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

Undergraduate Course: The World of St Augustine (ANHI10013)

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
SummaryThe life and works of St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430) continue to fascinate those interested in history as well as theology. This course uses the life and writings of Augustine amongst other historical sources as a way into the study of a fascinating period of transformation and conflict. In this way this course offers an insight into the history of Late Antiquity with particular focus on social, cultural and religious aspects.

Course description Through a combination of lectures and seminars students cover key themes and issues with particular focus on close reading/examination of the sources from the period. Augustine's own works form a key focus, including most obviously the Confessions and (extracts from) the City of God. The letters, sermons and treatises of Augustine help illuminate such key issues as pagan/Christian conflict, the Donatist Schism and contemporary reaction to the Sack of Rome in 410. Further subjects covered include the ethnic, political and social divisions in North Africa, issues of religious conversion and religious coercion, barbarian invasion and cultural transformation. Augustine himself provides an obvious focus while the setting of his birth and most of his activities, Roman North Africa, is an area uniquely rich in varied source material. Alongside the writings of Augustine and his near contemporaries the course makes use of the rich archaeological record from North Africa. In this way this course provides an advanced level look at both a key period of ancient history and an important geographical area that students may not have had an opportunity to study before.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: The Transformation of the Roman World, ca. 300-800: Towards Byzantium and the Early Medieval West (ANHI08015) OR Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014) OR Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Augustine in his Age 3/4 (ECHS10011)
Other requirements None
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 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.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  22
Course Start Semester 2
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 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
3,000 word Essay (50%)

Exam (50%)
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 or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command key aspects of the religious, cultural and social history of Late Antiquity, with a particular focus on North Africa and the life and selected writings of Augustine;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of ancient source material;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to identify, read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship, as well as skills in independent research;
  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
Augustine, Confessions.
Brown, P. (2000) Augustine of Hippo: Revised edition. London.
Clark, G. (1993) Augustine: The Confessions. Exeter.
Dossey, L. (2010) Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa. Berkeley.
Garnsey, P. and Humfress, C. (2001) Evolution of the Late Antique World. Cambridge.
Grig, L. (2004) Making Martyrs in Late Antiquity. London.
Harries, J. and Wood, I. (1993) The Theodosian Code: Studies in the Imperial Law of Late Antiquity. London.
Hopkins, K. (1999) A World Full of Gods: Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire. London.
MacMullen, R. (1986) 'What difference did Christianity make?' Historia 35: 322-43
Markus, R. (1970) Saeculum: History and society in the theology of St Augustine. Cambridge.
Mitchell, S. (2007)A History of the Later Roman Empire AD 284-641. Oxford.
Shaw, B. (2011) Sacred Violence: African Christians and Sectarian Hatred in the Age of Augustine. Cambridge.
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.
KeywordsSt Augustine
Course organiserDr Lucy Grig
Tel: (0131 6)50 3579
Course secretaryMrs Shannon McMillan
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