CLAS 3027 - Pagans, Saints and Magic in Late Antiquity

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

This is a cultural history course that looks at issues that were at the centre of social change in Late Antiquity (3rd-6th centuries AD). The later Roman empire witnessed major cultural upheavals and political collapse; according to many contemporaries, the rise of Christianity and its attempts to be the only religion within the empire was at the centre of much of this change. Debate spilled out onto streets as civil riot, pogroms and vandalism in places such as Athens, Alexandria and Antioch. European views of religious (in)tolerance, orthodoxy, heresy and magic developed within this period, as did the notion of the 'holy man', power of the 'relic' and personal asceticism as an ideal. In particular, this course will use literary sources in translation to examine the history of pagan religions in Late Antiquity, their reactions and challenges to the rise of Christianity. We will study the rise of the cult of the martyr and of asceticism, using contemporary poetry, letters and biographies. Finally, the intertwining concepts of magic and miracles will be explored in the context of Christianity and a variety of pagan and philosophical groups, with an emphasis on the eastern Mediterranean world.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CLAS 3027
    Course Pagans, Saints and Magic in Late Antiquity
    Coordinating Unit Classics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of level 2 undergraduate study including at least 3 units of level 2 Classics courses
    Incompatible CLAS 2103
    Course Description This is a cultural history course that looks at issues that were at the centre of social change in Late Antiquity (3rd-6th centuries AD). The later Roman empire witnessed major cultural upheavals and political collapse; according to many contemporaries, the rise of Christianity and its attempts to be the only religion within the empire was at the centre of much of this change. Debate spilled out onto streets as civil riot, pogroms and vandalism in places such as Athens, Alexandria and Antioch.

    European views of religious (in)tolerance, orthodoxy, heresy and magic developed within this period, as did the notion of the 'holy man', power of the 'relic' and personal asceticism as an ideal. In particular, this course will use literary sources in translation to examine the history of pagan religions in Late Antiquity, their reactions and challenges to the rise of Christianity. We will study the rise of the cult of the martyr and of asceticism, using contemporary poetry, letters and biographies. Finally, the intertwining concepts of magic and miracles will be explored in the context of Christianity and a variety of pagan and philosophical groups, with an emphasis on the eastern Mediterranean world.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Margaret O'Hea

    Lecturers: Dr Margaret O'Hea and Prof. Han Baltussen.
    Course Timetable

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

    One lecture per week for 12 weeks and one two-hour seminar per week for 10 weeks, starting in week 2.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 understand the historical sequence of  the main developments in Late Antique religious history 
    2 develop a scholarly approach to the historical analysis of primary sources, both literary and documentary
    3 encourage wider readings and the application of a broader “historical” perspective to contemporary issues, such as religious tolerance and intolerance in Europe and of freedom of speech
    4 engage productively and respectfully with their peers via problem solving and the sharing of information
    5 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)
    1-2
    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
    2, 4
    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
    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
    4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Textbooks:
    Lane Fox, R. (1988 or later) Pagans and Christians
    Valantasis, R. (2000) Religions of Late Antiquity in Practice  [a sourcebook]
    Recommended Resources
    Cameron, A. (2010) The Last Pagans of Rome.
    Online Learning
    Reading lists, websites and other resources will be made available online in MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures will provide background to the seminar topics.  These two-hour classes will rely heavily on the readings of both primary and secondary sources by students, but they will also build on the previous weeks' readings. They are intended to create both a knowledge base and establish practice in historical analysis.
    Workload

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

    WORKLOAD TOTAL HOURS
    12 weeks x 3 structured learning hours  36
    4 reading hrs pw 48
    2 research hours pw (can include reading) 24
    4 hrs assignment preparation pw 48
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture topics may vary from published schedule, which will be provided online in MyUni at the start of the semester. The seminar programme will be available online and in downloadable form on MyUni at the start of semester.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    SGDE within seminars throughout semester on topics within programme.



  • 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 Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Blog entry Formative and Summative

    Wk 2

     10%  1, 2, 5
    100 wd seminar summaries (x 10) Formative and Summative Continually throughout semester  10%  4-5
    Research essay Formative and summative Wk 12 40% 1, 2, 3
    Written exam Summative Formal exam period 40% 1, 2, 3
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Compulsory regular attendance at seminars required for submission of seminar summaries, and they must have satisfactorily completed both the blog and the first half of their seminar summaries before being allowed to submit their research essay at the end of semester.



    Assessment Detail
    Research essay: students will be required to write a 2750 word research essay due at the end of semester, on one of three topics provided on MyUni (topics will vary from year to year)  = 40% weighting.

    Blog entry: ca 250wd blog entry (in MyUni) contribution on one of a list of key introductory terms and concepts provided to each seminar group  = 10% weighting

    Seminar Summaries: 10 x ca100-wd seminar summaries based on both the readings and class discussion - this will be submitted incrementally after each week’s class, online (via MyUni) = 10% weighting

    Exam:  a 2-hour exam in the format of essay-type answers, to be held during the university exam period = 40% weighting
    Submission
    The blog entry, seminar summaries and research essay will all be submitted online in MyUni for this course.
    Details on submission rules, penalties and the process for late submission without penalties are online in MyUni for this course, along with guidelines on the formatting of written work, citations and bibliography.
    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
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