in the study of ancient history, as well as to (the evidence for) major staples of ancient life.
The course focuses on key themes each year so as to allow maximum scope for cutting-edge teaching based on new research undertaken by staff at Edinburgh. These themes, taught by a team of staff across lectures and tutorials, will act as case studies for the exploration of important interpretive models and theories used in the study of ancient history, as well as for an exploration of ancient approaches to the studied themes, thereby challenging students to consider the historical and historiographical debt of modern approaches to the ancient world. Students are required to consider, alongside a range of methodologies, as wide a range of source material as possible, including archaeological artefacts, literary texts, inscriptional evidence, legal writings, etc. This course builds upon the first year survey courses in Classics, and expands on the skills gained in Ancient History 2a, with the intention of deepening students' understanding of ancient history as well as their understanding of how history is written.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students must have at least 1 introductory level Ancient History course at grade B or above for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, 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)
2,500 word Essay (60%)
1,000 word Gobbet (40%)
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.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate, by way of coursework, a sound knowledge and understanding of the key themes covered in the course and the various approaches that can be taken to them;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to assimilate a variety of ancient sources and modern scholarship and formulate critical opinions on them, as well as the formal conventions of the scholarly debate;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
- demonstrate an ability to organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
|Due to the nature of the course, i.e. the changing themes studied, most of the essential reading will vary from year to year. The following constitutes a selection of important historiographical, methodological and/or source-focussed student textbooks that will be relevant for each outing of the course:|
E.H. Carr, What is History? (1961; second edition 1987)
M.H. Crawford (ed.), Sources for Ancient History (1983)
M. Finley, Ancient History: Evidence and Models (1985)
M. Finley, The Use and Abuse of History (1975)
K. Hopkins, 'Rules of evidence', JRS 68 (1978), 178-86
K. Jenkins, Re-thinking History (1991)
N. Morley, Theories, Models and Concepts in Ancient History (2004)
N. Morley, Writing Ancient History (1999)
J. Tosh, The Pursuit of History (1984; second edition 1991)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students will also demonstrate a number of transferable skills, such as
- reading skills
- written and verbal communication skills
- analytical skills
- oral presentation and discussion skills
- an ability to deal independently with a wide-ranging body of information and to summarise that information
- an ability to understand the standard modern conventions concerning the presentation of scholarly work
- an ability to maintain complex information over a sustained period of time and to access this information as and when necessary.
|Keywords||Anc Hist 2B
|Course organiser||Dr Benedikt Eckhardt
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
|Course secretary||Ms Jenni Vento
Tel: (0131 6)50 3781