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Module

CAH3005 : City of Athens: Power, Society and Culture

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

Aims

To provide an opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of social, political and cultural issues relating to the history and topography of the city of Athens, from its Bronze Age beginnings to the late Classical period, reading widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature associated with it, and to develop the capacity for independent study.

Outline Of Syllabus

The city of Athens was the political, cultural and economic centre of ancient Greece; consequently its history and heritage have fascinated scholars and tourists alike for centuries. But how did Athens evolve from a small agricultural village to the most powerful city-state in the Greek world? How did its appearance change over time? And what intellectual and architectural legacy have the Athenians bequeathed to the western world?

This module examines the infrastructure of ancient Athens, not only as an administrative, monumental, and religious centre, but also in terms of the social and political life of its diverse inhabitants, thus facilitating a view of Athens as a ‘living’ city rather than a city of decaying monuments. It introduces the ancient and modern sources for ancient Athens, from the city’s earliest history in the Bronze Age through the end of the fourth century BC, adopting both a chronological and thematic approach. Particular emphasis will be placed on the Classical period (479-323 BC).

The topics and issues to be discussed include: Bronze Age Greece, the rise of the city-state; the growth of Athenian democracy; Athenian society and institutions; sanctuaries and religion; the political topography of the city; domestic and social space, the Periclean building programme, and trade and the Athenian economy, and attitudes towards death and burial practice.

The module will be structured around the integration of several diverse types of evidence and materials, ranging from literary accounts of the city and its territory; major works of epic poetry, philosophy and drama; epigraphic and numismatic evidence; the study of archaeological sites; and key aspects of the development of Greek art and architecture.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable