CLAS 1004 - The Ancient World through Film

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

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
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    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

    Dr Jacqueline Clarke (course coordinator)

    Professor Han Baltussen

    Dr Margaret O'Hea



    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.
    6 Engage productively and respectfully with their peers via problem solving and the sharing of information.
    7 Use learning technologies relevant to the University's learning environment.
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    2, 3, 4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 5, 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6
  • 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: The World of Hypatia
    Week 12 Farewell to Antiquity?
    Course Review
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Our tutorial programme is embedded with Small Group Discovery work throughout the semester. This includes - but is not restricted to - analysing, discussing and presenting primary material in small groups within the tutorial class.
  • 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
    1250 word essay 1 Formative & summative 20% 1-7
    1250 word essay 2 Formative & summative 30% 1-7
    Exam Summative 40% 1-7
    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.

    Tutorial topics will be allocated at the introductory class. Each topic will be limited to six students on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. The first topic must be selected from the Greek half of the course, the second from the Roman half.
    Assessment Detail
    600 word primary resource analysis: students will compare and contrast two primary source excerpts - 10% weighting

    1250 word tutorial paper 1: students submit a tutorial paper on a topic chosen from the first 'Greek' half of the course- 20% weighting

    1250 word tutorial paper 2: students submit a tutorial paper on a topic chosen from the second 'Roman' half of the course-- 30% weighting

    Exam: covers all aspects of the course - 40% weighting
    Submission
    The primary source analysis will be submitted and marked online via MyUni.

    Tutorial papers are to be handed in to your tutor before or at the start of the tutorial for which the paper is written. They must be accompanied by a Classics green coversheet with the plagiarism declaration signed.

    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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