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

Undergraduate Course: Polybios; A Greek looks at Rome (GREE10019)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course looks at the Greek historian Polybios. His history of the rise of Rome is one of the most important historical documents to survive from antiquity. It is the earliest surviving account of Roman history and written not by a Roman but by a Greek politician who spent many years as a hostage in Rome.
Course description This course will look at a selection of passages in Polybios' Histories. Topics might include the following: 1. Rome and the beginning of the First Punic War; 2. the Carthaginians; 3. the depiction of war;
4. Polybios as a historian; 5. The Celts; 6. The Illyrian Wars;
7. Personalities in the narrative of Polybios; 8. The Mercenary War (with reference to Flaubert's Salammb˘). Polybios is valuable not only for the light that he throws on the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean, but also for his place in Greek historiography. More than any other Greek or Roman historian he comments on the process of writing history.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Greek 2A (GREE08007) OR Greek 2a Ex-Beginners (GREE08009)) AND Greek 2B (GREE08008)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesAdvanced-level ability in Greek language and literature, equivalent to two years' study at the University of Edinburgh (if uncertain, consult the course organiser).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material in its original language;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Primary material:
Polybius, Histories, Loeb Classical Library, especially volume 1.

Secondary literature:
Gruen, E. The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome (1984)
Walbank, F. Polybius (1972).
Eckstein, A Moral Vision in the Histories of Polybius (1995).
Champion, C. Cultural politics in Polybius's Histories (2004).
Sacks, K Polybius on the Writing of History (1981).
Derow, P. Rome, Polybius and the East, Oxford 2014.
Walbank, F. W. A Historical Commentary on Polybius, 3 vols (1957-79).
Henderson, J. (2001) 'From Megalopolis to Cosmopolis: Polybius, or there and back again' in Simon Goldhill (ed.), Being Greek under Rome. Cultural Identity, the Second Sophistic and the Development of Empire. Cambridge. 29-49.
Gibson, B. and Harrison, T. (eds), Polybius and his World: Essays in Memory of F. W. Walbank. Oxford 2013.
Smith, C. and Yarrow, L. (eds) Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius, Oxford 2012.
McGing, B., Polybius' Histories, Oxford 2010.
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 organiserProf Andrew Erskine
Tel: (0131 6)50 3591
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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