Impact of Greek Culture

Module titleImpact of Greek Culture
Module codeCLA3256
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Daniel King (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

How did Greek culture interact with other non-Greek cultures in the ancient world? In this module, you will be able to examine both the historical phenomenon of cultural interaction, but also raise questions about your own assumptions about the importance, and ‘impact’ of Greek culture. This course will investigate cultural interaction in a number of historical contexts: Ptolemaic Egypt; Jewish literature from the Hellenistic and Roman periods; the last century of the Roman republic; and Imperial Greek culture of the second/third centuries AD. In examining these contexts, it will also ask you to ask questions how cultural interaction is represented not only by ancient authorities, but also by the modern academy and contemporary political and social debates. You will be given a considerable amount of freedom to formulate your own questions and investigate the ‘impact’ of Greek culture in various research projects. While there are no co-requisites for this course, the Reception of Greek Culture follows on from it nicely: CLA3258.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module has two aims:

  • Firstly, it intends to critically engage with the question of interaction between Greek and non-Greek cultures in the ancient world. To do this, it will look at the phenomenon from a cultural-historical perspective, exploring the forms, strategies, contexts of interaction between Greek and non-Greek cultures, and the way this reaction was represented by different participants.
  • Secondly, it aims to critically assess the concept of Greek ‘impact’ on other cultures. Should we understand cultural interaction as ‘impact’? Are our questions and critical frameworks appropriate? Do tell us more about Greek culture’s significance in our world, than allow us to effectively understand an ancient historical phenomenon?

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Engage critically with concepts such as philhellenism hellenisation and multiculturalism
  • 2. Appreciate the particular social and political context surrounding the cultural interaction between Greeks and non-Greeks, especially Romans

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Approach a broad theme from different angles, drawing the pertinent connections
  • 4. Show familiarity and confidence in obtaining and using suitable information sources
  • 5. Demonstrate critical engagement with a range of primary and secondary literature

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Employ critical reasoning and independent thought; demonstrate ability to construct clear and coherent arguments from complex data and communicate those arguments in oral and written form
  • 7. Develop your interpersonal and team working skills through study groups and peer interaction

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module develops two primary strands of enquiry. It will begin by outlining some of the critical concepts which impact on how (and why) we are interested in the Impact of Greek Culture: these will include self-reflexive questions about the relationship between politics, modern identity and the notion of Greek culture in the west and in the academy; ‘Cultural Hybridity’, ‘multiculturalism’, and ‘Hellenisation’, ‘Reception Theory’. These concepts will be critically examined within a number of case-studies of cultural interaction within the ancient world.  These case-studies will include the library at Alexandria and Ptolemaic Alexandria; Jewish literature of the Hellenistic period; Roman literature of the last century BC; and Greek Imperial culture.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching221 x 2 hour seminar per week
Guided independent study128Independent study


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation/discussion10-20 minutes1-5Oral comment; peer comment

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research essay804000 words1-7Mark with written feedback
Oral presentation101 x 10 minutes1-7Mark with written feedback
Various research exercises10Take home (in first weeks of term)1-5Mark with written feedback


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research essayResearch essay1-7Referral/Deferral period
Research exercisesResearch exercises1-7Referral/Deferral period
Oral presentationWritten transcript of the presentation that would have been given, along with the handout1-7Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Erskine, A. (ed.) (2003) A Companion to the Hellenistic World (Blackwell).
  • Kuhrt, A. & Sherwin-White, S. (eds.) (1987) Hellenism in the East (Berkeley). 
  • Kuhrt, A. & Sherwin-White, S. (eds.) (1993) From Samarkhand to Sardis (Berkeley).
  • Whitmarsh, T. & Thomson, S (eds.) (2013) The Romance Between Greece and the East (CUP).

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Greek, Culture, Impact

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date