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

Undergraduate Course: Roman Greece (ANHI10104)

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
SummaryWith his famous statement, Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit ('once subdued, Greece captured her ferocious conqueror'), Horace remarked how Rome, having conquered Greece, itself became captive of the Greek culture. Writing under Augustus, Horace described what was merely a result of a long process of political, cultural, and otherwise interactions between Rome and the Greek cities in the preceding centuries. This course will trace the history of Greece from the beginning of Rome's influence over the region in the early second century BC through to the later second century CE, approaching it from the angles of politics, culture, society, and religion.
Course description It takes little effort to notice that Greece occupied a rather special place in Roman cultural imagination. Declarations of admiration and respect for the region's history and culture often resulted in the preferential treatment of a number of Greek cities under Rome, manifesting in grants of freedom, autonomy, and immunity. This attitude persisted well into the imperial period: in a letter to his friend Maximus, who had just been appointed governor of Achaia, Pliny reminded him of the special status of 'that real and pure Greece' (illa vera et mera Graecia), insisting that the incoming governor should respect the Greeks' 'antiquity, their colossal achievements, and even ... their legends' (Pliny, Ep. 8.24).

This course explores the extent to which this widely articulated respect and admiration for Greece is reflected (or not) in Rome's approaches to governing the region over time. Conversely, it also investigates a variety of ways and strategies in which the Greeks negotiated their place and privileges within the Roman Empire. The history of Greece under Roman hegemony will be studied from several interrelated standpoints (diplomacy, warfare, politics, law, culture, society, and religion) through a wide selection of literary and epigraphic sources in translation. Besides developing the skills of historical and critical analysis on the basis of diverse primary source material, the students will engage with the most recent scholarship, and will be encouraged to pursue their own interests within the framework of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014) AND Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
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 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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  24
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 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
3,500 word essay (50%)

Two-hour written 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 for this course 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. Analyse primary literary and epigraphic sources concerning Greece in the Roman period, placing them in their proper historical context
  2. Critically assess the society, politics, as well as cultural and religious life in the Greek cities under Rome, while gaining a deeper understanding of various changes and continuities in the region over an extended period of time
  3. Reflect critically on the ideas of 'Roman Greece' in ancient sources as well as in modern scholarship
  4. Estimate the extent to which Roman ideas of the cultural value of a given region and its population influenced Rome's approaches to government
  5. Engage in active scholarly debate with their peers, formulate independent research questions, and express their arguments in written form
Reading List
Alcock, S.E. (1993) Graecia Capta: The landscapes of Roman Greece, Cambridge.

Bowersock, G.W. (1965) Augustus and the Greek world, Oxford.

Cartledge, P. and Spawforth, A. (2002) Hellenistic and Roman Sparta: A tale of two cities (2nd ed.), London.

Dmitriev, S. (2011) The Greek slogan of freedom and early Roman politics in Greece, Oxford.

Friesen, S.J., James, S.A., and D.N. Schowalte, eds. (2014) Corinth in contrast: Studies in inequality, Leiden and Boston.

Heller, A. (2019) 'Greek citizenship in the Roman Empire: Political participation, social status and identities', in K. Berthelot and J. Price, eds. In the Crucible of Empire. The Impact of Roman Citizenship upon Greeks, Jews and Christians, Peeters, Leuven, p. 55-72.

Kallet-Marx, R.M. (1995) Hegemony to empire. The development of the Roman imperium in the East from 148 to 62 BCE, Berkeley.

Millar, F. (2002-2006) Rome, the Greek world, and the East, vols. 1-3, Chapel Hill.

Oliver, J.H. (1989) Greek constitutions of early Roman emperors from inscriptions and papyri, Philadelphia.

Rizakis, A.D., Lepenioti, C.E., eds. (2010) Roman Peloponnese III. Society, economy and culture under the Roman Empire: Continuity and innovation, Athens.

Rizakis, A.D., Camia, F. and S. Zoumbaki, eds. (2017) Social dynamics under Roman rule. Mobility and status change in the provinces of Achaia and Macedonia, Athens.

Spawforth, A.J.S. (2012) Greece and the Augustan cultural revolution. Greek culture in the Roman world, Cambridge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Approach, analyse, contextualise, and critically assess a wide range of primary (literary and epigraphic) sources

Synthesise and critically assess modern scholarship on the topics studied, engaging with ongoing scholarly debates and theoretical approaches

Formulate and express ideas arising from studying primary source material as well as secondary literature

Construct and pursue independent research questions and arguments in written form
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Lina Girdvainyte
Tel: (0131 6)50 6693
Course secretaryMr Pete Bingham
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