CLAS 1004 - The Ancient World through Film

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This course takes a selection of cinematic reconstructions of the ancient world, and uses them as a "gateway" through which we introduce students to key themes in the literature and history of Greece and Rome. As films such as The Odyssey (1997), 300 (2006), Cleopatra (1964), Rome (2005), Gladiator (2000) and Agora (2009) clearly show, the ancient world continues to inspire modern film; we aim to take these examples of classical reception as a starting point for our exploration of major works and key themes. Following a series of introductory lectures that outline key starting points for those students new to Classics (and those new to film theory and reception studies), the course will divide into five sections - one for each film and the key ancient themes associated with it. We will locate each film in its proper historical setting (both modern and ancient), before moving the discussion on to consider the relevant classical texts that inspired, informed, and shaped each production. This course is not available with exemptions from lecture or tutorial attendance.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CLAS 1004
    Course The Ancient World through Film
    Coordinating Unit Classics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Course Description This course takes a selection of cinematic reconstructions of the ancient world, and uses them as a "gateway" through which we introduce students to key themes in the literature and history of Greece and Rome. As films such as The Odyssey (1997), 300 (2006), Cleopatra (1964), Rome (2005), Gladiator (2000) and Agora (2009) clearly show, the ancient world continues to inspire modern film; we aim to take these examples of classical reception as a starting point for our exploration of major works and key themes.

    Following a series of introductory lectures that outline key starting points for those students new to Classics (and those new to film theory and reception studies), the course will divide into five sections - one for each film and the key ancient themes associated with it. We will locate each film in its proper historical setting (both modern and ancient), before moving the discussion on to consider the relevant classical texts that inspired, informed, and shaped each production.

    This course is not available with exemptions from lecture or tutorial attendance.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jacqueline Clarke

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 Appreciate the influences shaping modern film and television representations of the ancient world and the importance of taking context into account when analysing these receptions.
    2 Describe and analyse the cultural and historical backgrounds of certain key periods in the Greek and Roman worlds.
    3 Differentiate between ancient and modern cultures in their values, attitudes, particularly in regard to the ways in which they define and represent ‘the other’.
    4 Confidently engage in close reading of primary texts across a variety of genres.
    5 Prepare and deliver coherently and logically argued written material with a scholarly approach.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Robin Lane Fox, The Classical World (Penguin 2006)
    Recommended Resources
    (1) Penguin edition of Homer: The Odyssey (translated by Robert Fagles; London 1996) – for tutes 2 and 3
    (2) Penguin edition of Herodotus: The Histories (London rev. edn. 2003) – for tutes 4 & 5
    (3) Penguin edition of Plutarch: The Fall of the Roman Republic: Six Lives (London rev. edn. 2003) – for tutes 6 & 7
    Online Learning
    Powerpoints and recordings from the lectures will be placed up on MyUni after each lecture has been delivered. However, students are advised that recordings sometimes fail. Recordings are not meant to be a substitute for attending lectures.

    Students are expected to consult the announcements board at least twice a week and must closely read all emails sent via MyUni.

    The readings for each tutorial topic will be placed upon MyUni or directions will be supplied about how to access them.

    Guidelines to formatting footnotes and bibliography are placed upon MyUni. Students are expected to read and consult these.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The format of the course consists of two lectures a week supported by problem-solving tutorials which develop topics covered in the lectures.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2 x 1-hour lectures (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour tutorial (or equivalent) per week 12 hours per semester
    5 hours reading per week 60 hours per semester
    3.5 hours written work per week 42 hours per semester
    1.5 hours revision per week 18 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    This programme is provisional and may be altered in accordance with the availablity of lecturers and tutors.
    Schedule
    Week 1 Introduction
    Ancient and Modern: Some Starting Points
    Week 2 Odyssey: Starting points
    Odyssey: Folklore and Fantasy
    Week 3 Odyssey: A Hero Returns
    Odyssey: Legacy
    Week 4 300: Starting points
    300: Herodotus and History
    Week 5 300: East v West?
    300: The Spartan Myth
    Week 6 Ancient Literature on Film
    Ancient History on Film
    Week 7 Cleopatra: Starting points
    Cleopatra: Roman Politics and Society
    Week 8 Cleopatra: The Historical Cleopatra
    Cleopatra: Creating the Legend
    Week 9 Gladiator: Starting points… The Empire
    Gladiator: History
    Week 10 Gladiator: What makes a good emperor?
    Gladiator: A Tale of Two Emperors: Father & Son
    Week 11 Agora: Christianity in the Roman world
    Agora: Fall of the Empire
    Week 12 Farewell to Antiquity?
    Course Review
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment task Task type Weighting Course learning outcomes
    600 word primary source analysis Formative & summative 10% 2, 4
    250 word essay 1 Formative & summative 20% 1-5
    250 word essay 2 Formative & summative 30% 1-5
    Exam Summative 40% 1-5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are expected to attend the lectures and tutorials and do the reading preparation for all the topics. They are also normally required to bring the relevant primary source excerpts to the tutorials so that they can consult and refer to them during the discussion.
    Assessment Detail
    600 word primary resource analysis: students will compare and contrast two primary source excerpts - 10% weighting

    250 word essay 1: students submit an essay on a chosen topic - 20% weighting

    250 word essay 2: students submit an essay on a chosen topic - 30% weighting

    Exam: covers all aspects of the course - 40% weighting
    Submission
    Essays are to be handed in to your tutor.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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