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Level 4

4AACAA01 Art & Archaeology of Greece & Rome

Credit value: 30
Module convenor/tutor 2019/20: Dr Michael Squire (Semester 1) & Dr John Pearce (Semester 2)
Teaching pattern: 
20 x 2-hour lecture (weekly); 20 x 1-hour seminar (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 2 x 2,000 word essays (60%, based on the higher of the two marks; failure to submit 2 essays will be penalized by capping essay component of module mark at 40%); 1 x 2-hour examination (40%), to comprise a picture question (comment on 4 images from a choice of items taught over the module, each 10%) and two essays (each 30%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Single semester (15 Credit) versions running in Semester 1 or 2
  • 4AACAA1A Art & Archaeology of Ancient Greece - Semester 1 
  • 4AACAA1B Art & Archaeology of Ancient Rome - Semester 2

Single semester versions of the module, split in Ancient Greece (semester 1) and Ancient Rome (semester 2), are available to Graduate Diploma in Classical Studies and other students from outside the Department.

Students in the Department of Classics may also be allowed to take the single semester version to make up their required credits. For example, if they wish to take 15 Credits with another Department in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, or the 15 Credit module 4AACHB01 Receptions of the Past: the Hellenic World from Antiquity to Today (in 2018/19, this module runs in Semester 1).


  • 4AACAA1A & 4AACAA1B: Coursework (100%), comprising: 1 x 2,000 word essay (70%) and 1 x 500 word image commentary (30%).
  • Full year Study Abroad students: as for 4AACAA01, above.

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

This module introduces students to the material and visual culture of the ancient world from the second millennium BC to late antiquity. Semester 1 focuses on the Greek world, semester 2 on the Roman. We will study the built environment - from the great urban monuments to everyday domestic units (including temples, ‘homes’ for the gods). We will explore the art and iconography of the ancient world alongside the material residues of daily life and ritual. Students are introduced to the different perspectives and methods of both archaeologists and art historians in interpreting material remains and visual images. The module combines close study of individual pieces of evidence with an evaluation of how they illuminate the societies, cultures, institutions and economies of classical antiquity. The module draws heavily from the extraordinary collections in London, particularly the British Museum.

Students will be expected to do reading or other preparation (including museum-based work) in advance of classes. Course materials will be made available on KEATS.

Core reading

  • Alcock, S. and Osborne, R. eds. Classical Archaeology (2nd ed.), (Chichester 2012)
  • Burn, L., Greek and Roman Art in the British Museum (London, 1992)
  • Claridge, A. Rome (Oxford Archaeological Guide, 2nd ed.) (Oxford 2010)
  • Neer, R. Art and Archaeology of the Greek World (London, 2012)
  • Ramage, N. & Ramage, A. Roman Art: Romulus to Constantine, (London, 2013)
  • Tuck, S. 2015. A History of Roman Art, Chichester: Wiley Blackwell
  • Whitley, J. The Archaeology of Ancient Greece (Cambridge, 2002)

No mandatory book purchase is required but students may find that one or more of the above volumes help to support their studies. None of these costs more than £35 for a new print version and most cost considerably less; ebooks and used copies are much cheaper. 

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