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CL2325 Power & Identity in the Greek and Roman Worlds


Module Organiser: Prof. Monica Gale & Dr. Martine Cuypers
Duration: All Year
Contact Hours: 38 (32 lectures, 6 seminars)
Weighting: 10 ECTS
Assessment: 20% coursework (two written assignments), 80% end-of-year 3-hour examination

Overview and Aims:

This module examines different forms of identity and self-image in both the Greek and Roman worlds, and ways in which they were constructed, maintained and manipulated on the individual and the communal level. The module will also consider the variety of political structures and expressions of power in the ancient world, and assess how power was presented and re-presented in different cultural contexts. In doing so we will look at the relationships between ideas of power and notions of identity. The Greek side of the module will centre on Classical Athens, broadening out to explore other polities within the Greek world and relations between them. In the Roman part of the module we will focus on Augustan Rome, and examine the interconnections between political authority and national/personal identity at the transition from Republic to Principate.

Introductory Reading

  • Cartledge, P. 1993. The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others. Oxford.
  • Hall, E. 1989. Inventing the Barbarian: Greek Self-Definition through Tragedy. Oxford.
  • Hall, J.M. 1997. Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity. Cambridge.
  • Hall, J.M., 2005. Hellenicity: Between Ethnicity and Culture. Chicago.
  • Low, P. 2007. Interstate Relations in Classical Greece: Morality and Power. Cambridge.
  • Morgan, C. 2003. Early Greek States Beyond the Polis. London: Routledge.
  • Dench, E. 2005. Romulus' Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian. Oxford.
  • Galinsky, K. 1996. Augustan Culture: An Interpretive Introduction. Princeton.
  • Zanker, P. The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. Ann Arbor.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Ability to consider different ways in which Greek and Roman identities were constructed, maintained and manipulated on the individual and the communal level
  • Ability to examine different ways in which political and other kinds of power were represented in different cultural contexts within the ancient world
  • Thorough familiarity with literary, artistic and epigraphic sources for the study of self-representation and expressions of power in the prescribed periods
  • Ability to comment critically on selected texts, monuments and inscriptions, both orally and in writing
  • Sound understanding of recent critical approaches to the construction and representation of power and identity in the ancient world

Last updated 16 December 2016