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CE1537: SONGS, MYTHS AND HERO-TALES OF THE OLD NORTH (2019-2020)

Last modified: 25 Sep 2019 09:58


Course Overview

This course introduces the oldest vernacular literature of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, beginning in the sixth century AD. We explore heroic narratives featuring, for example, the Scandinavian monster-fighter Beowulf (immortalized in England’s first epic poem), the Irish warrior Cú Chulainn (hero of the Táin) and the tragic Welsh princess Branwen, caught up in a fatal power-struggle between Wales and Ireland. We examine praise-poetry, meditative poetry, and look at mythological tales about the old gods and voyages to Otherworld isles in the western ocean.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor Ralph O'Connor

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Course Aims

To introduce students to the literature of early medieval Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

Main Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, active students will be able to:

 

• Understand and appreciate a range of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon literary texts
• Understand how to read these texts in their historical and literary contexts
• Understand the different genres to which these texts belong
• Discuss the possible purposes for which these texts were composed
• Engage in cultural comparison between different areas of the British Isles
• Write a coherent essay exploring a chosen topic within the course
• Participate in group discussion

Course Content

 

This course introduces the oldest vernacular literature of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, beginning in the sixth century AD: the finest artistic achievements of a world of violence, passion, contemplation and cold political calculation. We explore heroic narratives featuring, for example, the Scandinavian monster-fighter Beowulf (immortalized in England’s first epic poem), the Irish warrior Cú Chulainn (hero of the Táin) and the tragic Welsh princess Branwen, caught up in a fatal power-struggle between Wales and Ireland. We examine praise-poetry and heroic elegy from the time when Scotland's Central Belt was riven by border raids between Welsh and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. We explore meditative poetry about the natural world, and about the inner lives of those cut off from the rest of society: outlaws, exiles, hermits. And we look at mythological tales about the old gods and voyages to Otherworld isles in the western ocean. This course will enable students to appreciate the remarkable and emotionally compelling artistry of these works, and to explore what they meant for mediaeval audiences in their cultural contexts. All these texts will be studied in English translation, and no prior knowledge is expected.


Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 2 Lectures during University weeks 25 - 35
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 25 - 35

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

In person, in scheduled meetings with course tutors. By request, in meetings with the course coordinator.

Word Count 1500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

In person, in scheduled meetings with course tutors. By request, in meetings with the course coordinator.

Word Count 2000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Tutorial/Seminar Participation

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

In person, in scheduled meetings with course tutors. By request, in meetings with the course coordinator.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback Word Count 3000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

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