The Reception of Greek Culture

Module titleThe Reception of Greek Culture
Module codeCLA3258
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

Does Greek still matter? Is this question relevant, and why do we ask it? Building on its sister module ‘The Impact of Greek Culture’ this module focuses primarily on the impact of Greek culture outside antiquity through the framework of reception studies. You will have the opportunity to examine how Greek culture has been used, represented, or engaged with at certain historical moments the west: these include but are not limited to the work of Erasmus, medieval and renaissance medicine, Shakespeare and English Drama, and Victorian culture (from body-building and the Olympic movement to Waterhouse); the liberation of Greece from Turkey, and the creation of the European Union. In terms of assessment, you will be given a high degree of freedom to determine your own research interests which are relevant to the course themes.  While there are no co-requisites for this course, the CLA3256 Impact of Greek Culture precedes it nicely.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will provide a working historical knowledge of some of the contexts in which Greek culture has been used. These will, it is intended, provide a historical backdrop to understanding the place of Greek culture in contemporary western society. It does so with the aim of allowing you to understand (a) why Greek culture continues to be relevant; and (b) why we continue to ask questions about (or emphasise) its relevance. It will provide you with an understanding of the way in which the modern academy and modern cultural debates have treated questions of reception and the representation of Greek culture’s relevance to modern society with the aim of providing you with the wherewithal to engage with modern debates about Greek culture.

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 reception and cultural appropriation
  • 2. Appreciate the particular social and political context surrounding the reception of Greek culture across a number of very different cultural contexts

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 syllabus plan will be based around 11 x 2 hour weekly seminars. In seminars, an historical introduction will generally be followed by student presentations and discussion of reading material.

The syllabus will likely be divided into five thematic periods, in which a particular historical context will be examined (i.e. weeks 2-4 will look at medieval and renaissance medicine). These periods will begin with a historical introduction by the lecturer. The themes to be studies (as listed above) include: a) medieval and renaissance medicine; b) Erasmus and learning Greek; c) Shakespeare and Drama; d) Victorian Culture; e) political appropriations in the 19th century. 

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 seminars 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 essay654000 words1-7Mark and written feedback
Oral presentation2010 minutes1-7Mark and written feedback
Various research exercises15Take home (2 items each worth 7.5%)1-5Mark and 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

Re-assessment notes

Re-assessment is not available for oral presentations.

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

  • Martindale, C. & Thomas, R (eds.) (2003) Classics and the Uses of Reception (Blackwell).
  • Martindale, C (1993) Redeeming the Text (Cambridge).
  • Goldhill, S (2002) Who Needs Greek: Contests in the Cultural History of Hellenism (Cambridge).

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Greek, Culture, Impact, Reception

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date