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

Postgraduate Course: Urban Labour in Classical Attica (PGHC11480)

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
SummaryThis course will introduce students to the urban economy of Athens-Piraeus during the 5th and 4th centuries BC. It will explore the range of occupations that urban dwellers practised, the web of production and exchange that linked them to one, and broader place in the economy. It will also explore the working urban population's role in Athenian politics.
Course description This course will look at the place of urban labour in recent debates over the ancient Greek economy. It is empirically oriented, and will draw on a wide range of textual and material evidence in order to gradually build up a working knowledge of the fine details of labour in a range of occupations, from crafts and services to retail and market gardening. It will also explore the role of the state in shaping economic life, in particular at Piraeus, where Athens' massive navy required a concentration of labourers not only to provide naval manpower, but in the provisioning of the navy and furnishing of its various raw materials.

The citizen component of Athens' and Piraeus' working population exercised a disproportionate influence over democratic politics due to their proximity to the institutions of the state, and particularly the Assembly. This course will explore how the collective interests of these labourers were brought to bear in the quotidian operation of Athenian democracy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning urban labour in classical Athens.
  2. analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning urban labour in classical Athens, as well as primary source materials (including textual and archaeological evidence)
  3. understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course.
  4. develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course.
  5. demonstrate originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy.
Reading List
Bresson, A. (2016) The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy: Institutions, Markets, and Growth in the City-States. Princeton, NJ, and Oxford.

Carroll-Spillecke, M. (1992) 'The gardens of Greece from Homeric to Roman times' Journal of Garden History 12.2: 84-101.

Davies, J.K. (2016) 'Aristonikos and the fishmongers' in Santangelo, F. & E. Bissa (Eds.) Studies on Wealth in the Ancient World. BICS Suppl. 133. London: 21-32.

Gabrielsen, V. (2017) 'Financial, human, material and economic resources required to build and operate navies in the classical world' in De Souza, P., Arnaud, P. & C. Buchet (Eds.) The Sea in History: The Ancient World. Suffolk & Rochester: 426-442.

Harris, E.M. (2002) 'Workshop, marketplace and household: The nature of technical specialisation in classical Athens and its influence on economy and society' In Cartledge, P.A, Cohen, E.E. and L. Foxhall (eds.) Money, Labour, and Land: Approaches to the Economies of Ancient Greece. London: 67-99.

Hansen, M.H. (2006) Polis: An Introduction to the Ancient Greek City-State. Oxford.

Hasaki, E. (2012) 'Workshops and technology' in Smith, T.J. & D. Plantzos (eds.) A Companion to Greek Art. Oxford and Malden, MA: 255-72.

Lewis, S. (2010) 'Images of craft on Athenian pottery: context and interpretation' Bollettino di archeologia online vol. 3: 12-26.

Spanaki, S. (2016) Textile Production in Classical Athens. Oxford: Oxbow.

Tsakirgis, B. (2005) 'Living and working on the margins of the Athenian agora: a case study of three Athenian workshop houses' in Ault, B. & L. Nevett (eds.) Ancient Greek Houses and Households: Chronological, Regional and Social Diversity. Philadelphia 67-83.

Wycherley, R. (1956) 'The market of Athens: topography and monuments' Greece & Rome 3.1: 2-23.

Young, R.S. (1951) 'An industrial district of ancient Athens' Hesperia 20: 135-288.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr David Lewis
Tel: (0131 6)50 3851
Course secretaryMiss Danielle Jeffery
Tel: (0131 6)50 7128
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