Units of Study
The following units are offered within the discipline of Classics and Ancient History.
ANCH110: Introduction to Ancient Greece
This unit is an introduction to the history and culture of ancient Greece. A wide variety of aspects of Greek society of the archaic (800–479 BC) and classical (478–323 BC) periods are considered. In addition, there is a detailed study of political events of the archaic period, up to and including the Persian Wars (480-79 BC), with special attention paid to political developments in Sparta and Athens in the sixth century BC. Emphasis is placed on literary as well as material sources of information. Students gain a sound understanding of ancient Greek culture and history, and of the ancient sources for these.
ANCH111: Introduction to Ancient Rome
This unit explores Ancient Rome from its rise to power on the international stage to the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Emphasis is placed on the literary and material evidence that survives for this period, and the analytical skills historians use to interpret that evidence.
ANCH112: Introduction to Egyptian and Near Eastern History
This unit is an introduction to the history and culture of ancient Egypt (the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms) and the Near East. Utilising both documentary sources of information and archaeological evidence, the unit explores a wide variety of aspects of ancient life in the "Cradle of Civilization": the origins of farming and the growth of towns, cities and empires to religious beliefs, art, literature, law, daily life and political and economic administration. The unit explores the relationships between these societies and connections with neighbouring cultures in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.
ANCH304/504: Society and the Individual in Classical Greece
This unit will examine in detail the relationship between society and the individual in Classical Greece. It will focus on the economic, religious, political and family relationships within society in order to highlight the interdependence of individuals in the functioning of Greek daily life. Special attention will be directed at groups which were generally regarded as 'inferior' (e.g. slaves, the poor, women) and also the problems of conformity and non-conformity within Greek society.
ANCH305/505: Greek Democracy and its Enemies
A study of imperialism and democratic institutions in the Greek world from the middle of the fifth century BC to the death of Alexander the Great. The unit focuses on Athenian imperialism in the fifth century, the practice of democratic government in Athens, the growth of Macedonian influence in the Greek world in the fourth century, the reign of Philip II and Alexander's conquest of the Persian empire. The unit has a strong focus on methodology in the study of Ancient History.
ANCH307/507: Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World
Alexander the Great is one of the most famous rulers in the history of mankind. Although his reign lasted only 13 years, his achievements had immense impact on the ancient world. Following his murdered father as king of Macedonia in 336 BC, he soon started a campaign during which he conquered the biggest empire of that time: the Persian realm spanning from western Anatolia to the borders of the Indian subcontinent. This unit explores the enigmatic person of Alexander, his Macedonian background, his Greek allies and enemies, the Persians and their empire and the famous battles Alexander fought against them. Attention will also be paid to the events after his sudden death in 323 BC culminating in the long struggles between his generals.
ANCH312/512: Rome of the Caesars
This unit explores the highs and lows of life under the Roman imperial system of government, beginning with the Julio-Claudian period. Students will explore the varied source material available and weave their own path through rumour, fact and fantasy as they examine the evidence for life in the empire under some of the most notorious figures in Roman History.
ANCH313/513: Augustus and the Roman Revolution
In 31BC Augustus emerged as the undisputed master of Rome, but the battle for the hearts and minds of Rome's citizens remained. This unit examines by what means Augustus brought about the reconstruction of Rome after nearly a century of civil war. Particular attention is paid to the language of leadership in the Triumviral Period (44-31BC), the mechanisms of power and persuasion used by Augustus to establish and maintain his Principate (31BC-AD14), the strategies by which he secured the cooperation or coercion of Roman society, and the visual and verbal language developed to express and legitimate the new order. The unit draws on a variety of ancient literary and archaeological evidence toilluminate Augustus’ impact on Roman politics and society, and to assess his achievements.
ANCH315/515: The Shadow of Vesuvius: Pompeii and Herculaneum
On 24 August AD79 Mount Vesuvius erupted. Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Campi Flegrei (fields of fire) were buried in the mass disaster. Excavation of the disaster site began in 1748 and in 1997 it received World Heritage status. Today the Vesuvian region hosts millions of tourists annually. This unit is a multi-disciplinary study of the Vesuvian mass disaster, and controversies arising from the excavation, conservation, and display of its sites, artefacts, and human remains. The core modules investigate the Forensics and Volcanology of the disaster. Optional modules enable students to explore Pompeii and Herculaneum from a range of disciplinary perspectives and to appreciate the contribution of forensics to the study of this mass disaster.
ANCH318/518: The Romans: From Cradle to Grave
This unit traces the cycle of life in Ancient Rome, from cradle to grave, with particular emphasis on the Roman family. Study of the human condition in Rome from birth, through childhood, marriage, aging and death, provides a unique window into the lives, customs, popular beliefs, philosophies, rituals and commemorative practices of the Romans as a society and as individuals. By questioning how the Romans celebrated life, and prepared for and dealt with death, this unit deepens our understanding of Roman society and provides an opportunity to engage with some of the issues that life and death pose to our own society today.
ANCH324/524: Egypt in the Age of the Pyramids
A study of the history and civilisation of ancient Egypt from the union of Egypt to the end of the Middle Kingdom (early third millennium BC to c.1800 BC). Emphasis will be placed on both documentary sources of information and material evidence in order to understand the political, social and cultural life of the ancient Egyptians in the Old and Middle kingdoms. The factors which allowed for the construction of the pyramids, the nature of kingship in this period and the development of a unique Egyptian civilisation will be analysed.
ANCH325/525: New Kingdom Egypt
A study of the history and civilisation of New Kingdom Egypt (1600-1000 BC). Emphasis will be placed on both documentary sources of information and material evidence in order to understand the political, social and cultural life of the New Kingdom. The expulsion of the invading Hyksos, the religious heresy of Akhenaten, the growth of an Egyptian empire, its conflicts and relationships with the Hittites, the society of New Kingdom Egypt, and Egypt of the Old Testament in this period, will be examined.
ANCH326/526: The Art and Architecture of the Ancient World
This unit introduces students to the major achievements of art and architecture in the ancient world. This unit will involve a study of public and private space in ancient cities and of the functions of funerary monuments, religious architecture, and domestic art and architecture, as well as the attitude of ancient civilisations towards both the arts and their environment. This unit will also involve a study of relevant artefacts in the UNE Museum of Antiquities and the ways in which specific artefacts and museums can contribute to an understanding of the ancient world. Civilisations studied may include: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Bronze Age, archaic, classical and hellenistic Greece, the Etruscans, Rome, the Celts, Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium.
ANCH327/527: Hellenistic and Roman Egypt
This unit examines the extraordinary period of Egyptian history that begins with the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great (332 BCE) and ends with the advent of Arab rule (640 CE). Students will learn about the rich and multi-faceted political, cultural and religious legacy of Egypt under the Ptolemies and their last queen Cleopatra, followed by Augustus' conquest and later Roman rule. Among the topics that will be discussed are issues of cultural resistance vs. assimilation, political and religious propaganda in literature and the arts, and the dramatic changes brought by the advent of Christianity. Students will become familiar with a wide range of ancient sources, including documentary and literary texts, coins, architecture, paintings and sculpture. Furthermore, the relevant modern scholarship on the subject will be introduced and critically assessed.
ANCH328/528: Towns and Cities of the Ancient World
This unit studies the urban history of key towns and cities of the ancient world. Students examine the social fabric, political structure, history, archaeology, economy, art, architecture, and other essential features of ancient towns and cities. Concepts of urbanisation, and the city as a social, economic, religious, cultural, architectural, and political institution, will be examined. Detailed consideration will be given to the role of the ancient town and city as the pivotal focus of ancient civilisations, and what these towns and cities have contributed to human culture. Literary, archaeological, and material evidence is emphasised.
ANCH351/551: Warfare in the Ancient World
The unit examines ancient military history and warfare. In this unit we will thematically examine ancient warfare by looking at the use of infantry, cavalry, siege equipment and the navies of a variety of cultures in particular Greece and Rome. With a focus on the developments in tactics, technology, and socio-military influences between c.500 BC and AD 400.
CLLA101: Introduction to Classical Languages
An intensive introduction to Classical Greek and Latin, offered in two separate strands within the unit. Candidates must choose either Greek or Latin, and will normally remain with the language strand chosen in any further units taken in the sequence. No previous knowledge of the selected language is required. In addition to exposure to the grammar of the language and to reading continuous text, students will encounter a wide range of aspects of Greek or Roman culture and society. The unit will also improve control and understanding of English.
CLLA102: Classical Languages Through Reading
This unit builds on the work undertaken in CLLA101, and focuses on developing students' ability to read ancient texts. Students must remain in the language strand already selected in CLLA101, either Greek or Latin. By the end of the unit students will have read a considerable amount of selected Greek or Latin texts, improved their command of the language and developed their ability to analyse both English and their chosen Classical Language.
CLLA201: Intermediate Classical Languages
This unit builds on the study of Greek or Latin in CLLA101 and CLLA102 with the intention that all major constructions will be understood by the end of the unit. Practice is given in reading unseen passages. Increasingly, students will be exposed to original literary texts with attention given to content as well as syntax. Candidates must continue to follow the language strand selected in the first-year units.
CLLA202: Intermediate Classical Texts
In this unit, students in each strand (Greek or Latin) will read original texts in order to achieve understanding of these texts at a linguistic level as well exploring their literary/historical significance. The texts set vary from year to year.
CLLA301: Advanced Classical Languages
This unit provides further consolidation of Greek or Latin syntax and style at an advanced level. One major literary text will be read in detail with close attention given to content as well as syntax. Students will develop their understanding of the literary and historical features of their chosen language. Students must continue to follow the language strand selected in the first- and second-year CLLA units.
CLLA302: Advanced Classical Texts
In this unit, students in each strand (Greek or Latin) will read substantial portions of key original texts in verse or prose in order to achieve understanding of them both at a linguistic level and for their literary and historical significance. Students will also engage with the tradition of scholarship around these works and develop their own critical engagement with the texts.
CLLA303/403: Classical Prose Texts
In this unit students in each strand (Greek or Latin) will read prose texts in order to achieve understanding of these texts at an advanced linguistic level and develop an appreciation of their literary/historical significance. The texts sets vary from year to year and are shared with CLLA403.
CLLA304/404: Classical Verse Texts
In this unit students in each strand (Greek or Latin) will read verse texts in order to achieve understanding of these texts at an advanced linguistic level and develop an appreciation of their literary/historical significance. The texts sets vary from year to year.