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The central objective of the module is to encourage students to engage with a broad range of primary and secondary sources that are not usually covered in a traditional curriculum, and familiarise themselves with contemporary debates related to the constitution of what is now called ‘Classics’, the relationship between Antiquity and Christianity, and the political use of Classical texts in European Culture. It aims to study the way in which ancient literature, philosophy and visual art were culturally received, transmitted, revived and appropriated throughout the ages. It will be based upon a study of ancient texts and images and their cultural reception in the medieval, early modern and contemporary periods. It will develop students’ skills in examining the reception of texts in a variety of historical and ideological contexts, and in reflecting on specific problems of methods and approaches inherent to the constitution of the discipline of Classics

Module Aims

  • Acquire a broad knowledge of the reception of Antiquity
  • Explore the various historical contexts in which reception took place, from the Middle Ages to the present
  • Familarise oneself with contemporary debates on the constitution of literary and visual canons
  • Explore the cultural, ideological and political appropriations of Antiquity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the year, both second- and third-year students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Broad knowledge of the history of the reception of Antiquity from the Middle Ages to the present
  • Knowledge of how specific historical and ideological contexts shape the reception of a text/image
  • Critical awareness of contemporary debates on the constitution of relevant literary and visual canons and their cultural and political re-appropriations
  • Their ability to use critically primary and secondary sources
  • Their ability to select and present material clearly and with a coherent argument both verbally and in writing

In addition, third-year students should be able to show

  • Their ability to set their findings in a wider comparative context relevant to the module by e.g. comparing different cultural contexts or authors
  • Their ability to evaluate the merits of different methodological approaches to the material