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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: The Phoenician and Punic Mediterranean (PGHC11513)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryWhether it's 'Hannibal at the gates' or 'Carthage must be destroyed', scaremongering about the Punic world was a common trope in Roman culture. History is written by the victors, and much of what we know of the Punic world is filtered through Roman voices - but are these sources providing a fair representation of Phoenician and Punic life? This course introduces students to an oft-overlooked Mediterranean culture and dispels some of the long-lasting myths surrounding Carthage and its 'empire'.
Course description The history of the Phoenician and Punic World presents something of a scholarly paradox. Historic mentions of a Punic empire with Carthage as its capital focus on the might of the military and navy, the economic strength of trade networks, the agricultural abundance and productivity of North Africa, and especially the barbarism of many Punic cultural practices. Yet the material culture left behind by a geographically diverse and long-lasting civilization tells a different story. To reconcile these contradictions requires a long-term view of the ways in which Phoenician colonies transformed - and were transformed by - the peoples of the western Mediterranean to create a varied landscape of Punic cultural traits that lasted far beyond the destruction of Carthage.

This course serves as an introduction to the history and archaeology of the Phoenician and Punic Mediterranean. We begin with an examination of the earliest Phoenician colonisation of the western Mediterranean and indigenous interactions with this new, foreign culture. From here we consider the emergence of the city of Carthage as a predominant power, exploring both the city itself and the various aspects of urban, rural, and ritual life that define the Punic world. The frequent portrayal of an imperial Carthaginian power to rival Rome is questioned, and the ill-fated Punic wars considered from a distinctly Punic perspective. The class concludes with the reinvention of Punic traditions under Roman control and the role of an imagined Carthaginian past in the modern politics of North Africa and Sardinia. A series of written exercises and in-class presentations throughout the course introduce students to this oft-overlooked Mediterranean culture and dispel some of the long-lasting myths surrounding Carthage and its 'empire'.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics, History or Archaeology (at least 1 of which should be in Classical Art and Archaeology or Ancient History) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 1,000 word research project proposal (15%), and 4,000 word essay (65%)
Non-Written Skills: In-class presentation with circulated handout (20%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and seminar discussion as required, command of the main sites, historical events, and material culture of the Phoenician and Punic world;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and seminar discussion as required, an ability to critically engage with dominant theories of identity and postcolonial interaction and to apply those theories to ancient Punic materials;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and seminar discussion as required, an ability to understand and evaluate a variety of archaeological source material in relation to wider research themes;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and seminar discussion as required, improved research skills in formulating a historical argument in oral and written form, along with skills in academic prose, citation, and the compilation of a bibliography.
Reading List
Aubet, M.E. 2001. The Phoenicians and the West: Politics, Colonies, and Trade. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Hoyos, D. 2010. The Carthaginians. London: Routledge.

Hoyos, D. (ed.) 2015. A Companion to the Punic Wars. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lancel, S. 1995. Carthage: A History. Oxford: Blackwell.

López-Ruiz, C. and B.R. Doak (eds) 2019. The Oxford Handbook of the Phoenician and Punic Mediterranean. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Miles, R. 2010. Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Mediterranean Civilization. London: Allan Lane.

Quinn, J. 2018. In Search of the Phoenicians. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Quinn, J.C., and N.C. Vella (eds.) 2014. The Punic Mediterranean: Identities and Identification from Phoenician Settlement to Roman Rule. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

van Dommelen, P., and C. Goméz Bellard (eds.) 2008. Rural Landscapes of the Punic World. London: Equinox.

Xella, P. (ed.) 2013. The Tophet in the Phoenician Mediterranean. Studi Epigrafici e Linguistici 29- 30. Verona.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Andrew Dufton
Tel: (0131 6)50 4384
Course secretaryMr Jonathan Donnelly
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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