Greek History: war, society, and change in the Archaic Age

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Greek History: war, society, and change in the Archaic Age

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Classics, History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Classics
    Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This module will introduce students to a period of Greek history too often neglected in first-year study, one which established the foundations of the Classical World and saw the emergence of political and social forms still influential today. Starting in the eighth century BC and ending with the Persian invasions of Greece in the early fifth, the module tracks the upheavals, innovations and conflicts of the age, across Greece and beyond.
    This module aims to equip students both with a secure historical framework of benefit to the rest of their studies, and in-depth understanding of major social and cultural themes. Vital experience will be gained of the historian?s craft at its most exciting and challenging, using often fragmentary evidence to reconstruct events and practices which are the subject of ongoing scholarly debate.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of this module, it is expected that students will be able to:
    ?demonstrate knowledge of the historical framework of the period, with key events and phases;
    ?analyse and describe the social and cultural developments of Archaic Greece;
    ?examine critically the ancient evidence relevant to the period, both textual and material;
    ?show awareness of major scholarly trends and theories;
    ?locate and assemble material on the subject of study, with guidance;
    ?organise materials and present effectively written arguments.

    Additional outcomes:
    Students on this module will develop their IT skills through the production of written work and of seminar presentations. Seminars will enhance team-work and collaborative abilities.

    Outline content:
    This module combines a framework of narrative history with the systematic consideration of social and cultural themes.

    Topics to be covered may include the following:

    ?Preamble to the Archaic Period: Mycenaean civilisation, and the nature and implications of the Dark Age.
    ?The rise of the polis as the dominant model of Greek political life.
    ?Modes of political representation and their evolution.
    ?The development of sanctuaries on the local, regional and inter-regional level.
    ?Travel and contact within Greece and beyond.
    ?Military life and major conflicts from the Lelantine War to the Persian invasions.
    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    Lectures set out the historical framework of the module, while seminars allow for detailed student-led discussion of relevant themes.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures- 20
    Seminars- 6
    Guided independent study- 174
    Total hours by term- 200
    Total hours for module- 200

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written exam- 50%
    Written assignment including essay- 40%
    Class test administered by school- 10%

    Other information on summative assessment:

    Summative coursework will consist of one essay of 1,500-2,000 words, which must be submitted by 12 noon of the last Thursday of the Autumn Term.

    In-class tests

    In the third and sixth seminars, students will complete two short tests, each contributing 5% to the module mark, on the historical information covered in the course to date.


    One paper of 90 minutes? duration.
    Formative assessment methods:
    An interim assessment will be set, consisting of a commentary on a passage of ancient text, or on an artefact. The deadline for this exercise 12 noon on the Thursday of week 5. The word count is 1,000 words.

    Length of examination:
    One paper of one and a half hours.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A grade of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August.
    Coursework will be resubmitted in August.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.