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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS2350 Herodotus and the Beginning of History

20 creditsClass Size: 12

Module manager: Dr R Brock
Email: R.W.Brock@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

CLAS3350Herodotus & Beginning of Hist

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is suitable for Level 2 students with some knowledge of Classical literature and/or history. It enables students to investigate the origins of historical writing in ancient Greece through a detailed study of the earliest surviving historiographer, Herodotus. Among the aspects covered will be Herodotus' sources and his handling of them, his literary presentation, his geographic and ethnographic interests, his account of the conflict between Greece and Persia, and his historical outlook. The Histories is studied in English translation (tr. R. Waterfield, Herodotus, Oxford World's Classics 1998). The module is worth 20 credits, with two lectures per week and a total of five seminars.

Objectives

The objective of this module is to enable students to investigate the origins of historical writing in ancient Greece through a detailed study of the earliest surviving historiographer, Herodotus. The module will also encourage students to consider issues common to all historical writing such as periodisation, sources, literary presentation and the impact of authorial outlook and interpretation.

Learning outcomes
1. Students will gain a knowledge of Herodotus’ Histories (and to a lesser extent of the events it describes, culminating in the Persian invasion of Greece) and of the earliest phase in the development of western thought about the recording and interpretation of the past.
2. They will acquire a knowledge of a range of critical approaches to Herodotus' work.
3. In addition, students will gain a familiarity with the critical issues which arise in the study of historical writing
4. They will also be able to relate the emergence of Greek historiography to broader cultural trends and to locate Herodotus in the intellectual context of his time.
5. Finally, the coursework assessment will develop writing skills beyond the conventional essay.


Syllabus

The module will deal with the Histories of Herodotus as a whole, though particular attention will be given to Books 1, 3 & 8. Among the aspects covered will be Herodotus' sources and his handling of them, his literary presentation, his geographic and ethnographic interests, his account of the conflict between Greece and Persia, and his historical outlook.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture201.0020.00
Seminar51.005.00
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

4 hours reading per lecture = 4x20 = 80
3 hours reading per seminar = 3x5 = 15
Research and writing of short assignment: 30 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The short (1200-word) assignment will serve to monitor student knowledge of the text and understanding of key features and to provide structured feedback; this will be supported informally by participation in the seminars.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report1200 words35.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)35.00

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) (S1)3 hr 00 mins65.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)65.00

Schedule together with CLAS3350

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/05/2019

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