Introduction to Greek Civilisation - CLAS3680

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Nicolo Benzi checkmark-circle


The history will centre on Athens in the 5th century B.C. We begin with early Athens, then after considering the period of the Persian invasions, we study the developed democracy with its empire under Pericles and its destruction in the Peloponnesian War. After looking at the historical events of this period, we study a range of Greek literature. You will be introduced to the different literary genres of the time, including tragedy and comedy, and will be asked to consider the role of literature as a vehicle for public debate in the democracy, and its treatment of justice, religion, rationalism and patriotic themes.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Critical assessment of a primary text (750 words) – 40%
Critical assessment of a work of art or material remains (750 words) – 40%
Online assessment (500 words) – 20%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Identify the literary genres in fifth-century Athens;
2 Address questions of rhetorical and literary conventions;
3 Discuss literature's role as a vehicle for the treatment of major areas of public debate in democratic Athens: justice, war and peace, rationalism;
4 Understand the nature of Athenian Democracy;
5 Understand the social and historical context of the works of Herodotus and Thucydides;
6 Draw together a wide range of sources for Greek history and drama (legal, literary, historical, art and biographical).

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of types of evidence in an independent and critical manner, through case studies examined in seminars;
2 Select, gather and synthesise relevant information from a wide variety of sources to gain a coherent understanding;
3 Study and reach conclusions independently through preparation of written assignments;
4 Select and apply appropriate methodologies in assessing data, such as bibliographical research, through class discussion;
5 Deploy evidence and information, and show awareness of the consequences of the unavailability of evidence" in critical discussions of evidence for different topics in seminars and writing assignments;
6 Marshal argument lucidly and communicate interpretations using the appropriate academic conventions", through working independently to produce historical reconstruction based on primary data.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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