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Module

CAH2020 : Greek and Roman Religions

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matthew Haysom
  • Lecturer: Professor Federico Santangelo
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module aims:
• To provide students with a critical understanding of the key debates in the study of Greek and Roman religion
• To provide students with an insight into some of the theoretical influences on classics: social anthropology, structuralism, gender theory, etc.
• To provide students with a critical understanding of the key sources of evidence that are available to classicists studying subjects related to ancient religions: a variety of ancient literary genres (history, tragedy, comedy, philosophy, epic etc.); epigraphy; archaeology.

Outline Of Syllabus

Religion was central to the lives of people in antiquity. It weaves itself through all aspects of ancient history and culture. Some aspects of Greek and Roman religion, like the names of the gods, are superficially familiar and Christianity grew up in dialogue with Greek and Roman religious thought. But many aspects of these ancient religions are alien to modern ways of thinking about the world and our place within it. This makes the study of Greek and Roman religion uniquely rewarding. It can give an unparalleled insight into how ancients conceived of their world, which by extension can allow you to look at antiquity in a new light.

In this course we will look at a wide variety of questions relating to ancient religions including: how humans sought to communicate with their gods; how Greek and Roman religion was organised; what kinds of people worshipped together and under what circumstances; how religions changed and new gods were introduced; the role of different types of religious specialists, from travelling mystics through to civic magistrates; how people thought about the afterlife; the place of religion in war and politics; and the role of religion in the family home.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion311:0031:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials181:0018:00Lecture materials consisting of 2hrs of short videos a week
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading971:0097:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00Weekly preparation for the seminars.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Weekly seminars.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00Structured reading and activities on canvas supporting the recorded lecture content.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00Weekly QandA/discussion to support the students' understanding of the lecture materials.
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture recordings will introduce you to key topics and how to approach them. A small amount of preliminary reading will be set for each 2 hour block of lecture recordings. Teacher-introduced lecture materials 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. To that end, lecture recordings will be interspersed with activities on canvas that develop your engagement with the material and analytical skills. As an additional support for the learning materials in lectures there will be a weekly drop in/discussion.

Seminars are an opportunity for you to develop your understanding dynamically, e.g. by engaging in discussion of how you should go about addressing 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 and research tasks will be set to be completed in advance of each seminar.

The assessment surgeries will support the assessments - giving an opportunity for questions and approaches to be addressed.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M50Four literature reviews totalling 1600 words (including footnotes, excluding bibliography)
Essay1M501500 words (including footnotes, excluding bibliography).
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MOne 400 word literature review, supporting summative assessment.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The literature reviews will require you to critically engage with key pieces of scholarship, placing them in the historiography of the subject. They directly support the lecture and seminar content, testing your general knowledge and understanding of the subject plus your ability to think analytically and write clearly and succinctly about key debates. The formative assessment will allow practice in this unfamiliar form of written assessment and the opportunity for feedback.

The essay tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

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