Skip to main content

Module

CAH3035 : The World of Herodotus

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Joseph Skinner
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aim of this module is to use the first major piece of historical prose to survive from antiquity as a vehicle for exploring key aspects of Greek culture and society, ethnographic thought and practice, and the thought-worlds and histories of the various (i.e. non-Greek) peoples that feature in the text.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered may include: 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 (aka ‘The Age of Empire’).

Seminars will address topics such as: A ‘Serious’ historian? (Gold-digging ants and other tall tales); True lies? (Sources and veracity); Herodotus and the Persian Empire; Empire and tyranny; Herodotus the barbarian-lover?; Structure and causation; Brave and bold? (Herodotus’ women); Herodotean identities and the nature of Greek identity.

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