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CL4004 Entertainment and Spectacle in the Greek and Roman Worlds

CL4004 Entertainment and Spectacle in the Greek and Roman Worlds

Module Organiser: Dr. Hazel Dodge
Duration of Course: All Year
Contact Hours: 44 (22 x 2-hour seminar)
Weighting: 20 ECTS
Assessment: 2 x 3hr end of year examinations.

Description: This course explores the nature of entertainment and spectacle in the Greek and Roman worlds and aims to set it within a historical, cultural and social framework. Entertainment is a fundamental feature of our modern society, but how did it work in the Greek and Roman periods? Was it 'fun' or were there other important factors in play? In this course we shall explore the nature, context and social importance of the different forms of public entertainment and spectacle in the Greek and Roman worlds, and examine how and why such displays changed in significance over time.

The course primarily takes an archaeological approach and there will be close study of the physical evidence. Textual and epigraphic sources will be integrated so that a broad perspective can be appreciated. On a more light-hearted note, by the end of this course you should also be able to spot the mistakes in films such as Gladiator, Spartacus and Ben Hur!

Introductory Reading

  • A. Futrell, The Roman Games: a sourcebook, Oxford 2006
  • D. Kyle, Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World, Oxford 2007
  • S. G. Miller, Arete. Greek Sports from Ancient Sources, Berkeley 1991; 3rd edition 2004

Last updated 13 August 2013 ryanw1@tcd.ie.