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

Postgraduate Course: Sparta and Crete: Classical Greek Society Beyond Athens (PGHC11518)

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
SummaryThe course is an introduction to the histories of ancient Sparta and Crete. Through examining evidence from Sparta and Crete during the classical period, this course aims to go beyond an Athenocentric view of 'Greek society'.
Course description In this course, students will encounter the complex and contradictory evidence for the fabric and character of classical Spartan society and the nature of her institutions through a close study of texts in translation. Lectures will focus upon political, social and economic institutions as well as ideologies of warfare and community, the role of women, and sexuality. Other topics include the character of slavery in Sparta (helotage), how it compares in legal terms to slavery at Athens, and its function in Sparta's political economy. Crete presents very different material for study. Though the lectures shall present the evidence of Aristotle, Ephorus and other non-Cretan writers who comment on Cretan society, the main focus will be on epigraphy and in particular the 'Great Code' of Gortyn (IC IV 72), supplemented by a selection of other Gortynian inscriptions in translation. Beyond an in-depth study of Gortynian laws on the household, family, and slavery, students will compare the example of Gortyn to the generalisations found in the literary sources which present Crete as undifferentiated (though it contained almost fifty different city-states, most of them independent of one another) in order to gauge the degree to which Cretan city states displayed common institutions and practices.

At the end of the course, students will compare Spartan and Cretan society to reflect on the similarities and differences between the two.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Sparta and Crete: Classical Greek Society Beyond Athens (ANHI10061) OR Sparta and Crete: Classical Greek Society Beyond Athens (Online) (PGHC11580)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics (at least 1 of which should be in Classical Art and 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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. a specialist knowledge of the evidence for classical Spartan and Cretan society;
  2. a familiarity with the nature and use of epigraphic evidence, particularly in relation to Gortyn;
  3. improved source critical skills with historical texts (Quellenforschung);
  4. improved research skills in producing one item of summative coursework, along with skills in prose style, citation style and the compilation of bibliography;
  5. improved problem-solving skills through study of complex issues such as the nature of land tenure in Sparta and the laws of Gortyn.
Reading List
Cartledge, Paul, Spartan Reflections (Berkeley/L.A.: 2003).
Cartledge, Paul, The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, from Utopia to Crisis and Collapse (London: 2003).
Gagarin, M., Writing Greek Law (Cambridge and New York: 2008).
Hodkinson, S., Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta (London: 2000).
Hodkinson, S.. and Powell, A. (edd.), Sparta: New Perspectives (London: 1999).
Hodkinson, S.. and Powell, A. (edd.), (edd.), Sparta and War (Swansea: 2006).
Nixon, L. and Price, S. (edd.), The Sphakia Survey (Greece): Methods and Results (Oxford: 1995).
Pomeroy S., Spartan Women (NY and Oxford: 2002).
Powell, A., Athens and Sparta: Constructing Greek Political and Social History from 478 B.C. second edition (London/NewYork: 2001).
Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (edd.) Sparta beyond the Mirage (London: 2002).
Whitley, J., 'Cretan Laws and Cretan Literacy', American Journal of Archaeology 101.4: 1997.
Willetts, R. F., The Law Code of Gortyn (Berlin: 1967).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Assimilate, process and communicate a wide range of information from a variety of sources.

Process and critically assess information derived from historical research, utilising theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills specific to the subject area.

Provide clear written and oral analyses based on historical information.

Master practical skills in accessing and interpreting historical sources.

Construct and pursue a coherent argument driven by analysis of the primary source material.

Analyse, assimilate and deploy critically a range of secondary literature relevant and essential to the student's individual research subject.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr David Lewis
Tel: (0131 6)50 3851
Course secretaryMiss Katherine Shaw
Tel: (0131 6)50 8349
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