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

Undergraduate Course: Ancient Literature from a Comparative Perspective (CLTR10019)

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 field of comparative literature, its main tenets and proponents, and its relevance to Classics. In the first year it will run as 'Homer and Hesiod from a Comparative Perspective', but the model can be used for other ancient texts and their comparanda in subsequent years.
Course description The first run will centre on the Homeric and Hesiodic corpora and their comparanda. Through a range of comparative material from different cultures and time periods, the course will set the canonical works of Homer and Hesiod in their wider context in terms of genre and tradition. Comparisons with South Slavic song will allow students to explore issues of orality and performance, acquainting them with the work of Parry and Lord and the importance to Homeric studies of the oral-traditional hypothesis. Students will experience South Slavic song as a performative genre through recordings. Comparisons with material from the Near East will set the genres of epic, cosmogony and wisdom against a traditional backdrop, introducing students to interactions between Greece and the Near East and the possible routes of cultural exchange. Later comparative material from Scandinavia will then bring the focus back to the issue of orality, and students will begin to distinguish between direct/indirect routes of transmission, and cultures that are separate but comparable. The course will culminate in an essay that aims to give students the freedom to choose their own independent comparative study. Classes will introduce them to methodology, to scholarship and to sample material, on which they will build independently in their chosen comparison.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Classical Literature 2: Greek and Roman Epic (CLTR08008)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Ancient Literature from a Comparative Perspective (online) (PGHC11532)
Other requirements A Pass in Classical Literature 2: Greek and Roman Epic (CLTR08008), is normally required; or at the discretion of the Course Organiser.
Additional Costs c. £30 for set text books
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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. show an awareness of the main tenets and proponents of the field of comparative literature, and its application to Classics;
  2. show a familiarity with a range of literature in translation from Greek and/or Latin and other traditions;
  3. show the ability to engage critically with the classical set texts and relevant comparative material;
  4. show an understanding of a range of comparative methodologies and the ability to apply them;
  5. show the ability to conduct an individual comparative study.
Reading List
Example Texts:
Dalley, S. (2008) Myths from Mesopotamia, Oxford: Oxford World's Classics
Hoffner, H.A. (1998) Hittite Myths, Atlanta
Larrington, C. (1996) The Poetic Edda, Oxford: Oxford World's Classics
West, M.L. (2008) Hesiod Theogony and Works and Days, Oxford: Oxford World's Classics

Example Secondary Reading:
Clay, J.S. (2003) Hesiod's Cosmos, Cambridge
Foley, J.M. (ed.) (2005) A Companion to Ancient Epic, Oxford
Haubold, J. (2013) Greece and Mesopotamia: Dialogues in Literature, Cambridge
Lopez-Ruiz, C. (2010) When the Gods Were Born: Greek Cosmogonies and the Near East, Cambridge MA
Koljevic, S. (1980) The Epic in the Making, Oxford
Larrington, C. (1993) A Store of Common Sense: Gnomic Theme and Wisdom in Old Icelandic and Old English Wisdom Poetry, Oxford
Popovic, T. (1988) Prince Marko: the Hero of South Slavic Epics, New York
West, M.L. (1997) The East Face of Helicon, Oxford
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills In addition to the ILOs listed above that already contain some transferable skills, students who successfully complete the course will also gain:
- an enhancement of critical skills in reading and debate through engagement with alternative approaches and ideas;
- an improvement of skills in conducting research and writing essays;
- an ability to work with a team;
- verbal communication skills, esp. through class discussion and oral presentations/contributions.
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 3582/0 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsAncient Literature Comparative
Course organiserDr Lilah Canevaro
Course secretaryMr George Bottrell-Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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