Undergraduate

modules

Modules

CAH2035 : World of Herodotus

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aim of this module is to provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the first major piece of historical prose to survive from antiquity: the Histories of Herodotus of Halicarnassus. The latter will encompass both the intellectual and cultural context from which the Histories arose and their subsequent reception both in the wake of Alexander’s conquests and during the long 19th century (aka ‘The Age of Empire’).

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered may include: Herodotus’ literary predecessors, the relationship between Herodotus’ Histories and the wider intellectual/cultural milieu from which they emerged; his biography; his views on religion and science; Geographical knowledge; Herodotean ethnography, its function and purpose; Herodotus’ treatment of Egypt and Scythia; Herodotus’ narrative of the rise of Persia under Cyrus the Great, the palace coup that led to Darius’ succession and the Persian invasions; Herodotus on Ionia; Herodotus’ relationship with Athens; his views on democracy, tyrants and despots; gold-digging ants and bearded ladies; crime and punishment in Herodotus’ Histories; the reception of Herodotus’ Histories both in the wake of Alexander’s conquests and during the long 19th century.

Seminars may address topics such as: A ‘Serious’ historian? (Gold-digging ants and other tall tales); True lies? (Sources and veracity); Herodotus and the Persian Empire; Herodotus’ thoughts on empire and tyranny; Was Herodotus a barbarian-lover?; Structure and causation in the Histories; Herodotus’ representations of women; Herodotus and the nature of Greek identity.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion751:0075:0045% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture131:0013:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading751:0075:0045% of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Class discussions/close reading of set texts
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study141:0014:0010% of guided independent study
Total200:00
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.

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
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M251500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MAn ethnography on a subject of your choosing written in a Herodotean style, 1000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The set essay assesses knowledge and understanding of the texts set for the module, the ability to compare and contrast set texts/passages, and the ability to expound and criticise 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. The purpose of (formatively assessed) written ethnography is to get students thinking about ethnography as practice, both in the ancient past and in the present.

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