Module Catalogue 2016/17

CAH1012 : West meets East: Greek History and Society, 776-323 BC

  • Offered for Year: 2016/17
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Joseph Skinner
  • Lecturer: Dr Matthew Haysom, Dr John Holton
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to:
• Acquaint you with the history of the Greek world from 776 BC, the traditional date for the
first Olympic Games and thus the ‘beginning’ of Greek history, until the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC.
• Enable you to engage critically with scholarship dealing with the central historical
questions of that period, a crucial part of your training as either a classicist or historian.
• Foster core skills in using and evaluating primary evidence.
• Provide you with a secure foundation for the study of ancient Greek history.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will provide you with a broad introduction to history of the Archaic and Classical Greek
world during the period 776-323 BC. Key political events in mainland Greece and the Aegean will be
set in their wider context: a world shaped by mobility and exchange that extended from the Pillars
of Herakles (the Rock of Gibraltar) to the North Pontic shore (modern Ukraine).
Topics covered include: the origins and nature of Greek identity, art and culture; Greek settlement
overseas; contact and interaction with non-Greeks; political thought; the origins, development and
internal workings of the Greek city state; Greek society (slavery, religious belief, sexuality); the
economy; the Persian Wars; the Delian League and the road to empire; Athenian democracy;
Sparta; The Peloponnesian War; Athens’ downfall and its immediate aftermath (the trial and
execution of Socrates); the causes of Sparta’s defeat and the rise of Thebes; the rise of Macedon under Phillip and the conquests and legacy of Alexander the Great.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will have a sound knowledge of the broad
sweep of Greek history from 776 to 323 BC. Having developed a comprehensive
understanding of the major historical themes that shaped the Greek world during this
period you will also be accustomed to using a variety of primary and secondary materials
to answer (and formulate) historical questions relating to political events, warfare, society
and culture.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The module will foster a variety of transferable skills (not all directly assessed), including:
oral discussion; listening and note-taking skills; analytical reading of set texts; identification
and deployment of material relevant to a particular question; engagement with primary
evidence; written exposition; effective time-management.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Assessed
      • Initiative : Assessed
      • Independence : Assessed
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
      • Adaptability : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
  • Application
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture281:0028:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion751:0075:0045% of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading751:0075:0045% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Class discussions/close reading of set texts
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork12:002:00Museum Visit
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study141:0014:0010% of guided independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce you to key historical topics and how to approach them. Lectures are not merely intended to provide you with answers. Instead, they will provide you with the knowledge and skills that will enable you to both formulate and answer your own questions. Your listening and note-taking skills will play a key role in this process. The class discussions are an opportunity for you to develop your understanding dynamically, e.g. by engaging in discussion of how you should go about addressing historical questions, the relative merits of different types of evidence or approach to the sources or by gaining clarification of any points that you do not understand. In doing so you will develop your analytical skills, oral communication skills and your ability to work as part of a team.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A75The exam consists of 2 gobbets and one essay question.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M251500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MClass tests administered via Blackboard
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assignment assesses knowledge and understanding of the texts set for the module, the ability
to compare and contrast related source texts on a common subject, and the ability to expound and
criticize a textual extract lucidly, succinctly and with relevance in a relatively brief space.

The unseen examination tests the students’ acquisition of a clear, general and overall knowledge
of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply
both the general knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills,
adaptability, the ability to work unaided and to write clearly and concisely.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

The (formatively assessed) class tests are designed to test the students' knowledge of Mediterranean geography, key terminology and core concepts.

All exchange students at Newcastle University including Erasmus, study-abroad, exchange proper and Loyola are warmly encouraged to do the same assessment as the domestic students unless they have compelling reasons not to do so. If this is the case, they are offered the option of writing one 3,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all assessment work required of domestic students. If they wish to take up this option, students need to discuss it with their module leader, having checked with their home university that the new assessment will be accepted by them.

Students who opt for the alternative assessment because they will have to leave Newcastle University before the assessment period (excluding Erasmus students, who are contractually obliged to be at Newcastle until the end of the semester) should hand in their 3000-word essays before they go away. If this is not possible, they should tell the School exchange coordinator that they are going to submit the School Office ( Any essay received after the deadline will be considered as a late submission.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 16/17. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.