Undergraduate

modules

Modules

CAC3051 : The Ancient Art of Spin: Classical Rhetoric in Theory and Practice (stage 3)

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

How do you influence an audience so that they will accept what you say as true, or at least plausible? How do you try to influence their behaviour and policies? How do you come across as a nice, trustworthy and/or knowledgeable person? And how can you whip up an audience’s emotions?
The power of oratory, again recognised today, was well known to the Greeks and Romans, and in this module we will study some of the many speeches from antiquity that illustrate it. The emphasis is on the court speeches of Cicero – perhaps the greatest orator of antiquity – but we will also look, e.g., at Greek speeches made in court (Lysias) and in the assembly (Demosthenes). We will also look at rhetorical theory, to see whether it offers answers to the above questions.
Finally, we will study two or three modern speeches, illustrating that the techniques used for studying ancient oratory can also be employed in understanding its modern counterpart. These may include Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address’ and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’.

The aims of this module are:
1. To provide students with an understanding of classical and especially Ciceronian rhetoric, including its political, social and intellectual background.
2. To provide students with an understanding of the relevance of (classical) rhetoric as well as its limitations for studying other ancient genres and for studying modern speeches and texts.
3. To enhance students' skills at analysing ancient texts in translation.

Outline Of Syllabus

Rhetoric in practice: orators studied may include (in chronological order) Lysias, Demosthenes, Cicero, Roman declaimers (as preserved by Seneca the Elder), Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King.

Rhetorical theory and related material (in chronological order): authors studied may include: Plato (esp. his Phaedrus), Aristotle (Rhetoric), the anonymous author of the Rhetoric for Herennius, Cicero (esp. his De oratore [On the Ideal Orator] and Orator), Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Petronius, Seneca, Quintilian.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture301:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Total200:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CAC2051The Ancient Art of Spin: Classical Rhetoric in Theory and Practice (stage 2)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used:
1. to introduce the (historical, intellectual) context of the prescribed texts.
2. to show in practice how to analyse passages from a speech and a speech as a whole.
3. to discuss students reading and understanding of the prescribed texts and of the relationships between rhetorical theory and practice.
4. to make explicit historical and other relationships between the texts read.
5. to discuss the students' reading and understanding of theprescribed secondary literature, and the methods available to check and evaluate these secondary sources against the primary ones.
Private study is supposed to be used:
6. to read and analyse the prescribed (primary and secondary) literature
7. to complete the assessed assignments.

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A75N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
CAC2051The Ancient Art of Spin: Classical Rhetoric in Theory and Practice1N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M10400 words, on a Ciceronian passage from list provided, due mid-Semester
Essay1A151200 words, on a topic from list provided, due Sem. 1 Assessment period
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Examination tests:
- all intended knowledge outcomes, esp. the first 3.
- all intended skills outcomes.

Assessed essays test (and offer practice relevant to):
- the first 3 intended knowledge outcomes.
- all intended skills outcomes.
- the 5th intended skills outcome (esp. the second, longer essay).

Re-sit Information: In the cse of a resit, the failed component(s) must be resat.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable