GRC10200 Classical Greece

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module introduces students to the political, social, and economic history of ancient Greece during the the 'Classical' period, c. 480-323 BC. This era spans from the Greco-Persian Wars to the death of Alexander the Great. Together we will explore sources and methods that modern historians use to study ancient Greek culture, including literary texts that will be read in translation and artefacts from the ancient world with examples that students can handle in the UCD Classical Museum, (Newman Building K216).

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module students should:

1. possess a detailed knowledge of the history of the Classical Greek world, c. 480-323BC.
2. be able to synthesise, analyse, and critically evaluate ancient and modern sources used to study this period.
3. demonstrate their capacity to assemble, review, and evaluate ancient and modern evidence and communicate these ideas verbally (e.g. in class discussion) or through writing (e.g. in their exam/coursework).
4. be able to reflect on their engagement with the course content and identify their individual learning style and supports needed to continue to learn more independently
5. manage their time in order to facilitate independent study.

Indicative Module Content:

In Spring 2024-25 the module will explore key sources and themes for the study of Ancient Greek history.

These include topics such as:

The formation of ancient Greek identities, e.g. mythical origins, travel and mobility, religion, language, gender, and social status.

Ancient empires, conquests, and conflicts, e.g. the Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian Wars, the Sacred Wars, and the emergence of Athens, Macedonia, Persia, Sparta, and Thebes as hegemonic powers in the Mediterranean World.

The roles that muted groups, e.g. women and slaves, play.

Ancient political thought, e.g. discussions of monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and ideas about freedom, etc.

The role of material culture and archaeology in the study of ancient Greece, e.g. the remains of ancient buildings, clay tablets from Mesopotamia, coins, inscriptions, papyri, and pottery.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module will be taught through a combination of in-person lectures and tutorials and guided study in your own time. Engagement is essential and throughout the term you will be asked to reflect on the various ways you have engaged with the course content and classes in order to learn. Lectures will aim to provide an overview of, and context for, the ancient evidence and modern scholarship that students will read about in their own time as part of their guided study and research. In tutorials/seminars students will work on developing academic skills and preparing to engage with ancient evidence directly and critically engage with sources and modern scholarship. You can also talk through any questions or concerns you might have and explore topics as a group. The aim of these sessions is to help you transition to the first year of university study and to begin to work to use different types of evidence and source material more independently.

Where public health and government guidance may change it may become necessary to deliver the module in a blended or online format, but the default for Spring 2024-25 will be in person, face-to-face learning. If you have access requirements or ongoing health challenges that prevent you from attending regularly please reach out to the module coordinator and UCD access as soon as possible to ensure that you have supports in place.

This course encourages students to develop as writers, readers, and thinkers. You are encouraged to think critically and to come to your own conclusions about the problems and sources for the study of ancient Greek history, with particular emphasis on the Classical period (480-323 BC). You will also practice communicating your ideas to others and how you can back up your ideas with direct reference to the texts and the scholarship about these texts. To this end you will receive informal feedback in group discussions in tutorials/lectures and formal feedback on any written coursework you might be asked to prepare. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Exam (In-person): Two-hour, end-of-trimester exam. The exam will have 3 components, a) a map exercise, b) a short commentary on a text/object from a list of options, and c) write an essay from a choice of options. n/a Graded No


Quizzes/Short Exercises: 5 online quizzes that will test your knowledge of lecture and tutorial content throughout the trimester. n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive feedback within 20 working days from the date that work is submitted.

Name Role
Dr Christopher Farrell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer