Module Catalogue 2023/24

CAC2037 : The Classical Inheritance in Western Culture (Inactive)

CAC2037 : The Classical Inheritance in Western Culture (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Susanna Phillippo
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



"An honourable man", a rebel with a cause, human sacrifice and a dutiful daughter... Greek literature has supplied themes and personalities which have inspired artists of all kinds throughout the history of Western culture. Combining detailed analysis of individual works with the study of overall themes and issues, this module aims to explore the impact Greek literature has had on Western literature, music and art. Central texts include Plutarch's Lives & Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, works inspired by Sophocles' *Antigone*. Themes studied include questions of transformation and adaptation - crossing genres, crossing cultures - and questions of classical subjects harnessed to modern causes and ideas. Aspects of Dr. Phillippo’s own research - some of it in progress - feed into the module. The principal texts will be supplemented by material from other genres and media: poetry, opera and the visual arts. All non-English works to be studied in translation.

This module aims:
•To promote understanding of and insight into questions of cross-cultural inspiration and adaptation raised by the 'reception' of Greek literature in the Western cultural tradition.
•To develop skills in critical analysis, applied to the relationship between a work of literature and its literary source;
•To develop flexibility in applying skills of literary analysis in different contexts, extending these particularly to texts and other artistic works from outwith the classical world.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module explores the impact Greek literature has had on Western literature, music and art, combining detailed analysis of individual works* with the study of overall themes and issues.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of the course students should have:
• acquired a broad knowledge of Greek influence in the Western cultural tradition, and an in-depth knowledge of the relationship between selected European texts from two different periods and their Greek sources;
• gained an understanding of the issues involved in cross-cultural adaptation;
• gained insight into the processes involved in creative inspiration and imitation, and the contextual and personal factors which may influence these processes.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students should have further developed their skills of: critical analysis; identifying and solving problems; adaptability; written, interpersonal and oral communication; initiative in independent reading of and critical reflection on texts.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials100:305:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion701:0070:00Guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading321:0032:00Guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching32:006:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops81:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study501:0050:00Guided independent study
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CAC3037The Classical Inheritance in Western Culture
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are designed to:

- introduce students to the overall approaches and techniques involved in studying the Classical tradition;
- introduce students to the background of the various texts (etc.) studied and to illustrate the application to details of the texts of overall issues both regarding the texts themselves and regarding the themes of the module
- provide guidance on preparing for the assessments.

Recorded 'lecture materials' as part of structured guided learning are designed to supplement the in-person lectures, providing for example: further examples demonstrating the ideas and approaches on the texts (etc.) introduced in the lectures; illustrations and explanation for independent learning activities and lecture preparation set in relation to lecture content.

Groupwork and discussion within lectures, workshops and small group sessions, as well as structured guided learning, research and reading activities, are designed to:

- give students the chance to enhance their understanding of the ideas and approaches presented, by applying these for themselves to illustrative excerpts of texts (etc.);

- develop students' skills of interpersonal communication

Small group sessions and some workshops are designed to give students the opportunity to apply in depth, with advance preparation, the ideas and approaches encountered in lectures, to aspects of the central set texts studied; to lay the foundation for material which they may include in the submitted assignment; and to develop their skills of oral and interpersonal communication.

The Drop-in/surgery hour allows students to seek further clarification on aspects of the assessment tasks.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination28802A5048 hour 'take-home' paper (2 questions with a total 2,500 word count limit)
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
The Classical Inheritance in Western Culture2N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1A502,500 words: design of online mini-exhibition with accompanying analytical commentary.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1Mpresentation of one sample element for Sem. 1 assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The take-home examination requires students to correlate and compare detailed material from pairs of comparative texts (or other creative works influenced by specific texts and aspects of the classical world). The open book format tests the students' skills of working within a restricted time-frame to a specific tight brief, while allowing students to consult the range of primary material necessary for a strong detailed analysis.

The assignment tests students' ability to apply skills (of literary and visual analysis) and concepts learned in the first half of the module, and skills of initiative and communication.

While the two 2,500-word limits for the summative assessment components are slightly over the normal limits, the total word limit for all assessments — 5,000 — is still within the overall maximum of 6,000 words set out in the University Assessment Tariff guidelines (section 11, footnote). The reason for these limits is the same as those for which an assessment tariff exemption has been requested and granted in the past (most recently 2016): i.e. that in a comparative module of this kind each point requires students to cover material from two texts, so every point takes more words to make.

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.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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