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HI401C: SPECIAL SUBJECT: MORALITY & SEXUAL MORES IN THE CLASSICAL WORLD (2023-2024)

Last modified: 01 Aug 2023 11:46


Course Overview

The modern West relies heavily on the Classical World in its art, architecture, law, and ideas. However, this is often filtered through later, Christian re-working. This course will try to understand the morals and mores of the Ancient World in their own, pagan context through an examination of its views, in particular, on sex and sexuality.  The course will deal with sensitive topics including: sexual violence, prostitution, perceived concepts of deviance, capital punishment and the (mis)treatment of children.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor William G Naphy

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

  • History (HI)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

Yes

One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.


Course Description

The course will attempt to understand what Greco-Roman cultures understood to be bad (immoral) and good (socially approved) behaviour.  Where this is most dramatically different from modern notions is around sexually acceptable and unacceptable practices.  In particular, this includes the fraught area of sexual violence as it was understood (and used) in the Ancient World as well as the way in which children should be (as valued future citizens) and could be (as tools of sexual gratification) treated.  This will involve examining the ways in which differing social status (citizen, freed, slave, ‘barbarian’) allowed for diverse ways of being treated ‘acceptably’ by the dominant, conquering culture.  A final example of how this very different understanding of ‘right and wrong’ can be seen is in examining the ways in which condemned criminals and prisoners could be killed as entertainment.  The goal of the course is to try and understand the value systems of the Ancient World and how these worked in practice.  Students must be aware that the course will touch upon the topic and readings about sexual violence and the exploitation of enslaved peoples, including the very young.


Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 2 Seminars during University weeks 8 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers


Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Take Home Exam

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 60
Assessment Weeks 20 Feedback Weeks 24

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Feedback

In line with standard History special subject exam: students will answer a mixture of gobbet analyses (40%) and examination questions (60%) regarding material from across the course. Students will complete the exam during a fixed take-home period in line with department and School standard dates.

Individual feedback will be provided on request.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate an advanced understanding of ideas of moral/good/acceptable and immoral/bad/unacceptable in the Greco-Roman world.
ProceduralAnalyseArticulate convincing analysis of different types of evidence derived from an examination of ancient primary sources (in translation) and secondary literature
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate different historical methodologies by understanding and applying them to course material.
ProceduralEvaluateCritically appraise primary source materials and secondary scholarship, using improved verbal and written expression skills through in-class small and large group discussions

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks 14 Feedback Weeks 16

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Feedback

Students will produce a 2500-word essay relating to a topic chosen in consultation with course co-ordinator.

Feedback will be provided online through MyAberdeen. Further group feedback will be delivered in class.

Word Count 2500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate an advanced understanding of ideas of moral/good/acceptable and immoral/bad/unacceptable in the Greco-Roman world.
ProceduralAnalyseArticulate convincing analysis of different types of evidence derived from an examination of ancient primary sources (in translation) and secondary literature
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate different historical methodologies by understanding and applying them to course material.
ProceduralEvaluateCritically appraise primary source materials and secondary scholarship, using improved verbal and written expression skills through in-class small and large group discussions
ReflectionCreateFormulate viable research questions in relation to issues and debates relating to the study of mores and morals in the Ancient World

Gobbet Analysis

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 10
Assessment Weeks 11 Feedback Weeks 13

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Feedback

Students will provide 1 x gobbet responses to sources available in a primary source pack.

Feedback will be provided online through MyAberdeen. Further group feedback will be delivered in class.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate an advanced understanding of ideas of moral/good/acceptable and immoral/bad/unacceptable in the Greco-Roman world.
ProceduralAnalyseArticulate convincing analysis of different types of evidence derived from an examination of ancient primary sources (in translation) and secondary literature
ProceduralEvaluateCritically appraise primary source materials and secondary scholarship, using improved verbal and written expression skills through in-class small and large group discussions

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Resit not normally available at level 4

Assessment Type Summative Weighting
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback
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
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate an advanced understanding of ideas of moral/good/acceptable and immoral/bad/unacceptable in the Greco-Roman world.
ProceduralAnalyseArticulate convincing analysis of different types of evidence derived from an examination of ancient primary sources (in translation) and secondary literature
ReflectionCreateFormulate viable research questions in relation to issues and debates relating to the study of mores and morals in the Ancient World
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate different historical methodologies by understanding and applying them to course material.
ProceduralEvaluateCritically appraise primary source materials and secondary scholarship, using improved verbal and written expression skills through in-class small and large group discussions

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