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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CLAS2680 Greek Art and Society

20 creditsClass Size: 12

Module manager: Emma Stafford

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

There are no formal prerequisites for this module, but a basic level of knowledge of the ancient Greek world will be assumed. This might have been acquired via an A-level in Classical Civilisation or Ancient History, via a Classics Level 1 module at Leeds (e.g. CLAS1300 Greek World, CLAS1610 After Troy), or via private study. Students unsure about the suitability of their prior experience should consult the module leader before enrolling.

This module is mutually exclusive with

CLAS3680Greek Art and Society

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is suitable for Level 2 students with some basic knowledge of the Greek world. It aims to introduce the student to Greek art of the archaic and classical periods (c.800-340 BC), covering vase-painting, free-standing and architectural sculpture. Technical and stylistic developments are outlined, but the emphasis of the module is on placing the works of art in their social and cultural context.


This module aims to introduce the student to Greek art from the Geometric to the late classical period. Technical and stylistic developments in vase-painting, free-standing and architectural sculpture are outlined, but the emphasis of the module is on placing the works of art in their social and cultural context. Lectures provide among other things a chronological survey from the archaic to the classical period, while more depth on particular themes such as artistic technique will be provided by the seminars.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
- demonstrate a broad understanding of the concepts, information and techniques which are standard features of Greek art;
- appreciate and employ the main methods of enquiry in the sub-discipline of Greek art history, and critically evaluate the appropriateness of different methods of enquiry;
- effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis relating to Greek art in a variety of forms;
- show an enhanced knowledge of Greek art history, including an appreciation of the place of artists and their work in the Greek world, and the significance of visual imagery for our understanding of Greek society.

Skills outcomes
In addition to broader/transferable skills, students will have had the opportunity to acquire the following subject-specific skills:

- ability to identify the shapes and decorative techniques of Greek pottery of different periods/places;
- ability to identify Greek sculpture, both free-standing and architectural, of different periods/places;
- ability to analyse the different types of visual narrative presented by Greek art;
- ability to assess the social significance of individual examples of Greek art.


Lectures follow a roughly chronological progression. In the first half of the module we cover the archaic period, including such themes as: vase-painting from the emergence of figure scenes in the eighth century BC, through the developments of Attic black-figure and early red-figure; developments in free-standing and architectural sculpture, from the earliest stylised figures of the late seventh and sixth centuries BC to the beginnings of naturalism in the early fifth. In the second half of the module we cover the classical period, including such themes as: red-figure vase-painting of later fifth-century Athens and fourth-century South Italy; fifth- and fourth-century developments in free-standing sculpture; the architectural sculpture of such well known buildings as the temple of Zeus at Olympia and the Pathenon at Athens. We conclude with three thematic lectures documenting developments across both archaic and classical periods, focussing on specific art forms such as: monumental painting; funerary art; and portraiture. Fortnightly seminars will allow us to discuss in more depth issues such as techniques for the visual expression of narrative, the meanings of free-standing sculpture, and the transhistorical significance of the Parthenon Marbles. Optional additional sessions will make use of Leeds City Museum’s Ancient World gallery and the University’s own small collection of Greek antiquities.

Teaching methods

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

Private study

Lectures and seminars provide a total of 25 hours contact time, with 2 hours of optional sessions. In addition, students are expected to do 175 hours of private study as follows:
- 3 hours of study per lecture (= 60): this time would typically be divided between reading of books and articles, pursuing of online resources, and note-taking.
- *2 extra hours reading if not attending optional museum/University-collection sessions.
- 3 hours preparation/follow-up for each seminar (= 15 hours).
- 68 hours planning, research and writing for the coursework essay.
- 35 hours revision for the end-of-semester exam.

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 of course be provided on the coursework essay, which will be returned in good time to inform the student’s exam preparation.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 50.00
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: 06/07/2021 16:18:15


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