Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2018/19 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS5700M Using The Past

30 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Penelope Goodman

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The peoples of the Greek and Roman worlds typically saw themselves as the inheritors of ancient and venerable past traditions. This core module for the MRes in Classics builds and develops an informed understanding of ancient engagements with the past, while also fostering students' own sense of themselves as seeking to understand a far distant and largely lost ancient past. Working through a series of case studies, students will be encouraged to consider how ancient attitudes towards and access to information about the past differ from our own and what is at stake in heritage preservation and destruction.


This module will enable students to:
- develop familiarity with the primary evidence and secondary scholarship relating to various specific ancient uses of the past
- analyse and discuss the implications for the study of Classics of ancient approaches to the past
- consider the relationship between ancient and modern approaches to the past
- engage with modern scholarly debates on topics such as intertextuality, the impact of oral culture, cultural change and exchange, and ancient historiography
- develop a sense of the place of Classical heritage in contemporary cultural traditions, including politics, the arts, museums and media.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to demonstrate:
- a knowledge of the major contexts in which Greeks and Romans made use of their own pasts
- a knowledge of the range of textual and material primary evidence relevant to understanding ancient uses of the past
- an ability to perform close critical analysis of this primary evidence
- a knowledge of the major scholarly literature relating to specific ancient uses of the past
- a knowledge of the modern theories relevant to the use of the past (e.g. intertextuality, the impact of oral culture, cultural change and exchange, ancient historiography)
- an understanding of the key viewpoints and debates expressed in the scholarly literature
- an ability to engage critically with the scholarly literature
- an ability to construct reasoned and well-supported arguments
- an ability to communicate effectively in seminar classes and written essays
- an ability to identify and articulate their own research questions
- good time management and IT skills


Teaching on the module will be via two contact hours per week: a lecture followed by a seminar. The first lecture will explain the aims of the module and its major themes, introducing the nature of historical information available in the Greek and Roman worlds, what we can therefore expect Greeks and Romans to have known about their own pasts, and major scholarship in the field. A series of weekly case studies will then follow, arranged in broadly chronological order and spanning both Greece and Rome, while also looking ahead to the connections between the ancient and post-antique worlds. The case studies will encompass political power, control and empire; landscape and environment; transforming myths; and ancient literary intertexts.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours280.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Seminar reading and preparation - 10 x 14 = 140
Essay research and writing - 2 x 70 = 140

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored:
- at an informal level through class contact hours and especially seminars
- at a formal level, through the first assessed essay

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words50.00
Essay3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/11/2018 09:25:40


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019