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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3031 Periclean Athens

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Professor David Jackson
Email: D.Jackson@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits from any ARTF-coded module or appropriate equivalent in a relevant discipline. In the latter case, students are advised to get in touch with the module leader to discuss eligibility prior to enrolment

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will examine the celebrated Athenian building programme during the second half of the 5th century BC under its leading statesman Pericles. During these brief but culturally fertile decades, democratic Athens was established as 'an education for Greece', the intellectual, artistic and political showplace of the ancient world, home subsequently to some of the greatest and most significant cultural landmarks of western civilisation.Considering Greek art in its widest social context, and with particular attention devoted to the architecture, decoration and sculptures on the Acropolis, we will investigate the many strands of aspiration and utility of the Periclean programme: nationalism, civic pride, religious thanks-giving, war memorial and public employment initiative.

Objectives

To study, through ancient texts (in translation), the architecture, decoration and free-standing sculpture on the Acropolis citadel, and the many strands of aspiration and utility which they embody: nationalism, civic pride, religious thanksgiving, war memorials and public employment initiative.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to engage in a critical and analytical manner in giving an assessment of the art and architecture of the Periclean period, cited within a cultural and historical context, particularly with regard to the following:
1. To identify the major concerns – cultural, political, economic, ideological – that informed the implementation of the Periclean building programme.
2. To explain the forms and functions of ancient Greek art and architecture during the Periclean period.
3. To identify and explain some of the dominant philosophical and artistic theories concerning the visual arts in the ancient world and to relate these to artistic practice.
4. To identify and comment on the forms and functions of the key Acropolis buildings.


Syllabus

The latter half of the 5th century BC was the most culturally fertile of the Classical period in ancient Greece. Under the stewardship of the statesman Pericles, Athens rose to a position of political and cultural hegemony within the confederacy of Greek city states.

Following a devastating war with Persia which left the temples and monuments of Athens in ruins, Pericles instigated a controversial programme of rebuilding by using revenue intended for the whole of the confederacy. Despite conservative opposition, which accused Pericles of 'decking out the city like a harlot', work continued through expensive wars to make democratic Athens 'an education for Greece', the intellectual, artistic and political showplace of the ancient world. In little more than a decade Athens became home to some of the most celebrated and significant cultural landmarks of western civilisation, preeminently the Parthenon temple, decorated under the supervision of the master-sculptor Phidias.

Following an introduction to the cultural background of classical Athens, this course will look at notions of ancient art theory and criticism, before commencing a detailed examination of the form, function and ideology of the civic and religious building programme executed in the second half of the 5th century BC under Pericles. The emphasis, where possible, will be on studying ancient texts (in translation).

Considering Greek art in its wider social and political context, and with particular attention devoted to the architecture, decoration and free-standing sculptures on the Acropolis citadel, this course will investigate the many strands of aspiration and utility embodied in the Periclean programme: nationalism, civic pride, religious thanks-giving, war memorial and public employment initiative.

Week 1 - Introduction: Historical and Cultural Background
Week 2 - Pericles: man and myth; Artistic evidence and sources
Weeks 3-4 - Ancient Art Theory and Criticism
Week 5 - The Periclean Building Programme; Pheidias; the Form and Function of Greek Temples; The Propylaea
Week 6 - Reading Week
Week 7 - The Great Panathenaea and Cult of Athene; The Function of Sculpture
Week 8 - The Parthenon Temple
Week 9 - The Parthenon Frieze and Decorations
Week 10 - The Temple of Athene Nike and the Erechtheion
Week 11 - Periclean Buildings in the Agora and Attica.

Students’ formative and progressive needs will be addressed and furthered by the addition of a one-hour essay tutorial class, to be arranged with the class shortly after the Reading Week (ideally around weeks 7-8).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar102.0020.00
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study time will be dedicated to the module readings, engagement with additional art historical resources, essay preparation, exam revision and writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance monitoring and seminar discussions will ensure that students follow the module and keep up with readings.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000-3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 29/03/2018

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