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Curricular information is subject to change
Upon successful completion of this module, students will:
• possess a deeper understanding of the political and social history of Sparta from its mythical origins to its incorporation into the Roman empire.
• be able to analyse a variety of forms of ancient evidence used to reconstruct Spartan history and culture, including: literary, numismatic, and epigraphic sources.
• be able to demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving by engaging with key debates in the study of ancient Sparta as well as the ongoing impact of invented traditions and the ‘Spartan mirage’.
• have honed their ability to communicate their ideas and arguments through oral and written presentations delivered in class or through writing and/or recording.
• have developed their ability to manage their time by working to deadlines, balance conflicting demands, recognising when support is required and asking for help.
Indicative Module Content
This module offers overviews of key episodes in Spartan history across the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods and examines topics and case studies that cut across these eras. Lectures and seminars will engage closely with the sources and methods used to study Sparta from extant material culture to the literary works of ancient authors who wrote about the Spartans, predominantly from the perspective of an outsider. These include: Alcman, Aristotle, Diodorus Siculus, Herodotus, Pausanias, Plato, Plutarch, Polybius, Simonides, Thucydides, Tyrtaeus, and Xenophon.
Specific topics will vary from year to year, but lectures, tutorials, and coursework will invite you to examine topics such as:
• The ‘Spartan mirage’
• Sparta as a Greek polis
• Sparta, the Heraclids, and Myths Underpinning Dorian Identity
• The dyarchy: kings and queens of Sparta
• Lykourgos the lawgiver and the political and social structures of Sparta
• Education in Sparta: the 'upbringing' and later traditions of the 'agoge'
• Eating at Sparta: the common messes and Spartan food
• The homoioi and social identities and status in Spartan society
• Gender norms at Spartan
• Slavery in Sparta: the Helots
• Spartan Religion
• Sparta at war
• Sparta as hegemon and narratives of decline
• Spartan poetry and art
• Money and the Spartan economy
• Modern depictions of ancient Sparta and Spartan culture
|Student Effort Type||Hours|
|Specified Learning Activities||
|Autonomous Student Learning||
Not applicable to this module.
|Description||Timing||Component Scale||% of Final Grade|
|Essay: 3,000 word essay to be submitted at the end of the trimester.||Coursework (End of Trimester)||n/a||Graded||No||
|Assignment: You have the choice to submit either a 1,200 word commentary or deliver a recorded presentation. Topics will be provided in the module handbook at the start of the term.||Week 7||n/a||Graded||No||
|Continuous Assessment: Portfolio of Participation and Engagement: students will reflect on their level of engagement with the module. Additional guidance and a grading rubric will be provided in the module handbook||Throughout the Trimester||n/a||Graded||No||
|Resit In||Terminal Exam|
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities
Not yet recorded.
|Lecture||Offering 1||Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26||Tues 12:00 - 13:50|
|Lecture||Offering 1||Week(s) - 29, 30, 31, 32, 33||Tues 12:00 - 13:50|
|Tutorial||Offering 1||Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 30, 32||Thurs 15:00 - 15:50|
|Tutorial||Offering 2||Week(s) - 22, 24, 26, 29, 31||Thurs 15:00 - 15:50|
|Tutorial||Offering 3||Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 30, 32||Tues 15:00 - 15:50|
|Tutorial||Offering 4||Week(s) - 22, 24, 26, 29, 31||Tues 15:00 - 15:50|