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CL2328 Memory and Commemoration in the Greek and Roman Worlds

Treasury of Athens at Delphi

Module Organisers: Dr Nicolette Pavlides
Duration of Course: all year (visiting students may opt to take only the Greek half (Michaelmas term, 5 ECTS) or the Roman half (Hilary term, 5 ECTS))
Contact Hours: 38 (32 lectures, 6 seminars)
Weighting: 10 ECTS
Assessment: 20% continuous assessment (one written assignment), 80% end-of-year examination

This module examines the significance of the past in the Greco-Roman world. By using a variety of literary, artistic, and archaeological sources it investigates the relationship between myth, monuments, and memory. The Greek component of this module will focus on Archaic and Classical Athens and Sparta while the Roman component will focus on late Republican and early Imperial Rome. We will pay special attention to important common themes, such as myth and cult formation, death and burial, politics and propaganda, war and commemoration. Questions raised include: How did ancient societies remember and forget the past? How was this done on state, local, or personal levels? How important was the idea of shared or unique pasts to ancient societies?

Introductory Reading

  • Alcock, S.E., Archaeologies of the Greek Past: Landscape, Monuments, and
  • Memories (Cambridge, 2002) [938 P24]
  • Flower, H.I., The Art of Forgetting: Disgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political
  • Culture (Chapel Hill, 2006) [937 P694]
  • Galinsky, C. (ed.). Memoria Romana: Memory in Rome and Rome in Memory (Ann Arbour, 2014) [ HX-108-934 ]
  • Galinsky, C. (ed.)., Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity (Oxford, 2016) [HL-380-803]
  • Galinsky, C. and Lapatin, K. (eds.)., Cultural Memories in the Roman Empire (Los Angeles 2015)
  • Grethlein, J., The Greeks and their Past. Poetry, Oratory and History in the Fifth- Century BCE (Cambridge, 2010) [881.09 R0]
  • Loraux, N., The Divided City: On Memory and Forgetting in Ancient Athens (New York, 2002) [938.5 P22]
  • Ricoeur, P., Memory, History, Forgetting (Chicago, 2004) [LEN 128.3 P46]
  • Seider, A.N., Memory in Vergil's Aeneid. Creating the Past (Cambridge, 2013) [878 VER:3g R3]
  • Zanker, P., The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (Ann Arbor, 1990) [937.07 N01]

Learning Outcomes:

On successful conclusion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Good understanding of modern theoretical approaches to the study of memory.
  • Sophisticated appreciation of the methods by which ancient societies understood and related to their recent and long-term pasts.
  • Thorough knowledge of relevant literary, artistic, and archaeological sources.
  • Ability to comment critically and intelligently on the different ways in which political, social, and personal memory were constructed and diffused in antiquity.

Last updated 11 August 2017