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Level 5

5AACAR33 Building Greece

Credit value: 15
Module convenor/tutor: Dr Michael Squire
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour lectures (including museum trips)
Assessment: 1 x 1,500 word visual response essay (40%); 1 x 2,500 word thematic essay (60%)

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

Availability: Please see module list for relevant year

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.

The buildings of ancient Greece stand as monuments to a particular view of the world – and one that has been imitated the western world over. This course explores not only how these buildings were built, but also the various social, cultural and religious ideas that steered their development. Particular emphasis will be put on materials in the British Museum, which we will study together via specially arranged museum visits.

In historical terms, our focus will be on the history and development of Greek buildings between the sixth and second centuries B.C. – that is, the rise of monumental building complexes on the one hand, and the various political, civic and religious functions that they came to serve on the other. But we will also examine a range of different building projects – from temples to theatres, and from ‘public’ political structures to the more ‘private’ spaces of the home. In doing so, we will also be asking a range of broader questions: what kind of ‘historical’ evidence do buildings offer us, and what is lost (as well as gained) in telling history through architecture?

Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

  • Alcock, S.E. and R. Osborne (eds). 2012: second ed. Classical Archaeology (Oxford)
  • Camp, J.M. 2002. The Archaeology of Athens (New Haven)
  • Coulton, J.J. 1977. Greek Architects at Work (London)
  • Lawrence, A.W. 1996: fifth ed. Greek Architecture (London)
  • Neer, R. 2011. Greek Art and Architecture (London)
  • Nevett, L. 1999. House and Society in the Ancient Greek World (Cambridge)
  • Tomlinson, R.A. 1989. Greek Architecture (Bristol)
  • Tomlinson, R.A. 1995. Greek and Roman Architecture (London)
  • Spawforth, A. 2006. The Complete Greek Temples (London)
  • Westgate, R. N. Fisher and J. Whitley (eds). 2007. Building Communities. House, Settlement and Society in the Aegean and Beyond
  • Whitley, J. 2001. The Archaeology of Ancient Greece (Cambridge)
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