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CLAS2740 Greek Religion

Module manager: Emma Stafford

Taught: invalid View Timetable

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Religion was an integral part of life in ancient Greece, underpinning areas of experience which might seem quite separate and often 'secular' to us. In addition to introducing the student to an area of primary importance for the understanding of the ancient world, this course aims to promote an interdisciplinary approach, exploiting a variety of methodologies and sources, from literary texts and inscriptions to temple remains and vase-painting; such an approach is vital if we are to begin to reconstruct the practices, let alone the beliefs of ordinary people. The module is suitable for Level 2 students with some basic knowledge of the Greek world.


To gain an understanding of ancient Greek religion and of the various methodological approaches employed in its study. Through participation in seminars and preparation for assessment students will develop their skills in critical analysis and communication.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module students should:
1. have a sound general knowledge of ancient Greek religion and of some challenging issues raised by confrontation with a religious system very different from those predominant in our own society;
2. have an in-depth knowledge of one specific topic chosen for close study;
3. have a sound understanding of the different types of source material available for the study of Greek religion and approaches to their deployment;
4. be able to communicate their ideas about the material effectively in oral discussion;
5. be able to construct arguments based on analysis of a range of ancient sources, and communicate such arguments clearly in writing.

Skills outcomes
The study of Greek religion requires a holistic approach to the ancient Greek world, using a wide variety of source material. This module will therefore develop the following skills, from a variety of sub-disciplines within Classics:
- Textual analysis
- Interpreting material remains
- Understanding inscriptions
- Reading images


A series of lectures outlines what we know of the major public festivals, family rituals, and private observances of the people of ancient Greece, focusing on the sixth to fourth centuries BC. Seminar discussions highlight methodological issues and the skills involved in handling different sorts of evidence (epigraphic, material, literary and iconographic).

Private study

Students are expected to do 179 hours of private study as follows:
- 4 hours of study for each of 16 lectures (= 64 hours): this time would typically be divided between reading books and articles, exploring online resources, and note-taking.
- 4 hours preparation/follow-up for each of 5 seminars (= 20 hours).
- 70 hours planning, research and writing the coursework essay.
- 25 hours exam revision.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be informally monitored via participation in the seminar discussions. Opportunities will also be provided for one-to-one consultation via the lecturer’s weekly Drop-In times. Formal feedback will be provided on the coursework essay, which will inform the student’s exam preparation.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:22:46


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