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CLU33212 Social Media in the Ancient World

To write a letter – whether a formal, public composition or a private letter to a friend – is to create an image, consciously or unconsciously, of oneself as writer and of one’s relationship with the letter’s recipient. In this sense, Roman letter-writing can be seen as a partial equivalent of interaction via social media in our contemporary world. This module explores aspects of self-presentation through published and unpublished letters and other media of communication surviving from the Roman world.
  • Module Organisers:
    • Prof. Monica Gale, Prof. Anna Chahoud
  • Duration:
    • Semester 2
  • Contact Hours:
    • 16 (11 lectures and 5 seminars)
  • Weighting:
    • 5 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • 100% coursework (two written assignments)
  • Course Open To:
    • Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology; TJH Classical Civilisation; Ancient and Medieval History and Culture; Visiting; Open Module

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Describe and analyse selected ancient letters and other forms of communication
  • Examine the prescribed sources, both as documents in the intellectual history of the ancient world and as literary texts, with a particular emphasis on authorial self-representation
  • Comment critically on select passages from the prescribed texts, both orally and in writing
  • Evaluate and apply recent critical approaches to epistolarity and self-representation in general, and to the prescribed texts
  • Critically evaluate similarities and differences between ancient forms of self-representation and modern social media