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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS1550 Gladiators and Barbarian Queens: The Ancient World in Modern Media

10 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr S J Green
Email: S.J.Green@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module is suitable for all students, regardless of whether they have any prior knowledge of the ancient classical world. This module explores the complex ways in which the ancient world has been represented, manipulated and distorted over the past two thousand years - with particular emphasis on 20th and 21st century visual media - and to understand some of the reasons why such manipulation and distortion has occurred. Taking two popular and enduring figures of old as special case studies - the gladiator (in the figures of Spartacus and, more recently, the fictitious Maximus) and the barbarian queen (in the figures of Cleopatra and Helen) - this module will chart the development and 'reconfiguration' of the myths surrounding these characters from the ancient literature itself, through literary and dramatic adaptations to modern-day Hollywood blockbusters such as Spartacus (1960), Cleopatra (1963) and Gladiator (2000) and Troy (2004). A Module Booklet containing all relevant sources/ lecture material will be required (minimal cost). The module is worth 10 credits and runs in semester 2 only, with one lecture per week and two seminars throughout the module. For further information, visit us at the Electives Fair or contact the Department of Classics, situated on the first floor of the Parkinson Building, south end (email: classics@leeds.ac.uk; website: www.leeds.ac.uk/classics/; telephone: 0113 343 3537).

Objectives

On successful completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:
- discuss, both orally and in writing, the development of four (historical) myths from antiquity to the modern day, with particular emphasis on 20th and 21st century visual media;
- identify the various contemporary external factors being brought to bear on the particular representation, and explain how the myth has been adapted to address contemporary issues such as national identity, morality, gender and sexuality.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students are expected to have acquired:
- an increased knowledge of four (historical) myths from antiquity and their development through written and cinematic media to the present day;
- an increased awareness of the various contemporary external factors being brought to bear on the particular representation, and an ability to explain how the myth has been adapted to address contemporary issues such as national identity, morality, gender and sexuality.


Syllabus

This module explores the complex ways in which the ancient world has been represented, manipulated and distorted over the past two thousand years - with particular emphasis on 20th and 21st century visual media - and to understand some of the reasons why such manipulation and distortion has occurred. Taking two popular and enduring figures of old as special case studies - the gladiator (in the figures of Spartacus and, more recently, the fictitious Maximus) and the barbarian queen (in the figures of Cleopatra and Helen) - this module will chart the development and 'reconfiguration' of the myths surrounding these characters from the ancient literature itself, through literary and dramatic adaptations to modern-day Hollywood blockbusters such as Spartacus (1960), Cleopatra (1963) and Gladiator (2000) and Troy (2004).

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture101.0010.00
Seminar21.002.00
Private study hours88.00
Total Contact hours12.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

40 hours - reading per lecture (10 x 4 hours)
10 hours - preparation per seminar (2 x 5 hours)
28 hours - writing essay
10 hours - revising for exam

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored by performance in compulsory seminars.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayAn essay of not more than 1,500 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

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


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Practical Exam / OSCE2 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

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: 13/03/2009

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