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The class meets weekly for two hours, combining both lecturing and seminar-style discussion. The lectures are designed to explore key topics, to highlight interpretative issues and difficulties, and present overviews of main controversies and points of interest in modern scholarship. Some primary texts/translations will be provided by the lecturer.

Students will be required to read the relevant texts before each lecture, and lectures will be based on the assumption that you have done so. You will also be expected to participate in discussion of relevant issues that arise during the lecture sessions.

NB: handouts/powerpoints/pdfs will be made available on Moodle

Term 2 Lectures

1. Politics in the Iliad 1: arguments and discord; heroic politics
2. Politics in the Iliad 2: conflict resolutions; the powerful mediations of poetic imagery
3. Pindar: politics within and beyond historicism
4. Athenian lyric politics
5. Euripides, Suppliants versus Aristophanes, Knights: dramatic models for Athenian political leadership

Week 6 reading Week - no lectures/classes

7. Athens, choral poetry, and politics: conclusions
8. Herodotus' Histories and the debate of political constitutions
9. Thucydides, war, and the rhetoric of societal breakdown
10. Fifth-century prose and political theory: conclusions and questions

Term 3 Lectures

1. Gobbets sessions
2. Gobbets exam prep


Assessment of the module for all students is 60% term 2 essay and 40% for a 1-hour examination in the May/June session of examinations. Length of essay should be in 2,500-3000 words.