Module Catalogue 2019/20

CAH2061 : Slavery in Greco-Roman antiquity

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Simon Corcoran
  • Lecturer: Dr Jane Webster
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

N/A

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

The aim of the course is to understand a fundamental, but often under-appreciated, aspect of the Greek and Roman worlds in its varied social, economic, legal and ideological contexts. This is to be done primarily through the study of antique writers, documents, artefacts and archaeology, and by engaging in particular with the problems caused by this uneven ancient evidence, in which the views of slave-owners are well represented, while slaves seldom have an explicit voice. Understanding the modern historiography is also key, since contemporary disputes, resonances and sensitivities (e.g. the reparations debate) form a further inescapable part of the context for studying this ancient topic.

Outline Of Syllabus

1] Introduction: the modern historiography of the subject, the range of ancient sources, and the definition of ‘slavery’.
2] Ideas and ideology about slaves in Greek and Roman writers.
3] Becoming or acquiring a slave, including the sources of slaves, the slave trade, legal aspects, and the demography of ancient slave populations.
4] Labour, including the ideology of ‘work’; the range of slave jobs, domestic, commercial, agricultural, and public; their economic and/or social importance.
5] The treatment of slaves, public and private, in particular the role of violence and torture.
6] Slave responses to slavery, including major revolts.
7] Manumission: purposes and processes.
8] Freedmen: obligations and opportunities.
9] The imperial ‘familia’ and the Roman civil service.
10] Other forms of ‘unfree’ labour, including debt-bondage and Helotage.
11] Christianity and slavery.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the course, the student should:
1] Have a broad knowledge of the nature of slavery in its social, economic, legal and ideological contexts across Antiquity, but including within this at least some clear familiarity with Classical Athens (5th/4th cent. BC) and early imperial Rome (1st cent. BC to 3rd cent. AD).
2] Know how to define slavery and other forms of ‘unfree’ labour.
3] Understand in contextualized detail several key ancient texts relevant to slavery.
4] Know the ancient ideological background to slavery.
5] Know the life stages of a slave, from acquisition/birth, through work and life in the ‘familia’, to death/manumission, with awareness of the varied experiences of these for slaves and masters.
6] Understand the rules of manumission and status of freedmen.
7] Be familiar with at least one modern slave narrative.
8] Understand the role of contemporary contexts upon the scholarship and historiography of slavery.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
1] Analyse ancient evidence in the light of its ancient context, including not only literary sources, but also legal texts, documents, artefacts and archaeology.
2] Draw contrasts between particular periods and places in antiquity.
3] Construct an argument by judicious use of ancient evidence.
4] Use non-ancient evidence such as comparative history.
5] Take account of the contemporary contexts of modern scholarship.
6] Engage with and make judgements about ancient evidence and modern scholarship, while being sensitive to the effect of their own assumptions on their writing.
7] Work collaboratively with their peers.
8] Make clear and relevant oral contributions.
9] Construct a clear and well-written argument.
10] Undertake independent study.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures impart most basic information, while allowing for questions both from and to the lecturer.
Workshops allow for group discussion, team collaboration, and oral presentation of key prepared texts.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam enables testing of knowledge of a broad range of topics and issues, and the ability to apply acquired knowledge to unprepared questions. In contrast, the essay allows for more detailed engagement with a single topic and the development of more considered argument bolstered by appropriate evidence.

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.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.