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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classical Literature in Translation

Undergraduate Course: Topic In Classical Literature 1 (CLTR10022)

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 aims to introduce students to the study of a particular topic in Classical Literature, to be studied in English translation. The topic is chosen by the course organiser for each outing of the course.

For 2022-23, the subtitle for this course is Greek and Roman Letter Collections. In this module students will study in English translation one of the most versatile and revealing genres of the ancient world, the letter. The module will engage students in the analysis of key themes of the Greek and Latin letter, its many forms and formulas, the importance of the letter collection, the development of the genre, its historical significance and the material aspects of ancient letter-writing.
Course description This course aims to introduce students to the study of a particular topic in Classical Literature. The topic is chosen by the course organiser for each outing of the course. Topics may include (but are not restricted to) authors (e.g. 'Herodotos'), genres ('Greek and Roman Letter Collections'), themes ('The Autobiographical Turn in Late Antiquity'), or periods ('Literature of Periklean Athens'); courses on the reception of Classical literature may also be taught under this rubric ('Milton and Classical Epic'). The core aim of the course is critical engagement with a coherent and substantial corpus of texts in translation, with consideration of relevant problems from the point of view of philology, literary criticism, and political, intellectual, or social history. A further aim is to teach students how to approach the study of a defined corpus of texts, in the context of other ancient literature, the history of the ancient world, and of modern scholarship, and how to identify important questions for study.

For 2022-23, this course introduces students to ancient epistolography and its fascinating mixture of mundane everyday communication and high-brow literature. We will read a range of texts that deal with a wide variety of epistolary subjects: these will include Cicero's and Pliny's letters to friends and political allies, the philosophical letters of Plato, Epicurus and Seneca the Younger, the playful verse letters of the poets Horace and Ovid, and the less literary letters written by soldiers in Vindolanda in Northern England. The module will offer a chronological as well as thematic approach to ancient letters. We will discuss ancient epistolary theory and its limits, the authenticity of the material and the strategies of pseudepigraphical literature, parody and paratext, self-representation and biographical elements in letter-writing as well as the role of privacy and friendship. The module will pay particular attention to the organisation of ancient letters in collections and analyse the role that narrative, distance and chronology play in letter collections.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Set texts, likely to be no more than £50
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 Classical Literature) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  22
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
4000 word essay (40%)

Two hour exam (60%)
Feedback Students will typically give presentations with previous guidance and subsequent feedback from the course organiser, as well as feedback in discussion with peers; they will be encouraged to make appointments with the course organiser to discuss the direction and argument of their coursework; and they will receive written feedback on coursework essays which they will be able to discuss with the course organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show in coursework, exam, and class discussion their familiarity with the set text(s), and their literary and historical context.
  2. Show in coursework, exam, and class discussion their awareness of the particular problems associated with the set text(s) and of the modern debate on the text(s), and their ability to take an independent and well-argued stance on such issues.
  3. Show in coursework, exam, and class discussion that they are aware of the challenges of reading texts composed in the context of one language and culture through the medium of another language in a different cultural context.
  4. Show in a research-led, argument-driven coursework essay their ability to conduct a sustained individual enquiry into a particular aspect of the topic.
Reading List
There is no predetermined reading list because the bibliography will change with each outing of the course depending on the chosen course topic.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course is designed to develop the skills of the students in all areas listed under the Graduate attributes of the degree of MA in Classical Studies, including broad knowledge and understanding of ancient cultures and ancient literary genres, oral and written communication skills (esp. in class discussion and the essay), skills and abilities in personal effectiveness and in personal and intellectual autonomy (the completion of an individual argument-driven piece of research to schedule).
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 3582 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsTopic Class Lit 1
Course organiserDr Janja Soldo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3873
Course secretaryMrs Ksenia Gorlatova
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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